Thursday, August 27, 2009
2009, **3/4, PG-13
Starring: Nicholas Cage, Rose Byrne, Chandler Canterbury
“Knowing,” is like “The Day After Tomorrow,” meets the hit 90s series, “X-Files.” Another version of the end of the world is the Sun approaching close enough to Earth that it is incinerated. All life as we know it would burn up, and end. This is quite frightening.
This film is very disturbing and unsettling. It really makes you wonder if everything is pre-determined. In the 1950s in a small Massachusetts town, an Elementary school teacher (Danielle Carter) has her students draw a picture of what they think the future is like. One particular student writes down an entire page of numbers. The teacher put the pages in a tube and says they are creating a time capsule.
Cage (“Con Air,” “Adaptation,” “Vampire’s Kiss”) plays John Koestler a High School science teacher who is skeptical that everything is pre-determined for the future of the planet. However, when John’s son Caleb (Chandler Canterbury, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” “Powder Blue”) son receives the page full of numbers at the unveiling of the 50s time capsule, he begins to think otherwise. As expected John attempts at solving this numeric mystery, which turns into much more than anyone could or would want to imagine.
I think this is one of Cage’s better films, including my favorite, “Con Air.” I also think this movie is more interesting than his National Treasure adventures. If you love Sci-Fi you may want to check it out on DVD, at least once.
2008, ****, R
The 2009 prom season is just around the corner. So if you are a prom goer this year, maybe you'll want to get this flick out when prom is over! Brittany Snow ("Hairspray," "Finding Amanda") stars in this story about a high school student that is stalked by her former teacher played by Johnathan Schaech ("The Foresaken," "Angels Fall").
Three years prior to her senior prom night, Donna (Snow) was on her way home from a sleepover, but what she didn't realize what terrifying act she was about to witness. Her father, brother and mother were murdered. Hiding underneath a bed, she sees the last murder; her mother being stabbed to death.
Living with her aunt and uncle, and still in recovery from the horrific events, present day Donna is trying to lay off her medicine, and begins to feel "jumpy" once again. Excited for prom, and spending one last memorable night with her boyfriend Bobby (Scott Porter, "Speed Racer," "The Descent") she soon finds out that things aren't all falling into place the way the night should be. Two of her friends disappear, and the feeling of someone watching her is near.
Many might think this flick is for teeny bopper types, but I'm telling you, it's not. Johnathan Schaech is not one to dissapoint. He knows how to play a villian, and is scary as hell. Check out "The Foresaken" if you don't believe me. What's great about him is his persistant versatility in roles--he can be your hot and sexy new boyfriend, a vampire, or a psychopath killer--like in this one.
This is definately one to watch once, if you are into the whole horror-suspense genre.
2009, **, R
Starring: Jared Padalecki, Danielle Panabaker, Amanda Righetti, Travis Van Winkle, Aaron Yoo
Michael Bay produces yet another horror classic remake. Hockey masked killer Jason is back to slice and dice anyone near his seedy dwelling in the woods of once, Camp Crystal Lake.
“Friday the 13th," was out in theatres on that very date two evenings ago and hacked its way to the top of the box office—proving that everyone always wants a scare. But it’s only worth viewing if your in the mood for some ridiculous teen drinking behavior or want to see sensitive-hunky "Supernatural" star, Jared Padalecki.
Clay Miller (Jared Padalecki, WB’s “Gilmore Girls,” “House of Wax”) is on a mission to find his sister Whitney (Amanda Rightetti, “Role Models,” “Return to House on Haunted Hill”) who has been missing for a month, after going on a camping trip with a group of friends. He runs into a group of teens in a drug store in the Crystal Lake area, while passing out fliers asking anyone that crosses his path if they’ve seen his sister.
Clay befriends Jenna (Danielle Panabaker, TV’s “Shark,” “Mr. Brooks”) and they go on a trek in the woods trying to find anything that his sister may have left behind and start finding evidence that something went wrong—something terrible.
The script is awful, but you will have some good laughs and jumps and think seriously about going out in the woods anytime soon. Pitch a tent inside your home. I recommend, “Wrong Turn,” a better film in the seedy/inbred horror genre.
2008, **1/2, R
This re-make of a Korean thriller is actually better than I anticipated, although it does fall short toward the end.
Anna (Emily Browning, “Lemony Snickets: A Series of Unfortunate Events,” “Darnkess Falls”) has just been released from a mental patient facilty, and picked up by her father, Steven (David Strathairn, “Good Night & Good Luck,” “The River Wild”). We soon learn her mother was very sick a few months before, and died in a fire on the family shore property. Her sister Alex (Arielle Kebbel, “The Grudge 2,” “John Tucker Must Die”) informs her of her fathers behavior with the mothers previous caretaker (Elizabeth Banks, “Zack & Miri Make a Porno”) and believes there’s more going on, something terrible.
Strange flashbacks, which are hard to distinguish from reality start happening; Anna sees spirits of deceased children, and her mother. Meanwhile dads new girlfriend (Banks) has re-done parts of the house, and being over possessive of Anna’s whereabouts on the property.
