Get thee to Viscera, knave!

Editor’s note: This is straight from the ‘puter of our mistress of mayhem, Maven. Those in the area, attend if you can. It will soooo be worth it just to spend quality time with her.

 

Members of the press are cordially invited to join us in celebrating the most talented contemporary female directed/produced horror films from across the globe at the 2011 Viscera Film Festival. Please RSVP quickly so that we may reserve a spot for you (please specify + 1 if you wish to bring a photographer). Seating is limited and you do not want to miss this opportunity to help us promote equality and creativity within the horror genre. Continue reading

Shittin’ on the dreck of a Bay

Director Michael Bay has said in interviews that his latest film “Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon” was his indirect apology to fans after the car crash that was “Transformers: Rise of the Fallen.”

He was quoted as saying of his latest: “I think our 3D works really well with the robots, the size, the girth, the weight of it… it’s spectacular.”

It seems Mr. Bay maybe confusing the words “spectacular” with “spectacle.” Continue reading

‘Cars 2′: Just git r done, please

Of all the things the missing from the first “Cars,” — and the were many — more screen time for Larry The Cable Guy was not one of them.

Yet, in “Cars 2,” he takes center stage for the majority of the film’s run time. Sure, he’s represented by a rusty tow truck on the screen, but it’s pure The Cable Guy, with stupidity emblazoned on him like a Trans-Am hood bird, making this marginal Pixar entry as fun as a rainy-day weekend trip along Route 1 in the summertime. (This last one is a local beach reference for those reading this outside my publishing area).

It pains me to speak ill of Pixar, a studio that has consistently provided me (and my family) with hours of indelible cinematic memories year after year. The original “Cars” is the only film from their library that is not in regular rotation in our DVD player (even the animated shorts compilation gets more love). Continue reading

Jim Carrey’s pecker

Predictable, perfunctory, with perhaps a penchant for poop-centric puns, “Mr. Popper’s Penguins” still prevails as a perfectly passable picture for preadolescents.

For those familiar with the 1938 source material, the film adaptation of “Popper’s Penguins” take some liberty with the story, but does not sully its legacy, albeit for the aforementioned potty humor. It’s also one of the more subdued live-action comedic performances from its lead, Jim Carrey, which works in its favor.
Continue reading

‘Green Lantern': Van Milder

Familiarity breeds contempt. Perhaps that is the rationale behind the critical drubbing “The Green Lantern,” has received upon release. Since 2000, there have been 36 films based on comic books (about six more were created exclusively for the screen). And “Latern” is the fourth of five to be released this year alone (hell, it’s not even the first “Green” superhero in 2011. That distinction goes to January’s god-awful “Green Hornet.” ).

Comics are an easy template for filmmakers, as they already have a tale, a storyboard and a built-in audience. They have the potential for great summer diversions (“Iron Man”) or even overall excellence (“The Dark Knight”). But, as the saying goes in one particular comic-to-film translation, “with great power comes great responsibility.” The missteps have been too numerous to count (“Catwoman,” “Ghost Rider” and “Jonah Hex” immediately rush to mind), and the core audience can be particularly unforgiving, so filmmakers should approach the genre with caution.
Continue reading

Nostalgia with flair (and flares)

For the non-geek filmgoer, the term “lens flare” will mean absolutely nothing. But they will know it when they see it.

It’s a photographic technique that causes light to flatten and streak out into a horizon-like pattern that fills the screen. Director (and producer of “Super 8″) Steven Spielberg used them religiously in his earlier films of the ’70s and ’80s, as seen in “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” “E.T.,” and “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” among others.

“Super 8’s” director, J.J. Abrams, relied on them in his “Star Trek” reboot, but it wasn’t until this latest film that I realized how nostalgic that little cinematic trick made me. Continue reading

Ratner-less ‘X-Men’ hass class

“X-Men” fans have certainly had reason to be more than wary about the prequel “First Class.”

Prequels in general can be an odds-defying gamble. The few that succeed (“Batman Begins”) can reinvigorate a franchise. But at their worst, they can be the film equivalent of your parents “friending” you on Facebook — it may spring from good intentions, but feels all kinds of wrong. Continue reading

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