Month: January 2011

The Slumber Party Massacre

The Slumber Party Massacre is a 1982 horror movie distributed by New World Pictures. The stars include Michele Michaels, Robin Stille, Michael Villella, Debra Deliso, Andree Honore, and Gina Smika.  Rita Mae Brown is the writer.  The director is Amy Holden Jones. The story opens with a teenage girl named Trish’s parents leaving town for a few days.  She decides to have a slumber party with her friends Jackie, Kimberly, and Diane.  She invites the new girl Valerie, but she decides to stay at home with her little sister Courtney.  Valerie and Courtney live close to Trish.  Little do they know that a serial killer, Russ Thorn, has recently broken out of jail and has begun to stalk them. One fascinating feature of this film is the lack of Russ Thorn’s background.  Questions such as: what is his motive? or why does he prefer to use tools as weapons against his victims? are never addressed in the film.  We also never discover why he targets these particular girls.  It may be safe to assume that the writer intended this to make him appear as the stereotypical boogeyman.  He is a man without a past.  All we know about him is his name and that he likes to use tools to kill people.  This fact, in a way, makes the story more suspenseful and scary to its audience. The music in...

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The Other Guys

Action/Comedy | rated PG-13 (A, L, V) | starring Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg, Michael Keaton, Steve Coogan, Eva Mendes, Samuel L. Jackson, Dwayne Johnson, Derek Jeter | directed by Adam McKay | 1:47 mins | note: this is a review of the unrated (R) version When New York’s hero cops (Samuel L. Jackson & Dwayne Johnson) are put out of action, it creates an opportunity for paperwork-pushing desk jockeys to hit the streets. Itching to get back out there after being put on the desk in disgrace Detective Hoitz (Mark Whalberg) and straight-laced accountant Gamble (Will Ferrell) follow a permit violator that leads them to a massive corporate conspiracy and more action than Gamble ever wanted. Was I a complete moron for expecting The Other Guys to be a parody of the buddy cop movie? It looks like one. It plants itself firmly inside the cop genre and allows it’s most farcical whims to take over. From it’s mis-matched cops premise to it’s roster of random New York centered cameos to a finale that explodes in a hail of bullets the movie follows in the footsteps of a theoretical American Hot Fuzz. But it doesn’t really comment on or seize upon anything in that genre deserving of parody. And by the end it has ditched the farce almost entirely to deliver a political message. To satirize genre conventions just right requires a focus that...

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The King’s Speech

The King’s Speech (118 min) A movie that is quiet and laid back, not relying on any action or special effects to guide its way? There is no way this could be that great. It is getting the most Oscar nominations with 12 and the main actor Colin Firth has been winning all the leading male actors awards and all the actors have been nominated as well. But you know what? It completely deserves all of it. It may not be the most action packed movie in the world but who needs that when you have got a masterpiece of a cast and a masterpiece of a director. Both do their part in holding your interest throughout the whole movie with smart and clever British dialogue that at most times is very humorous, as well as a heartwarming story about overcoming obstacles in life and friendship everlasting. Colin Firth dramatically portrays the story of the man who became King George VI, the father of Queen Elizabeth II and the father of a dreaded stammer. After his brother abdicates, George reluctantly assumes the throne. Plagued by the dreaded stammer and considered unfit to be king, King George or better known as Bertie to his family and his queen, played sweetly by the understated and underestimated Helena Bonham Carter, sets out to find help from multiple speech therapists. He perseveres through...

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Major League: Movie Review

Young screenwriters grab a pencil and a notepad, because David S. Ward’s Major League will take you to school.   This is, without a doubt, the quintessential sports comedy of the last 50 years.   It tells the story of the lowly Cleveland Indians who are left for dead by their owner, Rachel Phelps, who would love nothing more than to see them fail so she can re-locate the team from baseball Siberia in Cleveland to the much warmer and bigger Miami.   However, the team isn’t about to roll over. You better believe the Indians are ready to do everything in their power to keep Phelps from getting what she wants.   Charlie Sheen is barely old enough to legally purchase alcohol when he stars as “Wild Thing” Rick Vaughn in the 1989 classic, yet he turns in the performance of his career. Sheen plays the badass relief pitcher with 15 karat gold for an arm, but no control, and he nails it to say the very least.   As great as Sheen was in this movie, it is clearly Wesley Snipes in the role of Willie Mays Hayes that steals the show, and believe me, that’s saying something.   Hayes is the talented, cocky, speedy and hilarious Centerfielder for the Indians, and he is the one guy who sticks in my mind the most.   His basket catches and brash...

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True Grit

True Grit (110 min) Jeff Bridges is quick and witty in this up to date version of the 1969 western “True Grit”. This movie actually lives up to its name unlike the previous. It is gritty with old fashioned western action and with Bridges playing the hardnosed western bounty hunter he was always meant to play. Following the murder of her father, 14-year-old farm girl Mattie Ross played with great spunk and feistiness by Hailee Steinfeld, sets out to avenge her father by finding the killer and killing him. To aid her, she hires the toughest U.S. marshal she can find, a man with “true grit,” Reuben J. “Rooster” Cogburn, played by the one and only Jeff Bridges. Mattie insists on tagging along with Mr. Cogburn even against his will so that she may see to it that he is arrested and hung properly in her home town and her home town only so that he will be hung for the proper reason which is for killing her father in cold blood. They are joined by Texas Ranger LaBoeuf played nicely by the always consistent, Matt Damon who wants Chaney for his own purposes. The three work together to hunt down this cold blooded killer Tom Chaney, played by the won perfect for the villain role with Josh Brolin. In this hunt the three experience some of their own...

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