The X-Women

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Action Movie For The Day: THE UNTOUCHABLES (1987) is a modern classic

In honor of Sir Sean Connery's birthday today, I am watching some of his films. Started with Goldfinger, his best outing as James Bond and now continuing with the 1987 film The Untouchables, which is one of the best movies ever made. Federal agent Elliot Ness (a young and eager Kevin Costner) is tasked to bring in crime boss Al Capone (an awesome Robert DeNiro) in 1920's Chicago. Joining Ness's task force are Andy Garcia, Charles Martin Smith and Sean Connery as tough Irish cop Jimmy Malone. Connery is terrific as the wily veteran and he deservedly won an Oscar as Best Supporting Actor. Costner is no slouch himself as the naive Ness, who gains experience from Malone. Of course DeNiro is just a powerhouse as Capone. The Untouchables is an exciting film with several thrilling scenes including the famous shoot-out at the train station. Also features a magnificent music score by the legendary Ennio Morricone. One of the surprise films of 1987 and one of my all time favorites.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

THE CRAZIES (2010) is a good old fashioned horror flick: bloody and gory

The Crazies

When a mysterious airplane crashes in the river of a small town in Iowa, the toxin onboard the plane contaminates the town's water supply and starts to drive the townsfolk crazy. And I don't mean singing your favorite show tune in the nude. I mean flat out crazy. Such as a man walking onto a baseball game with a shotgun or another man setting his house on fire with his wife and son still inside. Timothy Olyphant plays the town sheriff David and Radha Mitchell plays his wife Judy, a doctor. They soon become overwhemed with the craziness of people and even more so when the military show up to start to round up the infected and try to contain the virus.
The Crazies
Yeah we got a big fucking problem here...

Judy is marked as infected due to the fever she is running, but that's because she is pregnant. So David and his loyal deputy Russell (a cool performance by Joe Anderson) escape from custody to save his wife.
official fim still
Just taking a little stroll through Crazytown.....

The Crazies is one wicked horror movie. I like the fact that it doesn't hold back on the gore and blood. This is how a horror flick should be. Not some watered down PG-13 crap, but a full on R rated splatterfest. And it's bolstered by great performances by the leads. Olyphant is terrific as the town sheriff and gets to talk tough and kick some ass. Mitchell gives a good performance as his wife, who just can't believe this is happening. And Anderson is great as Russell, who starts to lose his cool midway thru the film.
official film still
Get the hell out of my way....

Not for the squeamish though. And it features plenty of gruesome kills. The sheriff himself takes out a few crazies very graphically. The Crazies is one of the best modern horror films in awhile.

David: Don't ask me why I can't leave without my wife and I won't ask you why you can.

official film still
Oh crap Bob! You scared the shit out of me!

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Rose Byrne/Diane Kruger Connection

Rose Byrne
Diane Kruger
Australian actress Rose Byrne is my star of the month for August. Last month it was German actress Diane Kruger. There are a few similarities between the two women that I found to be interesting. For starters, both are gorgeous. Stunningly beautiful. They both have birthdays in July. They are close in age.  Diane is three years older than Rose. Both are about the same height. Rose is 5'6 and 1/4"and Diane is 5'7". And while Rose's career started off about 8 years earlier than Diane, they both seemed to hit stardom around the same time in the year of 2004. Diane is currently filming the movie Farewell, My Queen playing Marie Antoinette. Rose played the character Duchess de Polignac in the 2006 film Marie Antoinette.
And in 2004, the two actresses shared the screen in two films. First in the epic film Troy which had Diane playing Helen of Troy. While Rose played slave girl Briseis. Diane had the more famous role and definitely looked the part, but Rose had the meatier role as the girl who tames Brad Pitt's Achilles heart.
Wicker Park
Wicker Park
The two would pair up again later on in the year for the mystery thriller Wicker Park which gave Rose the lead role of Alex, an actress who calls herself Lisa, much to the bewilderment of Josh Hartnett's Matthew, who recently had the love of his life named Lisa (Diane Kruger) walk out of his life. Wicker Park is a very underrated film that many people may not know about and features an amazing performance by Rose. I'm talking Oscar worthy here people.
Rose Byrne
Diane Kruger
So this post is just something I thought would be cool to write. Showing the similarities between Diane and Rose. Just something to pass along to all my friends and followers. Me, personally I love doing posts like these.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

FRIGHT NIGHT (2011): Now this is a vampire movie!

I will be the first to say I was a little wary of this remake of my beloved Fright Night film from the 80's. I was like there is no way they can do justice to one of my favorite vampire films of all time. Well I stand corrected. The new Fright Night is awesome. It does not disappoint. And it makes a few changes from the original to make it stand on it's own, not simply as a remake.
Anton Yelchin
Charley, his mom and Amy look a little worried....

The main components of the original story are still there as teen Charley Brewster (Anton Yelchin) and his mom (nice seeing Toni Collette again) live in a nice little suburban cul-de-sac off the Las Vegas Strip. Charley has a fetching girlfriend named Amy (played by Imogen Poots..cute name BTW). And his friend Ed (from Superbad as McLoving Christopher Mintz-Plasse). Things are pretty normal until Jerry (Colin Farrell) moves in next door. Of course Jerry being a vampire, things quickly get out of hand.
Colin Farrell
Jerry in deep thought...

After several people go missing, including Ed, Charley has a confrontation with Jerry which is cool as hell. Everyone knows a vampire can't enter a person's home unless they are invited, so Jerry is standing at Charley's doorway and Charley is not 100% sure he is a vampire but he still doesn't invite him in. And the two have a little stare down that ratchets up the suspense big time.
Christopher Mintz-Plasse
Ed trying to look brave for a minute...

