Friday, October 5, 2012


Tim Burton's classic short film from 1984 gets triple the running time as a feature length film and still has all of the heart and visual integrity of the original. Burton's love of the Universal Monsters shines through and using the Frankenstein story construct to deliver the tale of a young boy who wants his dog back after a tragic accident is shear genius. You will notice several Burton film regulars lending their voice talents to the characters like Martin Landau and Winona Ryder. Even a young Christopher Lee gets a cameo from one of his classic Dracula movies. I great little film and a must see for all Burton fans.

Click here to check out the official website.

Taken 2

Liam Neeson is back as our favorite kick-ass father but this time out he has to save himself as well as his ex-wife and daughter from the relatives of the human traffickers who kidnapped his daughter previously in Paris. As most sequels go this one suffers from the sophomore slump in that the story is predictable, nothing new about the characters is revealed, and unfortunately previous characters tend to be annoying. The fighting is OK and Liam is still realistic as a tough guy but you really cannot expect too much from a PG-13 action thriller. Maggie Grace still looks good but just a bit to old for her part and how did the psycho Bond girl from Golden Eye become so boring? If you loved the first film like me you may want to pass on this and just re-watch the extended version of the first film on DVD instead.

Click here to check out the official website.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

End of Watch

L.A.P.D. is all about dope, money, and guns and this film shows just that. The film is basically a snapshot of the lives of two officers who have to deal with the aftermath of going up against the Mexican drug cartel. Both Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena are creditable as boys in blue and make you feel like you are in the cruiser with them on patrol. There is no new ground traveled here or any great surprises but it is worth checking out. Hopefully this movie does better for Anna Kendrick then her other film currently out, Pitch Perfect.

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Pitch Perfect

Rebel Wilson is popping up everywhere and this is the second film she has out currently but instead of being the bride she is part of the ensemble in an all-girl a capella group trying to make it to regionals and then nationals to win the coveted trophy. Does this sound familiar to anyone else? Unfortunately, none of the singing can measure up to Glee and their winning edge is to perform a mash-up? Rebel does have some of the best one-liners but the standout performer has to be Brittany Snow as the only character that you are really routing for. If you watch the trailer below you will have seen most of the best moments in the film so you may want to pass on this and just watch an episode from the new season of Glee instead.

Click here to check out the official website.

Hotel Transylvania

Adam Sander and gang are back at it again with another animated "holiday" themed movie and this time they get it right. All credit for making this awesome movie has to go to Genndy Tartakovsky who brought us such cult classic cartoons like Samurai Jack, Dexter's Laboratory and The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy. The story is top notch, the animation is classically perfect, and the characters are hilarious. There is no trace of Eight Crazy Nights in this production. This is a great, fun, family film that truly shows how much fun Halloween can be for one and all at any age.

Click here to check out the official website.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

In Search of Lovecraft

I am a big Lovecraft fan and it's great seeing new crops of low budget Cthulhu myth films hitting DVD and streaming. One thing you must have for a watchable low budget horror film is either an interesting story or good use of creative effects or some decent acting or great T & A but unfortunately this does not have one of them. I assume they spent most of their budget on getting Rachel Robbins to participate who stared is such soft core horror classics like Screaming Dead and Vampire Lesbian Kickboxers. What is the deal with all the lisping? If you like bad movies like I do you will just want to see this to see where the train wreck finally comes to a crashing halt.


It is good to see that indie small budget horror is still alive and well and that horror anthology films are still getting some attention. This film is well done with five vignettes in a wrapper story which adds a nice nuance to the title if you think about it. I did not see this in the theater but was able to check it our on Amazon VOD as part of their Pre-Theatrical Rental program on a large HD display. My favorite vignette is the first one and proves nothing can be scarier than those three little words of I love you. A must see for the avid horror fan with some nice creepy moments that pluck the nerves of some of us older fans who think they have seen it all already.

Click here to check out the official website.

