Author Archives: ochippie

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Movie Trailer – Teen Spirit

Category : Movie Trailer

Director: Max Minghella

Starring: Elle Fanning, Rebecca Hall

Release: April 5th, 2019

What a waste of my time, or at least however long it took me to watch half the trailer, because that was all I could stomach and all it took for me to realize that this film was a complete ripoff.  It’s nothing more than an unoriginal mind combining Neon Demon and Vox Lux and hoping we wouldn’t notice.  Absurd.


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Movie Trailer – The Hustle

Category : Movie Trailer

Director: Chris Addison

Starring: Anne Hathaway, Rebel Wilson, Alex Sharp

Release: May 10th, 2019

Think of something original or go far away.  I understand that sequels, remakes, and franchise films are what’s in right now, and I’m sure I’ve enjoyed my fair share of 80s & 90s icons brought back, that’s how we’re wired and they know that.  But it’s still cheap, still easy, and when they come this obviously we need to turn them away before they enter the premises.


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Movie Review – Free Solo

Category : Movie Review

Director: Jimmy Chin

Starring: Alex Honnold

Year: 2018

I may not have understood just how packed the Best Documentary category at this year’s Academy Awards really is.  When both Won’t You Be My Neighbor and Three Identical Strangers were left off the nominations, I was shocked, and assumed that no other films could match their quality.  Admittedly, I haven’t seen a ton of documentaries this year, that’s not really my genre, but I was pretty sure that nothing could top Mr. Rogers.  And I’m not sure anything else has, it’s still my favorite documentary of the year, but Free Solo comes in at a close second.  It is nominated, it more than deserves it, and it stunned me with the scope of its story and the breadth of its lens.  You won’t spend a more adventurous evening this year than what you will experience sitting watching Free Solo, a transportative force if ever there was one.

Climber Alex Honnold has scaled the sheerest faces and tackled the toughest ledges; it’s been his passion since he was a boy and no one is better at gripping the edge between danger and excitement than he is.  His next adventure will be climbing El Cap, the famous rock in Yosemite that attracts thrill-seekers from all over the world each year.  But he doesn’t want to climb it like everyone else does, with a rope and harness, he’s done that countless times.  No, Alex wants to try something a bit more daring; scaling the wall with his bare hands.  Free solo climbers are adrenaline junkies and, some say, perhaps out of their minds, but none have ever reached the top of El Cap; it basically can’t be done.  But Alex refuses to walk away without conquering the fear that rises when facing something so daunting, and either he’ll go down in the record books or die trying.

Don’t watch this movie if you’re afraid of heights, because we go up right alongside Alex on his many climbs, as he tries to find the right path toward his destiny.  This is all real, this is really as dangerous as it looks, and at any moment Alex could fall 3000 feet to his death, because he’s only holding on with the tips of his fingers and the nubs of his shoes, that’s all that keeps him from tumbling to the ground far below.  I was worried at the beginning that I wouldn’t be able to understand the enormity of the situation, that it would just look like climbing to me, that I wouldn’t get how wild this was.  But wow did I get it, and man was I impressed.  Alex is a weird dude, some viewers are put off by that, but once you see past the surface level you understand his personality and its problems a bit more, you start to grasp what’s “wrong with him” and why he’d do something so insane.  It’s heart-pounding watching him work, and there’s enough of a human element to connect with that you truly get hooked, completely separate from the death-defying sport.  This documentary was painstakingly made and it shows, so hats off to all involved, and a standing ovation to Alex, the human spider who refused to back down from the world’s most difficult challenge.

My rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

 

 


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Movie Trailer – Tolkien

Category : Movie Trailer

Director: Dome Karukowski

Starring: Nicholas Hoult, Lily Collins

Release: May 10th, 2019

Nicholas Hoult was phenomenal in The Favourite, and I’ve learned over the years to trust his talent.  Not every film he selects is brilliant, but that happens, and I still consider him a rising star.  I’ve seen nothing from Lily Collins that would make me say the same, but let’s assume she simply plays the typical wife-of-the-genius role that’s getting progressively more tiresome.  Then looking at the fantasy shots, which are obviously taken from Peter Jackson, and thinking about the entire biography as a whole and how it’ll play out on screen; I get more & more tentative with each step.


