Sunday, April 17, 2011

Scream 4

Wes Craven and Kevin Williamson are back with another installment of  "Scream", the franchise that revived the teen slasher genre in the late 1990's. Now this franchise is attempting to revive itself in 2011. Craven and Willamson do this successfully by keeping the humor and suspense of the previous films and contemporizing them by poking fun at the recent horror trends of "torture porn" like the Saw series and the countless classic horror remakes. The film also retains the "who dun it?" approach of the previous three which is also updated with much more graphic death scenes, another aspect of the horror franchises of the new millennium that keeps true to the series but with a fresh cutting edge (no pun intended!). My only gripe with this film is that I expected a little bit more. But to explain this, I would have to spoil the ending and kill the suspense! So, don't miss this one! It just may end up being your favorite scary movie! Grade A- 

Sunday, April 10, 2011


Focus Features, an independent studio known for their lower key artistic films is perhaps attempting to succeed in a more commercial market by releasing this action thriller. However, this film is by no means a Hollywood sellout. The film contains substance with a good storyline and well crafted characters that maintain the viewer's excitement throughout its duration. Hanna is a 16 year old girl trained by her father to be an assassin.  Hence, the European Intelligence Agency wants to stop her and use for their own purposes. They are led by the ruthless Marissa (played by Cate Blanchett), a good choice for the film's lead antagonist villain. Thus, we have the perfect cat and mouse game. This makes the Hanna character adapt to her situations, weather it be by fighting off operatives or befriending some unknowing vacationers, giving the film both heart and action. Grade A-.

Your Highness

The makers of Pinapple Express are back with a new comedy for the adolescent stoner market, which is a strong one for many movie theater franchises. This film however strays away from the modern marijuana escapades and instead takes us back in time to the medieval days of knights and dragons. Initially, I was not attracted to this film until I seen that Zooey Deschanel had a part in it. She plays the beautiful maiden Belladonna, the love interest of Fabious (James Franco) who gets kidnapped. His brother, Thadeous (Danny McBride) joins him on a quest to rescue her giving the movie somewhat of a plot, although lackluster and cliched. Now, don't get me wrong. I realize that this was intended to be a "stupid" comedy and not something that was supposed to be intellectually stimulating. I did enjoy the medieval scenery and had a few laughs but never fell out of my chair. So, if you are looking to give your braincells a 90 minute rest, head over to your local theater and see this one. But only if you have some extra cash and a bong.
Grade C

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Sucker Punch

The third film of Friday's triple feature was a fantasy adventure that was well worth the stay! The up and coming but still fairly unknown Emily Browning stars as "Baby Doll", a young girl institutionalized by her abusive stepfather. The powers that be in the facility plan on lobotomizing her, so she decides to make her
last few days an adventure with her fellow inmates.Writer/director Zack Snyder, known for his great visual work in films such as Watchmen and 300 does an excellent job taking the audience right along for this adventure utilizing the same comic book like visuals he used in the aforementioned films. The main cast of the protagonist heroins are strong and contain substance that will appeal to a female audience, possibly even as role models. However, they are also have the looks and sex appeal to appeal to a male audience. So although unconventional, perhaps this makes a great date movie! But don't pass it up either way! Grade A.

Saturday, April 2, 2011


There is something I learned about spending a lot of my free time at movie theaters. The spontaneous choices are sometimes the best ones. Yesterday, I originally intended for my double feature to be Source Code (which I seen and blogged) and Sucker Punch. However, there was an hour in half wait between those two films. Hence, I changed my mind and decided to see Insidious instead. I seen the previews and had some mixed reactions. I thought it could go either way. To say that I was pleasantly surprised would be an extreme understatement. Bottom line, I am going to boldly state that this was the best horror film of the past decade. It managed to be absolutely terrifying without a single drop of blood and only a PG-13 rating.

The film tells a dark story about the Lambert family, who think they are living in a haunted house. They later find out that the source of their terror is far worse. A demonic figure is actually haunting their comatose child! Having read several books on the occult as well as Reptilian Shape shifters helped give me a great insight to this film's subject matter. Director James Wan was also very instrumental in bringing a frightening tone to the misery of the characters through nightmarish sequences that successfully hooks its audience and makes them feel the anxiety of the events. Grade, Solid A.

Source Code

Jake Gyllenhall stars in this mystery thriller as Colter Stevens, an agent who awakens to find himself in a unique government experiment, known as the "Source Code", a machine that sends its subject back in time for investigative purposes. His mission transports him to a tragic train bombing, where he takes on the role of a passenger in order to find the culprit. Of course, through trial and error, he must travel back several times. This episodic approach makes for some good storytelling where the same characters play out different scenarios. However, the film later falls flat when the main character becomes over-heroic. Grade C