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Now that Premium Rush has already been released, we finally get to the other Joseph Gordon-Levitt movie about gangsters and hired assassins wrapped in a time travel bow. First off the story is engaging, very smart, makes you think, and still delvers a good twist ending in the most subtle of ways that will have you pondering it when you leave the theater. I have known for a while that Gordon-Levitt is one of the great actors for his generation but his dead-on acting and mannerisms really make you believe he is a young Bruce Willis. The make-up and effects to help achieve this are second to none and would surpass any of Dick Smith's best efforts. All in all a really great movie that delivers on all fronts so you will want to check it out.

Please click here to check out the official website.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Shakespeare Theatre Company's The Government Inspector

Who knew the Russians could be so funny? The 2012-2013 season opening play is hilarious and features a boatload of STC regulars led by Derek Smith from last season's Much Ado About Nothing. The stage is impressive and the jokes just keep coming. When Hlestakov woes Marya to win a bet with his servant buy singing her a poem that ends in a rap - genius. Definitely make your way over to the Lansburgh Theatre for a great night of comedy and grab a lobster roll from Luke's Lobster before the show.

Click here to get your tickets to the show.

Friday, September 21, 2012

House at the End of the Street

Katniss is back...err Jennifer Lawrence...but instead of having to survive the Games she is trying to survive relocating to a new town, attending a new high school and that eerie house from across the way. The plot smacks of remake to this horror junkie and ground well traveled but at least we get Elizabeth Shue back from her starring role in Piranha. The acting is good and Max Thieriot does play on your sympathies for the ostracized kid much better than in his previous snoozer, My Soul to Take. The movie would be fine but suffers from the filmmaker's need to show you the obvious flashback moment that is not ever needed for anyone who has been watching the movie. Stop spoon feeding us these gratuitous end scenes that only give us the impression that you think your audience is not intelligent enough to get it already.

Click her to check out the official website.

Dredd 3D

Well it seems that fans of the original source material can now finally purge the bad taste from their mouths left by Sylvester Stallone's 1995 ham-fisted send up to the most notorious bad-ass judge to mount a lawmaster. It seem you can actually deliver the character of Dredd just fine with your helmet on for the duration of the film. Karl Urban's Dredd works while taking the character seriously with no need for camera winks or jokes made at the character's own expense. The 3D is used as a significant plot tool to elevate the film's drug elements and violence and not just as an after thought to add a surcharge to your movie ticket. I really enjoyed this movie and hope it makes big bank at the box office this weekend so we can all have a little more Dredd in our lives.

Click here to check out the officialweb site.

Sunday, September 16, 2012


Mover over Bridesmaids it is now time for the girl of honor to step up or at least her entourage. This movie is funny and all of the bride-to-be's friends are hot just like in real life, right?. The scene stealer is Lizzy Caplan whose blow job discussion as viewed in the trailer just gets better in the film. Ilsa Fisher does have a nice rack and Kirsten Dunst does seem to feel at home as the bitchy and controlling friend. Thank you Amazon for letting me see this from luxury of my own couch.

Click here to check out the official website.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

AMC Theaters presents...The Indiana Jones Marathon

It was great seeing Indy back on the big screen in a marathon movie session thanks to their release on Blue-Ray DVD. Blue-Ray is nice but one thing that the new format shows is obvious film overlays and super-imposed elements. This can get distracting but not enough to stop your enjoyment of the films. I have never bought in to the Blu-Ray marketing hype - DVDs will be gone shortly...long live digital download and streaming - but I may pick this up for some of my friends who would love to have this as a gift for Christmas or Hanukkah and possibly Kwanzaa.

Please click her to check out the official website.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Premium Rush

It seems like this movie has been advertised forever in the theaters and now it it is just getting its big screen wide release. Maybe it was Joseph Gordon-Levitt's appearance in The Dark Knight Rises that final got this pushed along. This is actually a fun, fast-paced action movie brought to you by your local bike messengers who you really don't want to mess with. Not really date night fodder but well worth seeing in the theater at matinee rates.

Click here to check out the official website.

