Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Final Destination (2009)

Where to begin. This, the fourth Final Destination film brings the series to an all new low with some of the worst casting, scripting, acting and over-the-top death sequences (not to mention the lame 3-D gimmick). What is even more annoying is that it is directed by David R. Ellis, who was responsible for the more than adequate Final Destination 2.

With so many possibilities, and 3 previous films to work from it is quite disappointing that this is the best they could come up with!

Idiot premonition boy and his wonderpals are spending a day at the races, the car races to be exact. Like most other people in the audience they are hoping for a crash and this being a final destination movie it is more than happy to oblige.

After the initial premonition things divert from the usual story arc and rather than have visions of what is to come our lead boy must decipher dodgy CGI effects that are apparently hinting to who is next (as he can't remember) and how they are going to die, that or they are an ad for the local hardware store.

The film is incredibly clunky, the death sequences are more like watching a Looney Toons episode than a Final Destination film and the characters are all so vile or uninteresting that really, the deaths they do suffer are luxury compared to what you would like to have seen happen to them.

So basically, unless you want to waste 90 minutes of your life, treat the film as you would your dodgy Uncle Bob and avoid....

Friday, November 27, 2009

How B Grade Movies Saved (Or Ruined) My Life

Recently I have been moonlighting on a community radio station co-hosting a show called "How B Grade Movies Saved (Or Ruined) My Life". It is currently airing at 5pm on Saturdays, but from December 5th will air at 6pm on Sundays. Each week we discuss a specific genre or subject of B movies as well as new releases on DVD & Blu-ray. We also throw out a B movie challenge to the general populace who are encouraged to seek it out and view it. Of course that requires us to see it too. I figured I would start documenting the shows here on my blog, and maybe at some point begin offering them as a podcast, but we shall see how I go. For now you can tune in live online at then select Listen Online.

You can also become a fan of the show on Facebook using the link below.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Back to the Square Box

Well, I have been a bit slack with my TV viewing habits of late...and I am about 1 or 2 episodes behind in my viewing....however I thought I would update what I have chosen to watch in the current TV line up. I haven't exactly added any new shows to the line up, but then there has been anything that has attracted me to view it this season...

Getting better with each season, Dexter is still one of my favorite series, everything about it is a guilty pleasure and the addition of John Lithgow as the new "bad guy" is casting at its best!

Always good for a quick laugh, The Big Bang Theory hasn't outstayed its welcome as much as I thought it might. Testament to good writing, good acting (with perfectly cast roles) and the obvious fun that is had during the creation of the show.

Although on a Sweeps break, the return of Dollhouse had me sit up and take notice. The first four episodes were finally what I was expecting to see in the first season, and awesome powerhouse of a show with potential on so many levels and areas of the human psyche. Now that Echo has become less of the lead, we are given much more to work with and it really has helped the show out!

The Mentalist is far more about the characters than the what essentially is just a light hearted Law & Order show with far less believable plot points, I am hoping that the Red John story line is going to pick up again soon as that was what interested me in the first place, but alas he is nowhere to be seen thus far....

What is it with shows making light of death these days? Castle is another buddy cop drama similar to The Mentalist above, but instead of a "people reader" we have an author. I wonder why it has suddenly become the norm to have female detectives with jokey male "partners".

Back for its 14th Season, Top Gear is back to normal with the usual far out antics and super car madness. Nice to see the Aussies get some representation with Eric Bana as the star in a reasonably priced car and the news involving the recall of prams in the U.S is priceless....

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Rant Alert: Violence & Video Games

For those of you who have read my blog in the early days, you will note the change that has occurred over time. Less ranting, longer reviews and (recently) less posting.

Every once in awhile a topic arises that gets me annoyed enough to write about. It is a sad day when the only time I feel like writing is when I am annoyed.

On my local news website today, two articles appeared in succession that, on the outside, bear no relation to each other.

