Cult-Trash-Badass-Cinema -and more…

Archive for June, 2012

Things just got a bit more serious…


I am very excited to tell you that I got approved for trial to review Mill Creek Entertainment Movies!!!

A few of the bloggers and Youtubers I am following have good relations with Mill Creek, and so came the idea, to try and ask them for review samples. Try, you must -said Yoda!

I wouldn`t have asked them, if I wouldn`t like what they are offering, so I am very happy to get the chance to do this.

Since they are not shipping review copies overseas ( I am sitting in Germany) , I have to abuse a friend to receive and forward it to me(thanks a million, Jason). That will take a few extra days, but the most important thing is that they end up in my player,lol. But if I do my job well, and I certainly plan to-I think that some releases can find their way to me early enough, before they are officially available.

And even if they decide to send me anything else, what`s a few days, right?

I am looking forward to this, and while the first sample is on it`s way, why don`t you check out Mill Creek`s website, full of great stuff: From single DVD`s and BlueRays to double and triple sets, full seasons or even complete season`s collections, 50 and 100 movie sets, documentaries  and so on…there is something for everybody, I`m sure.

I am planning to add videos to the reviews, too. That way you can see it up close and I can show it to you beyond simple pictures.

CLICK HERE to visit Mill Creek Entertainment!!!!

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Here is me-painting stuff-GREEN LANTERN in acrylics


I rarely paint, mostly due to the lack of material, it all costs money in the end…but I had the urge lately to paint something. This time, after I did a Batman one, it felt right to do this-the Green Lantern. Somehow I want to make a few more, also green, like the Hulk and maybe Green Arrow?-That could be called”the green series”then….Hope you like it!!!


Help Video Free Brooklyn !!!


Thanks to “From  The Depths of DVD Hell” , I came across this post on their Facebook page.

NYC film critic Aaron Hillis recently bought with his wife the Brooklyn based video store “Video Free Brooklyn” to save it from being closed down. The aim now via Indiegogo is to raise the $50,000 required renovations to renovate the shop as part of an ambitious plan to save the store, the full details of which you can find here: http://igg.me/p/104301

 

I think that`s one hell of a good idea…I´d probably do the same thing if I could…

Video stores have been hit hard by the digital changes and the internet, but that  doesn`t mean a good video store with people behind the counter actually knowing about their movies and caring about their customers  must be a thing of the past.

So I am totally with them, wishing them all the best for this fund-raiser and all the success in the world long-term.

If you like this idea, too…maybe you have a few bucks you wanna give to this good cause. And even if not, maybe just spread the word on your facebook or blog or wherever…

 


Radioactive Dreams on DVD-plus OST


Ok, this DVD is out since early last year already, and by now not easy to find anymore,if you do, it`s still pricey.

First of all-the quality of the DVD isn`t the best, they didn`t take a good master. I`ve been reading that there is supposed to exist a remastered version, picture and sound, but until that materialises, it`s just rumours.

The small lable JAM put this out, as single DVD and as Special Edition, including the soundtrack.

They were originally asking 35 Euros(roughly 50 $) for it, which is a bit much, especially when considering the poor quality.

And the single DVD sold for 8 or 9 Euros.

The limited (1000) SE has a different cover than the single -disc DVD.

Still, it`s the first officially released version on DVD. But I also read that they forgot to license the DVD logo, which resulted in Amazon and other retailers  pulling it from sale. (Still a few on sale, but not directly from Amazon)

Let`s hope there is a remastered version out there, and somebody more quality-oriented decides to give this film a chance.

After all, it´s one of Albert Pyun`s better ones.

The film comes in two versions, the german cut, which is slightly longer, and the US cut.

It comes in german and english, Deutsch (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), Englisch (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)

And  it`s widescreen16:9 – 1.85:1( still not the original aspect ratio) , even if the intro is fullscreen, but that was intended that way.

You can still find a few of them on Amazon.de


The Divide (2011) Review


Directed by Xavier Gens

(some major spoilers-so think twice, if you haven`t seen it yet)

Survivors of a nuclear attack are grouped together for days in the basement of their apartment building, where fear and dwindling supplies wear away at their dynamic. (taken from imdb.com film page)

I almost passed on this one, cuz I didn`t think I would wanna see a bunch of people locked in a basement shelter, and them going crazy rather fast..and I was kind of right-that aspect of it I didn’t enjoy.