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Movie Trailer – Yesterday

Category : Movie Trailer

Director: Danny Boyle

Starring: Himesh Patel, Lily James, Kate McKinnon

Release: September 13th, 2019

Part of me wants to dislike this movie out of pure cynicism, the other part won’t let me.  I think I need to watch this with my wife, who is the biggest Beatles fan and a big softy when it comes to these movies, so that I can have permission to enjoy it fully.  Also, I have to remember, although this looks very different, About Time moved me in a way I’m not sure I’ve ever been moved by a movie, and Lily James is the best thing to ever happen to all of us, so.


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Sports – 2019 NFL Free Agency

Category : Sports

With the 2018 season behind us, the Super Bowl over, and the reality of zero football settling in, it’s never too early to look ahead to next year. The 2019 season kicks off with the HOF game in Canton in August and the Opener in New England in September, but before that there are two major events that will change your team’s future. One is the Draft in April, and the other is Free Agency in March. There are veteran players out there for the taking, and they could help your team right away with their talent and experience. Here is a look at some of the top NFL Free Agents of 2019:

DeMarcus Lawrence – DE – Dallas Cowboys

Le’Veon Bell – RB – Pittsburgh Steelers

Jadeveon Clowney – DE – Houston Texans

Grady Jarrett – DT – Atlanta Falcons

Trey Flowers – DE – New England Patriots

Earl Thomas – S – Seattle Seahawks

Dee Ford – LB – Kansas City Chiefs

Frank Clark – LB – Seattle Seahawks

Landon Collins – S – New York Giants

C.J. Mosley – LB – Baltimore Ravens

 

More Offense: Teddy Bridgwater (QB – Saints), Daryl Williams (OT – Panthers), Matt Paradis (C – Broncos), Randall Cobb (WR – Packers), Tevin Coleman (RB – Falcons), Stephen Gostkowski (K – Patriots), Mark Ingram (RB – Saints), Ja’Wuan James (OT – Dolphins), Rodger Saffold (OG – Rams), Gold Tate (WR – Eagles).

More Defense: Anthony Barr (LB – Vikings), Sheldon Richardson (DT – Vikings), Ronald Darby (CB – Eagles), Tryann Mathieu (S – Texans), Lamarcus Joyner (S – Rams), Preston Smith (LB – Redskins), Ndamukong Suh (DT – Rams), K.J. Wright (LB – Seahawks), Za’Darius Smith (LB – Ravens), Ezekiel Ansah ( DE – Lions), Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (S – Redskins), Brandon Graham (DE – Eagles), Kwon Alexander (LB – Buccaneers), Jordan Hicks (LB – Eagles), Kareem Jackson (CB – Texans), Eric Reid (S – Panthers), Bradley Roby (CB – Broncos), Terrell Suggs (LB – Ravens).

 


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Movie Trailer – Five Feet Apart

Category : Movie Trailer

Director: Justin Baldoni

Starring: Haley Lu Richardson, Cole Sprouse, Moises Arias

Release: March 15th, 2019

I like Haley Lu, but some of her film choices are suspect, and this is one of them, mostly because we’ve already seen this freakin’ movie a hundred times and it’s always sucked.


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Movie Trailer – Frozen 2

Category : Movie Trailer

Director: Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee

Starring: Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Josh Gad

Release: November 22nd, 2019

Not bad, not bad, though I have no idea what’s going on.  Maybe that’s for the best, maybe the less we know the more we’ll be expecting.  I just hope the 2nd is better than the 1st and they fix the obvious problems; all the songs in the first half, too much Olaf in the second, the whole Hans narrative where we had no reason to believe he was a villain because basically he wasn’t, even “off camera”, until they decided he was.  Anyway, my kids aren’t obsessed with this like some people’s are, they understand that Ghibli is just as good as Disney, so I’ll watch it with them and not count on my life being taken over or changed.


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DVD Review – Death House

Category : DVD Review

Director: B. Harrison Smith

Starring: Cortney Palm, Cody Long, Dee Wallace

Year: 2017

It’s nice to be one of the few people who has seen an under-the-radar, low-budget, throw-cares-to-the-wind horror flick, because there’s a sense of community that comes with watching something that precarious, that delicately connected and held together.  It might be strange to think of horror as being fragile, with the monsters and the decapitations and the blood and whatnot.  But that’s exactly what the genre is, a delicate balance between production, money, fandom, and expression, with the resulting final product usually something that almost no one sees.  I try to keep that in mind when I watch b-horror, the time and energy and work that goes into a film that’s almost guaranteed to be unloved, at least by more than a dozen people.  But I still have to judge it as a movie like any other, no one gets a free pass, no matter how much I want to give some points for effort.

