Turbo Kid (2015) Review

turbo kid title card

Sam Kench reviews the 2015 post apocalyptic 80’s throwback Turbo Kid written and directed by François Simard, Anouk Whissell , and Yoann-Karl Whissell, and starring Munro Chambers, Laurence Leboeuf, Aaron Jeffrey, and Michael Ironside.

 

 

If you think Turbo Kid looks like your cup of tea you can find it on Amazon right here

The Lobster (2015) Review

lobster title card

Sam Kench and Tara Hartnett review the 2015 dystopian absurdist drama The Lobster directed by Yorgos Lanthimos, written by Yorgos Lanthimos and Efthymis Filippou, and starring Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz, Olivia Colman and John C. Reilly.

If you think The Lobster looks interesting you can click here to check it out on Amazon

It’s Such a Beautiful Day (2012) Review

its such a beautfiul day title card

Sam Kench and Tara Hartnett review the 2012 animated film It’s Such a Beautiful Day written, directed, and voiced by Don Hertzfeldt.

There was a professional audio set up for this review done by Brian Hubbard.

Click HERE to watch the review.

 

Room (2015) Review

room title card

Sam Kench and Tara Hartnett review Room from 2015 written by Emma Donoghue (adapted from her own novel), directed by Lenny Abrahamson (Who directed the excellent Frank the year before) and starring Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay.

Video Review

Escape From Tomorrow (2013)

Escape From Tomorrow is made interesting by the very way that it was shot. Escape from Tomorrow is a feature length film shot almost entirely in Disney World/Land without permission from Disney.  Just the fact that they were able to make this is a crazy thought, even more so that it has received such a wide release, even being shown in theaters and added to Netflix. The spectacle of seeing a dark horror movie filmed in Disney World is the reason to watch it, but the question is; Does Escape From Tomorrow have any depth or entertainment value beyond the production gimmick?

Well sadly the answer is; not really.

The story follows Jim, the father in your typical Disney going family. Jim is a sexual deviant who stalks a pair of young french girls around the park and the mother is nagging and annoying. The two children completely lack any traces of character.

Escape From Tomorrow manages to have fairly good cinematography for a large amount of the film which is especially impressive considering how it was shot, with many real people walking around and the general chaos of the park around them. There are some shots that they spent a very long time planning to achieve. The effort is valiant and doesn’t go unnoticed, but then there are particularly awful looking scenes. There are a handful of scenes that would horrible on their own, and are highlighted more so by the overall nice presentation of the rest of the film. More than one scene has the actors very obviously and poorly green screened into B-roll footage of the amusement park and it does not look passable at all.

Escape From Tomorrow is full of really bad acting. The best acting you can find in this film is passable, while the worst actually comes from the lead actor. He is consistently terrible throughout. By the end of the film I had actual become accustomed to the bad acting and stopped being as distracting, but adjusting to the bad does not make it good.

Escape From Tomorrow attempts to be a creepy screwed up horror film, but largely fails. The “scares” are too few and far between and when they do pop up they often fall flat. The closest the film got to be effective from a horror standpoint was actually the opening credits which managed to provide a genuinely surprising moment, but this one solid moment was cheapened when it was revisited later on in the film, to lesser effect.

The film seems very unsure of the tone that it wants to convey. It presents itself as a cerebral horror film, but then it throws comedic elements at you which don’t mix well. In the end both elements miss their mark and what few moments could have been funny, are muddled and ruined by the confused tones of the movie.

The Pacing is dreadful. Escape From Tomorrow has a meandering plot that kills far too much time following the characters as they walk around the park, go on rides, and do absolutely nothing of any importance. The movie wastes time and feels as though much of it was shot without purpose other than stretching out what probably should have been a 20 minute short film into a feature length film. As a 20 minute short this concept may have actually worked better. A more condensed runtime would have helped Escape From Tomorrow as most of the time it will have you waiting for something to happen, and when it does happen, it will likely disappoint. It also doesn’t help that pretty much all of the set pieces and interesting moments are given away in the trailer.

