Sunday, May 29, 2011

Jason and Shawn review: Black Death

Black Death

Jason: Black Death is exceptionally well made and acted, but it's not a lot of fun to watch. Most of the blame has to fall on Dario Poloni's script, which needed to be tightened and given more direction. There's some good scenes, and a great fight about 30 or so minutes in, but everything falls apart once the heroes reach the village. This is director Christopher (Triangle, Severance, Creep) Smith's weakest film. Three out of four ain't Bad, but that's what I have to rate Black Death.

Shawn: This movie was so beautiful to look at and so well acted that I was pretty disappointed by how much the story let me down. There was so much potential for this to go off into so many cool directions, but it doesn't go with any of them. The "demon slayer" guys get way too easily duped by the villagers to be believable and Sean Bean was basically just playing the same character he did in The Lord of the Rings. This is a Bad movie for sure. Nice to look at, but there's not enough to hold my attention again.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Trailer Alert: Fincher's Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

It pains me to say it, but this camcorder bootleg of David Fincher's Girl With the Dragon Tattoo remake trailer has me sold. I'm not saying I'm going to like the movie, but I will now see it.

I love the original trilogy. Shawn hates them. Both of us see these U.S. remakes as unnecessary for the same reason: love the originals or not, they got the job done. But man, it looks like Fincher worked his magic here, and how can one not resist watching a film that sells itself as the feel bad movie of Christmas?

Watch, and judge for yourself:

Micro Review: 8213 Gacy House

Say what you want about The Asylum, but those dudes know their place in the film business. You want a knock-off of a blockbuster Hollywood movie? They will give it to yah. Here the studio has produced their answer to Paranormal Activity and The Blair Witch Project, making a found footage horror flick about a documentary crew investigating the home of notorious serial killer John Wayne Gacy. The film actually starts off OK, but falls apart in the last 30 minutes with a silly, over-the-top finale. Still, if you want some cheap scares, a hottie or three and some T&A, you could do a lot worse -- annoying psychic aside. A Bad on this one.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Next on the chopping block: Black Death

The first of our Summer Break monthly specials records tonight, with Shawn and I stepping into the time machine and heading back . . .  waaaaaaaayyyyy back . . . to medieval England during the bubonic plague for the horror/thriller Black Death.

Director Christopher Smith helms the picture, and he's directed some solid genre pieces with Creep, Severance and a Basement fave, Triangle. No two Smith movies are alike, so it will be interesting to see how this film, which stars the great Sean Bean, adds up. You'll find out when the podcast goes live Sunday night!

Our special episodes are stripped down versions of the radio show. Just a review and some lively banter. If you miss our hour-long episodes tune in Fridays at 4 p.m. at 92.5FM CFBX Kamloops, Shaw Cable 106.1 and www.thex.ca for archived Season One episodes.

And we'll be back in The Basement Oct. 7 at 10 p.m. PST for all new episodes with Season Two. Stick with us!

And now a preview of coming attractions:

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Trailer Alert: Shark Night 3D

Two days ago we showed you the poster for David R. Ellis's Shark Night 3D. Tonight we bring you the first teaser trailer for his tale of a shark-infested lake and the poor bastards who go vacationing in it.

The preview doesn't show much more than beautiful people and beautiful sharks . . . although it does hint at beautiful shark carnage.

We here in The Basement are hoping for a fun and gory B-movie along the lines of similar-in-theme Piranha 3D. Nothing more, nothing less. We'll know more when the movie, which will cost you three extra dollars to see, opens Sept. 2.

But enough of the jibber jabber, here's the trailer. Apologies for the ad at the beginning.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Hot Chick + Big Shark = Must See

I know, two posts about posters in a row (say that 10 times fast) but hey, it's a slick looking poster. And it's about sharks . . . and hot chicks . . . possibly being eaten by sharks.

