Monday, September 29, 2014

Top Ten Movies to Look Out For In October

10 – ABCs of Death (October 31)

Director: Aharon Keshales, Navot Papushado, Alejandro Brugues, Bill Plympton, Chris Nash, Dennison Ramalho, Erik Matti, Evan Katz, Hajime Ohata, Jen Soska, Sylvia Soska, Jerome Sable, Jim Hosking, Juan Martinez Moreno, Julian Barratt, Julian Gilbey, Julien Bustillo, Alexandre Maury, Kristina Buozyte, Bruno Samper, Lancelot Imasuen, Larry Fassenden, Marvin Kren, Robert Boocheck, Robert Morgan, Rodney Ascher, Soichi Umezawa, Steven Kostanski, Todd Rohal, Vincenzo Natali
Writer: Robert Boocheck, Alejandro Brugues, Jeff Buhler, David Chirchirillo, Julian Gilbey, Toby Harvard, Jim Hosking, Juan Martinez Moreno, Nicolas Musurca, Chris Nash, Jerome Sable, Jen Soska, Sylvia Soska, Ant Timpson, Marc Walkow, Alex de la Iglesia
Actors: Various
Genre: Horror
Rated: Unrated

It’s no secret that I hated the first ABCs of Death. There are some things that you just never get over watching.

When I watched The ABCs of Death it was torture. I don’t think I can ever get my brain quite as clean as it was before that day.

So why would I suggest the second one?

The answer comes from the base idea behind the movies. The ABCs of Death, as well as the sequel, comes from 26 different directors making short horror films based around one letter of the alphabet. Despite my overall opinion of the first anthology, I do believe the idea is pretty cool.

In ABCs of Death 2 there are all new directors, all new ideas and, well, it’s the same letters because it’s set to the English alphabet. None-the-less, there’s enough different that I think it’s worth a shot.

9 – Laggies (October 24)

Director: Lynn Shelton
Writer: Andrea Seigel
Actors: Keira Knightley, Chloe Grace Moretz, Sam Rockwell, Mark Webber, Ellie Kemper, Jeff Garlin, Gretchen Mol, Kaitlyn Dever, Sara Coates
Genre: Comedy
Rated: R

Chloe Grace Moretz (Kick Ass, If I Stay, Carrie) is getting a ton of work. Granted, I think she’s a great actress and it’s totally deserved, but her face is becoming just super recognizable. If she keeps this pace up, she’s going to be a household name before she turns 20.

Hell, in some households she already is.

Laggies looks like it’s going to be hilarious. Between Keira Knightley (Pirates of the Caribbean, Pride & Prejudice, Begin Again) and Moretz, I expect some awesome banter and timing. I’m also really interesting in seeing Sam Rockwell (The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, Iron Man 2) in something that doesn’t portray him as a villain. He may have played the hero before, but I’ve only seen him in his villain roles; dancing in his villain roles.

I wonder if he’ll dance as a protagonist, too.

8 – St. Vincent (October 10)

Director: Theodore Melfi
Writer: Theodore Melfi
Actors: Bill Murray, Melissa McCarthy, Chris O’Dowd, Naomi Watts, Jaeden Lieberher
Genre: Comedy
Rated: PG-13

Bill Murray (Ghostbusters, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Zombieland) is the man. The first movie I ever saw him in was Ghostbusters and now I simply associate him with awesome. I could take or leave the rest of the cast.

Not taking into account the actors involved, this movie looks like a grumpy, fantastic comedy. What the trailer shows is some basic grandfather-ish bonding between an old man and a young boy. It’s almost painfully obvious what road the movie will take, but I still can’t help wanting to sit through the story anyway.

7 – Dracula Untold (October 10)

Director: Gary Shore
Writer: Matt Sazama, Burk Sharpless, Bram Stoker
Actors: Luke Evans, Sarah Gadon, Diarmaid Murtagh, Dominic Cooper, Samantha Barks
Genre: Action & Adventure
Rated: PG-13

Yes, it’s another Dracula movie.

