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Hot guy, hot girl, crazy chick, incest murderous dad and Australian: how could this movie go wrong? The Loved Ones is a killer (forgive the pun) thriller about a prom night gone terribly, terribly wrong. It’s the story of two sweet and sexy teen lovers who seem perfect for one another in a Florence Nightingale and tragic broken man kind of way who are waywarded by a lunatic classmate who won’t take no for an answer. Staring the sexy (and my age might I add) Xavier Samuel and his six pack and tortured haunting looks, The Loved Ones goes deeper than the average horror/gore and offers a twisted past for its protagonist to overcome as he attempts to survive the love of his crazy-eyed crush Robin McLeavy. I have to say that there’s something so bleak about Australian cinematography that gets me every time as the they drop the need for flashy cars, blasting guns and impossible make up and outfits and instead focus on the story. Any movie that shows the main characters as having a blemish or undone hair is aces in my book. This is definitely one of those films.

Not just your typical prom slasher, The Loved Ones follows the oddly faintly intertwined story of a half-orphaned teen boy and a bad girl suffering from the loss and disappearance of her brother. The concurrent stories of their respective nights of extreme torture and extreme sex, drugs and rock and roll has you wondering just why the director bothers with the tale of the slutty goth girl who seems to add nothing but humour to a story otherwise littered with nailed feet and drilled skull. But, I won’t ruin a thing for you except to say that they do unite in a meaningful way that saddens more than it does satisfies but damn there’s something so filling about a perfectly tragic revelation isn’t there? Maybe it’s just me.

Click through to read the rest of my review and see the trailer

Adam’s Foreign Gore Pick: ‘Frontiers’

In: Adam, Movies

An oldie but a goody. Christ, when did a movie from 2007 become “an oldie”? I blame Justin Bieber. Let’s call a spade a spade with this one: Frontiers is DAMN scary. I had recently posted about the German thriller Hell and referred to this past flick as reminiscent but realized after the fact that that’s like comparing Apple stock prices lowering $2 a share to the Great Depression. Frontiers isn’t just a thriller- which it is partially is- but is more likenable to films like Hostel and Severance with it’s extreme violence and terrifying plot. But, I’m not just setting you up to peek through the cracks in your hands for 1.5 hours- this movie is actually interestingly written and extremely well pulled off by the cast and crew. It’s a scary bitch to be sure.

Frontiers is a French movie that follows a pack of French Muslim thieves who attempt to flee the country and take refuge in a Bed and Breakfast near the border/frontiers. What could go wrong right? Well, when you combine an aged mansion with more trap rooms and doors than you can shake a stick at AND a surviving Nazi family of sexual miscreants and masochists, you get quite the tail. Don’t give up on me quite yet though, I know it sounds very The Hills Have Eyes or House of a Thousand Corpses which no one is acclaiming as brilliantly written, but this one provides a level of acting and patient thrill that does not solely depend on meat cleavers and vice grips to keep you paying attention. But don’t take my word for it- check it out below.

Click through to read the rest of my review and see the trailer

I know what you’re thinking: ‘Adam, this is SO 2011!”. That said, I’ve come across WAY too many supposed cinephiles lately that have not seen this worthy German flick and therefore it’s my duty to get this piece to the masses: watch Hell! First off, this one ain’t got nothin’ to do with hell… well, not really. Interestingly, the German word for “Bright” (the real title of the movie) is Hell, and the director did not realize the implication it would have to have his film named something in his native language that would have such a clear meaning to us English speakin’ folks. That said, Hell isn’t that bad a name for this movie as that’s pretty much what these characters endure.

I know what you’re thinking: I have to read subtitles AND get terrified at the same time? At least you wont fall asleep though right? “Hell” (or “Bright“) is a look at the world in 2016 in a post-apocalyptic scenario where the sun is so blindingly bright and brilliant that everyone needs to cover from head to toe and gas and water become impossible to come by resources. Yes, the plot isn’t exactly jumping-off-the-page with originality but give it a chance because the execution is brill. As you know if you follow my posts, I’m a lover of all things bare boned and verging on Dogme in terms of production- as a result, this reasonably low budget and simple staging with nothing but a constant lens flare to add the bursting sun effect is a gem for me. It occurs in the wilderness and dirty back roads where most everything included in the story could have been found as the filmers took up the location. That aside, the real power is in the acting.