Still, it has a few good actors in there, especially Michael Biehn.

The film shot itself in the foot right at the very beginning, when Lauren German

looks outside , right into an atomic bomb blast. I don`t think that you`d have time to run down several stories, before the blast reaches you-I think you`d be fried right that very second. And that’s the very first scene…

So then some people run down into the basement, where Michael Biehn has prepared his very own bomb shelter, he tries to fight them back, but some break through…I´m sure he didn`t like that, at all. But it is what it is. He explains his rules right from the beginning, nobody is allowed to exit the shelter through the door, or else radioactive dust would come through…and some more rules, I won`t bother explaining. The building over them collapses soon after, as do a few more around them. The arguing starts fast, some try to call relatives(which is kind of stupid after an atomic blast, to expect phones to work). A bit later, some soldiers from outside open the door with welding equipment and storm inside, guns drawn, in really cool looking hazard suits and abduct the little girl of  Marilyn´s character( Rosanna Arquette). For what, we can only guess. That makes the already very bad situation worse, especially for Marilyn, who after that already starts to fall apart, understandably so… They however  take down one of the soldiers, his suit will come in handy later. Again, I am not a big fan of these kind of psycho dramas, more often than not, they annoy the hell out of me. But if you can stand that kind of thing and think it`s interesting to watch, it`s quite solid acting for the most part, and boring it never really gets.

But the film makes no sense to me, once it`s all over. But I`m getting ahead of myself…

They decide to send one of them outside, to see what´s going on and to maybe save the girl.

Outside the door everything is wrapped in plastic tunnels, leading to some kind of laboratory, that inherits children in tanks, no hair, in liquid with breathing apparatuses attached. Some kind of experiments seem to be going on, but it never gets explained.What the hell are they doing that for, just a few hours, or even minutes after an atomic blast?  This was weird and interesting, but as the story unfolds further, never gets explained. That`s my major beef with this film, it could have been awesome , with that part of the story leading to something more, but it stopped, after Josh(Milo V.) gets into an altercation with them suits outside and flees back into the shelter. The soldiers/scientists weld the door shut, escape through that door is no option anymore. The inhabitants continue to fight over food, go mad, use Patricia Arquette`s character as a sex slave and do some other ugly things to each other. End of story is one lone survivour getting out, standing in the ruins of the city…no hope, nobody there…and the film ends. No explanation what the scientists wanted with the girl. Why introduce such an interesting side-plot and just leave me hanging …the whole thing wasn`t that bad, but this made the film irrelevant to me. Kudos for making a great-looking film at 3 million $, but this side plot was unnecessary and made me angry for being teased and left dumbstruck  as the credits rolled. If you need something to make you angry-watch this film.


Punisher: Warzone (2008) short review


Directed by Lexi Alexander

So I revisited Punisher : Warzone again- I only watched it twice before some time ago, now it felt right to revisit it again…

What I liked about this one was the fact that The Punisher looked a lot more like the one from the comics, although I never read any of them, I know what he looks like(sure, there are different Punishers in the comics, too). One version looks a lot like a normal Marvel Superhero, in a costume that would look pretty silly in a real life action film. Like Wolverine, cannot picture a Wolverine movie with him in that yellow suit…

This Punisher outing contains extreme amounts of bloody violence, which is presented in pretty entertaining fashion. Some of the scenes made my jaw drop, watching it for the first time…some awesome stuff in there. Ray Stevenson was the perfect guy to play the Punisher, in my humble opinion. He just kicked some serious ass in this. Yet I screamed at the screen, when he fought Jigsaw towards the end, he had all opportunities to finish him off, but didn`t.

Maybe they were eyeing a sequel to this? Anyway, that felt just wrong. Again, I don`t know any of the comics, maybe there the story goes further and therefore they opted not to kill him? Feel free to enlighten me about that. The thing about why he became the Punisher was handled with a few flashbacks, just like the Punisher with Lundgren, they opted to not bore us with a happy family at the beginning of the movie that gets killed and shows him becoming the Punisher. Anybody familiar with the Punisher would sit there, “yeah, yeah-we know-happy family gets killed…get to the action already.”

I felt like Jigsaw  was what the Joker is to Batman, even their origins are quite similar, face fucked up –thirst for revenge is the result.  It wasn`t all serious, and I`m fine with that.