Resident Evil: Retribution

The zombies are back as well as plenty of former cast members in this fifth installment of the first person shooter video game turned movie. Milla Jovovich still looks good as Alicia and kicks butt but is starting to show her age a bit. As with the last film it is all about the 3D with enough plot to get you through to the next movie. Do not expect any great leaps forward in story telling here where it is mainly CGI visuals and wire work that shine through. The only thing missing at the end was the release date for film six.

Click here to check out the official website.

Friday, September 7, 2012

The Possession

I have been wanting to see this film ever since the trailer first popped up in the theater showing the fingers coming up through the little girl's throat in the mirror. I am a nut for a good exorcism film and it was refreshing to see one based on something other than Catholicism. Natasha Calis gives a great performance as the innocent girl being obsessed with and possessed by the strange wooden box she picked up from a local yard sale. Jeffery Dean Morgan is great too as the displaced father trying to understand what is happening to his little girl and willing to try anything to save her. Of all the different horror films out right now, this one is the must see gem for the ardent horror fan.

Click here to check out the official website.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Hit & Run

Move over Roger Corman, Dax Shepard is in town with his own summer car film.  Dax enlists his friends and his own car collection to bring us a sorta funny film with only one cool car.  Tom Arnold is no longer funny and has no range so why is he still showing up in films?  Kristen Bell is hot and looks great on screen but no real acting stretch here for her.  A matinee film at best but you may want to wait for it to hit Comedy Central and save your pesos.

Click here to check out the official website.

Friday, August 31, 2012

The Apparition

It's getting to be that time of year when scary movies are hitting the screen in time for Halloween but unfortunately some of these films are not scary or engaging. All horror films are gauged by their opening scene and this one is not too bad of a hook. The creepiest scene comes at the end of the movie but better in-camera scares can be found in any of the Paranormal Activity films. One fun thing was seeing Draco Malfoy, aka Tom Felton, leading our haunted band of twenty somethings.  If you are going to see a scary movie you may want to pass on this one and go straight for The Possession.

Click here to check out the official website.

Friday, August 17, 2012

The Expendables 2

If you are a fan of the first film than you will like this one too. This time out we get more with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis as well as a few new faces like Jean-Claude Van Damme and Chuck Norris. The inside jokes and digs at each other are great and very funny if you are a connoisseur of each action star's portfolio of fine flicks. Unfortunately with so many names there is less dedicated screen time per character but that is to be expected. This movie was well worth the price of admission and I hope the rumors are true with a third film planned that may include Clint Eastwood - I feel lucky; how about you?

Click here to check out the official website.

ParaNorman 3D

I have been looking forward to seeing this movie ever since I saw the first teaser. Stop motion animation, ghosts, witches and a kid who sees dead people - what is not to love here? The movie is great and has a very compelling plot that does not pander to kids but delivers for all ages with some very good scares for an animated film. Well worth checking this film out in 3D and it ranks up there with the likes of Coraline. You will not regret seeing this with the whole family.

Click here for the official website.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

National Theatre Live: Frankenstein

After seeing Jonny Lee Miller as the creature, I believe I like Cumberbatch's creature more. While Cumberbatch's creature was overcoming a disability or physical and mental damage, Miller's seemed more like a child learning. Both were excellent takes on the material and very much worth seeing. I hope a DVD comes out with both performances so others can compare and see what I mean. Kudos to Danny Boyle for an excellent production of a classic work.

Click here to check out the official website.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Killer Joe

Matthew McConaughey is popping up everywhere lately and now it is as a corrupt lawman who moonlights as a hired killer.  The movie's premise is very dark but falls in to brief moments of absurdity that are still scary and will make you stay away from fried chicken for awhile. But in true indie film fashion we have Gina Gershon giving us the full beaver in just the first few minutes of the film with Thomas Haden Church letting us now what would have happened to Early Grayce from Kalifonia if Adele had put her titty back in and stayed in the trailer park.  Juno Temple is riveting to watch as Joe's retainer for his services yet to be rendered and their relationship seriously pushes the creepy element of the film.  Way to go William Friedkin -  no one will ever confuse this with The Exorcist.

Click here to check out the official website.

