REVIEW: Law Abiding Citizen

"Look man, I'm out! There's no way I'm taking on the dude from 300."

After witnessing the brutal murder of his wife and daughter, Clyde Shelton is looking for justice. But when his lawyer makes a shady deal which sets one of the two men free, Clyde's revenge is just the beginning.

I'm always a fan of R rated thrillers, especially these days when the film industry seems to be run by PG-13 pussies. I'm also fond of Gerard Butler, at least when he's got his action chops on. LAW ABIDING CITIZEN was a curious bit of cinema. I thoroughly enjoyed the premise of "an eye for an eye" and revenge, which came off in the vein of Kevin Bacon's DEATH SENTENCE, except in this case, Clyde (as opposed to Bacon's character) actually knew how to take his revenge. And does he ever take his revenge.

They set the mood up as nice and tense from jump street (just as they did in DEATH SENTENCE), only surprisingly enough, they rush right into it before we have much of a chance to see how Clyde interacts with his family. It makes no real difference I suppose, as the point they're trying to make comes across in spades. You really hate the two fools who start this up and as a result have no sympathy for them when Clyde brings the pain. That said, many other deaths occur that may or may not affect your appetite for destruction.

The writing here was brilliant as far as the characters go, and the acting from Butler, Fox as well as the supporting cast was near flawless. The edgy dialogue made me laugh out loud a good many times (the court room scene was a riot). I have no reservations about the pace or brooding atmosphere either as things fell into place in a rather timely fashion.

LAW ABIDING CITIZEN had a decent enough story and plot, yet as the film reaches it's last act, you really need to put forth a tremendous amount of imagination as the suspension of disbelief kicks into gear. I can handle a CIA-ish fella on a rampage with cool toys and a sharp intellect, but if THAT's the tune you're gonna whistle at least stay on key for Christ sake. I won't give too much away here, but suffice to say I found the ending a bit weak and unbecoming of our dark hero. That said, this was gonna end one of two ways, and as you may have guessed, I was rooting for the OTHER way. However, this is still a good flick and more than worth your time as far as flicks of late, but don't worry yourself if you end up having to wait for DVD and Blu-ray.

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TRAILER: Green Zone

I'm ordinarily not a huge fan of "under the radar" government war flicks, but over the past couple years they have gotten a bit better (BODY OF LIES and THE KINGDOM). Of course, one thing I'll NEVER tire of is Matt Damon handing out ass kickings left, right and center! This is one of those generic setups from the looks of things, probably not one I'll rush to the theaters for but I'm interested nonetheless.

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GAME TRAILER: Left for Dead 2

I gotta tell ya, this looks pretty fucking bad ass for a (non RESIDENT EVIL) run of the mill zombie game. I never played the first one, but if it's anything like THIS, I think I need to hunt it down and give it a whirl. This is one of genres that "has me at hello" so long as the story is cool and visuals don't disappoint. I'll be looking for this one in November for sure.

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TRAILER: The Wolfman

This second trailer may be short and sweet but one thing it's not short on is atmosphere. This truly looks like an old school monster movie and I'm loving every second of it. I do feel they're giving a lot away here though, and it's starting to get fairly clear who the source of the curse might be. I hate putting these things together BEFORE watching the film, but then again, I could be wrong.

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Mears joins PREDATORS

"Jason VS Predators or Jason AS a Predator, either way works for me."

Derek Mears may yet be a household name (though I'm sure he soon will be), but the guy's coming up in the world and if you missed him in THE HILLS HAVE EYES 2 or as the new Jason Voorhees in FRIDAY THE 13Th, well you're in luck cause he'll be hitting the Predator Jungle planet in next years action extravaganza PREDATORS.

Robert Rodriguez is the man for breathing new life into the Predator universe, as they're arguably the coolest Sci-Fi invention known to man. Still no word on whether or not Mears will be one of humanity's bad ass elite dropped onto the Predator home planet or if he'll be suiting up for some Predator action and going all Jason Voorhees on the humans asses. I'll say this though, he's totally my choice for the film's Super Predator concept.

My Two Cents: "Though Mears totally looks like he'd kill you just as soon as look at you, I've talked to him three or four times now and he's actually a pretty cool, laid back fella."

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REVIEW: The Tournament

"Looks like I'm about to kick Marcellus Wallace's ass!"

Every seven years the world's best assassins come together in an undisclosed (and unsuspecting) city to compete to the death for ten million dollars in cash and the title of world's best assassin.

I've seen many a hitman/assassin flick (ASSASSINS being one of my all time favorites), and I was happy to see a different spin on things with THE TOURNAMENT (well, different as far as assassin flicks usually go). This territory does feel familiar, after having so many eighties and nineties flicks about various people from various staffs of life competing to the death for money, their lives or a get out jail free card, but having each and every player in the game be an bad ass assassin was a dream come true for an action junkie like myself.

