Friday, December 31, 2010

The Top Five of 2010: Jason's Picks

As I said in my review for True Grit, 2010 was a terrible year for movies. I ventured to a theatre perhaps five times this year and sought out very few of the year's offerings on DVD. Given that our Basement duties require us to seek out the odd, obscure and crappy, Shawn and I have little time to catch up on the latest releases anyway.

But I was able to scrounge up a Top Five for the year, which are listed below. Keep in mind these are my biased choices based on what I've seen. Films that could very well be in the running include The King's Speech, 127 Hours, The Social Network, The Fighter and a slew of others. But, based on what I've watched, I will stand by and hang by this list.

Remember, Shawn and I are back in The Basement next Friday (Jan. 7) at 10 p.m. PST on 92.5FM CFBX Kamloops and www.thex.ca. The podcast will be up by the Monday. We'll put the urban legend documentary Cropsey and the mockbuster sequel Mega Shark Versus Crocosaurus on the chopping block. Stick with us!

1) True Grit: We didn't need a remake of John Wayne's classic Western, but Joel and Ethan Coen have gone back to the source material, the 1968 novel of the same name, and done a retelling that's all their own. The film is a fine balance between drama and action picture, with a healthy dose of character study and black comedy added to the mix. And don't forget four of the best performances anyone is likely to see in years. Best of all, True Grit is relentlessly entertaining. You don't need to wind your brain up too much to enjoy the hell out of it.

2) Inception: How does one describe Inception? Smart, innovative and thrilling come to mind. So does mind blowing, visual stunning and incredible. The Dark Knight was a masterpiece, but that property wasn't 100 per cent Christopher Nolan's. Inception is, and it is a great piece of work. A masterwork from a master craftsman. This is a movie people will go see and then argue about and then, very likely, go see again. It is the must-see film of the summer, if not the year. Nolan dares us to think big here, yet he also thrills us with some of the biggest and best action scenes to ever reach the big screen. Inception is the film movie fans have waited all year for, it's a slick brain-twister that makes the year's other mainstream releases look boring and empty-headed in comparison . . . because they are.

3) The Town: A seriously awesome Ben Affleck movie? You bet! The actor, who quickly became the butt of many jokes at the beginning of the last decade, re-invented himself as a director to watch with Gone Baby Gone. With The Town he pulls out all the stops in front of the camera and behind it. This is a gritty, exciting, emotional, fast paced and fun crime picture. In other words, it's a brilliant piece of work. Affleck surrounds himself with a solid supporting cast, including The Hurt Locker's Jeremy Renner, and cements his credentials as a serious filmmaker who doesn't let style get in the way of a good story. An award-worthy picture.

4) Restrepo: It's tough to put my feelings for Restrepo into coherent thoughts. As a filmgoer, my mind has been trained to expect certain things from a war movie, and Restrepo gives me all of them. But this isn't fiction, it's real. The documentary is like a punch in the gut at times. Other moments are an amusing portrait of men who have chosen a soldier's life. We see them bond, suffer boredom together, live together, die together and grieve together in one of the deadliest place in the world. I felt like I was there for all of it and suffered the deployment with them. I had to keep telling myself this was really happening, which proves what an exceptional documentary this is.

5) Harry Brown: One of the best movies of the year featuring a powerful performance by Michael Caine, who balances ferocity and frailty throughout. The film is a button pusher, making one feel sad. angry and vengeful, often all at once. The first two minutes are among the harrowing ever put on film. What follows is somber and emotionally jarring. When Brown turns to vengeance, the film becomes about a man who has nothing to lose and the results will make you want to cheer for joy and cover your mouth with shock. Harry Brown offers no easy answers, but it does satisfy one's brain and bloodlust all at once.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Micro Review: True Grit (2010)

As a whole, 2010 was a terrible year for movies save for a select few gems, not the least of which are The Town and Inception. To have a late-year release come and best those two films took me totally by surprise. The fact The Best Movie of 2010 comes from Joel and Ethan Coen does not. We didn't need a remake of John Wayne's classic Western, but the brothers have gone back to the source material, the 1968 novel of the same name, and done a retelling that's all their own. The film is a fine balance between drama and action picture, with a healthy dose of character study and black comedy added to the mix. And don't forget four of the best performances anyone is likely to see in years. Best of all, True Grit is relentlessly entertaining. You don't need to wind your brain up too much to enjoy the hell out of it. It's hard for a movie to get much more Good than this.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Skyline: Jason's Thoughts

Nowhere near the train wreck many say it is, but not quite the fun ride as Anthony Michael Bosa and Shawn believe it to be. Still, there's lots to like in The Brothers Stause's alien invasion flick, including some crazy alien creatures and a number of great special effects/action sequences. In fact, the film's only real flaw is a cast of characters I wanted to see die rather than survive and an ending that doesn't quite work. Still, this is a decent B-movie that entertains despite its flaws. I doubt I will watch it again, so it rates a Bad from me. Sorry dudes.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Micro Review: Black Christmas (1974)

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

A holiday classic of a different sort, this Canadian made horror flick set the trend for slasher films to follow. Granted, Carpenter perfected the genre with Halloween four years later, but this set the stage for his success. The film is cold, classy, and straightforward; relying on suspense and psychological shocks for its scares. Black Christmas also has the advantage of good acting by the female leads played by Margot Kidder and Olivia Hussey and a witty sense of humour. The film still manages a good slice of old-fashioned terror more than 30 years after it was made.A must watch every year, and light years better than the remake. A Good for sure!

