Thursday, March 31, 2011

Review: Prom Night (1980) (DVD)

If you don't already know, I am a huge fan of horror films. I guess you could say that they're my favorite genre, and after seeing the remake of Prom Night, I though I should go back and watch all the originals of these classic horror franchises. Along the way I hit a speed bump every now and again. This would be one of them.

Originally, I didn't know that Jamie Lee Curtis, the Scream Queen, had starred in it and when I found out, I was like, "Alright! This is going to be good!" Boy, was I wrong. This movie is horrible.

Prom Night is originally about a grop of teenagers who accidently kill one of their friends as little children and vow never to tell anybody. Well, that doesn't exactly work out because on the night of their high school prom, a stalker calls each one of them, claims to have witnessed this murder, and threatens to claim revenge.

When I read this synopsis, I was like, "Sounds  a lot like I Know What You Did Last Summer." I wasn't too far off, so already I was feeling like I've been here and done this which made this movie even more boring than it is.

What makes this movie boring? I'm glad you asked . Well, for starters, it isn't even remotely scary. At no point was I on the edge of my seat, gripping the side of my chair intensley while I waited to see who was going to get axed next; it just kind of happens.

Next, the acting is terrible. With the exception of Leslie Nielsen, this movie is nothing but a bunch of uninspired one-liners delivered at the level of a junior high play. Even Jamie Lee seems kind of bored with the material.

Well this movie is called "Prom Night", I guess we should show some people dancing. Oh! And here's an idea: lets show nothing but people dancing for about fifteen straight minutes! Yes, fifteen straight minutes of the worst slam dancing I'd ever seen. I wanted to take out my DVD; however, I was too lazy to get up so I actually  considered tearing my eyes out.

While Hollywood is into remakes right now, the horror genre seems to be a huge target and honestly, I perfer the remake over this piece of garbage.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Review: Sucker Punch

Zack Snyder has become known in Hollywood for his over-the-top, stylized action flicks like the Dawn of the Dead remake, Watchmen, and, of course, 300. But has cinema's once-proclaimed "action of the future" become old hat?

Over the years, Zack Snyder has proven himself to be a keen visionary with visually impressive, high-octane action films; however, there is a reason why his highest rated films on Rotten Tomatoes are the ones he didn't write. With Sucker Punch, Snyder tries to combine his iconic, stylistic action with a slightly more intelligent plot, which doesn't exactly work.

Emily Browning plays Babydoll, a young twenty-something who is institutionalized at the Lennox House, a not-so-fun-house for the criminally insane. While there, she learns that the only way to escape her harsh reality is to fight through hoards of undead Nazis, dragons, and other era-styled baddies, aided by her leather clad, schoolgirl, stripper friends.

Yeah, it sounds pretty awesome and the action, for the most part, is, especially during the first fight scene with the three giant, stone samurai warriors warriors. However, Sucker Punch still feels a little top heavy. There is a lot of action left unsupported, due in part to a weak story.

In an attempt to keep you more engaged in the plot, Snyder leaves things out and expects the audience to put everything together. This is an interesting concept that doesn't exactly follow through. In Snyder's attempt to hold back some things, not everything comes through in the end and left me with more questions than answers, and not in the good way.

Aside from the poor writing, the action becomes a bit too tedious at times. Snyder likes to slow down and then speed up his action sequences and he does it a lot in this movie, which made the action tiresome and even boring during some scenes. Also, a lot of the action sequences play out like a video game you can't control, which can be aggravating.

However, by the end of Sucker Punch, I can't say that I was either totally thrilled or totally disappointed. It puts out the action I wanted to see and the story I pretty much expected from Zack Snyder.

Monday, March 28, 2011


Today The Silver Screen Addiction turns one-year old! Man, what a year it's been! For my blog's birthday I have decided to give it a more simplistic look as well as renew my vows.

Hence forth I shall...

Write to share my passion.
Write to develope my writing skills.
Write to express my cinematic opinions.
Write to have fun.
I am aiming to make this blog more personal and hopefully this gives me a new basis on which to write, not only my reviews, but all of my posts.


My review of Zac Snyder's Sucker Punch
A special birthday video

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Review: Paul

The last time I went to see an alien flick in theaters was back in December when I went to see the Brother Strauses' Skyline. Needless to say I enjoyed Paul way more.

Now I don't mean to compare these two movies; they obviously abide by two seperate mediums: Skyline is more of a hardcore, sci-fi action flick while Paul is, of course, a comedy. I just couldn't help but think about it (along with every other alien film within the past thirty years) during this movie.