Click through to read the rest of my review and see the gripping trailer

This weekend, I had the opportunity to was a screener of a new documentary called Addicted To Fame that takes a look at the making of the B-movie, Illegal Aliens, starring the late ’90s icon, Anna Nicole Smith. I had forgotten all of the things that happened leading up to her death and the insane media frenzy that followed her every move.

In the documentary, director David Giancola embarks on the making of Illegal Aliens with the intention of making a ‘movie that mocks B-movies,’ but finds himself mired in an uncontrollable drama brought on by eccentric personalities, tragedy and the madness that is the movie business.

The movie bombed at the box office, but on the flipside the story was the second most-reported of 2007, only after coverage of the Iraq War – that’s how obsessed with her life the media was. This documentary gives the public the first-ever look behind-the-scenes on the set of Anna Nicole Smith’s last movie, dubbed by some critics to be ‘the worst movie ever made,’ starring the most controversial and tragic figure of the 1990s.

Trailer after the jump…

Movie Review: Cloud Atlas

In: Matt, Movies

Cloud Atlas. Go see it. That’s all I have to say.

I’m totally kidding! But seriously, you need to see this movie. It’s one of the must see movies of the years. Hands down!

When I went into this movie I hadn’t read the book. I had watched a six minute trailer that didn’t give any clue to the plot and I was excited; I had an open mind. When I left the theater I was speechless. It’s so hard to put into words the magnitude of this film and how well it was done and put together. Excuse the cliché but the move was EPIC.

The plot is so twisted and complicated that I don’t even know how I’m going to begin to summarize it for you guys but here’s my best attempt:

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Movie Review: Fun Size

In: Matt, Movies

Yawn. I think I’ve seen this before.

Seriously, this movie reminded me of Superbad, except this one was just… Super. Bad.

Entering into the over done genre of “it-all-happened-in-one-night”, Fun Size tells the story of Wren who is left to babysit her 8 year old brother on Halloween night and attempts to attend a Halloween party at the same time. Obviously a night of drama ensues.

The only thing i liked about this horrible movie was Chelsea Handler (who I adore). She play’s Wren’s mom and while her story line is as equally unbelievable as the rest of this movie, her delivery is hilarious. She always manages to get a laugh out of me.

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Movie Review: Taken 2

In: Matt, Movies

The sequel to Liam Neeson’s highly successful movie Taken hits theatres released today. Taken 2 is just as action packed and thrilling as the first, but don’t expect any shocking twists or turns. I kind of felt like I was watching the original all over again.

While on a family vacation, relatives of the men Bryan (Neeson) killed in the first film are seeking revenge on him and his family. They inevitably end up kidnapping Bryan and his ex-wife, leaving only their daughter Kim (Maggie Grace) to set them free and allow bad-ass Bryan to “do what he does best.”

There are some really cool and intense car chases in this film with some top notch explosions and stunts. Unfortunately that wasn’t enough to distract me from the fact that the better part of the film seems too much like the first, with the same women needing rescuing again. Like, how much bad luck can your family have… honestly?

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Movie Review: Won’t Back Down

In: Matt, Movies

This over the top movie of empowerment and inspiration in regards to an apparently failing public school system in the US was released today. While I liked Won’t Back Down as a whole, it has received quite a lot of controversy and criticism in the US. People even showed up to protest it’s premiere with picket signs. The film attempts to critique the difficulty faced in the public school system because of teachers unions. Honestly, I don’t really feel like touching on that subject as I don’t know too much about it. Instead, I’m going to ignore the “based on a true story” nonsense and just review the film as it is.

Maggie Gyllenhaal plays Jamie Fitzpatrick, a single mom who is fed up with the lack of attention her daughter is receiving in her public school class and is unable to afford private school for her daughter. I found her performance in this film to be extremely heartwarming and endearing. She really does play a fantastic mother role and I truly believed she cared about her daughter more than anything.

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