Posts

Showing posts from January 24, 2016

Review: Wrong Turn 6: Last Resort

Danny (Anthony Ilott) has inherited something from a strain of his family he never knew existed, and he and his buddies head for Hobb Springs, an old folk’s home (but supposedly a resort. It’s not. It’s just not!) in uber-rural West Virginia run by distant relatives (played by Chris Jarvis and Sadie Katz). Posing as a couple, Jarvis and Katz are actually brother and sister, and are very, very, very close. They have plans for Danny (recovering from a bad experience on Wall Street), plans that are gradually revealed. Meanwhile, Danny’s friends do what all stupid youngsters in modern horror films do, whilst the Appalachian inbred cannibals from the previous “Wrong Turn” films lurk about, itching for a kill.

A half-step back in the right direction after the very ordinary parts 3, 4, and 5, this is probably the best of the “Wrong Turn” films since the underrated original. We get a new director for this 2015 entry in Valeri Milev (“Re-Kill” with the stupidly underrated Scott Adkins), which …

Review: Breakfast for Two

Barbara Stanwyck plays a wealthy heiress to Herbert Marshall’s frequently drunk playboy heir to a shipping company. The former tries to straighten the latter out, which apparently involves them both donning boxing gloves at one point. Oh, and she also plans on marrying him, which is news to him and his declared fiancĂ© (Glenda Farrell). Eric Blore plays the faithful manservant to Marshall, whilst Donald Meek briefly appears as a JP.

Two very fine stars and a scene stealing comic supporting performance can’t save this tone-deaf, very weak 1937 comedy from director Alfred Santell (“The Hairy Ape” with Susan Hayward). Beware a film from the late 30s you haven’t heard of, starring two big names. It’s rarely a good sign. The very professional Barbara Stanwyck (the same year she appeared to great acclaim in the much better “Stella Dallas”) does her absolute best to keep you awake, and Eric Blore is a constant scene-stealer.

However, as fine an actor as Marshall is, he’s not a natural comedia…

Review: Terminator: Genisys

In 2029, resistance leader John Connor (Jason Clarke) is leading the so far successful fight against the machines when he discovers Skynet has a time-travel device that has allowed them to send a Terminator back to 1984 to kill Sarah Connor as a way of winning the war. John’s comrade (and, confusingly enough his father, as we know from previous films) Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) steps forward to go back to 1984, protect Sarah Connor and stop the future being altered in the machines’ favour. Once there, the 1984 presented isn’t the same 1984 depicted in “The Terminator”, and Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke) is already aware of Terminators. She even has one of her own as a protector since childhood, a T-800 model whom she nicknames ‘Pops’ (played by Arnold Schwarzenegger). We first see this ‘Pops’ as he thwarts another T-800’s killing mission, but also present in this 1984 is a deadly, cold-eyed T-1000 model (played by Byung-Hun Lee). In order to set things back in order, our heroes must them…

Review: Life After Beth

Dane DeHaan plays a mopey young man who hasn’t recovered from the snake bite death of his girlfriend Beth, even though she had just broken up with him prior to her death. He finds himself hanging out with the dead girl’s parents (John C. Reilly and Molly Shannon), and they seem to appreciate him far more than his own parents (Paul Reiser and Cheryl Hines). However, after a while, they stop answering the door, and cease all contact with DeHaan. Wanting to know what the hell is going on, he forces his way inside their house to find Beth (Aubrey Plaza), seemingly not dead, and also acting rather surprised that anyone would think she was dead in the first place. Has this just been a hoax? Beth’s parents try to act like it’s no big deal (Shannon declares it a ‘resurrection’, though), and encourage DeHaan to act like nothing has happened, and they hadn’t just broken up. Hey, at least he’s getting a second chance with her, he figures. However, it’s pretty apparent that not all is right with …

Review: The NeverEnding Story

Bastian (Barret Oliver) flees from school bullies and hides in an old bookstore. Curious as to what the bookstore owner is reading, he is told that the book is too intense for young readers. Bastian nonetheless manages to swipe it when he leaves his desk, and hides out in the school attic to read it. There he is told the tale of a place called Fantasia, ruled by the Childlike Empress (Played by Israeli-born Tami Stronach, who is now a dancer), and plagued by a hellacious non-entity known as The Nothing, that threatens to swallow up Fantasia into non-existence. A boy warrior named Artreyu (Noah Hathaway) steps up to try and be Fantasia’s saviour, however as Bastian reads more and more of the story, the more he realises that he too has a role to play in Fantasia’ future.