Review starts here:

Simon Pegg and Nick Frost are arguably two of the funniest leading men in movies today. With Paul they picked up the pen and tried their hand at screenwriting, with some pretty promising results. Pegg and Frost play two comic-geeks who decide to follow up a visit to Comic-Con. with a cross-country roadtrip of America's most famous UFO hotspots, but everything changes when they have their own close encounter outside Area 51; pretty much ever sci-fi nerd's wet dream.

Yeah, it isn't the most original plot, but I don't think Pegg and Frost were trying to break any ground here; they were only trying to be funny and, for the most part, they succeeded. With 50% of the jokes referencing different parts of the human anatomy and another 40% referencing every alien movie within the last 40 years, a lot of the jokes get old and even fall flat, but you have to hand it to these guys for knowing what makes Americans laugh today; especially typecasting Seth Rogen as the gross, rude, yet likeable Paul.

Continuing on the topic of casting: a big reason why this movie is as enjoyable as it is has to do with the supporting cast. With familiar faces ranging from Jane Lynch of recent Glee fame, to Jason Bateman and Jeffery Tambor from Arrested Development, SNL's Bill Hader, and even Steven Spielberg as himself, everybody here has experience in comedy which adds to the appeal and overall silliness of the film.

Of course this movie does have its pitfalls. As I mentioned earlier, most of the film's humor thrives off of a few too many crude, genetalia references and often sucumbs to other gross, Rogenesce innuendos about weed and Ewok sex. I must admit that I enjoyed most of the allusions to other famous, sci-fi films like Close Encounters of the Third Kind, E.T, and even Indiana Jones; however, I was disgusted with the shameless plugs to other great classics like The Blues Brothers and Back to the Future.

I am not ashamed, however, to admit that I did enjoy this movie and so did many of my fellow viewers who were just looking for a good laugh. The parts that are funny are almost laugh out loud hilarious which made for a enjoyable experience, at least for the first time around.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Review: The Adjustment Bureau

I would like to clear up a common misconception about this film: This is not, repeat not, an action flick. Universal is trying to market it as such when, truthfully, it plays out much more like Marc Foster's Stranger Than Fiction.

Based off the short story "The Adjustment Team" by Philip K. Dick, Matt Damon is David Norris, a popular politician with a dark past, which keeps coming back to haunt him. During the night of his defeat for the New York senate seat, he meets Elise, a strange yet fascinating ballerina whom he immediately falls in love with. Sadly, there's a problem: according to "the plan" written by the big guy upstairs, they're not meant to be together and the Adjustment Bureau will stop at nothing to make sure that the plan sticks.

The performances here are wonderful. Anthony Mackie, John Slattery, and Terrace Stamp stand out as members of the Adjustment Bureau, adding a much needed flare; however, it is the two leads who steal the show. Matt Damon and Emily Blunt work well together and have a nice chemistry that made it easy for me to pull for them; I truly wanted them to be together.

The performances alone, however, are not enough to elevate The Adjustment Bureau to the level it thinks it's at. I definitely felt the strain from Writer/Director George Nolfi's attempt to stretch a short story into a feature-length film as much of the story gets bogged down in an excessive amount of romance and uninspired dialogue which, at times, threatened to lul me to sleep and the action got old after about the third chase sequence.

Thomas Newman's fantastic score does add a dark, soaring, romantic feel and this film does have an interesting story to tell with a delicate and profound moral; however, it isn't enough to raise The Adjustment Bureau to the status of classic sci-fi romance.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Review: Red Riding Hood

Apparently, over-the-top, stylized adaptations of classic fairytales have become the latest vogue. 

On the edge of a dark forest lies a small town. Nobody knows this town by name, they only hear about the horrible things that happen there... Yes, this is acutally a narrative line from the movie. Catherine Hardwicke, who brought us the first Twilight film, directs this unintentionally hilarious, glamorized, horror flick. Amanda Syfried plays Valerie, a young girl who gets caught up in a triangle of forbidden love. Sound familiar?

Max Irons and Shiloh Fernandez play the two love interests who must put their differences aside in order to save Valerie from the big, bad wolf. Julie Christie plays the creepiest grandmother in cinema history who only wants the best for her granddaughter and the only slightly redeeming factor of this movie is Gary Oldman's performance as Solomon, a soulless werewolf hunter who is called in to save the town.

What feels like Twilight meets The Village, Red Riding Hood plays around with an unforgivably cliche script and predictable plot. At one point one chracter says "If you really love her, you'll let her go" and "I'll wait for you". Those are the kinds of lines that take away from the seriousness of the film and, I am not kidding, this movie is filled with them.

