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Movie Review: Kiss Kiss Bang Bang

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Directed By: Shane Black

Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Val Kilmer, and Michelle Monaghan

Plot Synopsis:

Petty thief Harry Lockart (Robert Downey Jr.) gets caught up in a murder investigation in this action-packed comedy. Posing as an actor, Harry heads to Los Angeles for an unlikely audition and finds an authentic acting coach in detective Perry Van Shrike (Val Kilmer). But the bright lights of Hollywood fade when a murder takes place and Harry, Perry and Harry’s high school dream girl (Michelle Monaghan) become part of the investigation.

Review:

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is a movie I’ve been meaning to watch for the last couple of years.  It would show up via Netflix and I would always have intentions to watch it, but never get around to it.  Finally, home with the flu, I decided I had nothing better to do so I popped it in.  Man, I wish I hadn’t taken so long to watch this movie!

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Movie Review: Repo! The Genetic Opera

Repo! The Genetic Opera

Rating: ★★★★½ 

Directed By: Darren Lynn Bousman

Starring: Alexa Vega, Paul Sorvino, Anthony Head, Sarah Brightman

Plot Synopsis:

In the year 2056 – the not so distant future – an epidemic of organ failures devastates the planet. Out of the tragedy, a savior emerges: GeneCo, a biotech company that offers organ transplants, for a price. Those who miss their payments are scheduled for repossession and hunted by villainous Repo Men. In a world where surgery addicts are hooked on painkilling drugs and murder is sanctioned by law, a sheltered young girl searches for the cure to her own rare disease as well as information about her family’s mysterious history. After being sucked into the haunting world of GeneCo, she is unable to turn back, as all of her questions will be answered at the wildly anticipated spectacular event: The Genetic Opera.

Review:

First of all, Repo! The Genetic Opera is not for everyone. This isn’t a musical, it’s an Opera. Practically every line of dialogue is sung, much like Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street but even more. So, if that’s not your bag, than Repo! The Genetic Opera may not be for you. However, if you’re daring and are willing to give Repo! The Genetic Opera a chance you won’t be disappointed!

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Movie Review: Pineapple Express

Pineapple Express

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Directed By: David Gordon Green

Starring: Seth Rogen, James Franco, Danny R. McBride

Plot Synopsis:

A film about a rare new strain of pot called “Pineapple Express”. But when Dale (Seth Rogen) becomes the only witness to a murder by a crooked cop (Rosie Perez) and the city’s most dangerous drug lord (Gary Cole), he panics and dumps some of his Pineapple Express at the scene. Dale becomes paranoid that this rare strain of weed can be traced back to him.

Review:

I’ve never been one to really go for the “Stoner Comedies”, granted there are a select few that have warmed me over (Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle comes to mind). The only reasons I was interested in Pineapple Express was seeing James Franco in a comedy, the Seth Rogen/Judd Apatow comedy machine, and a fresh spin on the “Buddy Action Flick.”

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Movie Review: Stuck

Stuck

Rating: ★★★½☆ 

Directed By: Stuart Gordon

Starring: Mena Suvari, Stephen Rea

Plot Synopsis:

Stuart Gordon creates a provocative, over-the-top experience in Stuck, a tabloid-tinged thriller inspired by true events. Brandi (Mena Suvari) is a compassionate young retirement-home caregiver in-line for a promotion. Tom (Stephen Rea) is a victim of the downsized economy, out of work and newly homeless.

Their worlds collide when Brandi, driving home from a club after too many drinks and pills, accidentally hits Tom, the impact smashing his body head-first through her car’s windshield. If discovered, this “accident” will extinguish her bright future, so instead of saving him, her plan is to let him pass and dispose of the body later. Faced with this reality, Tom knows he must escape if he wants to survive.

Review:

Reading the plot synopsis, you pretty much know what you’re going to get with Stuart Gordon‘s newest film, Stuck. A B-movie crossed with provocative indie film and dark comedy. Just when you think Stuck could be heading to snoozeville, the film picks up and grabs you all the way until the credits roll.

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Movie Review: The Strangers

The Strangers

Rating: ★★★★☆ 


Directed By: Bryan Bertino

Starring: Liv Tyler, Scott Speedman

Plot Synopsis:

Lock the doors. Assume you’re safe.

The horrifying events that took place in the Hoyt family’s vacation home at 1801 Clark Road on February 11, 2005, are still not entirely known.

Champagne. Rose petals. Candlelight. It was supposed to be a night of celebration for Kristen McKay (Liv Tyler) and James Hoyt (Scott Speedman). But after leaving a friend’s wedding reception and returning to the house, everything had collapsed for the happy couple.