We've talked about David R. Ellis's Shark Night 3D before and now we've got the poster for this bad boy, which is due out later this summer. We here in The Basement love movies about sharks. Open Water. Deep Blue Sea. Jaws. Mega Shark Vs. Giant Octopus. If it's got sharks in it, we'll watch it.

The poster below looks pretty slick. It even generates a chill or two. Hopefully the movie can live up to it! Here's the plot:

Arriving by boat at her family’s Louisiana lake island cabin, Sara (Sara Paxton) and her friends quickly strip down to their swimsuits for a weekend of fun in the sun. But when star football player Malik (Sinqua Walls) stumbles from the salt-water lake with his arm torn off, the party mood quickly evaporates. Assuming the injury was caused by a freak wake-boarding accident, the group realizes they have to get Malik to a hospital on the other side of the lake, and fast. 
 
But as they set out in a tiny speedboat, the college friends discover the lake has been stocked with hundreds of massive, flesh-eating sharks! As they face one grisly death after another, Sara and the others struggle desperately to fend off the sharks, get help and stay alive long enough to reach the safety of dry land.


Sunday, May 22, 2011

Poster Alert: John Carpenter's The Ward

The summer movie season just got a titch more interesting now that horror master John Carpenter's The Ward is landing July 8. It's Carpenter's first film in almost a decade and, athough buzz on this is mixed, it's a new Carpenter movie dammit! We have to care.

So gaze below at the new one sheet for the film, featuring star and hottie Amber Heard getting snatched by something evil. The film is described as follows:

Kristen, a beautiful but troubled young woman, who finds herself bruised, cut, drugged, and held against her will in a remote ward of a Psychiatric Hospital. She is completely disoriented, with no idea why she was brought to this place and no memory of her life before being admitted. All she knows is that she isn't safe.

The other patients in the ward, four equally disturbed young women, offer no answers, and Kristen quickly realizes things are not as they seem. The air is heavy with secrets, and at night, when the hospital is dark and foreboding, she hears strange and frightening sounds. It appears they are not alone.

One-by-one the other girls begin to disappear and Kristen must find a way out of this hellish place before she, too, becomes a victim. As she struggles to escape, she will uncover a truth far more dangerous and horrifying than anyone could have imagined.

Sounds fine to me. We'll know more when the movie is released in about six weeks. And yes, Shawn and I will have our reviews ASAP!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Micro Review: Vanishing on 7th. Street

One of director Brad Anderson's weaker efforts, but still packs a punch or three. Actually, what makes Vanishing on 7th. Street so disappointing is that some of it is so good and scary that I couldn't help but be let down by the rest of it. This is a movie that runs out of steam before it ends. We're supposed to hang on and enjoy the ride, but there isn't enough here to do that. Anderson doesn't disappoint; he still knows how to make a scary movie. It's the script by Anthony Jaswinski that doesn't hold together. A Bad from me on this one.

Micro Review: The Mechanic

Jason Statham is the man. He's the only actor working today who is a true action star. Unlike Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Vin Diesel, or Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger before them, he's never made a comedy or played a role that's made light of his image. He's just made movies where he's kicked ass. Movies like The Mechanic. Yes this has more substance than most of Statham's movies, and gives him a chance to use his acting chops, but it's a straight-up action picture and a really good one. Ben Foster is also decent as Statham's hitman in training, and the last 20 minutes really deliver. A Good for me!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Trailer lands for The Adventures of Tintin

Not a lot of the young 'uns out there will know who Tintin is, but those of us who grew up during the 1980s will fondly remember the boy reporter who often found himself in the midst of rip-snorting adventure tales.

Now director Steven Spielberg and producer Peter Jackson have brought Herge's classic character to life via motion-capture animation. And they've recruited the voice talents of Jamie Bell, Daniel Craig and Simon Pegg to help do so.

I don't like motion capture but I do dig what I see here. That probably has more to do with seeing characters I loved from my childhood on the big screen than it does of my anticipation for the final product. I will see The Adventures of Tintin at some point, because that's the kind of cat I am, but part of me would still prefer a live-action Tintin movie.