I think Dracula Untold will be decent because of the stance the writers took.

Regardless of anything else, this movie seems to be meant as an origin film. A lot of movies touch on who Dracula is, how he was turned or how he was eventually defeated. What Dracula Untold seems to do differently is take an alternate stance on why he became a vampire. The twist is decent enough that it seems a lot more original than most Dracula-based films.

6 – The Judge (October 10)

Director: David Dobkin
Writer: Nick Schenk, Bill Dubuque, David Dobkin
Actors: Robert Downey Jr., Robert Duvall, Vera Farmiga, Vincent D’Onofrio, Jeremy Strong, Dax Shephard, Billy Bob Thornton, Ken Howard, Emma Tremblay, Balthazar Getty, David Krumholtz, Sarah Lancaster, Grace Zabriskie, Denis O’Hare, Leighton Meester
Genre: Drama
Rated: R

Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man 3, The Avengers, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows) is a good enough reason to want to see any movie. The story involved in The Judge, however, is even more of a reason.

I’m not a fan of drama in general, but the genre has its moments and I do get into a good courtroom or crime drama pretty easily. With this kind of cast, it’s easy to imagine the jaw-dropping line delivery that could take place.

My only concern is David Dobkin (The Change-Up, Fred Claus, Wedding Crashers). I don’t like him as a director. With any luck, The Judge will be the exception.

5 – Fury (October 17)

Director: David Ayer
Writer: David Ayer
Actors: Brad Pitt, Shia LaBeouf, Logan Lerman, Michael Pena, Jon Bernthal, Jason Isaacs, Scott Eastwood
Genre: Action & Adventure
Rated: R

I’ve always been fascinated by World War II. I’ve watched a great deal of the holocaust movies and I’ve read just about every book I can get my hands on. Fury is a movie I’ve known was coming out for a while and I’ve been looking forward to finally getting to see it.

The cast isn’t exactly shabby either. Brad Pitt (Inglourious Basterds, Fight Club, World War Z) and Logan Lerman (Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, 3:10 to Yuma) are the two I’m really looking forward to seeing in this kind of film. Pitt is a given, but Lerman is an actor that’s slowly making one hell of a name for himself. Working with Pitt can only help that goal.

I’m certain that I won’t regret spending time on Fury.

4 – John Wick (October 24)

Director: Chad Stahelski, David Leitch
Writer: Derek Kolstad
Actors: Keanu Reeves, Michael Nyqvist, Alfie Allen, Adrianne Palicki, Dean Winters, Bridget Moynahan, Ian McShane, John Leguizmo, Willem Dafoe
Genre: Action & Aventure
Rated: Unrated

John Wick is the obligatory old guy in an action film pick of the month.

Despite Keanu Reeves’ (47 Ronin, The Matrix, Devil’s Advocate) old-guy flair, this film looks freaking awesome. Filled with all the appropriate action themed fighting and explosion stuff, it also looks like Reeves jumped back into the genre with a vengeance (no pun intended).

I’m a little saddened that the trailer indicates that the dog dies, but hey… whatever moves the story line forward.

3 – Left Behind (October 2)

Director: Vic Armstrong
Writer: Paul Lalonde, John Patus, Jerry B. Jenkins, Tim LaHaye
Actors: Nicolas Cage, Chad Michael Murray, Cassi Thomson, Nicky Whelan, Lea Thompson, Jordan Sparks, Quinton Aaron, Martin Klebba
Genre: Action & Adventure
Rated: PG-13

Another old guy in an action movie! Well, to be fair, Nicolas Cage (Kick Ass, Rage, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice) is still in a lot of action movies.

This is not just any action movie, though, this is an apocalypse movie. Reading through The Random Review you’ll find that I adore apocalypse movies, even the bad ones. Especially bad ones, sometimes. I’m not sure what draws me to this subject, but I love movies, books and discussions based on it.

