Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Last House on the Left (2009) R - 2½ Stars

When my boyfriend wanted to see a good horror movie this weekend so okay lets try this one. Well let me just say this, no wonder people get ideas in their minds about doing bad things to other people. The movie starts out with a young teen girl returning to a vacation home with her parents, only to be kidnapped, raped, her best friend stabbed and her parents take revenge on the killers. This is not the type of movie I am into at all. As a matter of fact, I just created a new category called violence and threw this one in right away. Granted I watched the "unrated version" instead of the "theatrical version" but this is not what I want in a movie, EVER. I guess the moral of this story is GIRLS - NEVER EVER go to some one you don't knows motel, apartment, or WHERE EVER to score some weed.

After practicing for a swimming meet, Mari Collingwood (Sara Paxton), and her parents, Emma (Monica Potter), and John (Tony Goldwyn), retreat to their families lake home. It's been awhile since Mari has seen her best friend Paige (Martha MacIsaac) and the two girls decide to hang out while Paige is at work. Justin (Spencer Treat Clark) comes into the convenience store where Paige works, and tells the girls about some great weed he has back at his hotel. The girls give Justin a ride to the hotel to score some of the "good stuff." But their party is interrupted when Krug (Garret Dillahunt), a recent escapee from prison, and his sidekick thugs Frances (Aaron Paul), and Sadie (Riki Lindhome), barge in the door.

Krug deems the girls a risk now since they can identify him and decides to take them for the ride of their lives. Once in the secluded woods, the girls are subjected to violent torture, rape and left to die in the woods.

As a storm approaches, the psychopaths find shelter down the road by the lake. They are unaware they're venturing into the home of one of the girls. The Collingwood's start out as the perfect hosts and hostess until they discover their new house guests are not victims of a car wreck. Krug and his group now find themselves on the other end of the stick when they are violently tormented in this last house on the left.

Midnight Entertainment, Rogue Pictures
Director: Dennis Iliadis
Writers: Carl Ellsworth, Adam Alleca
Producers: Wes Craven, Sean C. Cunningham, Marianne Maddalena
I viewed 11/09

Monday, November 16, 2009

Lightning Bug (2004) NR - 3 Stars

I liked this quirky movie with it's outstanding cast of quirky characters. With a sort of a sixth sense of separation feel, the cast entwines perfectly to cause effects on each others lives. The only reason I am not putting this one in my bizarre category is that I don't want to categorize domestic violence as anything else but what it is. This is a sad movie about a good kid who's dreams are to become a makeup artist for horror films. Living in a back road southern country town, he imagines his escape will come from the skills he possesses designing horrifying special effects. Little yet does he realize, the most horrific effect he will encounter is not one of his own making.

Green Graves (Bret Harrison), and his younger brother Jay (Lucas Till), live with their mother Jenny (Ashley Laurence), in a trailer in a small southern town. Jenny can't make it on her own feeding two young boys so she hooks up with Earl (Kevin Gage), in order to make ends meet. For awhile things are better for the family with extra income to afford Christmas's and BBQ's with Earl's cousin Rusty (Josh Todd). But the more comfortable Earl gets with his ready made family, the more his abusive tendencies emerge as he starts yelling at everyone around him.

To escape his living hell, Green talks old man Tightwiler (Bob Penny), into letting him direct this years Halloween Show in Tighwillers barn. Green has found he posses a special skill for creating horror as he almost gives Tighwiller a heart attack with his special effect techniques.

Angevin (Laura Prepon), the local girl at the video store, is also stuck in this run down town who's only escape is to live a glamorous life inside of her own head. Her fanatical religious mother, Ms. Duvet (Shannon Eubanks), has not yet learned to let go of her dead husband, clutching tightly on to him in the form of a large white pillow. Angevin has tried to run away from this miserable life before but always feels the need to return and stand by her mother's side.

Green develops an interest with Angevin as she seems extremely attracted to his dark side. It sure beats hanging out in the fields with his friends Tony Benet (Jonathan Spencer) and Billy Martin (George Faughnan), catching lightning bugs. But when Ms. Duvet finds out that her daughter is seeing Green, she forbids the union, damming Green as a boy possessed with Satan.

As Green and Angevin continue their relationship, Ms. Duvet, with God's will inside, stops at nothing to protect her daughter. She has Green arrested for a crime he didn't do and destroys the haunted barn before it can open to the public. Now, with everything taken away from Green that is good in his life, he's about to realize the horror that unfolds in his real life will not be anything he creates with his own hands.

