Movie Reviews 11-19-11

The Lost Room

I’m not sure this should really go in with movie reviews, since it was really a TV show, but since it tells a complete story in only 6 episodes, I’m lumping it here.

I absolutely love The Lost Room. Jeremy introduced me to the show a few years ago, and I’ve been vaguely obsessed with it ever since. It’s the story of police officer Joe Miller, who discovers a magical key that opens any door, and causes that door to lead to a hotel room that is outside of space/time. When he leaves the room, the door can lead to anywhere in the world. Unfortunately, his daughter gets lost inside the room and disappears. Now, Joe has to find other magical objects that once resided in the room, and try to figure out a way to save her. I could seriously go on and on about this show, and someday I may. For now though, Just know that The Lost Room is great, and you should go watch it.

5 out of 5

Hellraiser

It’s odd to me that, as such a big horror fan, I’d never seen Hellraiser before this week. Alas, I’ve remedied the situation, and had a damn good time doing it. I really love the effects in this movie. Some of the “hooks tearing skin” stuff looks a little too rubbery, but all of the scenes with the still forming skinless Frank are pretty amazing looking. I’m not a huge Clive Barker fan or anything, but I definitely dug this one.

4 out of 5

Horrible Bosses

Yep. This movie is god-damned-hilarious. I love that the characters come so simply to the conclusion that they should just kill their bosses. It’s the leap of logic that has to work to make this movie happen, and it’s handled really well. Also, I absolutely love the idea of a “murder consultant”. I think I would read a comic book called Murder Consultant.

4 out of 5

Pontypool

I love single location movies like crazy. If it’s done well, it can make for some of the greatest stories. Pontypool is single location horror done perfectly. It deals with tension wonderfully, and the idea of language as a virus is pretty much amazing. Small cast, simple effects, single location, huge mind-bending concept… this is the kind of movie I would love to make.

5 out of 5

Bunraku

Bunraku is basically a mash up of eastern and western revenge stories, set in an interesting, but highly affected near future. The sets for the movie are all constructed and lit to look like a stage show, and while that is an interesting pretense, I mostly just found it distracting. That might have been a different situation if the story had been anything new, but like I said earlier, it’s really just straightforward revenge. Bunraku was nothing terribly new or innovative, and relied almost completely on it’s affectations to make it stand out.

3 out of 5

American Grindhouse

Yep, it’s another showbiz documentary. American Grindhouse covers a lot of the same ground that Machete Maidens did, but it covers a wider breadth of movies. Not just 70s exploitation flicks, but exploitation flicks dating all the way back to the invention of the motion picture. If you’re into cult cinema history, definitely give this one a look. Also, John Landis gives some really excellent interviews.

5 out of 5

Death Race 2

If you follow me on Twitter (and you should, btw), you know that as I was writing up these reviews, I forgot that I had watched this movie. There wasn’t anything particularly good or bad about Death Race 2, there just wasn’t anything memorable. It’s a prequel to the Jason Statham vehicle, and it features the origin of the first Frankenstein. Nothing terribly bad here, but nothing terribly good either.

3 out of 5

Movies I Watched This Week

So, I think I’m going to try and do short reviews of every movie I watch. Nothing terribly long, just a few sentences, and a flat 1 thru 5 rating.

5 = Loved It

4 = Liked It Lots

3 = Good, But Probably Won’t Get A Rewatch

2 = Not Too Good

1 = Turrible

Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale

To start things off though, I’m going to do a slightly longer review. I saw a movie this week that I would give a 6 out of 5 if I could. It’s genius and awesome. That movie is Rare Exports.

You already want to watch it, don't you?

Here’s the elevator pitch:

Archaeologists in Finland dig up the grave of the original Santa Claus. Something evil escapes and it’s up to a little boy, his father, and his father’s friends to contain it.

This movie is not only suspenseful, funny, and incredibly innovative, it’s also beautiful. The scope of some of the shots, set against the Finnish mountains are absolutely amazing. It’s also, in spite of being a dark film that takes place mostly at night, incredibly vibrant and colorful.

Seriously. It's the dead of night, but look how vibrant and crisp that is.

That depth of field is astonishing.

Rare Exports is incredibly well crafted, and the story takes several twists and turns that will leave you amazed. You seriously need to check out this flick.

5 out of 5

The Thing (2011)

Jeremy, Aaron, and I went to the theater for the first time in a long time to see this one. I must say, this is probably the best prequel I’ve ever seen. I’m a huge fan of the John Carpenter movie, and this really seemed to capture the feel and look of the original to a T. While I’m not the biggest Mary Elizabeth Winstead supporter, she also does a pretty decent job here.

While there is one spot where my suspension of disbelief was stretched to the breaking point, this was still a quality flick that fits wonderfully into the continuity of the original.

4 out of 5

The Last Circus

A Spanish film from the awesome Magnet Releasing (Check out the trailer for Tucker and Dale Vs. Evil), this movie was not at all what I was expecting. I thought this would be a madcap kind of romp about a crazy, house of horror style circus side show, but it’s actually a really intense thriller involving a bizarre love triangle. Also, the opening sequence with a machete wielding clown in a dress is one of the creepiest things I’ve ever seen in my life.

4 out of 5

Machete Maidens Unleashed!

That's a killer poster right there.

This documentary about the Filipino film industry of the 70s was thoroughly fascinating. I love the schlocky horror fests, women in cages, and jungle adventures that came out of this era, and seeing the film makers discuss their experiences was a real treat. There’s also a butt-ton of clips from the various movies, which is super sweet, and must have been a licensing nightmare for the film makers. This is a super solid documentary with great interviews, and an excellent array of archival footage. Highly recommended.

5 out of 5

That’s it for this week, folks. If I can, I’d like to do a separate post for every movie I see in the future. We’ll see how that works out.