Saturday, June 21, 2014

The Purge (2013)

"One Night , All Crime Is Legal"


I finally got around to watching The Purge after not really being to interested in seeing it when it was first released last year, for awhile there was nothing but a lot of The Purge this, and The Purge that talk and a lot of people went to see it hence why we are getting a sequel The Purge:Anarchy.

So I decided to put aside my preconceived feelings towards the movie give it a watch for myself and see if maybe I had unfairly judged the movie, which I will admit a few times in the past I have done and have no problem admitting when I'm wrong about a movie being better or worst then my expectations.

Let's get to the movie so The Purge takes place in the not to distance future 2022, where society seems to have found a way to have a stable economy and also keep the crime rate down, what the law makers decided to do some time between current day and 2022 is have their annual Purge where one night every year all crime is legal (Could you imagine if this actually happened).

So it is an hour before its time for the purge as most people are either locking themselves in for the night or they are gearing up to go out and purge. James Sandin (Ethan Hawke) a security salesman arrives home and is in a very good mood not because he wants to go on a purge but because he has sold the most home security at his company and is getting a big bonus for doing so. the large numbers are thanks to him selling to all of his neighbors.

we meet the rest of Sandin's family, his wife Mary(Lena Headley) has a talk with one of their neighbors Grace (Arija Barekis) who throws a party every year during the purge, but decides to not have a party this year, son Charlie( Max Burkholder) is some what of a tech geek who has a little robot that he uses to watch everyone and everything. daughter Zoey (Adelaide Kane) is in her bedroom with her boyfriend Henry (Tony Oller) who has decided to stay at the house so that he can talk to James about his and Zoey's relationship.

As James locks down for the night with what his company has dubbed as the best home security, the family decides to got about their normal routine to pass the time, while Charlie seems to be the only one paying attention to what's going on outside he sees a man (Edwin Hodge) who looks to have been either shot or stabbed yelling for help.

Charlie disarms the security and allows him inside, at the same time as James comes down to confront the man , Henry follows him downstairs and instead of wanting to talk to James he pulls out a gun and the two have an old fashion duel, the stranger seemingly disappears and Henry is shot and dies a little while later.

The family is confused as to what is going on as to who the stranger is and where exactly did he go and also why did Henry try to kill James, but a bigger threat comes from outside when a Purge Gang shows up wearing mask, The Gang Leader (Rhys Wakefield) tells the family that the man they have taken in is homeless and the main reason for the purge and that if they return him to them the family will be spared any harm.

OK one thing about The Purge that really stands out to me and kinda pissed me off is that Charlie seemed to be the only one in the family that actually was paying attention to what was going on around them which when looked at has a message that a lot of times people seems to get to complacent when it comes to home security.

The other huge issue I had was that for the most part all of the characters in the movie are white and the outsider of the group the stranger was black, I guess they were trying to say something about prejudice and racial issues but why make him black and homeless????

I didn't want to read to much into those things but I felt watching those two things were really heavy handed but I guess since the less is more approach in films seems not to happen anymore, so I won't dwell on it to much here (Maybe)

As I watched the movies I noticed that there were a few similarities to a few other movies mainly Straw Dogs (1971) in regards to James Sandin who starts out one way but changes and becomes just as violent as his family's attackers, didn't have a problem with that, because what would you do in the same situation?

The other movie that it really reminded me of was John Carpenter's Assault On Precinct 13 (Ethan Hawke starred in the remake) where the family takes in a stranger not knowing what is going on outside or why the gang wants the stranger but finds themselves fighting to save him and themselves.

The ending almost seems to come out of left field but at the same time not really I thought the explanation as to what happens in the finale was stupid because it was their own fault that they allowed it to happen, would've been nice if one character was apart of it so they could have been more debate but it is what it is I guess.


The Purge isn't the greatest movie or really turns anything on its side which I think the filmmakers were trying to do, does it have social commentary? Yes. Is it presented in a heavy handed way? Yes I think so, I've seen the themes in this movie done in other movies much better. Is The Purge worth a watch? Yes it entertaining enough and could be looked at as a reflection of where we could go as a society because of how we are right now.

I didn't hate the movie but I didn't truly like it either, if that makes sense. anyway I am looking more forward to seeing the sequel just because that one looks to be taking it to the streets and showing more of what actually goes on out there instead of just in the nice quiet neighborhood.

So if you like movies like this then I saw check it out.



Ethan Hawke-James Sandin
Lena Headley- Mary Sandin
Max Bunkholder- Charlie Sandin
Adelaine Kane- Zoey Sandin
Edwin Hodge- The Stranger
Rhys Wakefield-Polite Leader
Arija Bareikis- Grace Ferrin

Friday, June 20, 2014

Old Boy (2013)

"Ask not why you were imprisoned. Ask why you were set free."