The cast was top notch, but in all honesty was the best AND worst aspect of the film. I'm happy to a true to form return from Ving Rhames (especially after the abysmal summer flop THE GOODS). Kelly Hu also rocked (I'd let her kick my ass any day of the week) and Robert Carlyle was fun as always (the guy can play virtually ANY role to perfection), but the list doesn't end there. There were cameos galore, superb ones at that, like Scott Adkins and Ian Somerhalder, who (do to the nature of the beast) sadly didn't last very long (I also want to add that Sebastien Foucan's (the dude who Daniel Craig chases the shit out of at the beginning of CASINO ROYALE) performance was fantastic and I hope to see him around the action pen more often.

THE TOURNAMENT was balls to the walls action that never once let up on the red stuff, language and brutality (there was even a nice strip club thrown in for good measure). If flicks like the aforementioned ASSASSINS and HITMAN are your particular brand of vodka, prepare to get bombed baby cause this flick takes no prisoners. I will do my part and recommend you NEVER drink someone else's coffee while sitting in a restaurant (no matter how hung over you might be), as you never know when you could swallow a homing device/bomb that could quite easily up you're entire day. There, that's my good deed of the day, don't say I didn't warn you.

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REVIEW: Dark Country

"So I'm guessing this means you'll be wanting a divorce..."

After a wild night in Vegas which ended with them getting hitched, a couple set off into the desert the next night where they find a mysterious stranger that sets in motion a sinister series of events.

Thomas Jane is the fucking man, there, I said it. I think the guy's fantastic (if not a bit underrated and underused), and thankfully he's come back from that whole PUNISHER debacle and has been having a kick ass couple years in the spotlight where he belongs. DARK COUNTRY is his directorial debut, and I must say he did well by this film, reminding me of Bill Paxton's first directorial effort (and an exceedingly good film to boot) FRAILTY.

You to give the guy mad props for keeping the film interesting, considering the bulk of the story takes place in a car with our two main characters. It's not so bad though, the dialogue is sharp, the storyline dark and brooding and the pace doesn't let up until the end. This flick makes me think if THE TWILIGHT ZONE movie's opening sequence; where the fella picks up a hitch hiker who just ends up being some sort of monster. Not the case here, but the atmosphere and overall tone of this film is definitely something out of THE OUTER LIMITS or MASTERS OF HORROR. Is that a bad thing? FUCK NO, I loved the hell out of BOTH those series', and sure as hell didn't mind sitting through an extended episode featuring Thomas Jane.

DARK COUNTRY is both a solid film effort on the part of Jane as well as a pretty good suspense ride for fans of the genre. I like a flick jam packed with gritty monologues like those you find DEXTER, or in video games like MAX PAYNE. There was nice mixture of that here, and when done correctly it adds a multitude of depth and genius to any story. It helps when you like the cast (in this case I most certainly did), and though the ending is one of those "you love it or hate it" kinda deals, you have to give the cast and crew credit for trying something a little bit off the beaten path as opposed to drumming out another worthless sequel or remake. In a day and age when there's far too much of THOSE movies, gems like this give off a rather distinct sparkle and are well worth the watch.

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REVIEW: Damage

"No, he's not fighting Mr. T."

Stone Cold Steve Austin is John Brickner, an ex-con released on parole after killing a man in self defense. On the outside, he's contacted by the wife of the man he killed who needs help coming up with the money for her daughters heart surgery. Brickner reluctantly gets caught up in an underground fighting circuit.

I'm a huge fan of Stone Cold; his look, his attitude, his entire persona. The man was built to kick ass, be in the wrestling ring or on the big screen. I enjoyed THE CONDEMNED, and this film takes him a bit farther as an actor in my opinion. This is a straight up action flick a la Michael Jai White's recent BLOOD AND BONE (without the heavy martial arts), but has a decent story, lots of action, friendship and heart. It's a delicate balance, but these guys make it work and Steve Austin fits right at home as an action hero leading man.

Where this film builds it's street credit in my eyes, was from the various original fight venues. There was a "dog fight", with four angry as hell dogs chained at four corners of a ring, there was the rule of "found weapons are legal" (loved that), and one fight even took place atop transport trailer rigs. The acting was also good, with SMALLVILLE's Laura Vandervoort, Linda Boyd and THE SHIELD's Walton Goggins. The characters felt real and I dug the friendships that came out of them. Also, the scenes with Austin and his parole officer (who never pays attention to anything he's saying), were laugh out loud hilarious.

DAMAGE is a perfect flick for the action junkie in everyone. The story is as good as it can get considering the ritualistic genre we have here, and best of all we get a likable lead character in Steve Austin. I was happy as hell to see the guy land a role in THE EXPENDABLES, and I was equally impressed with his performance in this film as well. Action is a perfect place for this gladiator, and I hope to see more of him in the coming years. It's also nice to see more of these films emerging lately, as the demand has always and will always be there as far as I'm concerned. I only hope this leaked version (it says it's not due out until January 2010), doesn't hurt the release revenue as this flick deserves every penny.

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TRAILER: Solomon Kane

Another great trailer for James Purefoy's SOLOMON KANE. This flick created quite a stir at the Toronto Film Festival and the buzz was pretty damn good considering this is comes from a genre deemed "highly risky" as of the past few years. Personally, I don't agree, the fantasy genre is primarily based on books and there are thousands of amazing stories still out there. I'm hoping for a Fantasy comeback once people get tired of remakes and comic flicks. This film is a good start.

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TRAILER: Edge of Darkness

This thriller makes the much anticipated return of Mel Gibson, and from what I can tell, the wait was worth it. Sure, Mel looks a little worn out, but he still kicks ass in flicks this one (it has a PAYBACK feel to it). I for one, never gave up on Mel and am overjoyed by his return to action. I do feel like they give a lot away in this trailer, but it looks fantastic either way.

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TRAILER: Undisputed 3

Now this will be a truly alien experience for those who missed the first two (that said, all you really need to do is watch UNDISPUTED 2 and you'll be all caught up), and though I'm saddened by the lack of Michael Jai White, I'm very happy to see more Scott Adkins, and what's ever cooler is that his character Yuri Boyka is now the good guy (LOVE IT!). The tournament scheme is also far better than simply having two guys pitted as rivals. This is another slice of heaven for all us martial arts fans.

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TRAILER: Expendables

Well, if you're an action junkie like me, then THIS is the trailer you've been waiting for! I gotta say this is looking like they may actually be rated R but it's still too early to tell yet. The balance of camaraderie, action, one liners and testosterone is more than enough to get me going, just as long as their not showing all the good stuff in the trailer. All things considered I will LOVE this movie, the only question that remains is how disappointed I'll be by how they could have made it better (the big one being if they go for a PG-13 theatrical release).

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REVIEW: Wrong Turn 3

"This dude got all kinds of fucked up!"

Another round of brutal killing perpetrated by a three-fingered cannibalistic freak who lives in the woods. This time he has his pick of hikers as well as a broken down prison bus full of convicts.

I remember watching WRONG TURN a few years back (mostly because I thought Eliza Dushku looked hot on the cover), and it wasn't bad. Admittedly it was creepy enough to not make me ever want to go hiking or camping again. I missed part two, and decided to watch part three out of sheer drunken boredom. The premise was nowhere near new, as more people stumble into this guy's domain (seriously though, with all the murders and disappearances that happen around this place, I'm amazed anyone would go out there without a couple oozies strapped to their backs). And it's not long before the killing starts.

This franchise tries to capitalize on the idea of a "cult fan base", much like BOOGEYMAN, FEAST, ANACONDA and as such goes out of it's way to throw over the top gore and some choice nudity in our faces, both of which begin in the first five minutes of the film. Loise Cliffe's wondrous breasts are a nice treat (you may remember them from the MASTERS OF HORROR episode RIGHT TO DIE. The episode itself kinda sucked, but her boobs more than made up for it). The kills are far more inventive than I would have imagined, some of which (like the above pic) being cooler than most of the theatrical stuff I've seen of late. The acting wasn't the problem, and neither was the story (I loved the money angle), my complains arose in the form of our villain and the way in which the characters reacted to his presence.

WRONG TURN 3: LEFT FOR DEAD was not a bad straight to DVD installment, as a matter a fact, it posses ALL the right ingredients to make an entertaining horror flick. I just didn't get how a band of badass convicts couldn't rally up against this freak show, and beat his ass to a bloody pulp. Instead we have "questionable" character reactions and choices which led to them waltzing into his various traps and in some cases pretty much killing themselves before he even has a chance to do the job. Despite this (I got over it, as it wouldn't have been much of a movie if they just killed him), I was content up until the horrific ending that started going alright, but was then totally destroyed but ridiculousness in the closing thirty or so seconds. It's still worth watching though, if these flicks are your thing. Overall I enjoyed it, though it's nothing more than a rental.

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More Spidey 4 talk

"Mysterio was always a favorite and would look cool on the big screen."

Sam Raimi keeps throwing little tidbits to the people about SPIDERMAN 4, but is still very hush, hush when it comes right down to Peter's new nemesis. Raimi's now saying he wants a villain that's gonna contradict Peter Parker's quest to grow as a character, someone that will stand in his way and need to be overcome (I kinda got the impression that's what ALL the villains do and have done, but maybe that's just me).

He's also dropping Curt Conners (The Lizard) hints, and although I have nothing but respect for Dylan Baker (who appeared in both Spidey 2 and 3), I'm just not sold on The Lizard as a villain, mainly because he's an animal version of the Hulk, and as such, a one dimensional character who doesn't really bring much to the table.

On the other end of things, Bruce Campbell is saying he's got a more substantial role this time around, rather than a laugh inducing cameo as per normal. There were rumors galore about a Campbell playing
Quentin Beck (aka Mysterio), a special effects stuntman and master of illusion. I'm not saying this is gonna happen, but I certainly on board if it does. The ball should drop on all these rumors here in the next couple months, and I'll be sure to let you know when it does.

My Two Cents: "The VENOM movie is still shrouded in secrecy, and though many people suspect it will revolve around a romp between the V-man and Carnage, I'm hoping Spidey will also play a pivotal role in the film as he's pretty much Venom's only enemy."

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TRAILER: Toy Story 3

I'm a big fan of the Disney/Pixar lineup, and as such, overly enjoyed both TOY STORY and TOY STORY 2. I would never go as far as to judge this newest installment by the trailer alone (as most times, the trailers don't do these films proper justice), but I'm not a hundred percent sold on the idea of a third film, just so they can attach the (sadly overused) 3-D gimmick to it. On a lighter note, I'm sure this is a wonderful opportunity for the washed up Tim Allen.

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REVIEW: Entourage S6

"Another great season of chillin with the boys."

This season has Vince counting down the days until his next movie starts shooting, Turtle going back to school, Johnny struggling to find his true calling in life, Eric wrestling with the idea of getting Sloan back while juggling a new job and business as usual with Ari as a new business opportunity presents itself.

The boys are back, and brought their A-game for yet another season! ENTOURAGE finished up it's sixth season, and in case you were wondering, YES, it DID get picked up for a seventh. Not everyone "gets" this show, and I've even heard some Nay-Sayers refer to it as "a show about the group of guys you hated in High School," which is a complete and utter crock of shit. The key theme here is friendship, and not only do you see that, you feel it. I will most certainly admit to this being a "man's man" show, and though I'm tempted to say you need to be a guy to fully understand, I'm then prompted to bring up SEX AND THE CITY, as this is pretty much a male version of that show, which women can appreciate.

I was happy to see Vince back to the glory days, instead of stressed, weak and wondering where his next break would come from. That said, season five's storyline was a great character leap for him, making him appreciate his second claim to fame that much more. Seeing Eric take the new job (despite Sloan's help), was also nice, not to mention the end result in the final episode (I won't ruin it for those who have yet to watch it). The Turtle/Jamie-Lynn Sigler thing was entertaining, it was nice to him get a little from the ladies for a change (and I'll also add that he slimmed up a bit this season). Johnny is Johnny and never ceases to amaze me with each passing episode, the guy's dialogue is pure gold. And speaking of Gold, Ari wasn't as big a focal point as he was last season, but his character development was also well done, and I totally dig where the season went for him.

It didn't fell like there were many celebrity cameos this season (Scott Caan, Bob Saget and Peter Stormare was cool surprises), but the ones who did make it were fun. "Marky" Mark Wahlberg made an appearance (love how he gives Johnny shit), and there was an aggressively awkward Matt Damon cameo in the final episode that made him look like a whiny bitch (I sure hope he was "acting"). All in all, this was a solid season and boys made me proud. It's no secret by now that I love the shit out of HBO and a good portion of its programs, but ENTOURAGE remains at the top of my list. There are a million different ways to define the phrase "living the dream" but for, it can summed up nicely by tuning in and watching this show. Long live the dream.

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TRAILER: Bad Lieutenant 2

I said a quick prayer for Nic Cage's sad, sad soul a few months back when I saw his ridiculous commercial collection, and with his string of awful movies recently, I've been silently pondering when his career would hit the straight to DVD market for good. BAD LIEUTENANT looks like a fun time, not because of Nic Cage (though I'm willing to roll the dice on him here), but because I love a good cop flick. And I'm happy as hell to see Val Kilmer in there. The New Orleans scene has been worked harder than a prostitute with five kids to feed, but overall this movie looks good.

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TRAILER: 2012

I've always loved "end of the world" movies, despite the fact they usually come in pairs (DANTE'S PEAK/VOLCANO, DEEP IMPACT/ARMAGEDDON) and one usually sucks donkey balls but you can't really tell which one THAT is by watching the trailers alone. The good news with 2012 is that it's by itself, and doesn't look too bad (the destruction is both vivid and believable...I just wish I could say the same for what our characters are actually doing). John Cusack's career has been rocky of late, but I like the guy so I'm glad this isn't just another straight to DVD project for him.

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BLU RAY: The Proposal

"Not one of Reynolds' best, but by far not his worst."

A work-obsessed she-devil of an editor comes up with a last minute scheme to stay in the country when her Visa is revoked: She tells the higher ups she’s marrying her assistant. Problems arise when she blackmails him into cooperating and Immigration starts to catch on.

THE PROPOSAL was nowhere near the shipwreck I assumed it would be, on the flip side, I rather enjoyed it. The plot was entertaining enough, a career driven woman determined to do whatever it takes to avoid being deported from the US after neglecting the proper paperwork. It’s an original enough spin on the situation to keep you interested, and the witty banter that ensues after dropping this bomb on her assistant (whose life she’s made a living hell for the past three years) is like the box says, “laugh-out-loud funny” more often than not. I’m not big on this genre, but if I had to sit through one (which I did), I would certainly much rather it feature Ryan Reynolds’ dry humor than most of the other stuff going around.

What really sells this film for me is the cast. I’m a big fan of Ryan Reynolds, and though he’s not cutting bullets in half with a sword or sporting green spandex and a cosmic ring of power, he still manages to be a crowd pleaser (at least I thought so). I’m not usually sold on Sandra Bullock, but her ice princess routine does grow on you here, and God help me, she’s looking pretty damn hot these days. Bullock and Reynolds have a fantastic chemistry brewing inside their “love/hate” business arrangement, which is only made better by the addition of Reynolds’ eccentric family. I wouldn’t call them the Fockers, but they provide more than enough zest to get the job done.

The Blu-ray visuals soar when you reach the serene Alaskan landscapes, but I have to say, Alaska sure as hell doesn’t look as cold as I envisioned it (and I assumed if you were to fall in the water like Bullock did, you’d die of hypothermia in minutes but I guess not). I’ll be honest, I missed director Anne Fletcher’s last two pieces of work (27 DRESSES and STEP UP), but she certainly does a great job here (and keep an eye out for her in the film, she plays the character Jill).

The only real flaw you’ll find with THE PROPOSAL is the “all too obvious” storyline which even a blind man could see coming a mile away. The good news is, the characters are fun, the writing is good, the acting is believable and there’s more than enough laughs to go around (Ramone the stripper, Grandma Annie’s forest dance and the eagle/puppy bit being my favorites). You know where this is going but you enjoy the ride, and that, to me, is the key to making a worthwhile romantic comedy these days. It’s also fair to point out that the immigration officer antagonist’s character appears to have been stolen from CONFESSIONS OF A SHOPAHOLIC, but the montage of questions/interviews he conducts as the credits roll will make you laugh your ass off.

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REVIEW: Zombieland

"Rule number 33: Never take on the big guys alone."

Once again, the world is overrun by zombies, only this time we can blame a new strand of mad cow disease. Four survivors try to make the best of things while struggling with trust issues as they fight to stay alive.

In a world overrun by zombie flicks, it's nice to see one come out on top once again. I enjoyed the two 28 DAYS/WEEKS LATER and all the RESIDENT EVIL flicks, so it was refreshing to add another one to that roster. ZOMBIELAND was non-stop fun from start to finish, opening up with a Metallica classic FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS (never thought I'd see that song in a movie), and keeping the hard rock tone throughout. This is a prime example of why horror should stick to R rated territory, and how it can do well as long as the script is worthwhile.

Woody Harrelson and Jesse Eisenburg are a flawless duo that work well together in this "opposites attract" setting. The story is wonderfully told through a series of monologues as we progress and essentially need to know. The characters are beautifully written, if not a bit more "easy going and happy" than they should be. But the trust issues work well to keep them believable. The zombies looks as menacing as ever, and the only thing I'd really question in regards to our hero's luck, is their unrivaled ability to find reliable transportation and ample weaponry.

If you're not a zombie fan, you may not be as pumped for ZOMBIELAND as most, but I have to say this is exactly the kind of post-summer/pre-Halloween flick I like to see. There are laughs galore (the Bill Murray cameo is priceless and watch out for the scrumptious Amber Heard as well), the dialogue is sharp and the pace is an unyielding hell of a time. Not to mention, where else will you see people killing zombies while riding a roller coaster as well as various other carnival rides? ZOMBIELAND is a must see for comedy fans and horror fans alike, and was a tremendous surprise coming from a genre that's been all but played out over the past few years. I'm anxiously looking forward to ZOMBIEWORLD!

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TRAILER: Saw VI

Well, I'm a little confused as to why the SAW VI official trailer isn't even a minute long, as I can't imagine it's for fear of giving away plot details. I know, it's hard to believe SAW lasted this long, and nobody is more surprised than Tobin Bell, who so humbly admits this in all his SAW related interviews. Now put my balls on the chopping block if you must, but I'm still enjoying these movies, despite going into the last three thinking "I'm pretty sure this is gonna suck this time." Of course, if "Jigsaw's master plan" (which they say will be revealed in every installment) isn't that he's secretly the devil and has been alive and well watching HBO all this time, I'm no doubt gonna start losing interest. Maybe.

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GAME TRAILER: Assassin's Creed 2

Now as far as console gaming is concerned here's one of the next big titles in my opinion. The first ASSASSIN'S CREED was both clever and interesting, but suffered on some levels due to the fact it was a launch title (one of the more prominent ones at that). This new game promises all the great themes of the first one and more, combined with a seriously cool trailer.

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GAME TRAILER: Dark Days

This is one of two trailers you can view for what looks like will be a kickass gaming experience (see the other at http://www.darkdaysarecoming.com/). We've kinda had a bit of a dry spell in PC games lately, or as far as my personal taste goes, and I suppose I can now add this game to my waiting list with DIABLO 3 and STARCRAFT 2 holding first and second place.

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Joker Web Series

A group of fans who clearly loved BATMAN ARKHAM ASYLUM have put together a series of Joker interviews which mirror the interview tapes found in the game. I'm digging the premise here, and though the guy's voice isn't as close I'd like, he still does a great job with the makeup and presence. My personal interest in this series stems from the sincere regret that we'll never see just how far Heath Ledger's Joker was gonna go in the films. His loss was very tragic, but he will forever live on in the hearts of Batman fans around the world.















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REVIEW: Pandorum

"So on a scale of one to OMG WE'RE FUCKED...how bad is it?"

When a couple crew members come out of hyper sleep with no memory of who they are or the details surrounding their mission, they soon discover that something is terribly wrong with the ship and it's remaining passengers.