The Bourne Legacy

Can you do a Bourne movie without Jason Bourne?  The answer to this question is yes and the director of the latest installment delivers with an ending that makes you want more from either Jason Bourne or Aaron Cross. The action is good and the story ties in nicely, if not around, the previous movies while giving a peak at how Bourne came about.  Jeremy Renner is having a stellar year coming of the box office successes of both Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol and The Avengers.  Although not a prequel or a sequel this movie is a definite must see in the theater for any Bourne fan.

Click here for the official website.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

National Theatre Live: Frankenstein

The Shakespeare Theater Company of DC presented the first of two HD Live screenings of Danny Boyle's Frankenstein produced for the stage at London's National Theatre. Tonight Benedict Cumberbatch played the creature with Jonny Lee Miller playing Frankenstein and oh boy was it awesome. Cumberbatch as the creature was transcendent and that is the only word I can think of to describe his performance. I could not take my eyes of of him. I can't wait to see Sunday night's performance where Cumberbatch and Miller will switch roles.

Click here to check out the official website.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Total Recall

Len Wiseman, known for the Underworld franchaise, takes on one of Arnold Schwarzenegger's best films and I must say makes it better. I must confess to have never read the book but I do like the changes in this film from the 1990 version which dumps Mars for a decimated Earth that has been reduced to only two inhabitable city states. There are nods to the original film and it has a look and feel of an over-crowded Minority Report landscape if located in Hong Kong. Kate Beckinsale takes on the consolidated roles of Lori Quad and Richter from the first film but that goes with the territory if you are married to the director. The movie is a fun ride and is non-stop action through to the end - a must see.

Click here to check out the official website.

Friday, July 27, 2012

The Watch

Like most comedies today all of the best parts are already in the trailer to get your butt in to the movie theater. This movie is no exception to that rule and it seems like the comedy was more improvised just to see what would stick. The hightlight of the film was seeing Richard Ayoade in something else besides episodes of The IT Crowd. Nothing special to see here so you may want to wait for this to hit Comedy Central when there is nothing else better going on.

Click here to check out the official website.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Kick Starter funding for Director's Cut Survival Horror: The Card Game

I have heard about Kick Starter but have never participated on the site. My friend Liz sent me a link to a project that reminded her of me and my love of all things horror. I watched the short below and knew immediately this was something I wanted to see become a reality. I call on all my follow horror fans and geeks to check this out. I believe you to want to see this game happen as much as I do.  Please sign in to Kick Starter and help us fund this project so we can all play a game very soon.  I will bring the Cheetos and Mountain Dew!


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Andrew Lloyd Webber's Love Never Dies

I finally broke down and saw my first Fathom event and it was a blast. I enjoyed The Phantom of the Opera and was jazzed to find out that there was a musical sequel. The music is great - I am buying the soundtrack now from Amazon - and the stage production beautiful. The HD images did reveal where they placed their little mics to capture that glorious sound and did not distract as much as I expected. If you did not make either of the screenings be sure to check this out on DVD and you may just find yourself enjoying it more than its predecessor.

Click here to check out the official website.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

This Means War

The year of Tom Hardy continues with this fun Spy vs. Spy romantic comedy that pits him against his partner, Chris Pine, to win the girl, Reese Witherspoon. The action is good and the one-upmanship is fun to watch with all not revealed in the trailer. The chemistry between Witherspoon and Chelsea Handler as sisters does not flow from the screen but the gems that come out of Handler are hilarious. This film should be the clear box office winner this weekend and a good palate cleanser if you made the mistake of seeing the Ghost Rider sequel earlier in the day. If a date movie is on your horizon the make it this one.

Click here to check out the official website.

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance in 3D

I seem to be one of the few who loved the first Ghost Rider movie and relished in the fact that the comic I loved as a child made it to the big screen in all its horrific, fiery goodness. Unfortunately, Marvel earns a big fail on this sequel where the best part of the film is the making of featurette commercial part of the AMC Pre-show. The filming style and the 3D do not work together making for a jerky mess on the screen, the pendulum swing between CGI enhanced practical stunts effects and just outright CGI money-shots do not mesh, and with a lackluster script with the most bizarre acting by Nicholas Cage makes for an almost unwatchable film. There are some positives like the Ghost Rider does still look cool but sootier, the filming of the chase scenes sans the 3D, and consistently good acting by Idris Elba no matter the film project. This movie is a pass unless you are a die hard fanboy who needs to be tortured for 95 minutes.