Left Behind does seem to be a little bit like the HBO series The Leftovers. However, a lot of films use the rapture as a base for their story. After all, This is the End was also based around the rapture and no one is going to argue similarity between it and Left Behind.

I believe this film deserves a chance. Let’s see what road they take.

2 – Stonehearst Asylum (October 24)

Director: Brad Anderson
Writer: Joe Gangemi, Edgar Allan Poe
Actors: Kate Beckinsale, Jim Sturgess, Michael Caine, Ben Kingsley, Brendan Gleeson, David Thewlis
Genre: Horror
Rated: PG-13

Stonehearst Asylum is based off a short story written by Edgar Allan Poe, “The System of Dr. Tarr and Prof. Fether.” There is no better reason in this world that I could use to want to see this movie. Yes, the cast is amazing and the trailer looks incredible, but my main desire to see this film is based on Edgar Allan Poe.

His poetry was what inspired me to write in the first place. Even if the trailer looked horrible, Stonehearst Asylum might have made this list.

1 – Horns (October 31)

Director: Alexandre Aja
Writer: Keith Bunin, Joe Hill
Actors: Daniel Radcliffe, Juno Temple, Heather Graham, Sabrina Carpenter, Joe Anderson, Kelli Garner, Max Minghella, James Remar
Genre: Thriller
Rated: R

I haven’t had a real interest in seeing a movie with Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, Kill Your Darlings, The Woman in Black) in it since the Harry Potter films. It’s not because he’s a bad actor. In fact, I don’t actually understand why none of his movies have appealed to me on any real level.

However, Horns looks great. It seems like something unique and interesting. I believe it will be the kind of movie that actually shocks me. As it is, I can’t even guess, off the trailer, what direction the story is going to take.

Will Radcliffe’s character find redemption? Will he have actually committed the crime? Is he simply hallucinating his way through life? I’m excited to find out.

It seems to be one hell of a Halloween movie, too. 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Pathology (2008)

Number Rolled: 28
Movie Name/Year: Pathology (2008)
Genre: Thriller
Length: 94 minutes
Rating: R
Affiliated Companies: MGM, Lakeshore Entertainment, Camelot Pictures
Executive Producer: Marc Bienstock, Phyllis Carlyle, Yan Fisher-Romanovsky, Eric Reid, David Rubin, Barrett Stuart
Director: Marc Scholermann
Writer: Mark Neveldine, Brian Taylor
Actors: Milo Ventimiglia, Michael Weston, Alyssa Milano, Lauren Lee Smith, Johnny Whitworth, John de Lancie, Mei Melancon, Keir O’Donnell, Buddy Lewis, Dan Callahan, Alan Blumenfeld, Anne Girard, Debbie Pollack

Dr. Ted Grey is living a charmed life. He’s engaged to a rich, smart, beautiful woman named Gwen. She’s given him the resources and connections that allow him to become an intern at the University Hospital in Philadelphia. Upon his arrival there, he learned that some of the other interns have formed a tightly knit group. He begins to wonder what their deal is.

This movie was awesome.

At some points I had a little trouble with the main character. Not Milo Ventimiglia (Heroes, Rocky Balboa, Dirty Deeds). Ventimiglia is a highly underrated actor. He could play an old man counting out pennies at CVS and I’d watch three hours of it. It’s more about the almost instantaneous character development that threw me. It was a little too fast for me to believe it. It may very well be an issue of strange editing.

There were also a couple of plot hole near the end. I found them forgivable because of the sheer creativity involved.

The reason the movie scored so highly with me, despite downfalls, was because I couldn’t take my eyes away from the screen. Pathology was intense, morbid and just down-right amazing. It had that one thing that the best movies all have, it was uniquely entertaining.