Let me start of by saying that I'm a fan of the 2003 South Korean film that this movie is "Remake" of. I wasn't to happen that the movie was being remade especially a decade after the original was released, but It's not the first time nor will it be the last time this trend is done.

I was a little shocked that it was being directed by Spike Lee because this isn't his normal type of film to make and to be honest I didn't think he could pull it off( I'll come back to him later). Josh Brolin is the lead which I didn't mind and I am a fan of his. Elizabeth Olsen as the female lead didn't have to much of a problem with her being cast either she's a good actress her sisters might have the money but she has the true talent.

Anyway let's talk about the movie. OldBoy begins in 1993 where Joe Doucett (Brolin) has basically been out all day drinking with some old friends, he goes into work still drunk and is given the job of bringing in a new client Daniel Newcombe (Lance Reddick), while Joe, Newcombe and Newcombe's Wife Donna (Hannah Ware) are having their meeting Joe notices a woman sitting at the bar who catches his attention. the deal with Daniel Newcombe goes wrong.

Joe feeling terrible now only because he made a fool of himself and lost the new client, it just so happened to also be his daughter Mia 3rd birthday, he goes on another drunken slumber around town going in his old friend Chucky (Michael Imperioli) bar but is turned away, as Joe leaves he runs into the mysterious woman from earlier.

Joe is now in a hotel room where the woman has taken him, after some time Joe relieves that the woman is gone and that the hotel isn't exactly a hotel but more so a prison where Joe spends the next 20 years eating the same food Dumplings to be exact, and his only contact with the outside world is watching TV where he finds out that his ex wife was brutally killed and his daughter has been put with a foster family.

This enrages Joe into the point that he slits his wrist and tries to kill himself, but whoever is behind this will not let that happen as Joe wakes up with a new hair cut and his wrist stitched up and bandaged. Joe sees this as a second chase and begins reinventing himself first by giving up the drinking as alcohol is the only thing his is giving to drink along with the dumplings. he also begins training himself by excising and learning different fighting techniques, but most importantly he begins writing letters to his daughter as the years go by.

In current day Joe has found a way to escape and is about to leave when the TV show that he first heard about what happened to his ex wife and daughter comes on doing a anniversary update on his story comes up he stops and is watching the tv and the gas that is pumped into his room every so often starts it knocks him out before he can escape.

suddenly Joe awakes in a chest in a open field where he is wearing a new suit, his letters are with him along with some money. surprised by his sudden freedom Joe slowly escapes the chest and leaves. as he is walking around he sees the woman from 20 years ago or atleast he things its her where he follows her and when he confronts her, a group of guys stops him and Joe gets to show off some of his new fighting skills.

After the run in Joe meets a young woman Marie (Elizabeth Olsen) who be friends him and goes along with him on the weird and twisted journey to finding out who is behind imprisoning him  and why did they do it and also finding his daughter Mia.


Josh Brolin does a decent job in the lead role especially during the scenes were he is locked away in the hotel room in a few scenes it almost feels like they were trying to do Tom Hanks from Castaway with how Joe puts a face on his pillow similar to what Hanks does with Wilson, but it doesn't work as good since we never know what the pillow name is.

Elizabeth Olsen seems to be trying to really make her own way but similar to her performance in Godzilla she didn't seem to be the right fit for this role specifically but she does get naked so that kinda saves her performance here LOL

Sharlto Copley who is a really good actor seemed to be in a movie all his own with how his character spoke, looked which was far from the original movie character that he is playing here, but when you his character history is shown then you kind of understand why he is the way he is, but he does come across as a Bond villain and not some one who you should feel a bit sorry for also but you really don't especially because of one scene towards the end of the film.

Samuel L. Jackson shows up as the guy who runs the hotel prison that Joe and a bunch of other people are held, Just like Copley, he seems to be in another movie all together but its never wrong hearing his trademark MOTHERFUCKER which he does say more then a few times threw out the movie.


Spike Lee has always been one of those directors that I feel that even though he has a style of his own doesn't truly let it evolve, not saying he should move camera around all the time or do a bunch of other things like that which a lot of directors like to do now but no matter what all of his films seems low budget and I do get tired of seeing his trademark floating character shot it always comes at random times especially in his recent films.

My biggest problem with Spike's directing here is that there isn't any surreal feeling to this movie. there are a few things that are done that are supposed to be surreal or what not but they never feel like they are that.

The famous hallway fight scene from the original film here looks as if it was a 1990s Sega or PlayStation 1 fight/action scene ,watch the original fight scene and then watch this one and you'll know exactly what I mean.


Oldboy 2013 is another example of films that don't need to be remade, rebooted, re envisioned or whatever term Hollywood likes to use to justify why they do this watered down version of perfectly good films that have good/cult fanbases.

I can't recommend this movie to anyone, because this movie really doesn't bring anything new to the table except maybe seeing Elizabeth Olsen naked. I know there is supposed to be a longer version of the film but since I haven't seen that cut of the movie I can only go by this cut of the film. The original film is still out there and is still recent enough to where its not going to feel boring to younger viewers who seem to have a problem watching or liking anything that's older then they are .


Josh Brolin-Joe Doucett
Elizabeth Olsen-Marie
Sharlto Copley-Adrian/The Stranger
Samuel L. Jackson-Chaney
Michael Imperioli-Chucky
James Ransone- Dr. Tom
Lance Reddick- Daniel Newcombe

Thursday, June 5, 2014



" For All Of Man's Evil, A Special Demon Exist"


Pumpkinhead is the 1988 cult classic directed by Stan Winston, is about the story of Ed Harley(Lance Henrikson) who is an every day working man who lives alone with his young son Billy and their dog Gypsy, Ed owns a local shop off a highway in the country, he leads a simple life, but one day when a group of city twenty somethings stop at his shop, Ed's life quickly takes a turn.

While Ed is gone for awhile, his son Billy stays behind and watches the store while two of the guys in the group get their dirt bikes off their trailer and decided to have some fun, Gypsy quickly runs outside to chase the two guys around, and Billy follows the dog to the riding area and without the guys noticing him gets right in their way and is accidentally killed by Joel (John D'Aquino), who quickly flees the scene along with his girlfriend, even though it was truly and accident.

 The group except Joel's brother Steve who was also riding with him tells the others to go call for help while he stays with the boy. after some time Ed returns and sees that everyone is gone and looks around for Billy when he sees what's happened he says nothing as he picks up his son lifeless body and as Steve (Joel Hoffman) tries to explain to Harley that it was an accident, Harley turns to him and give him the coldest look some one could give any one and quickly leaves.

Harley goes to see Old Man Wallace (Buck Wallace) and ask him about an old woman "Who has Powers" and who might be able to help him, Wallace tells Harley that he doesn't know anything about any old woman and to just go home an bury his boy. as Harley is leaving one of Wallace grandsons tells Harley about the old woman and where he can find her.

Harley goes to visit Haggis(Florence Schauffer), he begs the old woman for help, but she can not help the boy, but she can help him get revenge against the ones who killed his son, she summons the creature Pumpkinhead for Harley but it comes with a price.

I've been a fan of Pumpkinhead ever since I saw the movie as a little kid and even at an early age I knew that this movie was different from most other the movies that come from the same mold as this on the surface Pumpkinhead could be viewed as just a revenge horror flick but as I've gotten older I've noticed there is a little more to this movie.

The Lance Henrikson character is just an every man who is forced into bringing the creature of death back for his revenge because of the fact that even though his son was killed by some stupid teens, the group of 20 somethings who in their first interaction when arriving at Harley's store insults his son "Look at the coke bottles on this kid" ironically enough the same person who says this line is the same one who is the one who kills his son, even though Harley himself doesn't know which one does it, blames them all.

John D'Aquino plays the true villain of the film because as one of his friends calls him he's not a "talented Jerk"but just a "Jerk Jerk" and he really is son of a bitch here, as he refuses to allow any one to call for help from their cabin just because he's been in another accident before and Is on probation for that, he beats on his girlfriend and beats up Chris (Jeff East) for trying to get help, the guy is the ultimate shit heel in the movie.

Back to Henrikson for a second, the man has always been a good actor films like Aliens, Near Dark came out before and shows both sides of him either as the likable Android Bishop (Aliens) or the Vicious Jesse (Near Dark) but I noticed and I guess because I'm older now, that his portrayal of Ed Harley is kinda sad when really looked at because he loved his son, its really sad for any parent to have to lose their children in such a way.

He plays this very convincingly too and really shines with the guilt that he feels as the movie plays on and Pumpkinhead comes into play and does what it was brought to do.

The Creature effects in the movie are really good, mainly because Stan Winston was a genius with creature effects ( he did the design for Predator a year earlier also),threw out the movie we only get to see enough of the creature(Until the end) to know that this thing is big and nasty, but what I really liked to is that at later points in the film you start to see a similarity between the creature and Harley character (If you never seen the movie, you'll have to watch it and find out.

 Pumpkinhead didn't do well back in 1988 for whatever reason maybe it has to do with what I mentioned about Henrikson's character or something else, but over the years its become a cult classic and even spawned a few sequels I've only watched the second film which doesn't hit on any of the levels as this movie, nor did I bother with the other sequels that followed.

If you enjoy creature features this one is a good one to check out.


Lance Henrikson- Ed Harley
Jeff East- Chris
John D'Aquino- Joel
Kimberly Ross- Kim
Joel Hoffman-Steve
Cynthia Bain-Tracy
Kerry Remsen- Maggie
Florence Schauffer-Haggis
Buck Flower Mr. Wallace
Tom Woodruff, Jr.- Pumkinhead

Monday, June 2, 2014

Don Jon (2013)

Don Jon

"There Is More To Life...Right?


Don Jon is the directional debut of Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who also stars as the title role of Don Jon, a young twenty something's guy who likes to hang out with his friends played by Rob Brown and Jeremy Luke, who like to go out to clubs and pick up random girls and boost about it(something all guys and even some women like to do).

One night Jon and his friends are out, doing their typical thing when Jon sees what Jon describes as the most beautiful thing he has ever seen at the bar which is the very beautiful Scarlett Johansson who literally just might be or very close to being the most beautiful thing ever created(ok gotta stay focused here) Jon puts the moves on her, same moves he puts on every girl, but this girl is different from all the others, where she doesn't fall for his game and leaves him hanging.

Deciding to look for this girl Jon ask around and finally gets her name, and does something which used to be very hard now very easy by going on Facebook and looks her up and sends her a friend request and message(There is a message in this whole scene that people should pay attention too).

Jon meets Barbara(Johansson) for lunch where she question him about how he found her and ask him to do one thing which is never lie to her, the two hit it off, but this girl is very different from the girls Jon Is used to and Jon is different from a lot of guys that Barbara knows and has something of a secret of his own. his secret is that he is addicted to porn.

Which kind of explains Jon's point of view on relationships and his attitude towards women and even sex itself. his secret is revealed to Barbara in a typical and embarrassing way that many men when they are young are usually caught watching porn by a parent, but Barbara walks in on him which of course like any woman would do is freak out on him.

Jon being the smooth operator that he is, is able to calm the situation down and regains Barbara's trust (If you got her for a girlfriend why would you need porn?) after some time and Jon and Barbara seems to be getting serious especially when they meet each others family, we only see Barbara meeting Jon's family where Danza) shows where Jon gets his ways from and can't keep his hands and eyes off of Barbara(Did I mention how sexy Scarlett Johansson is in this movie).

Jon seems to be turning in his player card and settling down with Barbara and begins to turn his life around when he starts taking a college class where he meets an older woman Ester(Julianne Moore) who is a little weird, well a lot weird but there are reasons for that and after an awkward meeting of the two become friends.


When I first heard about Don Jon and saw the trailers for it, it seemed like it would be just another guy who is player meets the right girl fall in love type of film which on the surface it is, but the deeper side of the movie is the fact that Jon is addicted to porn and the scenes of Jon explaining in narration why he loves porn so much more so then an actual woman lets the viewer into the mind of some one who is very tunneled vision.

Gordon-Levitt does a fine job as director by showing weather by accident or on purpose how much what people perceive on TV and Entertainment to be considered reality when real life doesn't operate the same way, and the fact that the movie shows Jon going to church with his family every sunday and confessing his sins shows that Jon knows what he is doing is wrong but yet continues to do the things he does are behavior traits of an addict.

Scarlett Johansson's turn as Barbara as sexy and beauty as she is and in one scene gets Jon off without sex shows just how hot she really is (How many women can actually do that in real life, I haven't met one...yet) she herself has a few secrets that are only shown on the surface, I would've liked to have seen some of her secrets exposed because just the few glimpses of her other side is scary.

Julianne Moore as Ester brings for some emotional and even heartfelt moments and its not to bad seeing Moore in another movie that some what revolves around porn (anyone who's seen Boogie Nights know why I say that) but I think her character was very much needed and shows the other side of what the Barbara character represents

Tony Danza brings some comedic flavor to the family scenes with Jon, and it was good to see him playing a character that wasn't named Tony(I'm sure it was tough for him to deal with )

all in all Don Jon isn't a perfect movie, but it is a good turn in terms of Joseph Gordon-Levitt's directing debut to deal with a subject as porn addiction which doesn't get talked about enough, but it was some what refreshing to have a movie deal with a different type of addiction then the usual ones.

I enjoyed the movie for what it was and there is a lot, a lot, a lot of porno scenes featured in the movie but they serve a purpose and are done in good taster like Hugh Hefner would say LOL


Joseph Gordon-Levitt-Jon
Scarlett Johansson-Barbara
Julianne Moore- Ester
Rob Brown- Bobby
Tony Danza- Jon. Sr
Glenne Headley- Angela
Brie Larson- Monica
Jeremy Luke- Danny
Paul Ben-Victor-Priest