It was very entertaining, a perfect 90 minutes actioner. Funny that it took a female director to unleash the most brutal Punisher movie yet. Lundgren rules, but his Punisher lacked the right outfit. Both combined would make it pretty perfect.


RESIDENT EVIL: RETRIBUTION trailer


 

I really love these Resident Evil movies. I´d even watch part 10! I never get enough of Milla kicking ass!!!


JUAN OF THE DEAD (2011)


Directed by Alejandro Brugués

I have been waiting for this some time now, finally got my hands on it.

The Uk got the DVD and Blue Ray  kinda early, US and German releases follow suit in August and September.

When I first saw the teaser trailer, it looked like a lot of fun, and it is.

But expectations  tend to get way overblown , especially when you are judging from a  trailer only.

The genre has its highlights and films in the zombie-genre will always be compared to them.

With a title like Juan of the Dead, surely one must come to think of SHAUN OD THE DEAD, of course.

And it is similar , the most exotic thing about it is the country it takes place in: CUBA!!!

Juan is a normal guy without a real job, he seems to live off whatever he can get his hands on..

His wife left him, and his daughter isn`t too fond of him, either, despite him trying to convince her he`s changed.

His best friend Lazaro isn`t the brightest of them all, but also a likable loser.

They hang around with a colorful bunch of other guys( and guy-dolls).

The zombie plague creeps upon them slowly, despite the fact that they have an early encounter, which they don`t think all too much of and agree to keep that incident between the two of them. But soon it is apparant that something is going on. Neighbours start turning to zombies, the number of cases grows fast. The tv station calls the zombies dissidents, and blames america. They don`t use the word zombie until very late in the movie.

Once they killed a few of them  succesfully, Juan gets the idea to make money killing them: “Juan of the dead, we kill your loved ones-how can I help you? That`s how they answer the phone, charging for each kill and diposing of the bodies, foreigners cost double. The kills are often very funny, lots of different ways are used , each of the guys (n dolls) has their own unique way of dispatching  the zombies. Sometimes CGI is used, but not too much…I hate when GCI blood  is overused.. there is also some CGI for scenes with  explosions and some for backgound shots. The zombie make-up is pretty damn good, the level of blood and gore somewhere in the medium range, but some great scenes still. I liked this a lot, it is refreshing to see non-american zombie flicks, or even non-english ones. Spain has come out with a lot of great stuff  horror-wise, and now their cuban brothers (with the help of an  argentinian director )add their flavour of horror comedy into the mix.  There is some amount of Castro critique in this, but in the end, at least for Juan, the love to his homeland/island prevails. The end credits contain some nice comic animations, and with the Sic Vicious version of “My Way” this first cuban horror comedy finds a fitting end!!!

A fun ride, I totally recommend this !!!! I think I like this even more than Shaun of the Dead.


BAD ASS (2012) REVIEW 100 !!!!


Ok, here we are celebrating 100 reviews…..funny how time flies , isn`t it?

I wanna thank all my readers and everybody who stumbled on here by mistake or by clicking the pictures on this little blog.

I know I am far from beeing a really good review writer, although some of them came out pretty good, I think.

I don`t intend to reinvent the wheel with this blog, just sharing a little bit of  fun and tears regarding movies and maybe, on some occasion introduce you to a film you had no idea about before and ended up watching it cuz of my review?

I met awesome people already, and I hope to get to know a few more. Don`t hesitate to leave comments, feedback is very welcome.

At first I wanted to find a special film for the 100th review, but it`s impossible to choose, really. One is as good as the next I guess…..

I decided to go with Bad Ass, a pretty recent flick, featuring Danny Trejo. (possible spoilers ahead, but only a few)

He is in the business for ages now, started out  with little extra roles, and by now he is Machete.

Whenever a director needs a tough mexican, Trejo is the first they call….

So, Bad Ass it is:

A Vietnam veteran who becomes a local hero after saving a man from attackers on a city bus decides to take action when his best friend is murdered and the police show little interest in solving the crime.

Most of you will watch this, cuz you know and like Trejo, and if so you get what you came for, a full plate of Danny Trejo.

But this time he gets to play more than just a tough guy, this role allows him to show more than just the bad-ass mexican, although there is plenty of that, too. He gets to be sad, kind, furious and funny.

Let´s forget the fact that this is sorta based on a real-life incident,that happened a little different than portrayed here…that`s not important, it just served for the basic idea.