Another thing, everybody seems as if they've stepped right out of a Abercrombie and Fitch catalogue; they've all got nice skin and hair and their oufits are surprisingly fashionable for living in a midieval village terrorized by a werewolf.

The relentless, soaring camera shots did nothing but give me a headache and help support my thesis that Catherine Hardwicke has a thing for treetops.

Hardwicke must have taken a few classes at the Michael Bay School of Film because she likes to sacrifice talent in the name of aesthetics and dress her movies up in hopes that we don't see just how horrible her films really are.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

U can't touch this

Instead of giving you the list of movies that everybody says shouldn't be remade, (The Godfather, Jaws, Goodfellas, The Wizard of Oz, Citizen Kane, every Stanley Kubrick film ever, ect.) here are some that are close to my heart.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show

Dammit, Janet! It's a cult classic! It's worked hard to get to where it is, don't ruin it now.

Back to the Future
If there's any remake of this in our future, I'm gonna need a time traveling delorean.
The Evil Dead
I'd rather see another Evil Dead movie made by Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell than a remake by anybody else.
The Exorcist
I never knew how awesome this movie was until I saw it for myself and now that I've seen it, I don't wanna be seeing another one.
Pulp Fiction
To say this movie is a masterpiece would probably be an insult to Quentin Tarantino's genius. So I'll say it like this: Mmm-mmmm. That is a tasty burger.
This list has been brought to you in no particular order and does not reflect favoritism of one film over another.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Review: Drive Angry 3D

There's only one guarantee when Nicholas Cage gets behind the wheel- it's going to be one hell of a ride. Unfortunately, it isn't always guaranteed to be smooth.

If you couldn't tell from the trailer, Drive Angry is a throwback to the old grindhouse films: lots of sex, explosions, and loud music. There's plenty of all of this as Milton (Cage) breaks out of Hell to hunt down the cult that murdered his daughter and kidknapped his grandchild. Amber Heard is Piper, a waitress who decides to join Milton because... Well, it's never really explained. William Fichtner is the scene-stealing "Accountant", a hellish bounty hunter who's after Milton because... Well, it's never really explained.

Drive Angry tries too hard to achieve classic B-status and not hard enough on anything else. There are more guns in this movie than in Scarface, enough explosions to rival that of Apocalypse Now, and enough nudity to make John Waters jealous. That's all fine and dandy, but this film never goes anywhere with it. Instead it sits on all of it, tries being funny with it, and then expects the audience to love it simply because it's outrageous.

But who cares about any of that as long as stuff is blowing up in your face in 3D, right? Not really. The 3D in this film is terrible. With the expection of maybe the first minute, the 3D is just made up of cheap CGI that never feels in your face and definitely never adds any depth. If you're looking for a comparison, Jaws 3D would be appropriate.

I don't want to say that Drive Angry is void of any entertainment because then I'd be lying. It certaintly does have its moments, it's just those moments don't happen often enough.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Review: Rango

Johnny Depp, Bill Nighy, and Director Gore Verbinski team back up for Nickelodeon's animated, family wester Rango. Who thought this would be a good idea?

Rango follows the story of a pet chameleon on a search for identity- literally, he doesn't have a name at the beginning of the film. He, the unnamed reptile, ventures into the Mojave Desert after his owners almost get involved in a car accident that sends him flying out into the street. There, he meets a lady lizzard who shows him into the dying town of Dirt where he unexpectedly is named Sheriff.

To be fair, I only have a couple of problems with this film. One of these problems is that all the characters are crude; everybody is mean to everybody else and if there is a kind soul who lives in this town, I never saw him.

Rango himself pushes over the same old lady twice and robs her or her water jug to fit in with the rest of the town and calls two children ugly. To add to that, Rango falls in love but the only time he makes a move on her is when she is unconscious; one time he puts his arm around her and the other time he kisses her. The fact that he can't do any of these things when she is conscious makes him seem like a creep and made it hard for me to like the hero, even though it's meant to be funny.

The other problem I had with this film is that all the humor is either too vulgur or too awkward to be funny. In one scene, Rango and a few other are sitting around a fire, arguing about who has coughed up the largest object. One guy adds in: "I once found a human spinal column in my fecal matter". Another character walks around with an arrow through his eye and there are many references to shooting off other critters' "giblets" and "unmentionables".

Sure the animation is amazing and the premise is promising enough; however, Rango is too busy being crude and awkward to take advantage of its full potential.