Sunday, May 29, 2011

Episode 90 - Kids Stuff

This week Matt and I take a scary trip down memory lane... thoughts of slap bands, happy pants and Fido Dido abound. We discuss the movies from our childhood and the influence they have had on us over the years. Expect some Goonies, Labyrinth, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and all the bad hair and fashion in between.

The challenges for the week were:

Matthew: Frog Dreaming (1986)

Steven: The Garbage Pail Kids (1987)

As usual you can find, listen or download all of our past episodes over at B Grade Movies Online! You can also hear us live on 99.3FM in Hobart or streaming live at Edge Radio at 10pm AEST every Sunday evening!

If you like us, why not join us on Facebook, we are generally stuffing around on the book of face whilst we do the show.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Recent Viewings...

Here are a few films I have watched over the past week or so...

The Awakening (1980)
Charlton Heston plays an obsessed archeologist traveling with his pregnant wife in the search for the tomb of an unnamed Egyptian queen. When opening the tomb his wife gives birth 2 months premature and things go slightly downhill from there. The film is certainly an oddball with almost no likable characters and a convoluted plot that doesn't actually explain anything. I note that it is based on a novel by Bram Stoker (in fact a number of other films are based on the same novel), so I would be interested to learn how faithful an adaptation it is. Still.... it is not the worst mummy movie I have had to watch *cough* The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor *cough*

Wax Work (1988)
I had not seen Wax Work before, but I needed another Mummy movie for our latest B Grade Movie show and this sounded the most interesting from the list I had. I wasn't disappointed either! What a great little flick! Interesting story, over the top acting, violence and gore up the wazoo. This is how horror movies should be! I have visited a number of Wax Work museums in my time and the exhibits coming to life is always foremost in my mind, but Wax Work takes it to the next level! I even watched the sequel and whilst it is certainly not as good, it still gets points for having Bruce Campbell in it and ripping off the Suspiria score!

Flight of the Navigator (1986)
I had not seen this film since my original viewing sometime back in my childhood. I was surprised by how well it actually holds up, the acting is fine, the story in interesting and genuine and even the visual effects hold up quite well. It also inspired my idea for the next show on How B Grade Movies Saved or Ruined My Life (Kid's Stuff - Movies from your childhood).

The Mummy (1999)
Stephen Sommers brings the Universal Classic Monster film back to the big screen in a hugely entertaining popcorn extravaganza. Starring Brendan Fraser, Rachel Weisz and Arnold Vosloo as the title character, The Mummy is a great adventure film and a rollicking good time. My only advice would be to avoid the sequels as though Imo-tep himself had cursed them!

Sleepy Hollow (1999)
Picked this up from the UK on Blu-ray, I previously owned the Japanese DTS DVD and this is a marked improvement on that. Still one of my favourite Burton movies with a great cast, excellent script and a marvelous "feel" about it. Sadly the Blu-ray does not feature any extras ported from the DVD.

The Collector (2009)
Certainly an interesting premise in which a thief has most definitely chosen the wrong night to break into his employers house. The movie plays out in real time and has a number of original scare moments, for me though, the lack of explanation is one of the best aspects of the film. This killer just goes about his business as though he has been doing it for years and whilst there are a few cliche moments for the most part this was a refreshing addition the the horror genre.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Tunnel (2011)

Before I start my review, it is worth pointing out that The Tunnel comes to our screens via "The 135K Project". A company that is intent on changing the way movies are available to downloading criminals (I mean the public). You see, you can legally download The Tunnel for FREE and even in HD!!. In fact it is being released simultaneously on peer-to-peer, cable television, cinema and DVD and whilst this is not an entirely new concept (Steven Soderbergh released his 2005 film Bubble simultaneously on cable, DVD and in theaters), as far as I know it is a first for an Australian feature (add to that the fact that it is free!)

But of course the question remains.... is it any good?

Well actually, yes!