Micro Review: The Other Guys

A fun and funny riff on the buddy cop/action genre made popular in the 1980s, with Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg playing their mismatched partners to the hilt. This is everything Cop Out should have been: clever, exciting, witty and silly without being stupid. The action sequences are brisk and well staged and the humour works more often than it doesn't. I laughed a lot through The Other Guys, which is more than I can say for most mainstream comedies these days. That, and the fact the film is narrated by Ice T and features the sexy Eva Medes, earns this a Good from me. FYI: Samuel L. Jackson and Dwayne Johnson, who play the hero cops, aren't in this for long. Fans take note.

Guest Review: Skyline

We've heard a lot of bad buzz about this movie since it's release, but now that Anthony Michael Bosa has weighed in, we may give it a watch. And thanks to him for taking one for the team. Merry Christmas dood!

One word. Awesome. Yes, it has it's one flaw: too much drama between the characters. On the flip side, awesome effects, good action, incredibly awesome enemies and, of course, the Army that tries as usual. GO MARINES! I can see why most people would not like this film. They expect too much nowadays, or, they really just don't appreciate awesome. THIS IS A FUN MOVIE PEOPLE!!! They are not going for Oscars, just entertainment! Plenty of that. The heroes, or cast as I will call them, are always on the run from something cool. Nowhere to go, nowhere to hide. Look out! Big bad guy! (That rhymes!) If you like sci-fi,or enjoy action, this has both. I was excited to see this film and it did not disappoint me. It had a different ending which I thought was mega cool. Am I hope for a sequel? Hell Ya! Am I a movie geek? Hell Ya! Keep an open mind, have a beer, watch this movie.A Good review from Anthony Michael Bosa.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Propane explosion sends six to hospital on Uwe Boll movie set

Here' a story I wrote for today's Kamloops Daily News about a former Kamloops resident turned movie extra who witnessed Tuesday's explosion on the set of In the Name of the King 2.

By JASON HEWLETT
Daily News Staff Reporter


A cloud of propane filled a tent full of movie extras minutes before an explosion sent several people to hospital in Maple Ridge with varying degrees of burns, a witness to the blast said Wednesday.
"It was a huge explosion. The fireball was bigger than the tent," said Adrian Berry, a former Kamloops resident.
Berry, an extra on the set of the Uwe Boll-directed movie In the Name of the King 2, narrowly avoided being caught in the blast himself.
He had just left the tent and walked about 10 metres down a path at Golden Ears Park in Maple Ridge where the fantasy/adventure was filming, he said. In the moment it took him to take a picture and turn back to the black, 24-metre long tent, the blast happened.
"Everyone came out on fire. Everyone just came flying out," he said.
At least one person dropped and rolled on the ground, said Berry. Most ran to a nearby lake and jumped in to douse the flames. One woman was trampled by the panicked crowd.
Berry ran to help and patted people down to make sure their costumes, which included capes and other medieval clothing, were out, he said.
"It was horrific."
Paramedics and firefighters were dispatched from Maple Ridge. RCMP Cpl. Alanna Dunlop said six people were burned but none of the injuries are believed to be life threatening.
RCMP and WorkSafeBC are investigating. Dunlop said the explosion occurred as a propane heater was being filled but the cause has yet to be determined.
Berry could see a white cloud of propane vent from the heater into the tent. He said the person who filled the heater did not properly attach the coupling and it came apart.
The tent was a gathering point for extras to rest and eat between scenes. Berry was on the set for a couple of days and the blast occurred on the last day of filming, he said.
Berry plays a medieval warrior in the film, which stars Swedish action star Dolph Lundgren.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Guest Review: Tron Legacy

Anthony Michael Bosa is in The Basement with his thoughts on the Tron upgrade. Read on for details!

This is a excellent sequel to the classic from my youth. The disc fighting, light cycles and new machines were all awesome and done with a good homage to the original. However, there were no tank battles, which is a disappointment. But at least the tanks were there! The upgrade to the grid and the fact that they used CGI to make certain characters younger played well into the film. All in all, if you liked the first film, or even if you didn't, this is worth a watch. A Good review from me.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Micro Review: The Town

A seriously awesome Ben Affleck movie? You bet! The actor, who quickly became the butt of many jokes at the beginning of the last decade, re-invented himself as a director to watch with Gone Baby Gone. With The Town he pulls out all the stops in front of the camera and behind it. This is a gritty, exciting, emotional, fast paced and fun crime picture. In other words, it's a brilliant piece of work. Affleck surrounds himself with a solid supporting cast, including The Hurt Locker's Jeremy Renner, and cements his credentials as a serious filmmaker who doesn't let style get in the way of a good story. An award worthy picture, and a Good rating from The Basement from me.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Jason and Shawn review: Restrepo and The Horde

Restrepo

Jason: It's tough to put my feelings for Restrepo into coherent thoughts. As a filmgoer, my mind has been trained to expect certain things from a war movie, and Restrepo gives me all of them. But this isn't fiction, it's real. The documentary is like a punch in the gut at times. Other moments are an amusing portrait of men who have chosen a soldier's life. We see them bond, suffer boredom together, live together, die together and grieve together in one of the deadliest place in the world. I felt like I was there for all of it and suffered the deployment with them. I had to keep telling myself this was really happening, which proves what an exceptional documentary this is. I give it a Good rating only because we don't have a higher ranking.

