Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Trailer Park Tuesdays - New Year's Evil

It's New Year's in the Trailer Park.  Time to party and get loaded.  Maybe get in a fight.  We'll see how the night goes. . .but first!  Let's look at this movie trailer..

Instead of sharing a trailer for an upcoming release as I usually do, I'm doing things a little differently here today.  Translation: I'm taking it easy and posting a trailer for an old, seasonally appropriate horror film.

Here's the trailer for 1980 slasher film New Year's Evil:

Truth be told, I've never seen this movie but every time I watch this trailer I say to myself, "why haven't I seen this movie??"  Looks like something I should've already seen.

Anyway, have a safe New Year's Eve out there, kids.  Don't get murdered.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Trailer Park Tuesdays - Kid's Police

Welcome to Trailer Park Tuesdays.  The police are here. . . .so are the kids.

Today's trailer is for a movie that mixes those two things (police and kids) in a way that only the Japanese could.

Kid's Police is about a highly effective police investigation unit that is de-aged into children by their nemesis, a criminal organization known as Red Venus.

This one pretty much speaks for itself.

Except that this trailer doesn't have any subtitles, adding to the confusion/enjoyment levels:


At the very least, this looks adorable.

Kid's Police was released in Japan back in March and it played at Fantastic Fest back in Sept.  Read a review HERE.

No word on when Kid's Police will be released here in the States.  Hopefully, it's soon.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

RIP, Peter O'Toole

The acting world and the world of cinema has lost one of its luminaries.

Peter O'Toole has passed away.  He was the good old age of 81.
I'm not going to pretend like I'm some sort of O'Toole aficionado.  I'm not.  On an inspection of his filmography I am surprised to find that I've seen eight of his movies (I thought it'd be less), but a few of those are weird entries ("weird entry" is a nice way of describing Supergirl [1984], King Ralph [1991], and Phantoms [1998]).

Other than Pixar's Ratatouille (2007), for which O'Toole provided the voice for food critic Anton Ego, I guess I've only seen two great O'Toole movies in my time (Caligula and Zulu Dawn [both 1979] were interesting but don't quite qualify), but they're both pretty fantastic movies and I have to heavily recommend them both.

The Ruling Class (1972) is a scathing satirical take on the British class system, proper manners, and religion, as O'Toole plays a man (the newly minted Earl of Gurney) who believes himself to be Jesus Christ (and sometimes Jack the Ripper).  This leads to a bit of murder, mayhem, mania, and a few musical numbers, too.  This is a phrase that has found overuse, but this film really is quite unlike anything else you may've seen.  O'Toole is flat out brilliant in it, mesmerizing in his madness.

The other great O'Toole movie I've seen is one of the greatest movies ever made, and a large part of that greatness is due to O'Toole's performance.  It might simply be one of the finest performances ever put to film.  T.E. Lawrence is a captivating screen figure and the power of Lawrence of Arabia (1962) comes from O'Toole's portrayal of him while he navigates the hauntingly beautiful desert landscapes.

If you've never seen Lawrence of Arabia and you consider yourself a fan of cinema, do yourself a favor and see it immediately.  They say it's a movie that begs to be seen on the big screen, and while this is true (seeing it on 70mm is one of my personal life goals), I would argue that this movie simply begs to be seen.

So see it.

Peter O'Toole was nominated for eight Oscars, including for his work in Lawrence of Arabia.  He lost every time.

He was awarded an Honorary Oscar in 2003, but he initially declined the honor, saying he was "still in the game" and would "like to win the lovely bugger outright."  Indeed, one of his eight nominations came after his honorary award, in 2006 for the film Venus.  He was 74 at the time.

You can read more (and better written things) about O'Toole HERE, HERE, and HERE.

Peter O'Toole.
Without a doubt,
one of the greats.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Friday the 13th - Part III

Once again, it is Friday the 13th.

Here's some thoughts on Friday the 13th - Part III (1982)
Friday the 13th - Part III is not as good as the previous two films in the series, but it does have some fun moments.  It is also more than notable for being the entry in which Jason first dons his iconic hockey mask.  At the very least, it has that going for it.

Note:  I did not watch the movie in 3D.  I have the DVD box set that comes with a pair of glasses, but I don't like watching those red/blue 3D movies at home, as generally they give me a headache and don't look very good.  If a theater around here ever showed this movie in 3D, I'd go check it out, but for now I'm sticking with the 2D.

This movie follows the basic Friday formula of young, horny people in an isolated place being stalked and killed one by one.  Making it a little different, these kids aren't camp counselors, they're just out for a weekend vacation, apparently in the direct vicinity of Crystal Lake (if they said that they were on Crystal Lake, I missed it, but I assumed they were).

The movie picks up directly after the events of the second film, opening with a recap of some of the action at the end of Part 2.  After that we get a kinda long opening scene where Jason kills this weird married couple and during that we hear some news reports about the events from the previous movie, which means that basically Jason is now a wanted fugitive.  And what is he doing immediately after his previous massacre?  He's out there starting himself another massacre.  This Jason guy, he's nothing if not productive and singularly focused.

By the way, Jason is back to his non-mulleted, mongoloid look from his cameo in the first film.  Gone are his bag-head and overalls.  Now he's a work shirt and pants kind of guy.  He's also now taller, bigger, and more muscular.  When he gets the hockey mask from prankster Shelly, it really brings the whole look together.