I would like to first address the fact this film is being labeled a "zombies in space" movie. Nothing could be father from the truth, the creatures running rampant throughout the ship aren't zombies. They're humans who's life support was altered during their hyper sleep, forcing their bodies to adapt/mutate in order to survive a sabotaged ship's harsh environment (don't worry, I'm not ruining anything by telling you that). These mutants are quick, fearless and worst of all hungry, making it a pain in the ass for survivors.

Ben Foster shines here as Bower, the engineer man with a plan who's hell bent on jump starting the ship's reactor and figuring out how to save what's left of the crew and mission. The story is something else, and I can be a tough critic when it comes to Sci-Fi flicks because I love them so much, and we don't get nearly enough of them lately. The world is getting overpopulated and mankind has found a new planet that can sustain life as we know it, so they build a Noah's Ark and send it off to boldly go where no ship's gone before. Naturally, things don't go according to plan and we get a bit of a EVENT HORIZON thing happening.

The idea behind the sickness called Pandorum is also quite smart, and I not hard to believe when weighed against the idea of being left in hyper sleep for a few too many years. I wanna say these guys were lucky to wake up at all, but surviving on that ship is no easy task. Denis Quaid wasn't too bad either, and it was cool to see the Kickboxing champion Cung Le back in action, despite his lack of English. Nice work on the part of newcomer Antje Traue for looking hot AND kicking ass. Oh, and yes, TWILIGHT's Cam Gigandet was around for the ride as well.

Everything worked for me, as far as PANDORUM goes, this was definitely a solid as hell Sci-Fi trip that you won't forget anytime soon. OUTLANDER was the other major hit for me as far as this genre's concerned, and like I said before, there just aren't enough space movies hitting theaters these days. I could watch just about anything if it was in space, that and the uncharted bottom of the sea. I guess these unknown regions instill that mix of fear and intrigue in me that I can't ignore and am a sucker for watching on the big screen. That said, make no mistake about it, if you like Sci-Fi as much as I do, you'll love PANDORUM. It was smart, creepy, edge of your seat and had a pretty cool ending to boot. I recommend hitting it up in theaters if you get a chance, and God knows I'll pick it up on Blu-ray when it comes out.

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TRAILER: Shutter Island

This second trailer does shine a bit more light on our Marshal's predicament. I'm loving everything about this flick: creepy as hell island where the doctors and guards appear corrupt, check. A bleak sense of nausea caused by hallucinatory drugs, fear and paranoia, check. Leo having a mental breakdown then dishing out a gun wielding series of beat downs, check. I hate the fact this was pushed back till February, but I am one hundred and ten percent stoked about this flick.

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REVIEW: Jennifer's Body

"What, is there something on my face?"

A young girl unwillingly gets possessed by a demon and has to feed on human flesh to stay alive. Her best friend's on to her though, and hopes to stop her before she eats her way through all the guys at school.

Well, I thought it high time I sit through this bad boy (or bad girl I guess) and see just how good or bad it really is. But before I let THAT rat out of the cage, let me start by expressing my distaste for Diablo Cody. I didn't watch Juno, why the fuck would I? A flick trying to romanticize teen pregnancy by attempting to be cute and witty? No thanks. Cody's script is horrendous, but only as far as the dialogue goes. Seriously guys, who the fuck read this script and thought this was a suitable portrayal of teenage banter? It was my understanding that a serious script is only as good as it's dialogue, I guess I was wrong. That, or this script was read and "accepted" on a rushed Friday shift or hungover Monday shift. It's that bad.

The underlining story DOES have a bit of merit. I loved the waterfall bit, with the "twirling into limbo" theme, it was a nice touch. There were shades of a "cool set of elements" from time to time, but they felt rare and far too short. I have no love for the overhyped Megan Fox, and despite the fact she has the intelligence of a squished grape, I can't blame her dull performance totally on her as it was her dialogue (not her CGI gore-face) that sent shivers down my spine. Amanda Seyfried was the sole reason I stayed interested. I dug her character transformation, the opening enigma and the totally satisfying ending her character delivers.

What's ultimately entertaining her is that this film was meant to shine the light down on Fox, but instead the show is totally stolen by Seyfried. Even more interesting is how Jennifer was indeed a victim, but due to her bitchy flatness and forgettable character, we, the audience have ZERO sympathy for her (I suppose the fact she was eating people didn't help her cause, but still). The only person I actually felt empathy for (or gave a shit about) was Needy, and as far as her presence in the film was concerned, I was a happy camper, but because this flick was supposed to be centered around Fox's character, I find myself overly disappointed. This film could have been gold, if the script had a competent writer that is, but sadly, we got a script drenched in Diablo Cody's putrid stench and it shows. I'd like say, "maybe Hollywood will learn their lesson," but we all know that's not gonna happen.

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REVIEW: Wolfhound

"Whew, thank God smoke monsters are scared of fire."

A man's lifelong quest for revenge against those who murdered his people, takes him into a strange land where he dawns the responsibility of protecting a princess from a curse that threatens to destroy her people.