I like the mystery in this ghost story-thriller. The acting was decent. The story kept you involved, but then there is a massive switch of gears and things get a tad confusing. I never understood why some writers like to change up the story towards the end of the film. Sometimes ideas are more enticing when kept straightforward.
2009, R, ** (Swedish-Dubbed in English)
This Swedish vampire flick was simply the weirdest Vampire movie I’ve ever seen. I don’t know whether it was because the children creeped me out or what, but I continued to view it.
The plot is very straight forward, a young vampire girl Eli (Lina Leandersson) moves into the apartment next door to Oskar. Oskar (Kare Hedebrant) is being bullied daily by 3 students at the elementary school. Eli tries to keep her distance, yet decides to help Oskar with the bully problem and rid the bad kids. Also-Eli is really creepy.
This movie was strange, and not what I would call a great vampire movie despite its many decent reviews. It kind of reminded me of "Children of the Corn" meets "Lord of the Flies." Who knows, that might attract some people to watch. Oh, and if you don’t mind watching dubbed movies, then maybe you can get through it.
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
2007, ***, R
Starring: Melissa George, Josh Hartnett
By: Meredith A. Iager
Eben Oleson, (Josh Hartnett, “Mozart & the Whale,” “The Black Dahlia”) is the sheriff in the town of Barrow, Alaska. On the eve of the last sunset, before a month of complete darkness, he discovers a series of sled dog killings. He soon discovers people in his town are also being murdered as well. In the midst of this Eben is phoned by his wife Stella (Melissa George, “The Amityville Horror”) who gets into a car accident on her way to the airport. Little do they know there is a gang of vampires about to slaughter their town.
Alaska with its freezing temperatures alone would make anyone want to run. But, when you put a grungy looking man that says “You’re all dead,” and a clan of the most hostile vampires into the snowy mix, the cold weather seems a bit nicer.
This horror flick is very gruesome and takes the cake for 2007’s most frightening film. I for one am a fan of all horror-thriller films, but even I jumped in the theatres, back in October. This graphic novel turned film is some serious edge of your seat material. Each horror film seems to out-do the previous years bloodbath.
For centuries a group of vampires (who speak in their own ‘vamp’ language) planned to wipe out the town of Barrow. Their leader Marlow (Danny Huston, “Children of Men,” “The Kingdom”) says they must separate the heads from the bodies; he doesn’t want to turn the people of Barrow into vampires. They are for food purposes only. These vampires aren’t the kind to sit back, and drink blood from a goblet; these are vicious creatures that stalk their prey like a lion out of the grasslands of Africa.
The guy everyone remembers in movies like “Get Over It” and “Liberty Heights,” has certainly proved his range of acting skills. Over the last 3 years he has taken darker-violent roles such as, the Bruce Willis film “Hostage” and another comic turned film in the Thomas Jane movie “The Punisher.” In “30 Days of Night,” Ben Foster does a knock-out performance as The Stranger. This is his creepiest role to date.
The film as a daring ending and seems like the only solution our main character Eben has, in this no-win situation. Well, you must check it out for yourself, or maybe with a friend. If you are a true vampire-genre lover, this is a must buy film.
Monday, February 2, 2009
PG-13, 1998, *** ½
Starring: Elijah Wood, Leelee Sobieski, Tea Leoni, Morgan Freeman
By: Meredith A. Iager
Many individuals believe this film is a better representation of how all life on earth could end, unless the terrorists get to us first.
A teen astronomer, Leo Beiderman (Elijah Wood) discovers an object in the sky during a class project and reports his sighting to a noted Astronomer, Marcus Wolf (Charles Martin Smith). Upon receiving the teens information Wolf examines the sighting and sees the unimaginable—a larger comet headed toward earth—but is unable to report his findings due to an auto accident in which he is killed. Fortunately, the information is discovered and the government realizes the seriousness of the Wolf/Beiderman discovery and it’s clear a disaster of global proportions is possible. The government tries to keep the finding a secret until a plan can be developed to deal with the event, however a broadcast reporter (Tea Leoni) puts a few pieces of information together, which expedites the governments announcement of the impending disaster.
The President of the United States (Morgan Freeman) tells the American people of the news and that NASA has organized a space mission to destroy the comet before its arrival. This film is exciting and terrifying at the same time. It is a film that will give you a shred of hope, because some individuals do survive. The concept of a comet plummeting toward earth might even be more science fact than fiction, and the hope is that our worlds astronomers will always be combing the stars looking for anything that might be coming our way.
This film has an array of many great actors, and many of the performances are emotional, intense and unforgettable. Robert Duvall plays the head as the head of the NASA mission; Morgan Freeman is the President of the United States, Elijah Wood as Leo and his girlfriend Sarah is Leelee Sobieski. Among natural disaster films this is one of the good ones and definitely promotes the sale of telescopes for young astronomers and probably a few Chicken Littles.