The Movie

Special Agents Novak and Boon have entered Death House after years of training, bitter mind games, and graduation violence, to become a part of the next step in human evolution.  Death House is a maximum security prison far underground that houses the worst mankind has to offer.  Killers, rapists, Satan worshipers, men who think they physically are Satan; it doesn’t get any dirtier than down there, but that’s where the experiment comes in.  Scientists, using these evil inmates and some “volunteers” from topside, are trying to pull the evil out of the minds of the evildoers, training their psyches to be moral though their bodies fight against the change every step of the way.

Right or wrong, the government is running this jail like a factory for pure thoughts, with limited success so far, but the future is bright.  Novak and Boon get a special, virtual tour of the facility, in order to see all its evils, and then get to walk to floors, experiencing it themselves firsthand.  But a power glitch, or perhaps something more sinister, shuts down the security of the facility, all the inmates escaping their cells to kill whoever they please in whatever many best suits their psychosis.  The agents are trapped in an elevator, along with esteemed Dr. Fletcher, and they’ll have to fight their way out in order to survive, heading down into hell in order to once again see the light.

Despite the insanity of this plot, you can tell that this movie was made with genre love, and that ends up being its saving grace.  Or, more specifically, its only redeeming characteristic, but we’ll get to that in a second.  The amount of time and focus that must have gone in to making this bizarre blood-binge happen is unfathomable to anyone but a filmmaker, and I have to imagine that the entire cast and crew are proud of themselves for what they were able to accomplish.  For a b-movie, there were a lot of elements brought together to create a unique world, more than is typical, and that could not have been easy.  The facility, the soldiers, the prisoners, the levels, the virtual reality, the backstories, the plot offshoots, the creatures, the adventure; I’m impressed that it all made its way into the final product, that the run time was short, that I was never bored, that this movie exists.

BUT, and it’s a big one, none of that stops this film from being insane, amateur, minimally-funded, and poorly-acted.  It’s still a terrible movie, it was never going to be anything but, it never had a real chance of being something more than a slasher with awful actors doing the slashing.  And boy were they awful; Palm from Zombeavers, Longo from bad TV, Wallace from E.T., and everyone else seemingly from a random biker bar.  The ability to hold a conversation that wasn’t hilarious was nonexistent, every single character was beyond bizarre, nothing really make any sense if you looked at it too closely, and by the end I realized that the only glue holding the sloppy project together was love for the making, passion for the creating, and the camaraderie that comes from being a part of something so niche.

The DVD

Video – No technical details are available concerning the video.  The picture quality was bad, of course, but nothing else would be expected.

Audio – No technical details are available concerning the audio.  The sound quality was fine, I guess, with a few odd song choices along the way.

Extras – There were a few special features on the DVD, if you’re somehow thirsty for more.  Director’s commentary can be selected to be enjoyed while watching the film.  There are nine different interviews to peruse.  There is a nine-second clip of Cortney Palm jumping into a giant inflatable.  A slideshow an be viewed to appreciate the still images.  And there are 11 trailers to view, including one for the feature film.

Final Thoughts

Skip It.  I can’t recommend anyone watch this movie except the most fervent horror enthusiasts, since the only reason to watch is to appreciate how much other people appreciate the genre that you most appreciate.  That’s it, there’s nothing else to hang your hat on, and that’s too bad, because there was a lot of love poured into this film, just not a lot of talent to accompany it.  It simply slides through the gross and the super-gross while riding on a story that’s one giant stretch, with a cast that wouldn’t make the cut on most other sets.  The video is as poor as you’d expect, the audio is alright, there are a few bonus features for those who want extra, so the technical aspects don’t completely fail the feature, but you’d better not rely on them too heavily either.  Death House is unreliable in its own right, fraught with too many flaws and not enough foundation, as it tries its best to please its base, which is admirable, if not exactly a reason to tune in.

☆ – Content

☆ – Video

☆ ☆ – Audio

☆ ☆ – Extras

☆ – Replay

 

 


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Movie Trailer – Aladdin (2019) #2

Category : Movie Trailer

Director: Guy Ritchie

Starring: Mena Massoud, Will Smith, Naomi Scott

Release: May 24th, 2019

WHAT.  DID.  THEY.  DO?!!?!  Turn Will Smith blue and make him look like The animated Rock from Scorpion King just to piss us off?  We need to boycott this movie, that’s the only way we’ll get the message through that shit like this SHOULD BE ILLEGAL.