Saturday, December 31, 2011

Cinema Freaks Presents: The Observer's Top Ten Movies of 2011

Here we go again....

The usual applies: I have not seen all the movies that came out this year, these are my opinions, not anyone else, etc. So keep that in mind if you post any comments or death threats.
So without further ado, here they are:

1. The Ides of March - An excellent representation of the cynical nature of politics and how it destroy people's souls, if they had any to begin with...

2. The Adjustment Bureau - A creative journey that brings into questions the wisdom of humanity and the merits of emotion verses rationality.

3. Super 8 - Director J.J. Abrams pays homage to Steven Spielberg (who helped produce) and his classics in this exciting mystery-adventure movie.

4. Captain America: The First Avenger - A patriotic look at the Marvel superhero who fights the good fight in this solid summer blockbuster.

5. Midnight in Paris - Woody Allen is at the top of his game in this enjoyable comedy with a great set-up, dialogue, and cast of characters.

6. The Tree of Life - A visually and emotionally striking movie featuring...something about Brad Pitt and dinosaurs...well, whatever it is supposed to be about, it is worth seeing.

7. The Debt - Secrets are unveiled in this great thriller about the presence of evil and guilt.

8. The Lincoln Lawyer - Matthew McConaughey plays a defense attorney must battle on his own client in this intriguing courtroom drama about manipulation and payback.

9. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 - Yeah, I am a little surprised this is on my list as well. But, hey, it is one last ride to Hogwarts, and the filmmakers make the most of it.

10. The Help - A look at life in Jim Crow Mississippi as "the help" seek to be heard in this dramady that provides both laughs and powerful insight into the minds of a mistreated but persistent people.

Again, other opinions are welcome. Happy New Year!

The above images and links do not belong to me and are being used for entertainment purposes only. Please do not sue me.

REVIEW: The Unborn (2009)

The end of the year is nigh and I need to pick a really good movie to close us off for this review-season…something truly worthy and monumental enough to be the last review of 2011. It has to be a movie I truly hate with every fiber of my being, something that I would like nothing more than to crush into a billion pieces. Something generic and ridiculous to the max, with little redeeming value at all. Something that could have been released in a blank white DVD case with the word ‘Horror’ on it and lost nothing of its aesthetic worth at all.

Something like…The Unborn.

Director: David S. Goyer
Starring: Odette Annable, Gary Oldman

Why do movies about pregnancy or infants always seem to suck? It never fails. Grace. Nightmare on Elm Street 5. Nine Months. The list goes on – I mean, sure, you had Rosemary’s Baby once upon a time, but that was 40 years ago. These days we get festering loads of ass like this. The Unborn just reeks of phoned in, phony horror from people who wouldn’t know something scary if it came up and bit them. This movie is just horrible. And I can’t wait to get this over with, so let’s get started!

We open with Megan Fox Lite doing one of her morning jogs when she finds a glove on the ground; how exciting, right? Then she turns around and sees a dog with a weird mask on, which looks more like something out of a David Lynch movie – except a really lame David Lynch movie, as there’s really no poetry or mystique to this imagery. Megan Fox Lite follows the dog to a random spot in the woods where she finds a dead baby skeleton that opens its eyes and stares at her – well that’s just rude.

Wow, that looks like something you'd find on the underside of a table in some seedy bar. Sadly this will become a theme for the movie - awful, silly looking CGI fecal matter.

Of course it’s just a nightmare and she wakes up soon after. Then we get her talking to her friend Romy while babysitting, and because Romy is black, she knows all about dream interpretations, voodoo, the supernatural and everything else that will play prominently in the film’s flimsy plot. Because being black automatically equates to being African, which means knowing all about superstitions and magic spells and other stuff like that. How racially sensitive!

"I'm just your average black city girl who knows the whole dictionary of dream interpretations and magic spells. Call me?"

I’d like to note that this is the same chick from Venom who also had the random knowledge of the supernatural in that film too! Sad thing is, I actually think this movie is a step down compared to her last stint as a poorly written racial stereotype…in that movie, at least it made sense, being in the Louisiana swamps. This time it’s just ‘hey! We need a cheap way to shoehorn in bullshit explanations for the supernatural stuff in the movie; go hire a black actress!’

Anyway, Megan Fox Lite gets distracted when she has to go check on the kids, though, and finds the little boy she’s babysitting for holding a mirror shard over the face of his younger sister. He then smacks her across the face with it and says “Jumby is ready to be born,” because little kids are creepy and the filmmakers have zero other ideas.

So then we see that Megan Fox Lite is so excited to be at school that she gets hallucinations in the middle of class! God, how far are we into this again? 10 minutes? Holy crap, can’t you just slow down and tell a story? Is it that hard? We know NOTHING about this character except that she gets jump scared more than the protagonists of The Grudge, The Uninvited and The Ring combined! Not exactly a prideful accomplishment! Where’s the substance? Well, give Hollywood credit, though; they finally achieved their lifelong dream and cut out everything else in a horror movie beyond the retarded jump scares and hallucinations – it’s practically a producer’s wet dream, no effort at all except the most worthless, cheap, pandering garbage imaginable, but still guaranteed to scare legions of idiotic kids with no taste at all. Ka-ching!

We see that Megan Fox Lite goes to an eye doctor with her super-bland-milquetoast boyfriend and a half, and sees Dr. C.S. Lee of Dexter fame, who tells her that she’s been having weird dreams and seeing supernatural things because she needs an eye operation…well that’s stupid. It's even worse than the thing from Haunting of Molly Hartley where they tried to pass off every hallucination as a tumor in the main character's brain. But hey, at least we get to see some shots of her in her underwear later on when she’s at home! So it’s cool.

"Okay Miss Annable, look over here and give an ass shot to the camera to make sure people keep ignoring the ludicrous story and special effects...good! Man, I'm the best director EVER."

Hey, don’t you just love all those scenes in every modern horror movie ever where the heroine stands in front of one of those bathroom mirror cabinets and gets a jump scare? I don’t. But the movie does!

So it isn't in there the first time. Maybe they'll avoid the cliche and...
Nope! WTF is that thing anyway? It looks like that stretching-mouth guy from Legion! Hey, Legion was my first review this year and this is my last. I love tying everything together.

I'm sorry; I can't even find words to describe how bad this is! Hmm...

Yeah that sums it up.

So then Megan Fox Lite goes and sees her dad James Remar (seriously, what’s up with all the Dexter characters?), who tells her that she had a baby brother all along who died in the womb, who they called Jumby…because that’s a logical thing to nickname a baby before it’s born, right? What is that? A new Teletubbies character? Gumby’s half-retarded brother?