One of the most frustrating aspects of being a fan of the fantasy genre is not so much the lack of "watchable" fantasy flicks as it is having fantasy flick to watch at all. So naturally when I get wind of one (thanks Aaron), I take full advantage. WOLFHOUND is not a perfect film, but director Nikolai Lebedev does the best he can with the budget open to him. That said, it makes me angry that films like ERAGON fly into theaters on wings with deep pockets, but then falls short due to the lack of acting skills. Yet this film, which has nearly no budget to speak of, sporting unknown actors and dubbed in English from Russian, tells such a vibrant story, that (with some extra cash and polishing) would have made a worthy theatrical release.

Despite this issue (which doesn't hurt the film too much overall), WOLFHOUND is truly beautiful in it's own right. The landscapes and shot are breathtaking, with oldschool props like wooden bridges, small towns and larger villages that take me back to the good ol CONAN days. Speaking of CONAN, the film DOES blatantly rip off the opening scene of CONAN THE BARBARIAN. There's no way to sugar coat it, it's nearly frame by frame what happens with a couple slight changes. My only thought on this situation being that they could have made it significantly original to this tale (having the exact same end result), without rousing the suspicions of CONAN fans like myself. Which just makes me wonder, was the opening scene in the book (a novel by Maria Semyonova of the same name) written this way or changed for the film?

WOLFHOUND is a superb fantasy adventure from a fan perspective, especially if you think back to stuff like DEATHSTALKER or even CONAN THE DESTROYER. These were also films with next to no budget (meaning no crazy special effects), and in THAT regard, WOLFHOUND does shine a bit brighter than those films. I was very fond of Wolfhound's pet bat, it was cool as hell to see a "real" animal as opposed to a CGI added effect. This isn't a movie for anyone who isn't a hardcore fantasy fan, or someone who's looking for LORD OF THE RINGS in every fantasy movie they watch. This wasn't the best film I've ever seen, but it was a fun watch while I wait for SOLOMON KANE. It's just sad that a few failed experiments like DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS, ERAGON, and KULL THE CONQUEROR have dampened the studio impressions, thus making them hesitant to invest in fantasy movies. With any luck, George R.R. Martin's HBO presentation of A GAME OF THRONES will reinvigorate this dying genre. Here's hoping.

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TRAILER: Red Cliff

You know, it was just the other day when I said to myself, "where the fuck has John Woo been hiding?" Well, now I know, he's been directing an all out insane battle royal in the form of RED CLIFF. I'm a HUGE fan of Asian epics like HERO, HOUSE OF FLYING DAGGERS and CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON. Now although this film looks to have some sweet martial arts battles, it's more like a mesh of all the above titles meets GLADIATOR and TROY. Not a bad mix if you ask me, especially with John Woo directing. Count me in.

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Bay confirms TF3

"Well that's one way to get Bay to kiss your ass."

Michael Bay, Michael Bay, Michael Bay. I still consider the guy one of the best directors out there, despite how badly he fucked up TRANSFORMERS 2, but I find the guy really does love his cloak and dagger games.

When the awful reviews (and no doubt personal death threats on Bay's life) for TF2 started circulating, Bay came out and expressed his disinterest in a TF3, having spent too much time with battling robots, stating how mentally draining the whole thing was.

He then went on to tease us by dropping hints at stuff like BAD BOYS 3, but alas, all is not what it seemed to be, as Bay dropped a TRANSFORMERS 3 release date on us, July 1, 2011. And despite the Internet Bay VS Megan Fox debacle, he hired Fox back for the sequel, but not without making a cool joke at her expense:

P.S. Megan Fox, welcome back. I promise no alien robots will harm you in any way during the production of this motion picture. Please consult your Physician

when working under my direction because some side effects can occur, such as mild dizziness, intense nausea, suicidal tendencies, depression, minor chest hair growth, random internal hemorrhaging and inability to sleep. As some directors may be hazardous to your health, please consult your Doctor to determine if this is right for you.

There's just sooo much you can read between the lines here if you really look. I just wonder how long it'll take Fox to put her foot back in her mouth over this. Probably not very long.

My Two Cents: "This is proof that no matter what gets said in Hollywood, there's miles of politics and red tape separating fact from fiction. Oh, and the idea that, all's fair if we're making a FUCKTON of money."

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TRAILER: The Tooth Fairy

Okay, I'm having a hard time seeing the screen right now through all these tears of blood. How the fuck does a man go from being "The most electrifying man in sports entertainment" to being the fucking tooth fairy!? THE RUNDOWN was a phenomenal action flick, and even DOOM wasn't that bad, but oh how The Rock has fallen. I heard he's doing an action flick next called FASTER. Well, seems to me that action role didn't come fast enough bro, you've already lost your spine, your rep and your balls. May your career rest in peace.

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TRAILER: The Crazies

This baby's been on my radar for months...a glimpse here, an interview there, and I'm happy to say I'm very excited now that the curtain's been pulled back. Sure, by all accounts it's kinda, sorta, pretty much another zombiefest, but everything about it, the tone, the story, the visuals are ALL pointed in the right direction if you ask me. And lest we forget, Timothy Olyphant, one of my favorite actors of late. And I'll NEVER tire of hearing the eerie tune "mad world".

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REVIEW: Trick R Treat

"Things are about to get hairy..."

Four interlocking tales of mischief and bloodshed surrounding the folks in a small town on Halloween night, the one night a year when evil reigns supreme and good doesn't stand a chance in hell.