Until then, groove on the trailer below. The film hits theatres in time for Christmas.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Plot details for The Expendables 2

That's right, The Expendables 2 might not have a director yet but some of the plot details have leaked at Cannes and we've got 'em for you. And it sounds like Sly Stallone's follow up is going to be just as mantastic as the first film.

But first . . . SPOILER ALERT! Don't say we didn't warn you:

The Expendables are back and this time it's personal! After Tool (Mickey Rourke), the heart and soul of the Expendables, is brutally murdered on a mission, his comrades swear to avenge him. They're not the only ones who want blood. Tool’s beautiful young and wild daughter Fiona embarks on her own revenge mission, complicating matters when she is captured and ransomed by a ruthless dictator plotting to destroy a resistance movement. Now Barney and the Expendables must risk everything to save her and humanity.

So what do yah think? Sound decent? Rumour has it Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger will be back. As the villains perhaps? We'll find out some time between now and movie's release next summer. Stick with us!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Micro Review: Triangle

A smart, twisty, turny mind fuck of a movie from the imagination of writer/director Christopher Smith. The film is a slow burn of tension and revelation with a kicker of a pay off. Triangle is tonally similar to Smith's first movie, Creep, and is lacking the laughs of his second, Severance. Melissa George is great as a woman who goes on a yachting trip with friends only to become stranded in a time loop on an abandoned cruise ship. Solid suspense, some scares and worth watching more than once. A Good from this Basement Dweller.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Micro Review: The Fighter

Another movie checked off my catch-up list, and well worth the wait. This is as much about drug addiction as it is about boxing, and both stories pay off perfectly. Much like its main character, The Fighter is slow to warm up but grows on you. By the end of the movie I was completely engrossed. Mark Wahlberg has never been better and Christian Bale is hands down one of the best actors working today. Be patient with this movie and you won't be disappointed. A Good for sure, and worthy of its praise.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Rachel Weisz contemplates being Bourne

Well, not really. But the beautiful and talented actress is considering the female lead in The Bourne Legacy opposite Jeremy Renner.

As we've discussed before, Renner has been cast in Tony Gilroy's spinoff from the popular Bourne films. The writer/director hasn't concocted a direct sequel to Matt Damon's action trilogy, instead casting Renner as an operative from a secret government agency supposedly more dangerous than the Treadstone branch Damon's Jason Bourne sprang from.

What part Weisz will play is not yet known. She could be the new film's equivalent to Joan Allen's Pamela Landy, or not. Neither Shawn or I are very excited about The Bourne Legacy because it strikes us as nothing more than a cash in. But, if Weisz does join the production, then at least the cast will be first rate.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Trailer Alert: Final Destination 5

Some might groan at the prospect of yet another entry in this long-running franchise. Not I. In fact, I dig the Final Destination flicks more than the Saw films or any other current horror series. Sure they're redundant, and the last film was pretty terrible, but the other entries have been gold as far as cool and clever kills are concerned.

The Final Destination films are the Friday the 13ths of the new millennium. As long as the quality holds up and people keep going to see them, Hollywood will keep churning them out. And I will be there watching.

Below is the preview for the latest entry, and it looks damn fine. It's nice to have Tony Todd back and, for the most part, the filmmakers appear to have avoided the cheap looking CGI that sank the last film. We'll know for sure when Final Destination 5 lands in theatres later this summer.

Until then, push play and sound off!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Micro Review: House of Fears

For a no-budget, under-the-radar horror film, this isn't bad. It's not great, but it's not bad. A group of friends decide to break into an elaborate carnival funhouse after hours only to discover the attractions have come to homicidal life. The cool premise is hindered by the filmmakers' lack of imagination when it comes to executing the scares and the PG-13 violence. But the cast is better than average and everything moves along at a fast enough pace to make one almost forget this isn't as good as it could have been. Worth the watch once, so it's a Bad from this Basement Dweller.