Talk about irony upon irony. I mean, not only does the film defy its title by actually ending, but it’s a film about the importance of reading and using your imagination, which in and of itself is rather ironic. And to …

Review: The Story of O (1975)

Corinne Clery plays the title O (Is that short for Orgasm?), whose lover (a youngish Udo Kier!) wants her to attend The Chatteau, an estate where young women are chained, whipped, and made to be all-round subservient to men. She agrees to all of this, because she loves her man. After her stay here, she goes back to her regular job as a fashion photographer. However, her absolutely charming husband soon gives her away to an older aristocrat named Sir Stephen (played by Anthony Steel), whom to Kier has been like a brother. Sir Stephen makes O get her genitals pierced, exposes her bare arse in a restaurant for all to see, and acts like a misogynistic old pervert, coz…men rule! Yay! Somehow in all of this, O falls for Sir Stephen, and so it is decided that she must find a woman to replace her spot in Kier’s heart. She does this, of course, by having sex with this other woman. Yep.

Another chauvinistic offering from the man with the hopefully made up name of Just Jaeckin (director of the o…

Review: Paper Planes

Set in rural WA, 12 year-old Dylan (Ed Oxenbould) lives with his dad Jack (Sam Worthington), who is still wracked with grief over the death of the boy’s mum. It has been five months, but young Dylan finds himself acting the responsible parent to Jack, who never seems to leave the couch, watching old tapes of cricket in a borderline vegetative state. A classroom activity has Dylan discover a previously hidden talent for making paper aeroplanes. He even manages to get into a district heat for an upcoming competition. Before long, he has found himself qualifying for a Championship tournament in Japan! He just doesn’t know how he’s going to afford it, and even if he can, will dad Jack (who, in a lucid moment suggests Dylan study everything that flies, to help him find an edge on the competition) finally get his arse off the couch to go to Japan with him? Meanwhile, Dylan develops a sweet friendship with Japanese girl Kimi (Ena Imai), the current world champion of the ‘sport’. Terry Norris…

Review: Poltergeist (2015)

Recently unemployed Eric (Sam Rockwell) moves into a new home with his wife Amy (Rosemarie DeWitt), sullen teen daughter Kendra (Saxon Sharbino), timid son Griffin (Kyle Catlett), and youngest daughter Madison (Kennedi Clements). Almost as soon as they’ve moved in to the only house they could afford, Griffin thinks there’s something sinister in the house, and Madison seems to be talking to something or someone unseen inside the television screen. Although they at first dismiss all of this as child’s play, Eric and Amy are forced to admit that something isn’t right as things take a decidedly sinister turn and young Madison mysteriously disappears during a hellacious storm. And then they hear Madison’s voice coming from the TV screen! Time to call in the paranormal research geeks, headed by parapsychologist Dr. Powell (Jane Adams). However, when they uncover that there is a poltergeist behind all of this, Adams decides they need the help of TV occult/paranormal specialist Carrigan Burke…

Review: The Warriors

New York is an urban jungle where street gangs outnumber the police. The Warriors are one such gang, and they are joining all of the other gangs from across the city at a meeting presided over by the magisterial Cyrus (Roger Hill), leader of a gang called the Gramercy Riffs. Cyrus preaches a message of unity across all gangs, so that they can truly rule the streets together, overthrowing the police and various criminal organisations, gaining control through bribery and intimidation tactics (Lest you think Cyrus’ intentions are noble!). However, before this unity can be put into practice, Cyrus is assassinated by the scummy Rogues member Luther (the inimitable David Patrick Kelly, with long-ish hair), who swiftly flees the area, but not before placing the blame on The Warriors, after one of its members spotted him doing the deed. Sneaky bastard, that Luther. The Warriors, unofficially led by Swan (Michael Beck) quickly make a run for it themselves (their original leader doesn’t make it…