Then came a 4 a.m. knock on the door and a haunting voice.

Is Tamara here?

Writer/director Bryan Bertino explores our most universal fears in The Strangers, a terrifying suspense thriller about a couple whose remote getaway becomes a place of terror when masked strangers invade. The confrontation forces Kristen and James to go far beyond what they thought themselves capable of if they hope to survive.

Review:

Not many movies freak me out or send a sense of dread down my spine. The Exorcist and Hellraiser have been the only movies to seriously freak me out, but they were on a supernatural level. Anything else, has just been enjoyable horror flicks with few moments that may have caused a jump here and there.

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Movie Review: Death Race

Death Race

Rating: ★★★★☆ 


Directed By: Paul W.S. Anderson

Starring: Jason Statham, Tyrese Gibson and Joan Allen

Plot Synopsis:

Jason Statham leads the cast of an action-thriller set in the post-industrial wasteland of tomorrow, with the world’s most brutal sporting event as its backdrop. A penitentiary full of felons has inspired the jailers to create a grisly pastime ripe for lucrative kickbacks. Now, adrenalized inmates, a global audience hungry for televised violence and a spectacular arena come together to form the Death Race.

Three-time speedway champion Jensen Ames (Statham) is an expert at survival in the harsh landscape that has become our country. Just as he thinks he has turned his life around, the ex-con is framed for a gruesome murder he didn’t commit. Forced to don the mask of the mythical driver Frankenstein — a crowd favorite who seems impossible to kill — Ames is given an easy choice by Terminal Island’s warden (Joan Allen): suit up or rot away in a cell.

His face hidden by a metallic mask, one convict will be put through an insane three-day challenge. Ames must survive a gauntlet of the most vicious criminals in the country’s toughest prison to claim the prize of freedom. Driving a monster car outfitted with machine guns, flamethrowers and grenade launchers, one desperate man will destroy anything in his path to win the most twisted spectator sport on Earth

Review:

Based on the 1975 Roger Corman Classic Death Race 2000 starring David Carradine and Sylvester Stallone, Paul W.S. Anderson‘s Death Race is a brainless action flick involving cars, guns and gratuitous violence. Not a bad way to spend an hour and a half!

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Movie Review: Murder Party

Murder Party Official Trailer from Sean Duregger on Vimeo.

Murder Party

Rating: ★★★½☆ 


Directed By: Jeremy Saulnier

Starring: Chris Sharp, Macon Blair, and Paul Goldblatt

Plot Synopsis:

In search of a good time Chris (Chris Sharp) drops in on a Halloween party thrown by pretentious Brooklyn artists in this satirical horror film. Without warning he becomes the object of their “Murder Party” an overblown art project that involves his torture and death. Naturally Chris isn’t so thrilled about this idea. However though stuck in an unwieldy cardboard costume Chris isn’t as helpless as he looks playing off hipster rivalries in a gory and often hilarious game of survival.

Review:

Murder Party is a fun little indie horror/comedy that I found myself enjoying a lot more than I thought I would. This little gem has just enough going for it to bring it up from the usual low-budget sludge that plagues the Horror genre.

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Movie Review: Pathology

Pathology

Rating: ★★★½☆ 


Directed By: Marc Schoelermann

Starring: Milo Ventimiglia, Michael Weston, and Alyssa Milano

Plot Synopsis:

Some say that Pathology is a window to God. As doctors, they see the perversion and corruption of the flesh by all means unnatural…by violence…by toxin…by madness…to determine the cause of death. As a result they are the experts in all signs of foul play and the best in the field can uncover all means of killing, even those that are seemingly undetectable.

When med school student Ted Gray (Heroes’ Milo Ventimiglia) graduates top of his class he joins one of the nation’s most prestigious Pathology programs. With talent and determination Ted is quickly noticed by the program’s privileged and elite band of pathology interns who invite him into their crowd. Intrigued by his new friends he begins to uncover secrets he never expected and finds that he has unknowingly become a pawn in their dangerous and secret after-hours game at the morgue of who can commit the perfect undetectable murder. As Ted becomes seduced into their wild extracurricular activities the danger becomes real and he must stay one step ahead of the game before he is the next victim.

Review:

I found myself interested in this movie mainly because it is the first starring vehicle for Milo Ventimiglia (who stars as Peter Petrelli in the popular series Heroes, and played Rocky Balboa’s son in Rocky Balboa). The fact that this was a psychological horror flick involving doctors was also intriguing.

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