Think FOUR ROOMS on Halloween night, and you'll get an idea of what you're in store for with TRICK R TREAT. First off, I have to say IT'S ABOUT FUCKING TIME! This movie was in limbo for what felt like an eternity, even worse than MIDNIGHT MEAT TRAIN (why does this only seem to happen to horror flicks?). The story's gritty, like a blood soaked blade who's edge is sharp enough to cut through bone. I love a good four-way (grin), fitting more than one unique story arc into any book or movie is nowhere near as easy as it looks. Sure, the pace was touch and go there for awhile, but there was some seriously spooky atmosphere surrounding each plot that made my evil smile spread ear to ear.

The acting was also great, from the adults (Dylan Baker and Brian Cox were golden), to the teens (Anna Paquin looks young as hell compared to her TRUE BLOOD performances), all the way down to the kids. There were grizzly deaths, spooky visuals and even a little T&A. A near perfect Halloween tale if you ask me. There were unanswered mysteries surrounding a good many of our antagonists, and this sure as hell isn't your typical good vs evil string of ghost stories, but I dig that. It's nice to see the evil run wild, even if it IS just for one night.

The fact that I had to wait so long for this film is probably what hurt it the most for me. You can't let something build for two or three years and then expect it to blow your fucking mind (of course, that said, MIDNIGHT MEAT TRAIN was everything I hoped it would be and more, so I guess it CAN happen). What I relished most about TRICK R TREAT was the sheer simplicity of it all; four straight forward ghost stories for the price of one. I enjoy the SAW films as much as the next guy, but I sincerely think the genre (as us fans) would be so much happier with a flick like THIS every year around Halloween. Not a sequel, remake or some gimmicked out piece of shit (ie: another zombie flick), but an old-school fright fest with hell's minions running loose and taking no prisoners. I guy can dream can't he.

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Weinstein Company going bankrupt?

"What the fuck is with all these studios suddenly hitting rock bottom?"

If you watch even a fraction of the movies I do, you'll no doubt recognize the above company logo. And why wouldn't you, they were company behind this summer's INGLORIOUS BASTARDS. They also have such titles as OUTLANDER, ZACK AND MIRI MAKE A PORNO and Rob Zombie's HALLOWEEN 2 under their belts.

The Weinstein Company (like so many other companies in Hollywood right now), are jumping on the 3-D bandwagon with upcoming titles like PIRANHA 3-D and were even pushing for a HALLOWEEN 3-D, despite the second film's shaky reviews. Yet, all these "questionable" choices wound up putting them in debt and maybe even sealing their fate.

Summit Entertainment (the peeps behind TWILIGHT), are looking to buy them out, which would make them privy to a shit-ton of upcoming projects that are as of now "works in progress." That said, Summit's also looking into buying MGM (or as it stands one or the other), which would lead to questions about their tent-pole franchises as well. I'll let you know when the smoke clears. Ain't change grand.

My Two Cents: "Maybe the execs at these companies should start focusing on well written scrips, instead of remakes, 3-D bullshit and stories pimped out in overdone special effects. Just a thought."

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Wentworth Miller in RE 4!

"So this new prison's got zombies...no fucking problem!"

I was big fan of PRISON BREAK, but even I'll admit the last season was weaker than Superman in a Kryptonite condom. The FINAL BREAK encore did manage to wrap the show up nicely and leave me feeling good about the series (as good as I CAN feel about Michael dying).

Now here's the good news: Wentworth Miller will be S.T.A.R.S. member Chris Redfield in next summer's RESIDENT EVIL: AFTERLIFE. No real "solid" details as of yet, but the news itself makes me quite happy. I was hoping Miller would hit the movie scene and depending on how he performs here, maybe he'll be a new action hero in years to come.

With the idea of a franchise reboot on RE's horizon, it would've been cool to see Miller as the male lead for the next go around. However, his presence in RE 4 kinda makes me doubt it. Bummer. Oh, and does anyone actually give a rat's ass that this next RE is in 3D?

My Two Cents: "If you're a fan of Milla's RE series and for some reason missed the animated RESIDENT EVIL: DEGENERATION, do yourself a favor and check it out. You won't be disappointed."

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Join Hollywood Raw on Facebook!

"You'll have to click on it to read it, but it's a mother bitching about her divorce to who she thinks is her son, but is just another kid with the same name."

I was taking a peek at my traffic counter yesterday and was happy to see people from all over the world dropping into the site for a visit, Canada U.S., Spain, Italy, Australia, South Africa and even Japan. I'm happy you've all discovered me and enjoy the ridiculous ranting.

On that note, come check out the Hollywood Raw page on Facebook, if you feel so inclined (look me up under John A. Hamilton/Toronto, Ontario network), either through adding me, or by looking up the name. I post reviews, my Comic Strips for JoBlo and my C'mon Hollywood column all on my Facebook page. Come visit, and I'd be glad to shoot the shit with you!

My Two Cents: "I enjoy Facebook, but would NEVER in my life join Twitter. No self respecting guy should say (hey man, did you catch my tweets?). There mere thought of it makes me wanna punch someone in the nuts."

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