Dry Country Films, Anchor Bay Entertainment
Director: Robert Hall
Writer: Robert Hall
Producers: Robert Hall, Kevin Bocarde, Laura Prepon
I viewed 11/09

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Run, Fat Boy, Run (2007) PG13 - 3½ Stars

If you are into British comedy movies you will probably like this one. David Schwimmer, directs this romantic comedy about a charming guy who can't seem to commit to anything, including running away from his pregnant bride-to-be on their wedding day. The move starts out slow but warms your heart quickly with its great choice of supporting cast, making you root for the underdog to win his girl back.

Dennis (Simon Pegg), and a pregnant Libby (Thandie Newton), are about to get married when the pressure is too much for Dennis as he turns and runs as fast as he can away. It's not until years later that he realizes the mistake he has made.

One morning when picking up Jake (Matthew Fenton), for his fatherly visit, Dennis is faced with a new man in Libby's life. Whit (Hank Azaria), a wealthy entrepreneur, is slowly moving in and seemingly whisking away his should-have-been family. The more he closes in, the more Dennis realizes he's still in love with Libby. When Whit proposes to Libby, Dennis must convince her that Whit is certainly not the right man for her.

In a subtle competition for Libby's attention, Dennis enlists the help of his friends Gordon (Dylan Moran), and Mr. Goshdashtidar (Harish Patel), to whip him back into shape. His goal, to kick butt on Whit in a New York Marathon.

Material Entertainment, Picturehouse,
Director: David Schwimmer
Writers: Michael Ian Black, Simon Pegg
Producers: Robert Jones, Sarah Curtis
I viewed 11/09

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Murder in the Hamptons (2005) - 3½ Stars

I liked the way the movie is filmed changing up from real life action mixed with interviews and narration of the people who know the characters best. Based on the true story of the 2001 murder of Ted Ammon in the Hampton's, this movie was originally made for Lifetime cable channel.

It's 1995 and Generosa Rand (Poppy Montgomery), a talented artist meets Ted Ammon (David Sutcliffe), a wealthy self made millionaire. Their life seems fairy tale perfect as the couple marries and moves into a huge estate in Long Island. Generosa is unable to have children and the couple adopts two children to complete their picture perfect family. As the years go by, Generosa starts exhibiting strange behavior that causes her to snap and loose control at any given moment. Always trying to reach the same status as her husband, she doesn't take kindly to be ignored or unnoticed, eventually causing a huge stress on their relationship. With divorce inevitable, Generosa does everything in her power to punish Ted by making him pay huge amounts of alimony and trying to turn his children against him. She also begins an affair with electrician Danny Pelosi (Shawn Christian), eventually marrying him. When Ted is found murdered, suspicions point to Danny with his criminal past. But with no evidence to convict, the murder lays unsolved. Generosa is stricken with terminal cancer which brings upon a change of heart causing her to leave Danny and cut him off from any funding. As she dies, she taked any secrets she had with her to her grave while justice is eventually served when Danny is arrested and convicted for Ted's murder.

Muse Entertainment Enterprises, Warner Brothers
Director: Gerard Ciccoritti
Writer: Robert L. Freedman
Producers: Barbara Lieberman, Wendy Grean
I viewed 10/09

Monday, November 2, 2009

The Uninvited (2009) PG13 - 3 Stars

Also known as, A Tale of Two Sisters, I have to say the acting in this horror movie is much better than most other horrors movies I've seen. Emily Browning has the greatest looking innocent face and is quite believable in her role as a emotionally traumatized young girl. Along with her rebellious sister Arielle Kebbel, they struggle coming to terms with their mothers death. I've heard the original Japanese version of this movie is better sort of like the original Japanese version of the Ring. But this movie is no ring and I wasn't happy with the movies ending.

Anna has been hospitalized since her mothers tragic death. Now, her father is picking her up for the return to their home. But things are not the same in her household as when she left. Her mother's nurse Rachel (Elizabeth Banks), has recently become engaged to her father Steven (David Strathairn), and appears to be taking over her mothers place. Tension is immediately felt with Rachel as soon as she walks in the door.

When Anna is visited by her mothers ghost, it points to Rachel being responsible for her mothers death. The only comfort Anna finds is with her big sister Alex (Arielle Kebbel). As strange behaviors start to unfold, Anna and Alex discovers that Rachel is not who she says she is. Now they must convince their father that this uninvited guest has got to go.

Vertigo Entertainment, Parkes/MacDonald Productions, The Montecito Picture Company, Paramount Pictures, Dreamwork Pictures
Directors: Thomas Guard, Charles Guard
Writers: Craig Rosenberg, Carlo Bernard, Doug Miro
Producers: Roy Lee, Laurie MacDonald, Walter Parkes
I viewed 10/09