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Showing posts from December 29, 2013

Review: Otis

Newcomer Bostin Christopher plays the title character, an overweight pizza delivery guy who spends his spare time kidnapping young girls, keeping them captive, and re-enacting sick high school fantasies. Seems ‘ol Otis had some past girl troubles that he’s still trying to work out on stand-ins for his beloved ‘Kim’. Unfortunately, his latest choice for a victim, Riley (Ashley Johnson) causes all manner of complications, not the least of which being that Riley refuses to co-operate and be called ‘Kim’, and frequently attempts to escape. Jere Burns turns up as a supposedly successful but seemingly dumb arse, and frankly tactless FBI agent who...maybe...might possibly... get around to solving the case. Riley’s parents (Daniel Stern and Illeana Douglas) are certainly unimpressed by his efforts, going to their own extreme measures to make this sick bastard pay. Then there’s Riley’s kid brother (Jared Kusnitz) who is frankly a perve...spying on his own sister in her underwear. But let’s not…

Review: Imaginary Heroes

An already messed up family is struggling to deal with the shocking suicide of the star athlete eldest son (Kip Pardue). Youngest son Tim (Emile Hirsch) struggles to understand his place in the family, as well as having to live in the shadow of the ‘golden child’, even after his death. He gets into drugs and general piss farting around with his best friend, pretending nothing is wrong. And what are those bruises all over his body? He says it was the result of school bullying, but the viewer isn’t so sure. Dad (Jeff Daniels) refuses to break from the tradition of setting a place at the dinner table for his dead son, and barely acknowledges the existence of Tim, who is alive but nothing like his older brother. He has completely cut himself off emotionally from the rest of the family and is in the midst of a hopeless breakdown. Sister Penny (Michelle Williams) has been smart enough to go away for college and only comes back on holidays. And then there is mother Sandy (Sigourney Weaver, b…

Review: Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters

Haunted by a nasty childhood experience with an evil witch and a house made out of confectionery, Hansel (Jeremy Renner) and Gretel (Gemma Arterton and her duck face) have turned into bounty hunters as adults, now tracking down and killing witches all over Europe. In the town of Augsburg they take on the assignment of tracking and killing the witch who has abducted the town’s children to prepare for an upcoming Blood Moon ritualistic sacrifice. Famke Janssen plays Muriel, a powerful witch with a past slowly revealed, whilst the always nutty Peter Stormare plays the nasty local sheriff who takes an instant dislike to Hansel and Gretel after they interfere in a would-be witch-burning where Hansel thinks the intended guilty party is likely innocent.

A sure-fire turd of the first order...wait, this film actually isn’t bad? Colour me seriously surprised. The ads made this 2013 film from writer/director Tommy Wirkola (whose “Dead Snow” was a disappointing Nazi zombie flick that nonetheless …

Review: West of Memphis

A re-telling of the trial of the ‘West Memphis 3’; Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin, and intellectually impaired Jesse Misskelley, charged with the murders of three young boys in Arkansas in 1993. The locals wanted blood, and these Metallica-loving defendants, especially Wicca enthusiast Echols, seemed like good enough culprits and were relatively quickly convicted with the belief that they were Devil-worshipping Satanists who killed the boys in some kind of penis-eating ritual. Yes, this really happened (this is in the Bible-belt of America, remember), and Echols was even given a death sentence. The “Paradise Lost” trilogy of documentaries detailed the trial and convictions, and argued that these three young men were railroaded (Misskelley’s ‘confession’ was embarrassingly inept and clearly led by the cops looking for an open and shut case) and pointed to other suspects.

This film details efforts made by New Zealand filmmaker Peter Jackson and wife/co-producer Fran Walsh, in conjunction …

Review: Punch-Drunk Love

Barry (Adam Sandler) has issues. Constantly berated by his flock of sisters (one played by Mary Lynn Rajskub) who he just wants to leave him alone, crying at random moments, even admitting ‘I don’t like myself sometimes’. Working at a crummy toiletries company probably does that to you sometimes. He also has barely concealed rage issues (that he sometimes fails to conceal when he just can’t take his sisters’ crap anymore), and has recently found himself the victim of a scheme involving a phone sex worker, whose boss (Philip Seymour Hoffman) is none too pleased. But Barry is also a lost soul, and one day he happens upon another odd duck, Lena (Emily Watson), who seems to get Barry like no other. Their ‘dirty talk’, for instance, is just plain bizarre (‘I'm looking at your face and I just want to smash it. I just want to fucking smashit with a sledgehammer and squeeze it. You're so pretty’). But with all the other chaos in his life, can Barry get it together to be with the girl …