Shawn: I had to switch viewing modes while watch this documentary. Where I usually long for some violence and stuff blowing up I was glad to see as little of it as possible while watching Restrepo. My eyes were absolutely glued to the screen. This is a fantastic documentary that is an honour to the men who served at OP: Restrepo. No politics, no left-wing/right-wing point of view, just a look at the men on the ground and their ordeal at war. I can't rate this, because it's just not fair to rank such an experience. Watch this awesome documentary!

The Horde

Jason: Pretty much a critic-proof movie. Either you want to watch a hardcore French zombie movie or you don't. If you do, The Horde more than satisfies. The film is unrelenting and bloody; a splatterfest in the best sense of the word. Bodies are shot full of holes and the dead feast on the living. No character development, little plot, but that's not why we watch movies like this. We watch them for the blood, guts and zombie action, and The Horde delivers on all fronts. A Good time for me.

Shawn: This is probably the best zombie movie I've seen in a long time. The zombie violence is brutal and what story there is is brutal too. I found the zombies terrifying in this. The way they move and attack the people, like the Rage Zombies from 28 Days Later on steroids. There are tonnes of epic scenes too, not the least of which is a one-man stand atop a car against hundreds of zombies. I loved this movie. I've watched it eight times, so it's a Good. Duh!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Next on the chopping block: Restrepo and The Horde

It's our last episode before Christmas and the final broadcast of the year, so how do we intend to celebrate? By going to war . . . and then to France to fight zombies!

Shawn and I will be taking the next couple of weeks off. But we'll be back at 10 p.m. PST on Jan. 7, 2011. This means that, after we post the podcast and written reviews by Monday, activity on the blog will quiet down save for the occasional review or piece of news. Regular posts will resume on Jan. 3.

We here in The Basement want to take this opportunity to thank all of our readers and listeners and wish each and every one of you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. We look forward to entertaining you in 2011!

But first, we've got tonight's show on the chopping block, with reviews of the Afghanistan war documentary Restrepo and the French zombie splatterfest The Horde. We'll also present for your listening pleasure our thoughts on the best Christmas-themed movies, another Three Minutes With segment and some fine music for your ear hole.

Join us tonight at 10 p.m. as we celebrate the holidays The Basement way on 92.5FM CFBX Kamloops or head online at www.thex.ca at the same Bat Time. We promise it'll be better than getting coal in your Christmas sock.

And now for some previews:

Restrepo



The Horde

Thursday, December 16, 2010

About that Hellraiser remake . . .

Good news/bad news time on the Hellraiser remake front. Custom renders we dictate the bad news first so here it goes: it's still getting made. The good news is it will be rated R.

Back in October we reported that Dimension Films was moving ahead with a PG-13 Hellraiser remake, which is like adding insult to injury. If we're going to suffer a reboot of Clive Barker's classic, at least give us our blood. Maybe the folks over at Dimension read our blog, maybe not, but they've decided to do just that.

Director Patrick Lussier and screenwriter Todd Farmer, who partnered on the great My Blood Valentine 3D and the upcoming Drive Angry 3D, are on the project. This news also holds promise, although it means there's a good chance the Hellraiser project will be in the third dimension. Snore!

Once again, stop with the remakes! Just sto . . . Fuck  it. You don't listen anyways, Hollywood.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Firestarter. A twisted Firestarter.

What's the latest film to be targeted by the remake cannon? Try the 1984 Drew Barrymore horror flick Firestarter. Or so says Variety.

That film was an adaptation of Stephen King's classic novel of the same name. Technically one can argue this isn't a remake at all, but another interpretation of the book, which features a little girl with the frightening ability to telepathically light fires.

Screenwriter Mark L. Smith, who wrote 2007's underrated horror film Vacancy, is said to be penning the redo. Production is expected to begin next year despite no director being attached to the project.

Do we care? No. Will that stop the film from being made? No. World keeps on spinning.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Trailer Alert: Fast Five

It's a crazy-ass day for yours truly outside of his Basement duties, but I would be remiss not to present this awesome trailer for the next installment in The Fast and The Furious franchise: Fast Five.

Granted it looks like more of the same, but there's something about hot women, hot cars and Vin Diesel acting cool that pleases the B-movie fan in me. Throw in Dwayne Johnson and the promise of lots of stunts and I'm sold. And hot women. Cool.

Here's the trailer:

It's meaningless awards' season once again

Alright, maybe that's a tad unfair. Awards like the Golden Globes and the Oscars are important to those who are nominated and those who win. But, to a movie fan, does it really matter? Hmmm?. I think not.

It's especially meaningless to fans of Basement cinema as genre pictures and low-budget films often go unnoticed. But, to our credit we loved The Hurt Locker before the Academy did.

Now that the preamble is out of the way, the 68th Golden Globes were announced earlier to day by Josh Duhamel, Katie Holmes and Blair Underwood.We've included the full list for you below. Shawn and I have watched hardly any of the nominated pictures, so we aren't in a position to comment. But I'm sure someone out there cares!