Micro Review: The Picture of Dorian Gray

This is a movie that Hollywood could look back at to figure out where they have gone wrong. For a film made in 1945, it manages to hold you in suspense better than anything in the last few years. It follows the story of a man's immortality and his actions he takes to keep it a secret. It stars George Sanders, Hurd Hatfield, Donna Reed and Angela Landsbury. Yes, Angela Landsbury. She's kinda hot in this one. What I am more impressed with is that this story was written by Oscar Wilde in 1891. 1891! Come on! Do I really have to go this far back to see good ideas! Anyway's, this film is definatley worth a watch to any fellow movie lover and I recommend they see it soon. This is definately a Good in my books. This is A.M. Bosa with a Micro Review for the Basement.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Micro Review: The Social Network

A long overdue view here in The Basement, and worth the wait . . . for the most part. There's nothing technically wrong with David Fincher's Facebook tale, but the film is also proof positive that sharp direction, great writing (by screenwriter Aaron Sorkin) and solid performances do not a great movie make. The film is a decent ride, but only holds the viewer's interest enough to make it worth taking once. I enjoyed my experience with The Social Network, but won't be back for more. And that, sadly, earns it a Bad from this Basement Dweller. As someone who is a die hard Fincher fan, that's a tough statement to swallow.

The Basement Repeated

We are Jason and Shawn, and we are into reruns!

Well, in the sense that our popular radio program over on 92.5FM CFBX Kamloops, Shaw Cable 106.1 and www.thex.ca has gone into reruns, as they say in the broadcast business.

That's right, you'll be able to hear all your favourite episodes, and even the ones you didn't like, every Friday at a new Bat Time starting tomorrow at 4 p.m.

But wait . . . does that mean you'll get to bed at a decent hour when our new season premieres Oct. 7? No. We're back on The X at our usual late-night time slot of 10 p.m., which is right where Shawn and I like to be when we're talking Basement cinema.

And don't forget to tune in once a month for special episodes exclusively on podOmatic starting May 29. The first film on the chopping block will be the medieval action picture Black Death.Stick with us!

Until then, we'll see you in The Basement!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Micro Review: The Last Air Bender

M.Night Shyamalan's take on nickelodeon's The Last Airbender.

This is a guy who is hit and miss with his stuff.  Some movies are spectacular, while others are poo.

This movie was definitely for the kids, and mine really enjoyed it.  I didn't mind it that much either.  Little kung fu mastery of elements.  Always been a fairly "neat" concept in my mind.  

My kids loved it.  I had a beef or two.

While it was definitely a nice movie to look at, I would have never paid the "3 extra dollars", for the 3d version.  I found the characters too clean for the era, or situation.  Supposed to be set in "medieval" times, the kids are very fresh and clean looking.  Throw some dirt on them.  Would have been a bit more convincing.  Otherwise a pretty decent show for the kids.  My kids are 8, 6 and 4.  They all enjoyed it.  I would give it a BAD.

Horror in Absentia

We in The Basement love us our underground cinema. And no genre of underground cinema turns our collective cranks like horror does. Hatchet. Behind the Mask. Session 9. Trick r Treat. The Loved Ones. Dog Soldiers. Gems all!

And along comes Absentia, a creepy looking flick earning vast praise on the festival circuit. And, judging from the trailer below, it looks like a winner . . . at least as far as previews go.

The story is as follows: “Tricia’s husband has been missing for seven years. Her younger sister Callie comes to live with her as the pressure mounts to finally declare him “dead in absentia.” As Tricia sifts through the wreckage and tries to move on with her life, Callie finds herself drawn to an ominous tunnel near the house. As she begins to link it to other mysterious disappearances, it becomes clear that his presumed death might be anything but “natural.”

No word yet on when or if this will hit a wide release, but you know we'll be reviewing it down the pipe. We'll keep you posted, as always. Check out the official site for more on Absentia.