Pathology is the best thriller I’ve seen in a while.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 43%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 40%

Netflix’s Prediction for Me – 4.2/5
Trust-the-Dice Score4.5/5

P.S. There’s a small scene about half-way through the credits.

Movie Trailer:

Monday, September 22, 2014

Our Idiot Brother (2011)

Number Rolled: 51
Movie Name/Year: Our Idiot Brother (2011)
Genre: Independent
Length: 89 minutes
Rating: R
Affiliated Companies: Weinstein Company, Big Beach Films, Likely Story, Yuk Films
Executive Producer: Stefanie Azpiazu, John Hodges, Caroline Jaczko, Aleen Keshishian, Jesse Peretz
Director: Jesse Peretz
Writer: Jesse Peretz, Evgenia Peretz, David Schisgall
Actors: Paul Rudd, Bob Stephenson, Elizabeth Banks, Peter Hermann, Adam Scott, Rashida Jones, Zooey Deschanel, Emily Mortimer, Steve Coogan, Kathryn Hahn, T.J. Miller, Shirley Knight, Matthew Mindler, Sterling K. Brown, Hugh Dancy, Lydia Haug, Janet Montgomery, Wrenn Schmidt

Ned is an idiot. He’s a farmer, selling his goods on the market. When an officer approaches him for marijuana, the easy answer is to say that he has none. Instead, Ned sells the uniformed officer some weed and is promptly arresting, setting off a chain of effects that affects everyone associated with him.

Our Idiot Brother was a cute movie.

Paul Rudd (I Love You, Man, Role Models, Knocked Up) is a decent actor with a good sense of comedic timing and Elizabeth Banks (The Hunger Games, Zach and Miri Make a Porno, 30 Rock) is a goddess. Everyone else was pretty good, but not really all that memorable. I’m beginning to think I don’t really enjoy Zooey Deschanel’s (New Girl, (500) Days of Summer, Failure to Launch) brand of quirk either.

The story was decent and there were a great deal of laughs involves, but it still didn’t resonate with me as much as I wish it had. My favorite part of the movie was Willie Nelson (the dog) and he wasn’t in the movie as much as I would have liked.

I think that a lot of people would adore this movie, and with good reason. For myself, however, I found it relatively mediocre.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 67%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 52%

Netflix’s Prediction for Me – 4.5/5
Trust-the-Dice Score3/5

P.S. There are bloopers during the credits.

Movie Trailer: 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Bringing Up Bobby (2011)

Number Rolled: 88
Movie Name/Year: Bringing Up Bobby (2011)
Genre: Independent
Length: 95 minutes
Rating: PG-13
Affiliated Companies: Dutch Tilt Films, Fu Works, Head Gear Films, Metrol Technology, Rinkel Film
Executive Producer: Chad Burris, Cole Frates, Phil Hunt, David Johndrow, Maryann Johndrow, Renee Knox, Steve Knox, David Manning, Compton Ross
Director: Famke Janssen
Writer: Cole Frates, Famke Janssen
Actors: Milla Jovovich, Spencer List, Rory Cochrane, Dalton Olive, Eric Starkey, Dan Corley, Bill Pullman, Marcia Cross, Braden Fowler, Renata Batista, Lauren Analla, Ana Anderson, Justin Hall

Olive is a con-woman. She’s also a thief. The label she prefers most of all, however, is mother. In an effort to give her 10-year-old son all the things she’s never had, she will pull any heist and con any person; all-the-while, teaching her son to do the same.

Netflix has this labeled a comedy and an independent comedy as well as simply independent. I don’t know who categorizes these films, but someone was drunk. There were, if I’m generous, about five slightly funny lines in the entire movie.

My suggestion? Don’t go into Bringing Up Bobby thinking it’s a comedy. It’s a drama. I don’t even agree with the possibility of labeling it a dramedy.