BEST MOTION PICTURE - DRAMA
BLACK SWAN
THE FIGHTER
INCEPTION
THE KING'S SPEECH
THE SOCIAL NETWORK
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE - DRAMA
Halle Berry, FRANKIE AND ALICE
Nicole Kidman, RABBIT HOLE
Jennifer Lawrence, WINTER'S BONE
Natalie Portman, BLACK SWAN
Michelle Williams, BLUE VALENTINE
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE - DRAMA
Jesse Eisenberg, THE SOCIAL NETWORK
Colin Firth, THE KING'S SPEECH
James Franco, 127 HOURS
Ryan Gosling, BLUE VALENTINE
Mark Wahlberg, THE FIGHTER
BEST MOTION PICTURE - MUSICAL OR COMEDY
ALICE IN WONDERLAND
BURLESQUE
THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT
RED
THE TOURIST
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE - MUSICAL OR COMEDY
Annette Bening, THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT
Anne Hathaway, LOVE AND OTHER DRUGS
Angelina Jolie, THE TOURIST
Julianne Moore, THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT
Emma Stone, EASY A
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE -MUSICAL OR COMEDY
Johnny Depp, ALICE IN WONDERLAND
Johnny Depp, THE TOURIST
Paul Giamatti, BARNEY'S VERSION
Jake Gyllenhaal, LOVE AND OTHER DRUGS
Kevin Spacey, CASINO JACK
BEST DIRECTOR
Darren Aronofsky, BLACK SWAN
David Fincher, THE SOCIAL NETWORK
Tom Hooper, THE KING'S SPEECH
Christopher Nolan, INCEPTION
David O. Russell, THE FIGHTER
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Danny Boyle, 127 HOURS
Lisa Cholodenko and Stuart Hart, THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT
Christopher Nolan, INCEPTION
David Seidler, THE KING'S SPEECH
Aaron Sorkin, THE SOCIAL NETWORK
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
Alexander Desplat, THE KING'S SPEECH
Danny Elfman, ALICE IN WONDERLAND
A.R. Robin, 127 HOURS
Trent Reznor, THE SOCIAL NETWORK
Hans Zimmer, INCEPTION
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
BIUTIFUL
THE CONCERT
THE EDGE
I AM LOVE
IN A BETTER WORLD
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MOTION PICTURE
Amy Adams, THE FIGHTER
Helena Bonham Carter, THE KING'S SPEECH
Mila Kunis, BLACK SWAN
Melissa Leo, THE FIGHTER
Jacki Weaver, ANIMAL KINGDOM
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MOTION PICTURE
Christian Bale, THE FIGHTER
Michael Douglas, WALL STREET: MONEY NEVER SLEEPS
Andrew Garfield, THE SOCIAL NETWORK
Jeremy Renner, THE TOWN
Geoffrey Rush, THE KING'S SPEECH
BEST ANIMATED FILM
DESPICABLE ME
HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON
THE ILLUSIONIST
TANGLED
TOY STORY
BEST ORIGINAL SONG - MOTION PICTURE
"Bound to You" - BURLESQUE
"Coming Home" - COUNTRY STRONG
"I See the Light" - TANGLED
"There's a Place for Us" - THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE DAWN TREADER
"You Haven't Seen the Last of Me" - BURLESQUE

Monday, December 13, 2010

Midnight Movie gets rehashed in Cineplex

What's worse than a remake or a reboot? How about stealing an idea from a low-budget horror gem and pushing forward with a film of your own.

Mandate Pictures, who produced The Grudge, Drag Me To Hell and The Strangers, is developing Cineplex, a horror movie about a group of teens being stalked in a movie theatre by the same killer they are watching on screen.

Sound familiar? That's because it's the same plot for Midnight Movie, which Shawn and I reviewed months ago on our podcast. We both gave it a Good because it was an original idea and well made despite the minimal budget. It's a fun premise, and could benefit from a bigger budget, but I'd recommend checking out Jack Messitt's film before giving the glossy, Hollywood-produced project a watch.

We'll keep you informed on the film as it develops. In the meantime, check out the trailer for Midnight Movie.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Jason and Shawn review: Satan's Little Helper and The Girl Who Played With Fire

Satan's Little Helper

Jason: Six years is a bitch of a wait to watch a movie, but finally getting to see Jeff Lieberman's low budget horror-satire made this movie geek very happy. Satan's Little Helper is a perfect companion piece to Carpenter's Halloween and Trick r Treat for a late October film festival. Granted, the film is hampered a bit by it's budget, but the ride is still a fun one. On the one hand, the film is a cautionary tale about detached, video-game playing youth. On the other, it's a creepy story about a nameless serial killer going on a murder spree in a small American town . . . with a twist! And we never learn who or why! A Good rating from me!

Shawn: Wow. This movie was neat. For the low budget, it was damn well worth the watch. This features a bunch of phenomenal Halloween costumes throughout, including a wickedly creepy Satan outfit worn by the killer. The kid, who ends up being the killer's little helper, deserved a punch here and there for falling under the villain's wing so easily, but he was also eerily likable at points as well. The film had a lot of potential that wasn't quite realized. I enjoyed the watch, but I doubt I would watch it again. This rates a Bad for me.

The Girl Who Played With Fire

Jason: A worthy sequel that can't quite live up its exceptional predecessor. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo is a sharp, unique and fascinating mystery. The Girl Who Played With Fire is a more standard thriller with an incomplete ending and a mystery that isn't as engaging. The film also falters by not giving its two leads any screen time together. That said, Played With Fire still has a lot to like. It's exceptionally well made and acted and features a believable take on journalism. It's a good ride, but a bit more pedestrian after the excellence of part one. Another Good for me this week.

Shawn: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo is my most hated movie of all time. This is slightly better than that. I admire how well made and acted it is. This just isn't my kind of movie. They added some action which is fine, but I still feel like I wasted two hours of my life. It would also have been easier to watch had it been dubbed in English. Having to read along to the movie made a tough experience even tougher! It's not as Ugly as the first, but it's still Ugly.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Next on the chopping block: Satan's Little Helper and The Girl Who Played With Fire

A Halloween-themed horror film might seem like an odd choice to kick off tonight's episode, but the holiday is a Basement favourite and the movie, Satan's Little Helper, has been on the to-do list for quite some time.