The first is an article relating to the South Australian Attorney General Michael Atkinson and his opposition to the introduction of an adult classification rating for video games. You can read it here

I should point out that Mr Atkinson is a right wing labor minister who believes very much in Christian Values. Now I don't have a problem with him wanting to protect children from harmful material, be it pornography, violent video games or even violent TV and Movies, but I do have a problem when that protection also prevents me from accessing material that is, for all intent and purpose, made for me.

I am 28 years old, I do not have children, I am employed full time and have been ever since I left college and I am in a steady relationship that is coming up to its 3 year anniversary. Therefore I believe I am big enough and ugly enough and definitely responsible enough to decide for myself what I should and should not be able to see, read, play or do in the confines of my own home.

Why can't I play an R rated video game?

Apparently I need to protect the children I don't have from viewing violent content, and that means I have to give up my right to play what I want to play.

Correct me if I am wrong, but, children have parents, I thought the role of a parent was to protect their children from harm or foul and raise them to the best of their ability. At what point did this responsibilty get designated to a governing body of politicians? I would have thought that the governments only responsibility is to children whose parents fail in their task.

Am I wrong?

The second article related to a 13 year old boy who took a gun to school with the intent of a killing spree - you can read this article here.

I draw your attention to this line "The boy, said to be a video game enthusiast, had on Monday left a message on his blog stating that "this is the last day of my life''."

The only question I have is what does this sentence have to do with the story?

It would seem I need to post a rant about violence in movies and video games and their relation to violence in society et al, as it is something I do feel very strongly about. For the record, I do NOT think playing a violent video game makes you any more violent than you already would have been. If you want a great visual example for this argument, seek out Penn & Teller's: Bullshit. In their 7th season they did a show on Violent Video Games and this exact argument. You can see a clip below:

I have already posted my thoughts regarding violence and horror in movies, so I don't really want to go through all of that again, but you can read the original post here.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Paranormal Activity (2006)

The horror genre is one of the most versatile genres in Hollywood. It ranges from big budget slasher series with a name cast to minute budget flicks, made in a weekend with some friends.

Paranormal Activity falls somewhat into the last category. Made for a few thousand dollars and using mostly consumer equipment the film was screened at festivals before being picked up by Paramount and shelved for nearly 3 years whilst they tried to make up their mind what to do with it.

To say that it is a rip off of The Blair Witch Project is a little unfair, despite a number of similarities. The Blair Witch was superior in every way to this film. Paranormal Activity has only become popular due to its marketing campaign. The film is not original, it lacks any likable characters, and it drags out an otherwise simple story that is laughable at best.

Whilst it does have a few genuine creepy moments, for the most part I was more than a little disappointed.

I have not posted the trailer for this film for two reasons. Firstly, the trailer is the best thing about the film, secondly, it reveals far more than it should (at least as far as the theatrical version is concerned)

Monday, November 9, 2009

The Time Traveler's Wife (2008)

Based upon the best selling novel of the same name, The Time Traveler's Wife is an interesting tale about a man with an ability he didn't ask for, and that he cannot control and the impact it has on his life and those around him. The book is a sad, almost tragic tale of loss and loneliness and the will to love on, most of which is lost in the conversion to film. Instead, we are given a somewhat bittersweet love story with the occasional science fiction element.

Rachel McAdams stars as Clare, all of her life she has been waiting to meet Mr. Right, the only thing is, she already knows who he is, she has known him for most of her life. His name is Henry (Eric Bana) and he has visited Clare at various times throughout her life and she is completely in love with him. Whilst researching a paper at her local library, Clare finally meets her true love, only he doesn't know her as he has yet to meet her in his future. Sound confusing?

Like any good time travel film, The Time Traveler's Wife does not hold up to much scrutiny, the paradoxes are many and varied and in most instances defy logic. Whilst the film works on some level, helped predominately by the casting, you can't help feel a little disjointed and confused by how things get played out. The look and feel of the film bears a striking resemblance to The Lake House, another disjointed romance featuring time travel as a main character, and, had that film been cast a little differently may have been more successful.

If you have not read The Time Traveler's Wife, then the film is entertaining enough in its own right, however, if you have read the book, then it is doubtful that the film will satisfy your hope for a faithful adaption.