Frank Vega is a 60 years or so old vet, who  sells hot dogs on the street and does so for 40 years already.

He drinks, and life isn`t all too great. One day, on the bus he beats up two skinheads who molest the passengers. Someone records it and puts  it on Youtube. He gets famous for that and earns the nickname Bad Ass.  But that is only part of this movie, the sideshow  if you will. The real story is about his best friend Klondike(Harrison Page), who gets killed some time after the bus incident. Frank soon gets dissapointed with the police`s efforts to find the killer and  starts seeking his own answers.  I won`t spoil any more…but I will say that I truly enjoyed this, this was a fun ride, a movie that had everything: Comedy,action and a hint of drama. And it works very well together. Sometimes mixing genres ends up a mess, but here I think it works.When the film was over, I felt like I had a 3 or 4 course meal. A very satisfying  watch indeed.

I must say I enjoyed  Harrison Page immensely in this, he was the best thing in the Van Damme vechicle LIONHEART, and I was very happy to see him again here.

Gotta love him!!! He had little screen time, and it felt so wrong to kill him off so early.

The action  gets more towards the end, but don`t expect it to be another Machete. This movie has everything, as I stated before, it´s a  great vehicle for Trejo, showing off a little bit of a range here.

I can fully recommend this to anyone who feels sympathy towards Danny Trejo.

I was a bit surprised when I found out what kind of movies the director Craig Moss did before this, stuff like Breaking Wind, and similar movies, something I rarely choose to watch. He redeemed himself in my eyes with this, let´s hope he gets to do more quality work like it. The trailer here is a bit misleading, it´s not all action.

But you get to see a RED HEAT-like action scene, involving a bus!!!!

There is no question-Danny Trejo is a Bad Ass!!!!


Children Underground (2001)


Directed by Edet Belzberg

Language-romanian (subtitles depend on which version you get)

Ok, something different this time. A documentary on streetkids in Romania, Bucharest.

It is already over ten years old and its been quite a few years since I first saw it.

But sometimes I still go back and watch it again, don`t know why exactly.

I have some kind of connection to Romania, been there like eleven times over the course of 12 years between `91 and 2002, and once more in 2009 or 2010, not sure which anymore….

I learned the language to some extent and due to my multiple visits, I  have  a certain bond with that country. I have seen kids like that , I arrived at least twice in Bucharest by train , walking the tunnels and hallways of that train station, seeing that kind of poverty up close is a real culture shock, at least the first time around. But you will never get used to that.

The film follows a group of kids over the course of a year or so, maybe even longer.

The filmmakers don`t stop filming, even when ugly things happen, like beatings or drug use.

This makes it more real and more troubling to watch, especially  when the kids are as young as 8 and up. It shows the problems of a country without decent government and money, unable to help those who need help the most. And it shows the problems that arise when one tries to help. There aren`t enough beds or medicine, to help them all, some don`t want help, some would need psychiatric treatment and long-time rehabilitation. Most of them suffer from some kind of psychiatric trauma or abnormal behaviour, yet very few people care . The state doesn`t have the money or facilities to help them. Of course, even in rich countries, people can fall thru the cracks of the system, some people just cannot be helped, but these are kids, very young kids, which makes it ten times more haunting than anything else about homeless people in general. I won`t write about every kid that`s in this, or their backgrounds and stories, watch it for yourself, if you dare.

I don`t know why one should watch this or what  it might do to you, or if it changes your opinions on anything…it is reality, the ugly reality , that most of us would like to ignore.

It didn`t make me donate or join any help organisations, sad, but true…part of watching it is voyeurism, for sure, the only reason I watched it was because it takes place in Romania, a land I know a bit about, and once you watch it, it`s hard to turn off. The struggle of these kids is heartbreaking, truly sad and disturbing. There are more countries where stuff  like this happens, Russia isn`t any different, South America sure has some really bad places and who knows where else this kinda stuff is everyday reality.

And I really don`t know a good reason, why you should watch this…in any case, it`s a really well-made documentary on a very sad subject. Once you saw it, it is impossible to forget.

Some of the kids are now to be found on facebook through the films group, if one feels the need to contact any of them. Seems the situation got better for some of them, while others are still on the streets.

There is a documentary , a little bit similar to this, but I can`t remember the title, at all. It  focuses on a boy and a girl, the film title I believe is also their names…if you know that film, let me know the title, looking for that for ages now…also takes place in Romania.

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