Jeff Lieberman's dark horror/comedy premiered at a number of film festivals in 2004 before heading straight-to-DVD in 2005. Even then, it's not an easy flick to find. But we in The Basement have done so, and will share our thoughts with you some time between 10 and 11 p.m. this eve.

Then there's the sequel to the international movie and book sensation The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. Jason loved that film (and book) and Shawn hated it, calling the movie one of the worst he's ever seen. How does The Girl Who Played With Fire stack up? Stick with us!

We're also going to bring back our Top Five segment, this time talking about the five most unnecessary love scenes in movie history. As is usually the case in The Basement, the subject is open to interpretation.

Throw in some music by artists new and practiced, and the latest movie news, and you've got yourself a radio show. Join us tonight at 10 p.m. PST at 92.5FM CFBX Kamloops or head online at the same Bat Time.Who said it's not cool to stay in on a Friday night? We didn't.

And now some previews of coming attractions:

Satan's Little Helper (sorry for the video quality)



The Girl Who Played With Fire

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Hugh Jackman throws some robot punches

Does a movie about two robots punching it out sound exiting? Even when one is controlled by Wolverine himself?

In theory, I'd say no. But this preview doesn't look too bad. It doesn't look terribly exciting either, but I am intrigued.

The film is called Real Steel and it stars Hugh Jackman as a washed up fighter who teams with his estranged son to build a robot boxer in a future society where the real deal has been outlawed. It sounds like a typically cliched sports movie with a sci-fi twist. The fact that it's directed by Shawn (Date Night) Levy doesn't bode well.

Here's the first trailer for the film, which doesn't actually hit theatres until late 2011. There's still lots of time to build some positive buzz for this flick, which has the potential to be a good B-movie with a budget.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Teaser trailer for Transformers 3 lands on the net

I'm having a hard time drumming up much enthusiasm for Michael Bay's third Transformers flick. For one, it's the third movie. And the second one wasn't all that great.

But still, it's a Transformers movie, so we'll pay it some respect by posting the teaser trailer below. In kind of a nice touch, the trailer takes place in the past during the first moon landing. The plot itself has to do with Autobots and Decepticons duking it out over something. Being a Michael Bay movie, stuff will blow up.

Tranformers: Dark of the Moon, hits theatres July 1.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Robin Hood Vs. vampires

That's about the best way to sum up Sherwood Horror, the latest revisionist telling of the Robin Hood legend.

The film, which is expected to begin production in 2011 under the direction of John Regan, tells the story of ex-con Rob Locksley, who returns home after a six-year absence to find his town overrun by vampires. He enlists the help of his old roughneck hunting buddies to wage war against the evil and, we suspect, rob from the rich to give to the poor. 'Cause that's what Robin Hood did you know.

It also sounds like the story has been moved to the present. Last I heard there were no roughnecks in Ye 'Ole England.

Sherwood Horror's cast includes DJ Perry, Bill McKinney, Taymour Ghazi, Terry Jernigan, Mike Powers, Paul Proios and Austin Two-Feathers. Albanian actress Alma Saraci was just cast as Marion, and we've included her picture in this article. 'Cause that's what we're like here in The Basement you know.

Does the world need another telling of the Robin Hood story and yet another movie about vampires? No. But maybe one plus one equals three this time around. We'll keep you posted as news about this production leaks out. 

Monday, December 6, 2010

Bond back in 2012

MGM's financial problems have put Bond's, James Bond's, latest adventure on the backburner for years. The films usually follow a release pattern of every two years, meaning another installment was due this fall. Alas, no dice.

Now Deadline is reporting that production is slowly moving forward on 007's latest and the film is scheduled for release in November 2012, provided the Mayan apocalypse doesn't get us all first.

Daniel Craig, arguably the best Bond since Connery, Sean Connery, is back. As is director Sam Mendes, who was scheduled to take the helm before all this financial crap got in the way a couple of years back.

No word yet on the plot or villain, but there's still lots of time for that to come together.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Amber Heard comes out of the closet

She's become the focus of many a man's lust and sexual fantasy and, let's face it, this news might not change much: Amber Heard is a lesbian.

The star of All the Boy's Love Mandy Lane, The Joneses and the upcoming Drive Angry 3D attended the GLAAD 25the Anniversary Celebration on Saturday night with partner Tasya van Ree.

Afterward she spoke to the website AfterEllen.com about her decision to come out of the closet. The blond bombshell said she no longer wanted to be a part of the problem by hiding her sexuality.

I'm sure a lot of guys out there feel like they just lost their chance to be the sexy star. To those in mourning we here in The Basement say this: sorry boys, you never had a chance anyway.

And FYI: GLAAD stands for Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.

Jason and Shawn review: Altitude and The Human Centipede First Sequence

Altitude

Shawn: This isn't a monster movie. Or is it? There may have been a monster in it, or maybe not? I hate airplanes. I can't even fully explain why, but this movie does play on that fear. That said, it's a pretty weak movie despite an interesting idea and messed up ending. The beginning and end are great. Too bad nothing much happens in between. And the cliched characters got on my nerves really fast. A Bad movie for sure.

Jason: A movie where the main idea is better than the end product. Altitude would have made a really great Twilight Zone episode, but there is not enough material here to sustain a feature film. The last 30 minutes, when we figure out what is going on and watch it all play out, are great, as is the opening scene. Too bad everything in between is pretty dull. A Bad rating for me on this one.

The Human Centipede First Sequence

Shawn: I've heard nothing but how disturbing this movie is and, in the end, I didn't find it that disturbing at all. The Saw movies are more disturbing than this. You can tell the idea was spawned from a drunken joke. It didn't rivet me to my seat, but I did enjoy it up to a point. There are parts of The Human Centipede I will watch again. And Dieter Laser, the main actor, is absolutely amazing. He's become one of my favourite movie villains. A Bad for me.

Jason: For all the fuss about how disturbing this movie is I found it really boring. Yes, the idea of people being surgically stuck together ass to mouth is gross, but the film offers little more than that. In fact, we see the human centipede too soon and spend half the movie watching people walk around on their knees stuck ass to mouth. It's pretty dull stuff. Throw in a bunch of stupid victims, the dumbest movie cops ever, little to no bloodshed and you've got a pretty lame horror movie. Ugly, is what The Human Centipede is.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Micro Review: I Love You Phillip Morris

I'm not 100 per cent sure what to make of the Jim Carrey/Ewan McGregor romantic dramedy I Love You Phillip Morris. On the one hand it's a pretty darn funny comedy caper and on the other it's a heavy drama reminiscent of Carrey's more serious efforts. Some times it's both at once. I think it's the film's schizophrenic nature that prevented me from fully engaging in it. That and the fact that Carrey's character is so unlikable. However, when Phillip Morris works, it works well and has one of the funniest five minutes I've ever seen put to film. A Bad for me, and not recommended if you are the least bit homophobic.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Next on the chopping block: Altitude and The Human Centipede

Aerophobia, or a fear of flying, is not an uncommon affliction. And it makes perfect sense to be afraid of flying when a large tentacled monster is after the airplane you are in.

Such is the concept for Altitude, a direct-to-DVD feature that recently appeared on video store shelves and VOD. Given that Shawn is not a fan of flying, nor I for that matter, it makes sense that we'd turn our executioner's axe on the film.

Also on the chopping block tonight is The Human Centipede, a notorious Dutch horror film that is supposedly 100 per cent medically accurate in its depiction of how one makes, you guessed it, a human centipede.

Some of our fans requested we watch this, and we're all about taking one for the team here in The Basement. Is the film as fucked up as it sounds? Stick with us!

We've also got long-time Basement friend Anthony Michael Bosa hanging out with us tonight, a slew of new music for your listening pleasure, and the latest movie news to keep you informed . . . because knowing is half the battle.

Join us tonight at 10 p.m. PST at 92.5FM CFBX Kamloops or head online at the same Bat Time. It's a perfectly good reason to stay home on a Friday night.

And now some previews:

Altitude



The Human Centipede

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Some pics from Kevin Smith's Red State

I know Kevin Smith is not usually associated with horror. Correction, he's the last person I'd associate with the genre. But the writer/director known best for dick and fart jokes and Jay and Silent Bob is making just that . . . a horror film.

Below are a couple of stills from the film, which is scheduled to premiere at the Sundance Film Festival early next year. They don't show much, but I have to admit I'm kinda jazzed to see if Smith can expand beyond the juvenile humour he's best known for.

Over at Arrow In the Head, director Richard "Donnie Darko" Kelly, who has watched the film, is quoted as saying he's never seen such a reinvention for a filmmaker. Sweet. Has me psyched.

Red State is about a group of misfits who run afoul of an extreme group of fundamentalists in Middle America. The pics below feature what I believe are said misfits, John Goodman sitting on a bed, and cutie Kerry Bishe looking scared.

No word on when Red State will be released. Enjoy the pics.



Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Behold: Mega Shark Vs. Crocosaurus

A guilty pleasure for Shawn and I here in The Basement is The Asylum's mockbuster "classic" Mega Shark Vs. Giant Octopus.

I mean, who can resist an ultra low budget monster movie starring Debbie Gibson and Basement fave Lorenzo Lamas? Throw in some of the best worst special effects of all time and a passion for film making and you've got a great beer movie.

Now the inevitable sequel is about to be unleashed and the teaser trailer below is living proof this thing is gonna rule Basement cinema. Cheesy, melodramatic and loaded with non actors and set pieces that are sure to make our geek bones quiver with joy. I can't wait for this bad boy to hit video store shelves on Dec. 21.

And you can be sure that Shawn and I will be ready with a review when the radio show returns from Christmas break!

And now, the trailer for Mega Shark Vs. Crocosaurus!


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Heath Ledger's Joker to appear in new Batman?

I take this rumour with a grain of salt, but word has it that Christopher Nolan could use unseen footage from The Dark Knight to insert Ledger's Oscar-winning performance into the next film, The Dark Knight Rises.

A report over at Showbiz Spy says fragments of cut scenes and CGI will be used to work The Joker into the new movie, which Nolan is writing as we type this. That way the writer/director can create continuity between the two movies and pay tribute to Ledger's Joker one last time. The sequence would be brief and only done with the consent of the late actor's family.

If done right, and kept very brief, this could be great. I like how the Scarecrow appeared at the beginning of Dark Knight, and this would continue that tradition. The only thing is it all feels a bit . . . creepy. If it were any director other than Nolan I'd balk at the idea completely.

The Dark Knight Rises is scheduled for release in July 2012.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Empire Strikes Back director dead at 87

Holy crap! Another day, another legend dies. RIP Irvin Kershner.