The gimmick is interesting but the film fails to impress beyond the fact that it actually got made and released the way it was produced. I would only recommend it to those who are seriously interested in the concept of a film shot guerrilla style in Disney world, otherwise definitely stay away. The concept is incredibly intriguing, but a much stronger plot and acting would have been needed to stop this film from being a disappointment.

Movie Recommendation of the Week #9

point blank poster

The premise of Point Blank isn’t anything terribly original. A man’s wife gets kidnapped and now he’s trying to get her back. While the film isn’t wholly inventive, it is executed well.

Be aware that this is more of a soft recommendation than usual. Point blank isn’t great or even very memorable, but it is an entertaining french action thriller, that most people probably haven’t seen.

This is not something that you need to go out of your way to watch. It is currently on Netflix, or if you happen across it, then give it a watch. Point Blank is a harmless entertaining movie, and sometimes that’s all you want.

Cottage Country Review

cottage country

Cottage Country

Cottage Country is a movie that I saw a trailer for and then just sort of forgot about until they added it to Netflix. The sole reason I watched this movie was for Tyler Labine from the excellent Tucker and Dale vs. Evil.

This movie seemed to have the same kind of idea, both being dark comedies centering around accidental murder. Was Cottage Country as good as Tucker and Dale VS Evil? No. It’s not that close either. Tucker and Dale is a much better movies all around and it is especially a great deal funnier. That being said I still very much enjoyed Cottage Country.

After watching the movie I was somewhat shocked to see all the negative reviews for this movie. This film has a bad reputation and seems to be getting a lot of undeserved flak. Is this movie perfect? Not at all, but it is not bad by any stretch of the imagination. It’s an enjoyable flick that doesn’t deserved to be labeled as trash as it has been. I’m expecting this movie to actually gain a cult following in a few years.

Let me just say real quick that this movie has one of the worst IMDB pages I’ve ever seen. THIS is the poster they used for the movie

cottage country worst poster ever

What the hell is that?! I could find a better poster for the movie on google images, in fact I will.

cottage country

Okay that’s still pretty bad, but at least it’s a poster this time. Only B movies have posters like this, and really gives the audience the wrong idea about the quality of film they should expect.

Cottage Country tells the story of Todd and Cammie who go to Todd’s cottage so that he can propose. Some unwanted guests lead to Todd and Cammie covering up multiple murders in a very dark comedy. The movie is morbidly funny and mixes the horror with the comedy in a way that not everyone’s pallet will be able to handle. Sometimes the mixing of the two genres is a little uneven, and I would’ve liked a bit more comedy in there, but the movie remains funny enough throughout, to not lose sight of it’s goal. There are standout moments that are very very funny, but the movie would’ve benefited from having some smaller laughs sprinkled in throughout.

The dramatic and horror aspects are surprisingly effective. I love horror comedies, and what usually ends up happening, is that the comedy takes center stage, while the horror is merely a backdrop. Most horror comedies simply use the horror as the setup and fail deliver on actually being frightening. Cottage Country, while never being scary, does manage to competently build tension and even manifest a creepy vibe in a few scenes. The way these different elements are mixed, could have been handled better, but I found that they still worked. These elements work especially well given the excellent acting and the good musical score.

Tyler Labine is great as Todd. He pulls off the comedy and handles the dramatic moments just as well. The cast of characters is surprisingly varied and everyone does their jobs very well. The female lead, Cammie, played by Malin Akerman is great and her character, that at first seems generic, is actually rather interesting. SPOILER Her character actually becomes the antagonist of the film near the end and while the writing on her transition wasn’t particularly good, the actress manages to make it work fairly well. The climax of the film went in an unexpected direction, but I think it works for this particular movie. END SPOILER

The supporting cast all do a very good job. Horror movies in general get a bad reputation as having terrible acting, but that is not always the case. The acting in Cottage Country is good all around. There are some standout characters that manage to be fully developed even though they may only have a couple of scenes. There is a Hasidic Jewish man named Dov who goes all detective on the disappearance of Todd’s brother Salinger who he murdered earlier (Not a spoiler it’s in the trailer). This character is delightfully strange and his outcome is gleefully funny.

The one character I found underdeveloped was the vagrant. He is only seen twice and a little more action from him would’ve been appreciated. There are two other standout character I want to mention. The female cop and Todd’s father both manage to be terribly cool, despite having little screen time. The cop is a bonafide BAMF and really goes out with a bang and Todd’s father might actually be the funniest part of the whole movie when he starts screaming at his wife.

Overall I found Cottage Country to be a thoroughly entertaining film. Despite the direction sometimes being a bit misguided and the different elements getting occasionally crossed the film remains very enjoyable. It definitely could have been funnier, but what we got with Cottage Country is still a satisfying flick, if perhaps a little forgettable. I’d definitely recommend it to fans of the horror comedy subgenre.

Movie Recommendation of the Week #6

assault on precinct 13 poster

assault on precinct 13 poster

Assault on Precinct 13

For some reason a lot of people seem to think that Halloween was John Carpenter’s first movie. It was actually his 3rd feature length film and it wasn’t even his first great film.

Assault on Precinct 13 was John Carpenter’s 2nd feature film and it came out in 1976, two years before Halloween in 1978.

The movie’s title is actually a big misconception. The assault doesn’t take place on Precinct 13, nor is there a Precinct 13 anywhere in the movie. The precinct in the movie is actually Precinct 9, District 13. John Carpenter’s original title was “The Anderson Alamo”, he later changed it to “The Siege”, but the movie distributors changed the title when they released it to “Assault on Precinct 13”, because they thought it sounded cool, and they were just not bothered to check their details.

Reasons to watch:

John Carpenter is in great form – Even though this isn’t a horror movie, it has Carpenter’s signature dark and foreboding style. It’s an action thriller (idealized as a western) that has a horror like atmosphere that works surprisingly well.

Great action – While there may not be a ton of action, what is there is great. The effects are fantastic. This is back in the 70’s so we have all the glorious assaultsquibs that sadly aren’t as prevalent in more modern films. The action is well shot, well performed, and is very intense.

Good characters – The acting is very good and the characters are very well rounded. The character development is done surprisingly well.

It seems like the kind of movie where you wouldn’t care about the characters, but John Carpenter did a great job as writer/director making the characters napoleon wilsonlikable and relate-able. They are believable in the situation and the good guys are fun to root for.

One character in particular is just so damn cool. Partially because of the excellent writing and partially because of the fantastic performance given by Darwin Joston. That character is Napoleon Wilson. This character is so Goddamn cool, he has to be on a list of coolest movie characters, but I feel he often goes overlooked.

It’s an overlooked classic – Assault on Precinct 13 is one of John Carpenter’s best films and it really is a classic.

Macabre Month of Horror 2013 movie review #5 Final Remains’ aka ‘Mortuary’

final remains title card

Our number 5 review for the Macabre Month of Horror is Final Remains“. Please  enjoy this very special video review.

Keep checking back all October long for a new horror review everyday during this year’s Macabre Month of Horror.

Inspired by Old Spice ~ The Crew Your Crew Could Film Like

newfound film making club commercial for new members

The Newfound Film Making Club was founded by Sam at Newfound Regional High School and I (Amy Lyn) am the coordinator. We opened the club this summer to all community members.One of our newest members, Eli, came up with the idea for this video spoofing an Old Spice Commercial to help promote the club and increase participation. I think he does a fantastic job, he’s got a great voice and his impressions are spot on.

I’ve included our Film Club video and the original Old Spice Commercial for your viewing pleasure.

Newfound Film Making Club Commercial

Original Old Spice Commercial