But anyway this now connects the dots, as it seems that the ghost of her unborn little brother is now haunting her. Well…that’s a pretty horrible and stupid plot – kind of like something you’d see on Are You Afraid of the Dark. Or rather, the outtakes of Are You Afraid of the Dark, not even good enough to make it onto that show. So I guess it fits with the theme of everything else in the movie being horrible and stupid just fine.

And now it’s time to spin the wheel of Horror Clichés again! We’ve already got ‘bland hot white girl with bland white boyfriend,’ and we ticked off the ‘jump scare involving a mirror cabinet in the bathroom’ twice even! We’re getting to the ‘dialogue that is really nothing more that cheap exposition’ quotient…so what’s left? How about ‘trite and played-out subplot involving the main character’s mother who is no longer around, but has something to do vaguely with the main plot’? Yeah that oughta do it.

Megan Fox Lite looks through some old crap in the attic and finds some pictures that somehow lead her to this old peoples’ home where she talks to an old lady who refuses to tell them anything at all – until about 10 minutes later into the film; spoilers! Until then, we can contend ourselves with stupid shit happening in the bathroom of a nightclub. Spooky!

Yeah that looks like most bathrooms in any big city.

Ugh, this is so horrendous; how much longer is it again? Like an hour? GOD THIS IS TORTURE.

So yeah, the old lady calls her at 2 in the morning or so and asks her to come back to the old peoples’ home to talk to her, and we find out that the old lady is actually her grandmother, who surprisingly never tried to contact her before now, I suppose. Stupid, but hey, it’s The Unborn. We then get a long, boring flashback that tells us this whole thing actually started back in the concentration camps of World War II, when her baby brother died in scientific occult experiments done by Nazi scientists. Because we really needed Nazis in this movie, right? Just give up, movie; you’re way beyond any ability to make us give a crap now.

Apparently a demon possessed his body and the old lady had to kill her brother in order to get rid of the demon. Only that backfired when the demon then decided to haunt the entire bloodline! That’s kind of like putting a band-aid on a small cut right before you realize you were supposed to keep your eyes on the road, and end up driving right off a goddamn cliff.

Being that she’s already spewed out all the worthless exposition the film needed her for, the old lady gets killed off in the middle of the night by a horrible CGI effect, but not before leaving a letter to Megan Fox Lite telling her to never give up and keep fighting and all sorts of other stuff that makes Megan Fox Lite’s eyes well up for some super-cinematic tears with melodramatic music in the background!

"That's right, Miss Annable, just cry your best cliche, over the top movie tears and we'll have the best scene ever. Man, my own directing makes me hot down below!"

And also, what the hell is the logic in this? How would she know to write this letter when she didn’t know she was going to die later? At least try to make sense, you damn movie!

So then she goes to see a guy that looks like Gary Oldman. We already have the Megan Fox look-alike, and now we have the…wait, what do you mean that IS Gary Oldman? He would never do a movie this ba---

Well, okay, one time, but…

Uh, well, maybe twice, but still…

OKAY! OKAY! This is really nothing new for him! Happy? He just has a knack for picking shit films once in a while and this is unfortunately another one he probably won’t want to put on his resume. He’s playing an interminably dull and boring priest who Megan Fox Lite hires to do an exorcism on her. They team up with the only basketball playing expert on exorcisms ever – it’s good to have multiple talents! – and sit around and talk about boring stuff some more.

"OOOOoooooh, look at my abstract weird imagery, aren't I the best and most edgy director ever? David Lynch eat your heart out! I got a dog with an upside down head! Sure it looks like a horrible Photoshop, but it's just so edgy, man!"

I’m all for scenes that establish the story through interesting character nuance, but…that isn’t what this is. This is crappy cheap-ass exposition written by people who have no earthly idea about how to write a story. Literally every bit of dialogue in this damn movie is exposition trying to make the dumbass plot more coherent! Where’s the character connection? I guess they just forgot to write that in! Most of these scenes are just window dressing – just backgrounds and people doing arbitrary things in front of them while they rattle off their hideously asinine exposition. Oh, please, explain the story to us some more, writers! Haven’t gotten enough of that yet! That’s truly the way to invest us!

Oh yeah, and the black chick dies when she gets stabbed by the little boy from across the street. I know, just go with it. Apparently the demon can possess people now! And I guess nobody noticed the little kid leaving his house with one of mommy’s kitchen knives…methinks better parental supervision would be a good idea, perhaps. Not to mention the silliness factor is only multiplied when the demon jumps out of the kid and into the dying girl – why he did that I do not know, as clearly she’s dying and will soon be of no use to him – and puts on his best Exorcist impression. By which I actually mean worst, and cheesiest, Exorcist impression. Sounds more like a castrated frog.

"Don't you ever try to imitate me! I will END YOU!"

The “climax” of the film is a big sloppy mess that pretty much has ‘try-hard’ written all over it. They didn’t have any actual atmosphere or scares, so they put in a nearly unwatchable miasma of people screaming, demonic faces, flashy lights and other stuff that makes the movie look like a little kid screaming for attention because his mom and dad wouldn’t buy him a damn Optimus Prime action figure. Seriously, this is wretched. You have to TRY to be this bad!

"Let it be known...that I...achieved my be...the blandest horror boyfriend...ever..."

Oh, the boyfriend died? What a Shakespearian tragedy! Seriously, they try to make this whole thing so tragic and whatnot, but really he was a complete cardboard cut-out of a character the whole movie, with no human traits and nothing to distinguish him from the nearest lamppost. So really I feel about as much emotion here as I did the last time I threw out a pair of socks.

The movie ends with Megan Fox Lite finding out she’s pregnant with twins!

Hey, the best actors in the movie have finally arrived!

Uh oh! Irony! That’s a good movie ending, right right? No.

I have spent way too much time already on this, but my god! What kind of festering brain tumor could possibly come up with this? It’s unbearable torture to watch; one of the worst I’ve ever reviewed on this site. There’s just nothing in it that I can describe as any kind of quality. It’s long, it’s stupid, it’s silly and most of all, IT’S BORING. The Unborn is just about everything wrong with 2000s horror wrapped up into one odorous package. I hate this movie and I hate anyone who likes it! Just scrap this crap; throw it in the garbage forever.

As for me, I’m going to go wash this down with some good old New Years celebrations. Happy 2012, folks. See you then!

All images copyright of their original owners. I do not own any of them.

Friday, December 30, 2011

War Horse (2011)

Starring: Jeremy Irvine, Emily Watson, Peter Mullan, a bunch of horses
Director: Steven Spielberg

The year is almost over, but I got time for one more review, so let's check out this popular film that is currently in theatres.

Based on the book and the play of the same name, the movie is about a English boy named Albert and his horse Joey (played by 14 different horses, believe it or not). However, this bond is threatened when the horse is sold to a soldier (Tom Hiddleston) about to head off to fight in World War I, beginning a long journey as the animal exchanges owners over the course of the conflict.

I will start off with the good stuff. The film has great scenery, with beautiful shots of England and mainland Europe. The battle scenes are also well shot (it was almost as if the directer did "Saving Private Ryan" or something), and even though the violence is relatively mind in order to maintain a PG-13 rating, it still maintains a level of intensity. One of the best moments from this is when a character is literally facing his death and has a look of complete dread in his eyes before it all comes to an end. There are some other really good parts (both on and off the battlefield) that really allow the characters to shine and they try to find hope in times of darkness, determined never to give up.

I will say that the film has one major flaw. In the course of changing owners, the horse ends up with a spirited but frail girl and her grandfather (Celine Buckens and Niels Arestrup, respectively). The problem with this? There is simply no reason for this subplot to exist. It focuses exclusively on them for a good 20 minutes or so, but it does not progress the story at all. The segment is not brought up again until the end, but it is resolved fairly quickly (and almost cruelly). I am not sure if this was included in the book or the play or if it was added to bring in the younger female audience. Either way, it should have been cut out. It would have shaved the film's rather lengthily 2 hour, 26 minute running time, allowing for more focus on the actual war itself, and may have given it more of an adult appeal, which is what a movie about a boy and his horse usually requires in order to make it a generally "well-rounded picture," for lack of a better phrase.

Overall, this is a fine, heartwarming family film. Granted, I think it suffers from its attempts to try reach different audiences. It's a difficult task, though quite frankly I expected more out of Spielberg, who has probably had more success with this strategy than any director or producer alive today. Still, it was good for what it was and the negatives are comfortably outweighed by the positives. I recommend it.

I will be posting my Top Ten List very shortly, so stay tuned!

These images and links do not belong to me and are being used for entertainment purposes only. Please do not sue me.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

REVIEW: Santa's Slay (2005)

This movie was probably originally some kind of jokey Super Bowl commercial or something, you know, with Bill Goldberg as Santa Clause advertising some asinine product that people will only remember at all because of the commercial itself. “Hey, Susie, check out this special brand of Pepsi that tastes no different from the regular brand at all!” “Wasn’t that the one from that Bill Goldberg commercial where he played Santa Claus?” “Yeah!”

Yeah, then they made a movie out of that. Santa’s Slay, everybody!

Director: David Steiman
Starring: Bill Goldberg, Douglas Smith

We start off with a random family of assholes sitting around at a Christmas table and saying random mean things to one another. Oh how precious. But luckily Bill Goldberg in a Santa suit comes bursting through the chimney like the Kool Aid guy and breaks up the party!

…no, really, look; I’m not kidding!

On the top 10 list of things you never thought you'd see today.

Yes, former professional wrestler Bill Goldberg is our serial killer for the evening, decked out in his best Santa Claus get-up…it’s a premise that sounds more fitting of your little brother’s fanfictions he wrote while sick in bed, but somehow it warranted a full length movie I guess. The world is a confusing place.

Then we get our main characters, some selfish, immature little bastard and the hot chick he works with, who dates him probably because he’s the only guy her age in the whole damn town. The town, by the way, is called Hell Township – what cutting wit. You’ll notice that’s one of the main themes of the movie; corny, ridiculous humor of the kind that only people who would have wanted to see Bill Goldberg in a slasher movie would find funny. So I guess in that respect it works.

And for some reason there’s this odd fascination with cursing, and almost every joke in the movie involves some kind of curse word usage…is that really all they have? Like this scene in the beginning where this old lady comes into the store the kids are working at and just starts swearing at them for basically no reason. It’s like, uh, okay? Now do you have anything funny? As the movie goes on, I began to see the answer was no.

So Nicholas and Mac, who are the two main characters, basically just ride around while she listens to him bitch about how horrible Christmas is because he never got an Optimus Prime action figure as a kid…oh, shut up you little worm; get some real problems.

"Oh, I'm so tortured; I didn't get anything I wanted for Christmas and now I'm a protagonist in Santa's Slay!" know, on second thought maybe he does have some legitimate problems to complain about...

But little does Nicholas know that he’s about to get a true Christmas awakening as Goldberg Claus (yes, that's what I'm calling him for the remainder of the review) wreaks havoc on the town!

These are really some of the only entertaining scenes in this thing – I’ll give the movie that. But there are also really, really BORING scenes where Nicholas’s grandfather tries to tell us the plot in the most droning, rambling way EVER…I’m drifting off to sleep…zzzzz….




Huh? Whuh? Oh, excuse me; I must have dozed off and missed some of the movie! Dammit, man, this has never happened…this is so embarrassing; how will I ever be taken seriously as a reviewer now?! I guess I could go back and rewind the movie…

A police chief dressed as Santa Claus at work and a stereotypical Jewish guy impaled on a menorah? Nah, I didn’t miss anything substantial. Moving on.

So to recap, I guess the plot of this ridiculous thing is that Santa lost a game of curling to an angel and was forced to be nice and deliver presents for 1000 years, and now that contract is up and he can go back to killing again! Did anyone even read this out loud? Try it next time, guys. Might help you create something that’s funny and doesn’t make you sound like a complete ass when you talk about it.

One of the movie’s best moments is this: another rotten, idiotic family of people who let their kids swear profusely (“Can we open our motherfucking presents?!”…ugh, and yes that’s the actual line the little boy says…) apparently becomes the victim of Goldberg Claus’s sporadic bombing as he put explosives in their presents…

Why did he do this, and how? Unimportant, compared to the final result: hilarity!

So then Nicholas’s grandpa gets killed when Santa’s sleigh (or slay? HA-HA-HA!) runs him over randomly as he’s standing outside. This prompts Goldberg Claus to utter the insightful masterwork of dialogue writing with “Grandpa got run over by a reindeer!” followed by laughing. They say laughing at your own jokes is a sign that you aren’t funny, and yeah, I’d say this is about what they had in mind.

From here the movie descends into a ridiculous cat-and-mouse chase that resembles something out of a drugged out Mario Kart game:

Coming soon to a crappy low-rent video store near you, DIE HARD 5: CRAPPY PRO-WRESTLERS IN SANTA OUTFITS VERSUS SPOILED KIDS! Man, they really let the series go, didn't they?

And he shoots fireballs! Gee, that’s like…something a really bad, washed up pro-wrestler might do when he re-enters the ring for a contrived comeback…well, gee; I’m starting to see a big reason why this movie was made!

Pro wrestling stunts are only getting more and more specific, aren't they? Dressing up in a Santa outfit and shooting fireballs from his mouth is probably only going to appeal to a very, very, very small niche of the population.

So then they have the BIG EPIC SHOWDOWN on the ice hockey rink. We also get a great view of Mac’s mouth as Goldberg Claus is about to run them over with the floor sweeper:

Zoom the camera in closer! Seeing more close up shots of her teeth will really make the movie good!

Nicholas’s grandfather comes back and reveals that he was the angel all along who banished Santa in the first place, challenging him to yet another game of curling, because lord knows THAT’S the best way to decide epic battles for the fate of humanity…for some reason, Nicholas’s grandfather doesn’t just make the stakes so that Goldberg Claus gets killed forever if he loses, but instead just that he goes back to being good again.

Grampy Gramps loses and it looks like all hope is lost…before Nicholas knocks him out cold with a Nutcracker figurine that can shoot magic fireballs; I’m dead serious. Ugh.

So the film ends with Mac getting her brother and some old Indian guy with a voice-box machine who still smokes – okay, that’s funny too; that’s at least two good jokes – to help them shoot down Goldberg Claus’s sleigh as he escapes. They find out it’s just the corrupt priest who Goldberg Claus kidnapped earlier, and assume he was the killer all along, letting Goldberg Claus get away. Nicholas decides not to say anything because he’s an idiot, and wants everyone to lower their defenses for the next killing spree Goldberg goes on! What a great main character, man.

So that’s Santa’s Slay and man is it stupid. I will say it’s not totally horrendous. It’s mostly just dumb – it’s meant to be a joke, and so you can’t really deck it for not being too serious, but then again, the jokes there are, are just not very good as it is. Santa’s Slay is like one of those corny jokes that isn’t funny on its own but becomes funny by virtue of just how corny and lame it is. I don’t hate this movie and I’d even prefer to watch it over some of the other crap I’ve reviewed on here. That isn't really saying much, though…oh well. Merry Belated Christmas.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Dexter Season 6 Review - SPOILERS

No, seriously guys, there are spoilers in this one. So if you don't want anything spoiled for you, I suggest you go finish watching the season before reading my review.

Another year has passed, and with it another Dexter season. Six seasons in is a long time for a TV show, and luckily more people than ever are watching Dexter these days. We got the advertising for this one early on, with the indication that it would revolve around a pair of religious zealots killing people as Dexter tried to figure out his spiritual misgivings and what he wanted to pass on to his 2-year old son Harrison. A year has passed since the events of the emotional roller-coaster season 5, and with it comes a more confident and self-reliant Dexter than we’ve seen in several years.

This was purported to be the darkest Dexter season yet, and I guess you could say it is. The imagery is chock-full of candle-lit churches at night, quivering women, beaten and battered, chained to the wall and dead bodies with black symbols carved into their rotting flesh, and the religious theme is weighty as expected, and handled with Dexter’s usual dark, artistic edge. But the core is, as always, the characters, as each main character has his or her own journey. And there are lots of changes this season, from LaGuerta’s promotion to Captain, Quinn proposing to Deb and Deb becoming the new lieutenant – all in the span of the first two episodes.

Dexter is his usual self, having bounced back from the traumatic experiences from the previous two seasons. He’s witty and stoic and generally we have fun watching his continued attempts to stay out of the limelight with his, erm, hobbies. This season he gets involved early on with Brother Sam (Mos), who is an ex-con-turned-preacher who helps him see a chance for light in him, even through his dark passenger’s hold. Sam is an excellent character, and adds a real presence to the show – he’s a good actor. He and Dexter interact pretty brilliantly, and play off each other well.

Masuka is up to more trickery and he’s bringing in interns to study in the Homicide department. Two of them turn out to be duds, but Louis (Josh Cooke) is a proverbial wiz-kid who knows how to dig deep into the vaults of the internet and turn up info the department couldn’t find otherwise. Cooke is unassuming, innocent and quiet…which makes it all the more startling when his true nature is revealed. I dunno, I guess I kind of saw something coming, but I’m interested in exactly what they do with his character next season. His arc hasn’t been resolved yet, and I think he’s something we haven’t yet seen on the show.

I rather like Quinn’s arc, in which he traverses through a seemingly endless train of drunkenness, humiliating himself and generally being an ass after Deb dumps him. He says he’s “just being a single guy, having fun” but clearly that’s not true, and the dichotomy between what he says and what’s really going on make him a more interesting character than he used to be. Not to mention scenes of him and Batista sharing a dooby in their squad car while on a particularly slow day are priceless. At the end of the season, after several mishaps and clashes, Batista finally puts in a request for a transfer for him, to which he uses a loophole and some cleverly selective wording to pass off his jackassery as a legitimate alcoholism problem – thus able to stay in homicide if he gets help. Clever and underhanded – looks like Quinn’s going back to his old ways. All that stuff from last season about him becoming a better person? I guess that’s just out the window now.

The only real disappointment is the villains, who sound cool and intimidating on paper, but I just don’t think as much work was put into their characters as the drama between our main characters this season. Professor James Gellar (Edward Olmos) and his apprentice Travis (Colin Hanks) are trying to bring about the end of the world by killing people in accordance with several Biblical tableaux. They’re just not that scary, and most of the time I had a hard time taking either of them very seriously. Gellar is incredibly one-note and most of his dialogue is just redundant. Travis almost gets some depth here and there with his sister in the picture, but even that’s just window-dressing.

In the last four episodes, it’s revealed that Travis has been working alone the whole time and Gellar has been dead all along – basically Travis is akin to Dexter; acting with a dark passenger ‘talking’ to him all the time. At this point Travis basically makes the leap of no return and becomes a completely generic ‘crazy’ villain, without much depth or intricacy to his character at all. Too bad I guess.

One thing Dexter has always been good at is creating a great story arc. The flow of the episodes into one another is very natural, creating some great drama. As usual, not every episode is a stand-alone barn-burner, but as a whole, the season has a lot of verve and energy, and everything seems urgent and intense as hell.

One of the standout episodes is ironically the one that departs from the arc the rest of the season is creating. It’s episode 7, “Nebraska,” and it revolves around Dexter going to a nowhere town in Nebraska to confront Jonah Mitchell, the son of the Trinity Killer, who is the only surviving member of the family Dexter interacted with in season 4 – and who is suspected of killing his family. Dexter’s whole story in this season is about his search for faith, and what it means. Brother Sam had been helping him up until this point, but in the previous episode, he was killed, and Dexter, despite Sam’s direct advice to the contrary, murdered the young man who shot him. Armed then with a dark freedom of conscience and the spirit of his dead brother by his side, as opposed to his dead father, Dexter goes to Nebraska to kill Jonah. That along with the cool scenery is a big reason why “Nebraska” rules.

The rest of the season goes swimmingly until episode 11, “Talk to the Hand,” in which the show finally goes where everyone never wanted them to – a romance between Deb and Dexter. Deb, talking to her psychologist, realizes that every guy she’s ever gone out with, including Quinn, is a reflection of her hidden feelings for Dexter, and through a rather icky dream sequence, confirms this. I wouldn’t be so against it if the romance wasn’t horribly contrived. I’m sorry, but for this show’s usual high standards for romance (witness the final scenes between Dexter and Rita in season 4, or the ones with Deb and Lundy early on in the show), lines like “Sometimes everything seems so perfect…and then you’re walking away” are just crap, plain and simple. Even if they are just in Deb’s dreams.

The final episode rules, though, with a lot of great shots, some awesome moments and one of Dexter’s best speeches ever – listen to how badass he sounds; there is no beating that. The man is a legend. And then the show hits us with perhaps its biggest plot twist…Debra’s discovery of Dexter as he’s killing Travis. Dexter looks up, goes soft and says “Oh, god,” and that’s what we’re left with, folks! Damn you, Dexter, for your cliffhangers, as expertly placed and commercially minded as they are! As underhanded as this is, as clearly as it is just calculated to be a marketing ploy to keep people watching, it’s done remarkably well, and fits perfectly with the way the season was going.

So season 6 was another firecracker for the Dexter train as it keeps on rolling. I liked this better than season 5 by quite a bit, as everything seemed to have more energy and power behind it, and all the actors really gave 110% performances. The story, while lacking the subtlety of older seasons, is still good, and I think people complaining about that are overreacting. Dexter in its early days was indeed a more unique show, and had a lot more subtlety and layers to it, with Dexter’s interactions with his victims and various other people as he tried to figure out how to act in general being intricate and idiosyncratic. These days the show goes for bigger, more overt and in-your-face shocks and twists, and it’s safe to say the show has ‘sold out,’ in a manner of speaking – it lacks the old school precise wit and originality in place of a more streamlined action/detective template – but as long as Dexter keeps having seasons this good, I’ll keep watching. Sell-out or not, season 6 is a winner.

All images copyright of their original owners.

REVIEW: TiMER (2009)

Director: Jac Shaeffer
Starring: Emma Caulfield, John Patrick Amedori, Michelle Borth

As far as romantic comedies go, TiMER is a creative one. The premise, about a not-too-distant future where the latest trend is tiny “timers” that tell people when they’re about to meet their soul-mate, is played so naturally that you’ll believe this is reality already. It stars Emma Caulfield as a slightly prude 30-year old whose timer still hasn’t gone off at all, much to her dismay, as everyone around her is finding love left and right. She falls in with a younger guy (John Patrick Amedori) who plays drums in a band even though he’s already got a timer counting down.

Pretty much the core of the story is the way the characters interact with each other and, in turn, with the timer devices – the film uses the science fiction concept to bring out the aspects of its characters. Emma Caulfield is pretty good, and succeeds in making us care about her, and her sister played by Michelle Borth is rambunctious and loud but also caring – an addictive personality on screen. John Patrick Amedori is Mikey, and while his character is a little generic as the whole ‘poor young college student who messes around but has a heart of gold,’ he pulls it off well.

This is a film about relationships, and while it won’t appeal to some people, it really is a very smart and well-balanced film. TiMER talks clearly about the choices people make in relationships and how we can’t always know who’s right for us. The concept is used in a very Vonnegut-esque manner, taking a concept and exaggerating it to a ridiculous degree, to illustrate the eerie possibility of where we’re going. The world right now is obsessed with doing things more efficiently, doing them faster. How long is it before we allow our relationships with other people to be computerized and made super-efficient? Trial-and-error dating is costly and ineffective – or that’s what the movie says, anyway.

TiMER begs the question, what if the person scientifically and biologically calculated to be your soulmate isn’t really the one you want to spend time with? All the science in the world can’t destroy the strange and illogical fallacies and labyrinthine eccentricities of the heart.

Friday, December 23, 2011

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989)

Starring: Chevy Chase, Beverly D'Angelo, Randy Quaid
Director: Jeremiah Chechik

"If that thing had nine lives, you just spent 'em all." -Cousin Eddie

Well, it is Christmas Eve and I have decided to celebrate it by reviewing a modern classic and one of my personal holiday favorites.

The third in the "Vacation" series, the film stars Clark Griswold, once again played by Chevy Chase, and the rest of his family as he attempts to put together the prefect Christmas. But as you can imagine, things do not go as planned, and he has to do some quick thinking in order to advert disaster.

This movie is great because it shows what people both love and hate about the Christmas season. On the one hand, you get to admire the tree, the decorations, and the dinners, and to immerse yourself in the nostalgia of your childhood. On the other hand, you have the difficulty of actually getting and setting up the tree, the lights, the dinner, etc. You also have the annoying boss (Brian Doyle-Murray) who acts like a Scrooge and gets in the way of your big present for the year. And, of course, you have the annoying relatives. True, there are Clark's kind parents (John Randolph and Diane Ladd), but they are countered by his condescending in-laws (E.G. Marshall and Doris Roberts) and his absent minded uncle and aunt (William Hickey and Mae Questel, respectively).

Most if not all of us have had to go through these trails and tribulations, and this films lays them all out in the open. Clark tries to manage all of this with a smile on his face, but that smile is a painful one, coupled with a number of snide remarks that seem to slide just enough under the radar to prevent him from getting in trouble. It is the kind of performance that only some actors can pull off, but funnyman Chase is one of them. While his desire for an idealistic holiday borders on the obsessive and at times his sanity seems to be unravelling as quickly as his plans, you can still sympathize with him since we all want to have a great time at this point in the year and are therefore frustrated when it does not work out.

Now I would not be able to do a proper review of this movie without mentioning Cousin Eddie, played once again by Randy Quaid. He is basically the epitome of the relative you wish would not show up for at Christmas (in this case, he was not even invited). He is rude, crude, loud, and a constant headache for Clark. His ineptitude causes much of the problems that plague his relatives and leads to many of the funniest parts in the film. So why he a positive in this flick as opposed to an annoyance? First of all, Quaid (who has done this type of role in other films with mixed results) plays the character to perfection; he is annoying, but "a good kind" of annoying. Secondly, he is not necessarily a bad person. He is genuinely gracious when Clark helps him pay for his own family's gifts and even tries to repay him...granted, in a crazy and highly illegal fashion. Lastly, as I mentioned before, he is relatable. Everyone has a Cousin Eddie in the family, or at least someone similar to him. You cannot help but laugh because you know exactly how it feels.

All that pretty much emphasises the main point of the film. It shows that even during the holidays, life is not prefect, no one within this life is prefect, and the various problems that result from these facts will pop up whether you want them to or not. Still, everyone tries to make the best of it, and with a little bit of luck and patience, they can all still have a joyous time together.

What can I say? I love this movie! It has memorable characters played by a talented cast (many of whom went on to do a number of famous parts on TV and other films), a lot of funny scenes and lines, a great soundtrack (particularly the main theme) and it has enough heart to make it a really solid and entertaining movie for the whole family. Well...kind of. There are some crude parts to it and a lot of slapstick which may turn some people off, especially if they have younger children. But generally speaking, it is very enjoyable. In case you are wondering, I am not going to rank this against the other "Vacation" movies since I have not seen them in a long time, if at all. I am also not going to be seeing or reviewing the direct-to-DVD spin-off "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation 2: Cousin Eddie's Island Adventure" is the direct-to-DVD spin-off "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation 2: Cousin Eddie's Island Adventure." And I do not think I need to because his film stands out just fine on its own.

I definitely recommend it.

Have a Merry Christmas!

The images and links on this page do not belong to me; they are copyrighted by their respective owners and are being used for entertainment purposes only. Please do not sue me. Or Cousin Eddie.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

REVIEW: The Traveler (2010)

This…is an atrocity. What kind of sick, depraved mind ever conceived of a film this disgusting and despicable? It’s practically indefensible. There’s nothing good about it. But I have to get this over with and finally tell the world about The Traveler, so let’s do it.

Director: Michael Oblowitz
Starring: Val Kilmer, Dylan Neal

And it’s set on Christmas, too, so it’s appropriate for the month! It starts off with a bright, sunny field of flowers and a little girl playing, because that’s not discordant with the rest of the movie…but then she gets kidnapped, because her father lets her play in random patches of woods far, far away from any supervision, like a good parent. Oh, wait, I mean like a TERRIBLE parent who deserves to be locked up for negligence! And if you didn’t get it this time, this same scene will be replayed at least two more times throughout the film. Not for any real reason or anything, but because the filmmakers simply have no other substance, so they just keep showing the same garbage over and over again to pad out the runtime like the lazy assholes they are.

Then we get two cops coming back to the station on a rainy night. They curse casually a few times like normal guys would, nothing weird about it, which prompts the fat toad, whose name is Gulloy, sitting at the desk to say their language is inappropriate. Well I didn’t know police station meant daycare! Seriously, this guy is a wuss. We get introduced to the other cops, who are pretty bland and forgettable.

So they all find out that the roads are down and they’re stuck in the station on Christmas eve in the rain, sounds like a party to me, too. Val Kilmer comes in, and while I have to say I can fully buy the character of Val Kilmer as a derelict bum from the streets, this character is pretty boring too. And seeing as he’s our killer for the movie, I’d say that’s a pretty early indication of how far into the suckage hole this movie is gonna drink. He just sits there. He has no charisma, no presence at all!

Watch as my face never changes expression...seriously it's like this guy's eyes are glued in place that way.

There’s a really stupid moment in the beginning here when Kilmer tells them that he killed someone. Gulloy freaks out and points a gun at Kilmer and won’t put it down even when the other officers come in to check things out. Even though he’s impeding the police process and endangering the whole station, Gulloy keeps the gun up. Where did they find this guy? Did they just take a Boy Scout Camp leader and put him in a cop uniform? He’s just ludicrous!

But if you think Kilmer is one-dimensional and dull, wait until you see our main character Detective Black, played by Dylan Neal. He was the father of the girl in the opening, whose wife divorced him after he lost their child. I guess we’re supposed to sympathize or something, but honestly it’s not played up too much, and why would you want to anyway? The guy’s a complete tool. He’s never nice to anyone, constantly shouts and puts people down and on top of that, HE’S THE KIND OF PARENT WHO LEAVES HIS KIDS UNSUPERVISED IN THE MIDDLE OF THE WOODS. Screw sympathy. This guy is the worst!

So they go through all the motions and get his fingerprints and mugshots and everything. These are really the only creepy moments in the film, as when they print out the mugshots, his head and hands aren’t visible at all. That’s admittedly pretty creepy. But they pretty much ruin it afterwards, as the rest of the film is repetitive, droning, offensive and exploitative trash. They put him in an interrogation room where he won’t tell them anything. Detective Black utilizes the best interrogating technique, shouting randomly and opening his mouth SUPER-WIDE!


Meanwhile, one of the other officers goes wandering around in the back and accidentally gets locked in one of the cells. While Kilmer confesses that one of the people he killed was whipped brutally on the back, the guy is killed by an invisible force striking him on the back and bloodying up the cell. Man! Now they’ll have to clean that cell, and that takes a lot of work!

So then Gulloy and one of the other guys talk about how Val Kilmer looks like this drifter that they beat the crap out of after Detective Black’s daughter went missing. The logical thing to do would be tell Detective Black immediately, but of course they wait until at least one more person dies first…meanwhile Val Kilmer speaks in riddles, leers creepily and talks in a low voice. Boring.

But the real meat and potatoes of the movie is the flashback scenes of the drifter guy being tortured, which are played constantly whenever someone gets killed off. The kills are all shot in a spastic Marilyn Manson music video style, which makes me think the directors just want the viewers to have seizures – hell, that’s the only way anyone could possibly enjoy this crap anyway. And then you get the interspliced flashbacks, as such:

It’s just so redundant! They really seem to think it necessary to keep showing the flashbacks interspliced into every kill scene, like otherwise we wouldn’t get that it’s all revenge for what the cops did to the homeless guy a year ago. It treats the viewers like idiots, and that alone makes this movie completely indefensible. Why would I ever want to watch something that doesn’t think I’m smart enough to understand its ludicrous plot?

And MAN did these cops go all out in torturing this guy! They go so far with whipping him and hitting him with shovels and even trying to suffocate him…these are really supposed to be our protagonists? I’ve had more affection for pot roasts on the stove. For cavities in my mouth. These people are scum! There’s nothing likable about them; they’re just all around abhorrent! But hey, anything to invent more gory, bloody kills to sell your movie, right?

That’s really the drive here – gore. Lots and lots of gore. It’s tedious, unpleasant and puerile. Never is it even one bit entertaining or interesting, never does it serve any ounce of a point to the story beyond the flimsy ‘revenge’ motive that the film thinks is clever. By the hour mark, when the characters figure out that Kilmer’s character is a supernatural entity killing them off for revenge when he ‘confesses,’ the viewer’s eyes are glazed over and he or she is already half asleep. There’s nothing going on!

If you think I’m not talking about the film’s plot enough, well, that’s because it’s just the same violent and gruesome flashbacks played again and again, until you want to beat your brain against the wall just so the banality will stop. Ugh. This is intolerable! Who watches this shit, serial killers? Weird fetishists who get off on seeing a homeless guy beat up by a bunch of supposed ‘law enforcement officers’? I suppose it would be useful as an insomnia medication, but then again, it’s so unnecessarily gruesome and unpleasant that it even fails as that! So basically it’s a movie with no appeal to anyone who actually has a normal functioning brain. Hurrah.

There’s this one scene where Detective Black decides to go into Exposition Mode and rattle off this story about Vietnam and superstitions and all of this, and really, why even bother, movie? You’re trash, and have nothing worthwhile to contribute at all.

So the characters all get killed off, with one of my favorites being when the woman cop is trapped in the car and the last remaining guy besides Detective Black is trying to break the window with his baton. The window clearly isn’t breaking, but he keeps hitting it anyway. Keep trying there, bud, maybe the next one will finally do something different! They say insanity is trying the same thing over and over but expecting different results…maybe this is what they had in mind. Whoever they are.

His death scene is an unwatchable mess of more music-video-vomit-style editing and Val Kilmer’s drugged out muttering over the top, with the added bonus of seeing the cop’s bludgeoned bloody body at the end – classy, movie; real classy. I'd post a picture, but really that would just be buying into the movie's exploitative, poor-taste crap, and I'm above that.

Now it’s down to just Detective Black and Kilmer. Kilmer reveals that he actually was guilty, and just did all the murders for shits and giggles basically. He actually DID kill Black’s daughter. He says that after they beat him up and put him in a coma, his hateful dreams allowed him to come back and kill them all after he actually died. So yeah, that means that everyone in this movie is a deplorable excuse for a human being! I so love movies where you can’t empathize with anyone at all!

Detective Black has figured out that apparently Kilmer’s superpowers only work when the victims can hear him…well, that’s stupid, considering that most of the other victims couldn’t hear him when they died! So I think it’s safe to say the movie is just grasping for straws to provide us with more gore:

At least now I'll never have to hear a Nickelback song again!

Yes, he stabs out his own eardrums with a pen, how delightful. He then runs into the spirit of his dead daughter, who tells him that Kilmer’s weakness is hearing his own name, Stanley Harpenden. Really, that’s what his name is? That’s like looking at this picture:

…and saying, hey, his name is Timmy Jones. He’s a nice guy and likes reading and walks on the beach. It just doesn’t add up!

So yeah, aside from the absurd nonsense of having to say the killer’s name in order to kill him, which is probably the sloppiest, worst-written cop out I’ve seen in a movie ever, Black kills him by shooting him a few times, and that’s pretty much how it ends. Lame.

So, what have we learned today? That this movie is the equivalent of testicular cancer! There is nothing about this heinous film that I can even recommend one bit. It's awful. It's rotten, wretched goop; the absolute bottom of the barrel. Frankly, if you like this movie, I’d have to call your tastes into question. There’d have to be a good argument for any quality found in this droning, boring, bloody nonsense. I wonder if I have hateful enough thoughts about the film, like Val Kilmer did about the cops who beat him up, then my hate will be manifested into vengeance, and the film will cease to exist...well, probably not, but hey, it’s worth a shot! Now if you’ll excuse me…

All images copyright of their original owners.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

REVIEW: Bikini Girls on Ice (2009)

Yup, it’s that time again, to review a stupid slasher movie! I should probably be reviewing a winter-themed horror flick, but I live in Florida and we have no concept of snow or even cold, really. So I’ll be reviewing this, because hey, it’s got ice in the title, so it’s about as close as Florida ever gets to winter anyway.

Director: Geoff Klein
Starring: Cindel Chartrand, Danielle Doetsch

Yes, Bikini Girls on Ice, that’s the real title. Am I dreaming? Well, apparently not, because this is a movie about a bunch of chicks wearing bikinis getting put quite literally AND figuratively on ice. I can’t make this stuff up, people. Ah well. At least it isn’t as misogynistic as 5ive Girls.

So we start off with a chick driving at night wearing a bikini. She stops for directions at a creepy old gas station, and seems to be completely oblivious to the fact that walking into a dark, unfamiliar place wearing almost nothing MIGHT – might – not be the best idea in the world. But it’s OK, because help really is right on the way:

Interesting position there, girl...
He likes putting them in ice boxes! So that's what the title means! Pointless, seeing as we NEVER explore any reason why he does this...we never even figure out his name, for Pete's sake!

Whoops, did I say help is on the way? I must have confused ‘help’ with ‘getting killed brutally’ again…oh, and I love how even though she was only inside for a second, the killer still found time to chain her car up so she couldn’t drive away. Not like that would be audible or anything, right? But don’t worry, his super-ninja skills will pop up again and again for more absolutely implausible nonsense all throughout the flick!

We’re introduced to two guys named Blake and Tommy, who are planning to take a bunch of hot chicks to a bikini car wash to get money, but Tommy, despite looking like a Calvin Klein model, is only interested in fixing cars for the rest of his life and nothing else, and Blake only wants to impress this one chick named Lina SO MUCH that he has to act like a creepy pervert at all times during the film. I’m so glad these two bozos are running the operation; truly it looks to be a success!

Then we see some great character development as our two main girls are introduced, with one named Sam showing off her bikini to her friend Jenna and asking how hot her boobs look. Because that’s what girls talk about when they’re by themselves. Really.

This is like what guys think girls do all day in their rooms when guys aren't around...

Apparently because they’re all such geniuses, they don’t even bring any other clothes to put on in case something bad happens. Like them all getting stranded and killed off. So glad they just wore their bikinis for that, so they wouldn’t have any pockets to hide things in or anything…

So the first twenty minutes or so pretty much consists of the bus breaking down, which means they’re stuck at the gas station from the opening; oh no! But what about the killer? Well, they’re all complete idiots, which means he’s able to stay completely hidden until way later in the film, and they don’t notice him at all. Convenient. His magical ninja powers, despite being a big hulking brute, are admirable, as you’ll see.

Tommy is elected to fix the bus, as he’s the only one who knows how, only it’ll take several hours, much to the disdain of Lina, who is absolutely obsessed with getting to the beach and washing cars in her bikini. Why? I…don’t know actually. They seem to have forgotten to write that motivation into the script. So mostly she just comes off like a big spaz. “Must get to car wash, must get to car wash, MUST GET TO CAR WASH!” God, lady; calm down!

So Blake spends his time acting like a salivating lapdog at her feet, even though she’s horribly rude to him all the time and seems to have no human feelings – it’s like, there are ALL THESE CHICKS mostly naked around, and you pick the one who shouts at you and treats you like garbage? Really? Oh and Tommy likes Jenna. This subplot is not important at all and is mostly just a footnote, because it won’t really come up much at all for the rest of the film.

And these other two girls are LESBIANS!

Fanservice time! It never comes up again and has no relevance to the story, but yeah I'll admit it's pretty hot.

How drop-dead sexy…even though this won’t be brought up again and one of them actually has sex with a guy later, so…hooray for that plot thread, I guess.

The girls start washing cars there at the gas station and we get lots of ass shots and other stuff that, while visually appealing, doesn’t speak much for the integrity of the actresses to appear in trash like this. But hey, everyone’s gotta start somewhere, and who knows, maybe these girls will go on to do something truly worthwhile with their acting careers after this!


…yeah, I can’t even pretend to believe that, either.

So yeah this French couple comes by to get gas. The husband goes inside alone and is confused by the lack of any people inside. I don’t even get it, why is everyone constantly so surprised by that? The place looks abandoned. Why do they keep looking around so much? And then we see one of the movie’s chief plot points – people walking into dark, suspicious looking places alone and not paying attention to their surroundings. The French guy goes into this weird little ice-box room thing and gets killed by the killer, shock of shocks. How did nobody outside see or hear anything? Because…the gas station has a sound-proof invisible forcefield around it, I suppose.

After that, the wife goes in to check and finds her husband dead inside, with the killer towering over him. She conveniently does NOT scream or make any noise that would alert everyone to the killer’s presence all at once, and so he goes undetected yet again as he kills her. The odd thing about this scene is the brutal, unrelenting way he pounds and pounds on her with that ax, while he only stabbed the husband once at most…I need logic from my movie serial killers, dammit! Logic!

"Ew, go away bikini-clad girl, I'M WITH MY TRUE LOVE, THE VEHICLE!"

So then Lesbian Bimbo #1 is apparently bisexual now, and has some rough sex with a guy in his car behind the gas station; truly romantic. She tells Lina about it, and Lina gets the idea to seduce Blake into getting the bus so she can blackmail him like the great character she is! Oh man, I’m so invested in these characters’ issues! Will they ever get to the beach?

Anyway, he drives the bus behind the gas station and Lina and Lesbian Bimbo #2 follow him, ready to take a picture and blackmail him, but when they open the door…

That’s right, the killer got to him and replaced him with a dead dog! How? Uh…MAGIC! Clearly that’s the only explanation for how he slips effortlessly quietly in and out of these small areas and kidnaps and kills people without anyone else noticing anything is wrong. That’s just how good this guy is!

To be fair, though, the characters are so stupid most of the time that it’s not like he has his work cut out for him. Like when Lesbian Bimbo #2 goes wandering around BY HERSELF in the dark garage when she could have easily taken the others with her…but hey, it wouldn’t be a slasher movie without characters wandering off on their own like absent-minded children, would it?

So yeah, she gets killed put on ice, and then it’s dark suddenly, even though before it didn’t even look like the sun was remotely close to setting…amazing. We see our remaining characters, Tommy, Jenna, Sam and Lina, all standing around discussing what to do next and looking for clues. And, okay, I gotta bring this up; it’s really hard to take this seriously. I love seeing these hot chicks in bikinis as much as any straight guy would, but when you have these scenes of them all standing around in the middle of the woods mostly naked and talking about serious stuff…it doesn’t really work. It’s just such an obvious ploy to get these girls to wear those bikinis in the first place – there’s no other reason for it! It’s as cheap and flimsy an excuse for tits and ass as you can get. In fact, why not just go all the way and make it a porno? If you’re going to put money, time and effort into making this half-assed slasher cliché just to get a bunch of girls to run around in bathing suits for you, why not go further and just make it a porno? Don’t do anything halfway, that’s just weak!

Haha, so hilarious, them trying to be taken's not their fault though. Blame the director more than anyone.

Okay, rant over, let’s just get this crap over with…Sam punches Lina in the face, so she goes off on her own. Blake calls her on the random working phone the gas station conveniently has and she thinks he’s playing a practical joke on her, so she hangs up and cuts the power cord so he can’t call back. What a worthless piece of trash! Fortunately she gets it right after that. ICED! And right when she was looking in the ice box too! What a punny way to die. Oh and Tommy and Jenna sporadically make out - and that's the end of that love story! Glad it was in the movie! A real romance for the ages; this generation's Romeo and Juliet! Ugh...even the sarcasm is getting old...

Tommy sees a light flickering in this house a little ways away, and goes to check it out alone, leaving the other girls behind. STUPID! TAKE THEM WITH YOU! But I guess that would make sense, so he can’t do it in this movie. In the house he finds Blake trapped behind a door, and goes to try and find something to get him out, but, shock of all shocks yet again, the killer kills him while Tommy is out of the room for 2 seconds again.

Then he kills Tommy too, in the same boring way he kills everyone in this movie – just bludgeoning him over the head with a big ax. That’s it. You know, this could have easily been a pretty enjoyable flick if there was any creativity put into these kills! But noooo, all we get is boring caveman ‘hit you over the head’ crap like this…ugh. No taste, Bikini Girls on Ice. No taste.

So Jenna and Sam escape in a car only to hear something banging on the inside of the trunk! Despite all evidence suggesting they should keep going and wait until they’re in town to open it, Jenna decides that RIGHT NOW is the time to be an idiot, and forces Sam to pull over so they can open the trunk and reveal that it’s actually the killer inside!

Ah, the old 'jack in the box' method of serial killing.

No, really, it is the killer inside. Yeah, stupid, huh? He kills Sam and I bet Jenna is really feeling like an idiot about now…but he knocks her out anyway. She wakes up and is able to finally run away when this old crazy guy confronts the killer and distracts him. The end of the movie is a couple of randoms being killed off by the killer in his usual oh-so-creative method of killing…man, I need to stop saying the word ‘kill.’

So this was stupid and ridiculous, but at least we got to see some hot chicks in bikinis, even if it was a phenomenally brainless way of getting them there (and even if they didn’t end up getting naked at all…). Surprisingly this wasn’t as annoying or under-produced as I thought it would be, so mostly it was just boring and predictable. And now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go ahead and run from the feminist groups probably rallying at my door after reading this review…

Nah, who am I kidding. Nobody actually reads these.