Irvin who? He directed The Empire Strikes Back people, arguably the best chapter in the Star Wars saga. He also made Robocop 2, one of my fave underrated sequels. Then there's Never Say Never again, the Bond film that brought Sean Connery back to the role for one last go around.

There's not much more that can be said, other than thanks, Irvin, for make one of the greatest movies in history. May the force be with you, always.

Here's a look at the original trailer for Empire.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Naked Gun star Leslie Neilsen dead at 84

Canadian actor Leslie Nielsen, AKA Frank Drebin, has died from complications of pneumonia. And the world has become a little less funny because of it. He was 84.

The first time I became aware of Nielsen was in the movie Airplane. His "And stop calling me Shirley" sketch had me in stiches. I'd never heard anything so funny. I was also a fan of his Frank Drebin character long before he appeared in The Naked Gun films. The TV series that inspired the films, Police Squad, was a favourite of mine during it's short run.

Sure Nielsen made some bad films in his time. What actor hasn't? But the one's that worked were pure gold.

Saskatchewan-born Nielsen first popped up on early 1950s TV. He received his first big film break playing Commander J.J. Adams in the 1956 sci-fi flick Forbidden Planet. During the next few decades he established himself as a reliable character actor who graced myriad TV dramas and movies like the Poseidon Adventure. Airplane was his first comedy.

We in The Basement toast you, Mr. Nielsen. We're sure you are making everyone laugh wherever it is you are now.

Here's some of the funniest moments from The Naked Gun movies.

Jason and Shawn review: Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World and Harry Brown

Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World

Jason: The weakest effort from director Edgar Wright, who won geek's hearts with Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. But even weak Edgar Wright is better than the average Hollywood hack. The movie is full of 80s video game and comic book references that will delight any nerd's heart, but the story is razor thin and the characters for the most part unlikeable. That said, funny is funny and once I locked into Scott Pilgrim's world I was laughing my ass off. Not a movie for everyone, but those who will like it should like it a lot. I did, and it rates a Good for it.

Shawn: A gamer geeks wet dream of Easter eggs. Or should I call them geekster eggs? Really, if you are a gamer geek, comic book geek or any other kind of geek then this movie caters to you. Being in love with the martial arts myself, there were some awesome fights for my eyes to feast on. Take away all that, and there's not much left. And the plot is terrible. That's right, I mentioned the plot. Scott Pilgrim is worth a watch, but I doubt it's one I will see more than once, so it gets a Bad from me.

Harry Brown

Jason: One of the best movies of the year featuring a powerful performance by Michael Caine, who balances ferocity and frailty throughout. The film is a button pusher, making one feel sad. angry and vengeful, often all at once. The first two minutes are among the harrowing ever put on film. What follows is somber and emotionally jarring. When Brown turns to vengeance, the film becomes about a man who has nothing to lose and the results will make you want to cheer for joy and cover your mouth with shock. Harry Brown offers no easy answers, but it does satisfy one's brain and bloodlust all at once. It's a Good for sure. I wish we had a rating for Great.

Shawn: This movie gets into your psyche. It portrays elements of gang violence and youth gone wrong that are far too real. The crimes committed in this movie against the seniors and other residents happen to people every day. When Harry Brown steps forward to do something about it, you want him to succeed because the world needs someone like this. Michael Caine is awesome and he exacts his revenge as a 70 something ex-marine would: slowly, shakily, but with precision. There is so much I could say about how great this movie is, but all I can rate it is a Good. One of the best of the year.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Next on the chopping block: Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World and Harry Brown

Zok! Pow! Bamph! Cue video game music. It's time for another episode of Film Reviews From the Basement.

Few comedies are as clever and original as those directed by Edgar Wright. Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz are modern cult classics, so when word hit the reel world that Wright was adapting the comic series Scott Pilgrim as a feature film, the geek community clapped with glee. That's right, I said glee.

The resulting film, Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, received critical praise but bombed at the box office when it was released in theatres last summer. Did Wright get his hattrick, or is Scott Pilgrim his first failure? Shawn and I weigh in on the film tonight.

We're also taking aim at the British revenge thriller Harry Brown, which stars the legendary Michael Caine as an elderly widower who tires of youth crime in his community. Can old people still kick ass? Stick with us!

We've also got an assortment of music for your listening pleasure, a three-minute film rant by Radio NL's Matt Bellamy and the latest movie news to shake things up. Plus it's live radio, anything can happen!

Tune in tonight at 10 p.m. PST at 92.5FM CFBX Kamloops or go online to www.thex.ca. It's the best way to spend a snowy Friday night at home or wherever else you like to get your listen on!

And now, some previews:

Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World



Harry Brown

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Pirates director to tackle The Lone Ranger

Gore Verbinski, who helmed the first three Pirates of the Caribbean movies, has officially signed on to producer Jerry Bruckheimer's feature version of The Lone Ranger.

The move will reunite Verbinski with his Capt. Jack Sparrow, as star Johnney Depp has long been attached to the project as Tonto. There is still no word on who will play the titular Ranger or when the film will go into production.

The Lone Ranger last appeared on the big screen in the early 1980s, so the character is due for a revival. I've always had a soft spot for The Lone Ranger as my dad was a big fan of the radio show and I listened to the program on audio tape as a boy.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

There's a reason why we've never gone back to the moon

It's the U.S. Thanksgiving "weekend," meaning movie news is about to get scarce for the next several days. But that hasn't stopped us in The Basement from digging up something for your reading enjoyment, no matter how lame it is.

OK, let me clarify. The news itself isn't lame, but the fact that all we can bring you is a teaser poster and brief synopsis is. We want more, dammit! The movie in question is called Apollo 18, and it's another one of those fake found-footage films, this time about NASA's undocumented final trip to the moon. The poster below speaks to what likely happened.



Gotta admit, I'm interested. Night Watch/Wanted director Timur Bekmambetov produces for the Weinstein Company. Apollo 18 is due out March 4, 2011. We'll keep you posted as more material on the film comes out.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Wahlberg says no to The Crow

Thank F-ing God! The boys at JoBlo.com and Cinematical report that Mark Wahlberg has decided not to step into Brandon Lee's shoes for a Crow reboot, remake, whatever. And we applaud that.

In Wahlberg's own words: "We never committed to making the movie. They talked to me about it and there was a director attached who I was a fan of, and he's no longer doing it. We just thought about it – 'is there something cool to be done there?' But we're not committed to making the movie."

The director he mentions is Stephen Norrington, who had this to say about Wahlberg's involvement with the project after he left: "I think Wahlberg could be cool if they take a gritty blue-collar approach. He's a truthful actor. I think he could really ground the supernatural stuff."

Shawn and I voiced our displeasure at Wahlberg's potential casting here. Now if they can just deep six the project altogether we would truly be happy.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Plot details revealed for Lionsgate's Dibbuk Box

Last week we wrote on this blog that Lionsgate's next big (they hope) Halloween horror franchise Dibbuk Box would go toe-to-toe with Paranormal Activity 3 but made no mention of what it was about. That's because no one was really sure of the plot, or what a dibbuk box actually is.

Some plot details are starting to emerge, as is word that the film is based on true events. Which, in Hollywood speak, means dibbuk boxes are real. And they are. A dibbuk box is a wine cabinet.

The folks over at Blood Disgusting are reporting that the Ole Bornedal-directed horror film will follow Clyde Breneck and his 10-year-old daughter, Em, who purchase the antique box at a yard sale (apparently, in the real-life story, it was bought on Ebay). Em accidentally releases an ancient spirit from the box that wants to devour her. Clyde must team up with his ex-wife to put an end to the curse.

The story sounds more BS to me than most of the stuff on Fox News. But it does have some potential as a horror film. Given the number of horror movies based on true events one would think ghosts and goblins are running rampant in the streets. Maybe it's a big government cover up? Nah. The government would never cover anything up.

And, just to satiate your curiosity, here's a link to the alleged true story! We aim to entertain and inform here in The Basement.

Penned by Juliet Snowden & Stiles White, Lionsgate wants this in theaters by Oct. 28, 2011.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Jason and Shawn review: Repo The Genetic Opera and Repo Men


Repo The Genetic Opera

Shawn: This has to be the sacrifice of the century for me. It's like watching a really long, weird-ass music video by a bunch of musicians who suck. A fitting role for Paris Hilton. Get it? There are a lot of elements that I really liked: dark, gory with a comic-book style from time to time. Even a decent story. But F-off with the music! It ruined everything! An Ugly from me.

Jason: Finally, a movie where I get to see Paris Hilton's face fall off. A movie for me! Too bad it was a musical. I hate musicals. I think the music gets in the way of the story. I can't engage in the characters or plot because everything is revealed through the music. It's not a method of storytelling that I like. That said, Repo does work on its own terms, with some catchy music and the cool character of the Graverobber. His scenes and songs are great. But it's still a Bad rating from me.



Repo Men

Shawn: I wanted the Genetic Opera to be a real movie. Well, here it is. There was so much potential here. The filmmakers teased with practically every element, but never delivered on any. There's action, humour, some great story threads, but none of them are fully developed. Forest Whitaker and Jude Law are far too good as actors for the material. It's almost like they are overacting. The movie drags on despite some great fight scenes, so it only achieves a Bad rating from me.

Jason: The first 30 minutes of this movie are gold! Witty, funny and exciting with some great fight scenes. Then it just dies on the vine only to be resurrected with an exciting conclusion and the mother of all twist endings. Jude Law as an action hero? Sure. I even liked Forest Whitaker and his lazy eye. But they are above the material. There's also a lot of good music here, unlike the Genetic Opera. Too bad it doesn't all vibe to create a good movie. Only a Bad one for me.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Next on the chopping block: our repossession double bill

Every once in a while two movies come along that are so identical you wonder which one ripped the other off. Deep Impact and Armageddon come to mind. So do the underwater adventures Deepstar Six and Leviathan from the late 80s. Most recently there was Repo The Genetic Opera and Repo Men.

What? Haven't heard of either? That's because both films came and went from theatres pretty fast. But each has found some kind of life on the video-store shelf and VOD. The Genetic Opera has become and cult classic. A big part of that success has to be that it's a horror musical along the lines of The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

We're taking the executioner's axe to both films tonight, attempting to shrug aside a personal bias against musicals in the process. It won't be easy, you can trust us on that. And, in "honour" of our rock opera, Shawn and I will discuss and play for you our favourite piece of movie score.

We've also got new music from a couple of rising talents and a golden oldie from the good ole' days of heavy metal. Throw in some lively banter and you've got an hour of late-night radio on 92.5FM CFBX Kamloops starting at 10 p.m. Or, if you're technically inclined, tune in online at www.thex.ca.

Stick with us . . . for some trailers!

Repo The Genetic Opera



Repo Men