That out of the way, I’ll admit I’m disappointed. I saw Milla Jovovich (The Fifth Element, Resident Evil Series, Ultraviolet) and Bill Pullman (Independence Day, The Equalizer, Torchwood: Miracle Day) top-billed and got excited. Both of them are amazing actors and I’ve loved almost every movie/TV show I’ve seen them in.

There was nothing wrong with Pullman’s performance. His character was a little lackluster, but I believe that was a script or story problem. Jovovich, however, was a different story. Everything about her performance seemed forced, even ridiculous at times.

I’d like to forget she even took part in this film.

The story itself had some merit and the big picture of the movie wasn’t awful. I wish there was a better ending and that the script didn’t feel… wrong. There was a lot of misplaced slang, which I don’t find forgivable. This isn’t a period piece. It shouldn’t have been that difficult to at least get the slang correct.

Bringing Up Bobby was completely mediocre, not something I’d voluntarily re-watch.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 17%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 37%

Netflix’s Prediction for Me – 3.7/5
Trust-the-Dice Score2.5/5

Movie Trailer: 

Monday, September 15, 2014

Spiders (2013)

Number Rolled: 16
Movie Name/Year: Spiders (2013)
Genre: Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Length: 89 minutes
Rating: PG-13
Affiliated Companies: Nu Image Films
Executive Producer: Boaz Davidson, Danny Dimbort, Lati Grobman, Avi Lerner, Trevor Short
Director: Tibor Takacs
Writer: Joseph Farrugia, Tibor Takacs, Dustin Warburton
Actors: Christa Campbell, Patrick Muldoon, William Hope, Shelly Varod, Jon Mack, Sydney Sweeney, Sarah Brown, Christian Contreras, Pete Lee-Wilson, Atanas Srebrev, Misha Dibono, Jesse Steele, Vincenzo Nikoli

When a piece of Russian technology falls from space, it leaves a hole in the ceiling of a train station in New York. Jason, an MTA employee, has to try and clear the debris before rush hour. Unfortunately, the space debris brought something along for the ride, spiders.

There are two type of creature features.

The first is the kind that tries to be bad. The films that fit into this category tend to either fail by adding no humor or by not going far enough. It’s not as easy to create a movie that’s “so bad, it’s good” as people think.

The other kind of creature feature is one that tries to be realistic and respectable.

There are very few truly respectable creature features out there. I may have loved Sharknado and the sequel, but it wasn’t because they were respectable, they fell into the “so bad, it’s good” category. An example of a respectable creature feature would be Jurassic Park.

As you go through the world of creature-related movies, you’re not going to find a lot of Jurassic Park’s. You will, however, find a lot of movies trying to be as good and as serious.

Spiders tried. It wanted so badly to be respectable. To be fair, it had some of the best special effects I’ve ever seen in this kind of creature feature. Unfortunately, movies cannot be judged on effects alone.

The story started off slightly ridiculous, but worth it. In the beginning, it had kind of an Arachnophobia (1990), from space, feel to it. As the film dragged on it lost the decent parts to the completely ridiculous. It didn’t help that the actors were terrible.

It tried. Unfortunately, it didn’t quite meet its goal and the finished product is nothing but a lame joke.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 14%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 11%

Netflix’s Prediction for Me – 1.4/5
Trust-the-Dice Score1.5/5

Movie Trailer: 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

The Cottage (2012)

Number Rolled: 81
Movie Name/Year: The Cottage (2012)
Genre: Thriller
Length: 87 minutes
Rating: NR
Affiliated Companies: Velvet Spoon Productions, Visualeyes Productions
Executive Producer: Nick Antosca, Barbara Jean Barrielle, Timothy J. Brown, Lesley Wright Johnson, Richard A. Lesser, Eric MacIver, Jodi Martin, Nolan Pielak, Jessica Steindorff, Bellamy Young
Director: Chris Jaymes
Writer: Nick Antosca
Actors: David Arquette, Kristen Dalton, Victor Browne, Morissa O’Mara, Alana O’Mara, Franny Hocking, Ken Baumann, Lorraine Nicholson, Bellamy Young, Rome Shadanloo, Kyle Slabotsky, Melanie Aitkenhead, Barbara Jean Barrielle, Charlotte Barrielle, Darren Dalton, Shannon Lewis, Matthew Solomowitz, Moira Squier, Laurent Turlure

Chloe and Michael have only been married a few years. They’ve been having trouble helping Michael’s kids adjust to the union. During their family’s turmoil, a charming author decides to move into their cottage.