Primarly taking place in the subway tunnels under Sydney, The Tunnel takes us on a retrospective documentary style journey with a news crew who suspect the government of hiding something from the public regarding its plan to create new water recylcing plants in the old tunnel system (a true story in fact). Present are reporter Natasha (Bel DeliĆ”), cameraman Steve (Steve Davis), sound guy "Tangles" (Luke Arnold) and editor and story director Peter (Andy Rodoreda). The foursome illegally enter the tunnel system to uncover the truth about rumors of homeless peoeple disappearing in their depths, they get more than they bargained for.

The film is certainly very atmospheric and makes use of a variety of sources for its material (from YouTube to Survelliance cameras) although it is primarliy told from the 2 cameras the crew are carrying with them. My main issue with the film is that we are not really treated to anything that hasn't been done before in countless other horror or "found footage"films. Still, this shouldn't distract you from checking it out. All the other aspects are in fine form. The acting is solid, the story, whilst a little cliche is interesting and the general look and feel of the film is great. With the Australian film industry starting to get back into genre films The Tunnel is a most worthy addition and one that will hopefully create not only a whole new wave of films, but a whole new business model for distribution as well!

To download The Tunnel for free simply click here or you can check out the trailer below to see if it will be your cup'o'tea.

*UPDATE* A limited edition Blu-ray release of the Aussie horror flick The Tunnel was released in 2012! You can check the details by visiting their website!

*UPDATE 2 - Feb 2013*
Looks like a sequel is in the works: The Tunnel: Dead End - will post more details as they become available!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Trailer Alert - Green With Envy (The Muppets) (2011)

Amy Adams and Jason Segal star in this romantic rom-com....say what, since when did I enjoy those you may ask... well when they include Muppets of Course!!

P.S - Possibly one of the best trailers ever!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Sucker Punch Blu-ray Announced for June 28th

I have put off writing a review of Sucker Punch, mainly as I had intended to watch the film again to see if my thoughts could perhaps gain a little clarity. Alas I have not found the time to revisit the film and my thoughts have not settled.

I certainly don't think the film is as bad as everyone seems to be making it out to be. I suspected (read hoped) that the film underwent a number of cuts that have altered the original intent. Be they censorship (ratings concerns) or time restrictions, I have now learnt that a director's cut is coming to Blu-ray and may lead to a number of questions being answered and some plot holes filled.

Sucker Punch is nothing if not unique in its application, from its music video montages to its visual extravaganzas and I am certainly looking forward to revisiting it on a format that will do it justice.

The disc will feature a 1080p HD transfer of the Director's Cut adding 18 minutes to the features running time. Extras will include a Picture-In Picture commentary track with director Zack Snyder and the animated prequel shorts that were featured on the web prior to the films release. You will also get a DVD copy and a Digital Copy of the film

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Episode 087 - War! What Is It Good For?

This weeks theme had us traversing the beaches or Normandy, the Jungles of Vietnam and all over the Persian Gulf. We discuss movies about War, a topic for which many a film has been made.. some good, some bad.

The challenges were:

Steven - Joyeux Noel (2005)

Matt - Full Metal Jacket (1987)

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Austra - Lost It

Every once in a while I come across a piece of music that I just can't get out of my head... the latest effort is from Canadian group Austra. The track is called Lose It and you can find the rather odd music video for it linked below. I also note they have a new CD titled Feel It Break out on May 17th (Cover is above) that I will certainly be checking out! For now, see what you think of this:

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Episode 86 - The X-Files

This week Matt & I discuss one of the most significant science fiction TV shows since Star Trek, and whilst I was always more of a Millennium fan, I do still have a soft spot for Chris Carter's The X-Files. We discuss our favourite episodes, favourite creatures and X moments.

B Grade Movie Challenges

Steven - Red Museum (Season 2 Episode 10)

Matt - Je Souhaite (Season 7 Episode 21)

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Episode 85 - Girl Power

This week's episode of How B Grade Movies Saved or Ruined My Life is a tribute to all of the ladies out there. We pay our respects to the women of motion pictures past and present as we take a look at some of the best films written and directed by women.

The Challenges were:

Steven - Morven Callar (2002)

Matt - Innocence (2004)

Hope you enjoy the show...