The characters in this movie are all pretty stupid, and by that I mean that they're not very interesting (also, yeah, a few of them aren't very bright).  In fact, this might be the worst overall cast in a Friday the 13th movie (I'll have to verify this, but I feel confident in it) as the acting ranges from mediocre to really bad.  The pair of stoners, Chuck and Chili, are maybe my favorite bad actors in the movie (because of course they are) and easily the best moment of bad acting is when Chili is flailing through the house and screaming "oh my god, Shelly's dead!"

One unique thing:  one of the couples (Debbie and Andy) are newly pregnant and (spoiler) they do not survive the movie.  It seems like that should be a ballsy thing for a horror movie to do, but no, it's not really made a big deal of and it's only mentioned a couple times onscreen.  Plus, it's not like Jason stabs her through the stomach or anything (because that would've been extreme).

Also, I should note that the pregnant chick shows the most skin out of the girls in the movie.

More notes:

The best kill in the movie is the "handstand" kill.  It's maybe one of the best kills in the entire series.

The barn, where a surprising amount of action takes place, is very well lit, especially at night.  I've never seen a barn with so much light in it.

During this movie we see, not one, but two guys sitting on the toilet (and I don't think either of them wiped.  Ewwww!)

Proof that these characters are stupid:  two different people get "dripped on" (one blood, the other water) and both of their reactions are "where's that coming from?"  Um, hello?  It's coming from above you!  Sheesh!

The opening theme/end credits music is stupid funky and oh so 80s.  It's somehow perfect.  The score in the movie however seems to just be recycled stuff from the first two movies.  Oh, Harry Manfredini, you genius..

The director again is Steve Miner.  This would be his last Friday movie and his last movie-movie until 1986's House.

Chris, the Final Girl of the movie, has a backstory where she had a previous encounter with Jason some months (years?) back while lost in the woods.  Her story ends with her blacking out and reawaking at home, but this minor plot point is never revisited and the sole purpose of this backstory seems to be to add extra weight (or maybe believability) to Chris' going mad-crazy at the end of the movie.

Speaking of the end of the movie, they try to re-do the shock surprise ending of the first Friday, but to much, much less effect.  First off, it's telegraphed a mile away.  Second, it looks kinda of chintzy and the slo-mo really lets you get a good look at it.  Thirdly, "it" is Pamela Voorhees as a rotting corpse popping up out of the water with her head somehow mysteriously reattached.  I gotta say. . .it's kind of stupid.

Things that poke out at you in 3D (presumably):  snake, fists, yo-yo, baseball bat, spear, eyeball (x2), apples, pitchfork, popcorn, red-hot poker, and the handles of various kill implements.

I used the word stupid a lot in this review.  Seems that could be interpreted as mean or cruel, but I mean it in a fun way, as in "this is stupid fun."  I am a fan of these movies overall and even a middle-of-the-road entry like Part III is still an entertaining watch and, yes, a stupid good time.  Happy Friday the 13th.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Trailer Park Tuesdays - Godzilla

This week Trailer Park Tuesdays goes BIG.
Real Big.
As in, Big G.

Usually I like to share and spread the word about lesser known movies that will see upcoming release.  Well, not today, as today's trailer is for a BIG blockbuster-type movie that'll be out next year (May 16th, to be exact), one that I'm sure doesn't need any additional hype from me and will most likely land on almost everybody's radar (even if you don't see it, you'll still be aware of it, but seriously, after watching this trailer, how could you not want to see this?).

This is the teaser trailer for Godzilla and it premiered today on the interwebs and will be attached to this weekend's The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.  After this summer's Pacific Rim (which did pretty good business and, more importantly, I really liked), hopefully America is ready to embrace the kaiju that started it all.  Just go ahead and forget about the cinematic trashfire that was Godzilla '98; this will be nothing like that.  Go ahead, take a look:

Damn.  That looks good.

Despite being over 2 minutes long, this is still a teaser trailer, doing what a good teaser does, doling out just enough information to entice while still remaining vague on most fronts.  I like it.

I also really like the somber tone.  Seems appropriate for a giant-lizard-stomping-the-shit-out-of-a-city movie.  Also, that music in the trailer?  It's from 2001: A Space Odyssey.  [perfect]

Godzilla stars Bryan Cranston, Aaron-Taylor Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, Ken Watanabe, David Strathairn, and a whole bunch of running, screaming people.  The Big G hits theaters May 16th.  I'll be there.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Trailer Park Tuesdays - The Strange Colour of Your Body's Tears

This week at Trailer Park Tuesdays we got a freshie.  No holiday leftovers here.  Oooo, and it's French!

The movie trailer this week is a brand new spot for The Strange Colour of Your Body's Tears, following a teaser trailer that debuted earlier this year.  Strange Colour is an arthouse/mystery/horror film about a man who is searching his apartment building for his missing wife but at every turn finds violence and sex instead. (I hate when that happens)

Those familiar with filmmaking duo Hélène Cattet and Bruno Fazani's previous film Amer (2009) or their segment O is for Orgasm from anthology film The ABCs of Death (2012) should be looking forward to this and know what to expect.

If you're not familiar, what you can expect is a strongly visual film with a vivid color palette, meticulous art direction, and a camera that probes endlessly.  Also, it will have a carefully constructed soundtrack, as the aural aspects of their work is just as important as the visual.  Also-also, it'll have stylized bits of violence, orchestrated to the nth degree.  Here's the trailer:

This looks sharp.  I like the escalation it presents while remaining vague.  Personally, I'm sold on this one; I'll be checking it out as soon as it is made available to me.

Apparently The Strange Colour of Your Body's Tears will see release in France in the spring of 2014, so lord knows when it will be available over here in the States.  Not soon enough, whenever it is.