I believe the most important thing about a movie is that it holds your interest. Let’s face it, if you can’t pay attention, or you’re bored, it’s not going to matter how good the film is.

The Cottage was guilty of being incredibly slow and lacking any attempt at suspense.

Either the writer or the director decided that the word suspense simply meant looking at stuff. Maybe the actors played a part too, since the dramatic chipmunk video does a better job of portraying suspense through turning around.

Whatever the problem was, I find myself exhausted due to sheer boredom. I’m in desperate need of a nap after sitting through that film.

The plot wasn’t completely terrible. I found that there was some mild creepiness when they weren’t trying too hard.

I wouldn’t recommend anyone watch this one by choice, unless you have insomnia. This movie will work better than any sleeping pill on the market.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – None
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 18%

Netflix’s Prediction for Me – 2.5/5
Trust-the-Dice Score1.5/5

The Random Rating: PG-13

Movie Trailer: 

Monday, September 8, 2014

Detention (2011)

Number Rolled: 62
Movie Name/Year: Detention (2011)
Genre: Independent
Length: 93 minutes
Rating: R
Affiliated Companies: Detention Films (II)
Executive Producer: Robert Abramoff, Josh Hutcherson, David Kang, Clayton Reaser, Vernon Reaser
Director: Joseph Kahn
Writer: Joseph Kahn, Mark Palermo
Actors: Alison Woods, Logan Stalarow, Julie Dolan, Shanley Caswell, Will Wallace, Josh Breeding, Josh Hutcherson, Parker Bagley, Marque Richardson, Aaron David Johnson, Michael Esparza, Spencer Locke, Lindsey Morgan, J.R. Osborne, Jonathan Park, Tiffany Boone, Dane Cook, Yves Bright, James Black, Jan Anderson, Travis Fleetwood, Ilana Cohn, Harry Anthony Shelley, Walter Perez, Amanda Leatherman, Tammy Minoff, Carrie Wiita, Eliot Bitting, Richard Brake, Jay Brian Winnick, Erica Shaffer, Aaron Albert, Ron Jeremy

In Grizzly High, things aren’t quite as they seem. The only thing people know for sure is that there’s a killer out there hacking up students. Can the teenagers live a normal life while there’s a murderer on the loose?

Ok, I know, it was a terrible description. Let me explain.

Going into this movie, I knew nothing about it. No, that’s a lie. I knew Josh Hutcherson would be in it and I had some base knowledge of his character (Clayton). I enjoy Tumblr and Tumblr enjoys Hutcherson. That being said, I found that knowing nothing about the movie, to begin with, was the best possible way to watch it.

Detention is ridiculous, terrible, amazing, weird and completely random. Knowing nothing about the movie’s plot meant that everything caught me off guard. It made the movie even more enjoyable.

The 80’s and 90’s references, the pop-culture references, all of them were spot-on and just perfect. I particularly enjoyed the ending.

For me, personally, I can see this movie as being one of my favorites. However, I can also understand why not everyone would like it. There are aspects that are anywhere from a little to a lot over the top. I’d label Detention a “cult” movie, easily. People who like it are going to love it; people who don’t might not even make it to the end where everything gets tied together.

Despite what anyone else thinks, I’m definitely a part of this cult.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 38%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 45%

Netflix’s Prediction for Me – 4.9/5
Trust-the-Dice Score5/5

Movie Trailer: