Archive for March, 2012

Prospect Park, Utopia Pictures,

Lucas Black, Robert Duvall, Melissa Leo, Deborah Ann Woll, Robert Bear, Brian Geraghty, Madison Burge, Jerry Ferrera, Sarah Jayne Jensen, Joseph Lyle Taylor, Josh Painting

Luke Chisholm is having a bad week. He is a debuting pro golfer, and his pushy father is his caddie. On the last hole of a championship match he should have won, he had a huge meltdown and lost his cool and got a 14 on the last hole. To make it worse, the golf channel got it all of film, and now he’s a goat everywhere he goes. Furthermore, his father just walked out on him. So driving aimlessly he sees a surprising site and didn’t notice a bull standing in the middle of the road. Before he knows it, he’s in a ditch and stuck in the tiny Texas town of Utopia for a week while his car is being repaired. But he meets Johnny Crawford (Robert Duval) a pro golfer who promises to change his life if he stays 7 days in Utopia.

It has been a long time since I’ve seen a true G rated movie. Heck, even Disney Cartoons pull at least a PG anymore. But this is really interesting film. It’s about golf, naturally, but there are a lot of good life lessons here too. This is obviously a christian movie, but without any push towards proselytizing you in the least. They let golf tell the story. Robert Duval is great. He’s patient, and completely believable as the crusty old golf pro who’s out to teach a young guy to slow down and enjoy life a little. There are a lot of lessons.

There are a lot of complaints that this is a rip-off of “Cars”. Well, it’s surprisingly how identical the story is, and the lesson is almost the same. Additionally, there is not an ending to this film. At the critical second of the final touchdown, they cut away to an advertisement to a web site. You’ll want to go to the website to see the ending, but that is a cheesy way to advertise the sequel and sell a few more books! But all in all, this is a wonderful film, and one you can catch on Cable or as a downloaded film. It’s a minuscule budget (not sure how they afforded Duval). But there’s nothing not to like about this movie. I highly recommend it for the whole family! This is a great morality story!

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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Chydzik Media Group, Voodoo Production Services, Scion Films,

Mandy Moore, Kellan Lutz, James Brolin, Jane Seymour, Jessica Szohr, Michael Weston, Marta Zmuda, Richard Reid, Christopher Lloyd, Alexis Denisof, Alyson Hannigan

Ava (Mandy Moore) is a marriage councilor. Things are going smoothly when suddenly her parents announce that Mom (Jane Seymour) wants a divorce, based upon an affair Dad (James Brolin) has 20 years ago. Now Dad is embracing his Jewish side, and Mom wants to travel the world. But Ava feels the need to bring them back together while her own marriage is struggling due to the stresses of trying to deal with her parents. Suddenly everything she believes in is falling apart, and she’s got to question whether she’s been a Pollyanna all along and life and love really does suck!

This is a cute little romantic comedy with a lot of great actors. It’s a small film, and available as a streaming film from Netflix and often available on cable or in a host of other ways. This looks like they certainly had a great deal of fun making this! This is like a big “Love Boat” episode, with lots of side stories and lots of great actors and actresses having a ball. It’s cute watching Ava’s most sincere plans go up in smoke. It’s not a heavy film, in the least. Just a simple rom-com with a good mix of both humor and romance. It’s like visiting old friends. Not a bad movie at all. There is a pretty surprising twist in the end. If you don’t see it coming, it’ll be worth the effort to watch it just for that! Hint: It takes place in the hospital. 🙂

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Bionic Boy Productions, Fury Productions,

Carmen Argenziano, Allan Arkush, John Ashley, Alan Birkinshaw, Judith M. Brown, Andrea Cagan, Colleen Camp, Steve Carver, Leigh Christian, Roger Corman, Joe Dante, Jon Davison, Marissa Delgado, Nick Deocampo, Pam Grier, Sid Haig, John Landis

Back in the 70’s and 80’s the B filmmakers realized there was a terrific bargain to be had by filming in the Philippines. Marcos had just declared martial law, and part of the result of the was Richard Nixon pulling the plug on financial aid and support, so licensing movie shoots was a great way to raise money. Meanwhile, for the movie makers, it was a real bargain, and nobody regulated or monitored whatever they did. They were pretty free to do whatever they wanted. No unions requiring humane treatment. Actors could live in grass huts, get eaten alive by mosquitoes, and do all their own back breaking stunts. Rumor was even that one of the girls who went over there never was heard from again. To add to the fun, they B movie moguls like Roger Corman, Joe Dante, John Landis, Sid Haig, and Eddie Romero found an unlimited demand for cheesy movies that could be made for practically nothing for the Drive-In circuit. Horror, titilation, and fighting ladies, they went through the jungle GI Joe films, to the horror films, to the girls in prison films and on and on. The kept cranking them out until eventually the actors got more sophisticated, the drive-ins closed, and the demand dried up, not to mention the ratings systems came in and censoring was in vogue. But during the time it was cranking out films by the dozens, and this documentary shows us all about the times and adventures of these people.

I was living in the Philippines from 1971 through 1974, and was completely unaware of the whole genre, until I got home and started watching the late night horror films on TV and began to realize the jungle warriors were speaking Tagalog (the primary language in the Philippines). The largest film to come out of this period was Apocalypse Now. Most of the others, with titles like Buckets of Blood and Caged Women were not quite so big budget. This is an interesting documentary covering the whole period with interviews of both directors and actors, as well as from the rest of the crew, with lots of anecdotes, and clips from the films from that time.

This documentary is in the style and mood of the films themselves, and I found it quite interesting. This was the beginning of the “strong woman hero” film, where the girls appear to be sexualized and trivialized, and then turn around being the tough warriors that pay their captors back and lead their escape. This was something new for Hollywood where the ladies were always the fair damsels that needed to be rescued. It was a two edged sword.

This documentary doesn’t pull any punches. It is fair and doesn’t try to put make-up on the pig, but it shows the good side as well as the bad side. All in all, it’s one of those stories that isn’t known very well by the movie watching public, and will be interesting for those who are interested in how the movie business works. It was truly a business, and the bottom line was king.

Not for the faint of heart. The films then were a lot bolder than they are now, and the clips don’t hide the half naked babes, but it was all done in fun, and nobody really paid much attention to the screen in those Drive-in double features anyway. They just needed a constant stream of mulch to keep the screen lit up every week.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog *** NOTE: This trailer is also unrated”

 

 

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Morgan Creek Productions, Universal Pictures, Strike Entertainment,

Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Eric Christian Olsen, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Joel Edgerton, Ulrich Thomsen, Jonathan Walker, Kim Bubbs, Trond Espen Seim, Stig Henrik Hoff, Jørgen Langhelle, Jan Gunnar Røise, Jo Adrian Haavind

In Antarctica a team of Norwegian scientists are stranded in an outpost camp until the big storm blows over. But on a routine mission, they find an alien ship frozen under the ice. Upon further discovery, the find a frozen organism inside, and bring it back to the lab to study releasing a horrible alien horror that can take over a live organism, and copy it giving it a way to hide. There is no way out, and even if there was, no one knows who is infected, and they can’t risk letting the horror loose on the whole world, so the only option is to contain it and try to survive.

This is not exactly a remake. In fact, it’s really a prequel to the original 1982 John Carpenter classic horror film of the same name. With a much bigger budget, and better special effects, this is a bigger and flashier version of the horror film. But is it better? There have been other “stranded in Antarctica with no way out” movies, that were probably homage films to the original. This is certainly not better than several of those with bigger stars and better stories. But at the same time, it is pretty scary, and it is suspenseful, not knowing who’s the bad guy here. But didn’t Star Trek do that a dozen times?

Anyway, I found this film a bit boring, and was not really impressed with it. Everything that happened was exactly what I expected, and there were really no surprises. Every cliche of this type of film was recycled, and there really wasn’t anything new or exciting.

If you’re a big fan of B stars in a B movie running around paying homage to a 30 year old story that was probably done much better the first time around, then go for it, but I can’t really recommend this one unless you have a reason to really want to watch this. If you’re like me, you’ll be disappointed by the retreaded story that we’ve seen over and over again.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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Greentrees Films, Sun-Lite Pictures (II), Trimark Pictures

Mariel Hemingway, Mike Binder, Renée Humphrey, Taylor Nichols, Missy Crider, Christopher Lawford, Joanna Heimbold, Kevin Pollak, Stephen Baldwin, Anita Barone

Marty (Mike Binder) is a building contractor who is working on a huge project, but looking for an investor to bring the project to fruition. But he’s a bit concerned that things in the bedroom is getting a bit boring. When he hears a story about one of the hot ladies in the office and her “experimentation” he becomes obsessed with the idea of having a three some with his wife and another woman. He tries to convince her that it would be a big improvement to their lives. But sometimes when you open Pandora’s box, you can’t close it again, and before he knows it, his wife has turned into a “Sex Monster” who seduces or is seduced by nearly every woman in sight. This, it turns out, makes Marty pretty sad, as he is unable to keep up.

This is one of those little hidden gems, that is available on NetFlix “Watch Instantly” and through a lot of other “free” or very low cost sources. It’s from 1999, but it sounded kind of unique, and I chose it probably due to the primary actors, Mariel Hemmingway, and Mike Binder. They have both been in some very good films. This is a funny little romantic comedy had is very clever, but is not at all graphic. This one of those films that promotes the global concept that all Americans have sex fully clothed! 🙂

This film has some graphic language, hence the R rating, but visually it is pretty much PG-13. That’s good because the actors are pretty good, and the story is really funny. Mike Binder plays the Alfalfa type guy as good as any, with the idea of trying to do the right thing, but nothing ever turns out the way he intended it. Right until the last scene where he’s still trying to pitch his idea in a ridiculous situation! It’s a very funny ending to a funny film. Stephen Baldwin is here too in a very small dose, which is a benefit. Too much Stephen has wrecked a lot of films! 🙂

There is nothing epic here, nor is it more than a funny little rom-com, but it’s humor is on target. There are some really funny situations that happen one after another, so it’s always tickling your funny bone. It’s an enjoyable adult comedy.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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