Click here to check out the official website.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark

While in New York for business requiring an overnight stay I try to take in a Broadway show and yes I do pay the ridiculous full price fees for that night's show. I was hoping to snag a ticket to The Book of Mormon but all shows were sold out through the end of March 2012 so I decided on the only other big show open tonight. The show was spectacular with amazing music by Bono, crazy high flying wire work, and all the technical wizardry you could ask for. During the intermission I spoke with one of the ushers and learned of everything that lead up to the current 2.0 version of the show and was astounded that the show still went forward after all of the set backs and the 65 million plus sunk in to its production. Despite all of the bad press from when it tried to first open and failed preview screenings, the show is a success and is still a work in progress by the producers that is well worth seeing on your next stay in the Big Apple.

Click here to check out the official website.

Saturday, February 11, 2012


There was little lead up to this movie release that I recall but it definitely was on my list to see from the online trailer. The movie does not disappoint and Gina Carano goes above and beyond when going toe to toe with Channing Tatum, Michael Fassbender, Ewan McGregor, Antonio Banderas, Bill Paxton and Michael Douglas. The beauty of this movie is that it is believable and grounded in real fight sequences that are not shaky cam or hyper realized to add to the effect. The story is solid and leaves itself open for a follow up with our new kick-ass heroine. Don't let this one get away or at least check it our when hits online streaming or DVD.

Click here for the official website.

The Woman In Black

Daniel Radcliffe may be Harry Potter no more but I can not think of a better next film project than starring in a Gothic ghost story from a name synonymous with horror classics, Hammer. Everything is done right from the look and feel of the sets, the impending since of dread from the soundtrack, and the deliberate pacing of the the film. The scares and effects are well done and when our specter shows up she is very terrifying. Ghost stories are still a genre favorite right now and I am glad to see good films are still being made from all recesses of the genre. Be sure to check this out if you are in the mood for a good chill up the spine.

Click here to check out the official website.

One for The Money

I like Katherine Hegel like every other heterosexual male in the known universe for the obvious reasons but I also adore the fact she is smart, funny and a good actress. With all that said, what happened here? The movie could not capture my interest and I actually nodded off a few time in the theater. None of the characters pulled me in to the film and I found nothing mildly funny or entertaining about the story. With other films out there worth seeing you definitely want to save this one for background filler while vacuming or doing your laundry at home.

Click here for the official website.

Big Miracle

Nothing is more heartwarming then seeing a movie about saving animals, unless that is actually going out and doing it yourself, so this movie was a good next see after last year's adorable Dolphin Tale. The hook for me is that I remember this story when it was actually happening and I was just as riveted as everyone else to see if the whales would survive and make it to freedom. The cast is great with popular actors like Drew Barrymore, John Krasinski, Ted Danson, Tim Blake Nelson, Kristen Bell and many more. Of all then things that made the film work, I think the real Sarah Palin footage from the time was the most fun to see. A very inspiring film that is fun for the whole family.

Click here to check out the official website.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

La Cage aux Folles @ The Kennedy Center

I was not going to miss opening night even after coming off a three day bout with the flu and I was rewarded for my effort even if my fellow ticket holders might not have been as thrilled. This musical has been remade so may times for the large and small screens that everyone knows the plot so spoilers are not possible but it was nice to see the musical on the Eisenhower stage. From the start, my friend Sharon and I knew we were going to be in for a treat when a statuesque drag queen starts ribbing the crowd and getting us to participate in the show as if we were at a real French cabaret. George Hamilton is still very tan and spry for his age but the highlight of the show is the incredible performance of Christopher Sieber as Albin. Sieber also gets kudos from me by putting in his Playbill bio that he has never actually been in an episode of Law & Order - you do not want to miss this show.

Click here to purchases tickets.