After Charley fails to save one of Jerry's victims, he seeks out help in the form of Peter Vincent, a Las Vegas magician whose stage show focuses on vampires. Vincent is played by David Tennant, yes a former Dr. Who and he makes quite an impression as Vincent. Dressed in all leather, swearing like Samuel L. Jackson, drinking and constantly having sex on the brain. A total departure from Roddy McDowall's original Vincent. But Tennant is awesome here and when he finally comes aboard, the film goes into overdrive.
David Tennant
Peter Vincent packing some heat...

Colin Farrell makes an excellent vampire. Ruthless, seductive, intelligent, and manipulative. He pulls it off very well. And his full on vampire form is quite impressive. Yelchin makes a good Charley as he reluctantly becomes a vampire slayer to save Amy and his mom. Toni Collette even gets in on some of the action as she has a run in with Jerry.
Anton Yelchin
Charley with his huge cross...

Fright Night is leisurely paced to be sure, but it never drags. The vampire kill scenes are graphic and very cool. The 3D effects are ok, but are really not needed. The film maintains a good balance between horror and comedy and never goes over the top. Credit writer Marti Noxin (of TV's Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel) for an excellent screenplay which is modern and full of new twists on the vampire myths). For instance the vampire being invited into a person's home is eventually overcome by Jerry in a very cool way. I won't spoil how he does it, but let's just say it is very explosive.
Anton Yelchin and Imogen poots
Amy and Charley spying on Jerry...

There is a very exciting car chase through the desert  when Charley, Amy and his mom try to flee Jerry, that ends in a brutal smash-up. And then the finale of the film has Charley and Peter entering Jerry's lair, which he has built underneath his home, to take on Jerry and some of his minions. Armed with weapons galore the duo become monster killers. There is a back story involving Peter which he explains to Charley about how he survived a vampire attack as a child while his mom and dad was butchered. And he became a magician to get away from that trauma. That was a great new element added to the film and the character of Peter Vincent. Like I said, this new Fright Night makes just enough changes to become it's own film. But there are plenty of references to the original with lines such as "You're so cool Brewster!" and "Welcome to Fright Night....for real!" to make old fans happy.
Colin Farrell
Evening folks..just out for a little stroll...

Oh and look for a surprising cameo by one of the stars of the original Fright Night. I had no idea they were going to be in this film so it was quite the surprise when they pop up.
Anton Yelchin
I have a bad feeling about this Charley. Let's come back later...

All in all, Fright Night is one of the best films of the summer, as I enjoyed it immensely. And see not one bad remark about Twilight. Although there is one funny line about that series in this movie that will give you a chuckle.
Nah, this doesn't burn. Thanks for asking though.

Charley: I'm going to kill a vampire with this stuff.
Store clerk: Good for you!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Jeannette of The Secret Six

One of the coolest titles currently on the market is DC's The Secret Six. A team of rag tag mercenaries who take on the jobs that no one else will. Like taking down power mad dictators and evil armies. The team consists of Bane (yes, Bane who broke Batman's spine back in the day); Ragdoll, Deadshot, Catman, Scandal and Jeannette. Jeannette has one of the more intriguing origins of any current character in comics today.

Jeannette was born centuries ago into a tenuous lineage of Hungarian nobility. Noble but poor, her family sold its belongings so that it could send her at the age of nine to the Castle Csejtein order for her to serve Countess Bathory and learn the ways of the court. What no one outside the castle realized was that Countess Bathory was perhaps the most horrific female serial killer of all time. Jeannette was forced to watch as the Countess and her four assistant horribly tortured, mutilated and killed young girl after young girl. The horror was so great Jeannette lost the ability to speak. She was told that she was the favoritate and would therefore being saved for last.

Eventually, the Countess and her assistants were tried and punished. Jeannette managed to have herself remain the Countess' servant to care for the dark lady while she spent the rest of her days locked away in a room, bringing meals and removing the waste. But the truth of it was Jeannette sprinkled tiny quantities of broken glass into every meal.

Jeannette's RevengeThe process took years, but soon Countess Bathory could not experience even a day without pain. Medical attention was denied her, and she went mad from the endless torture Jeannette inflicted upon her.

Jeannette died by the blade of an executioner's axe for reasons unrevealed. She paid off the executioner with her mother's necklace, the only piece of jewelry she had left. This was to ensure the executioner would make it quick, but he did not. The first three swings of his axe missed their mark, cracking and breaking her body without killing her. The horrible trauma of this caused her to lose touch with herself and who she had been. She found and became the banshee.

Origin provided by Comics Vine

Jeannette: It seems to me, that we were, all of us, never meant to live a life decided by the fears and habits of others. If we know our destination is hell, then our job is not to think of sin and salvation. It's to shine as bright as we may. With skin like salmon. So people will look up each moonlit night...and remember we were here.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A Lot Of Birthdays Today...

There are a lot of birthdays on this day of August 16th, so I figured I would just do a roll call.
So here we go:

Steve Carell

STEVE CARELL (The Office, The 40-Year Old Virgin, Date Night, Despicable Me)
Ebony Beauty
ANGELA BASSETT (Waiting To Exhale, Jumping The Broom, Strange Days, Green Lantern)
MADONNA (A League Of Their Own, Dick Tracy, Blonde Ambition)
Julie Newmar
JULIE NEWMAR (Batman TV series, Seven Brides For Seven Brothers, McKenna's Gold)
Lesley Ann Warren
LESLEY ANN WARREN (Victor/Victoria, Pure Country, A Night In Heaven, Clue)
James Cameron
JAMES CAMERON (Aliens, The Terminator, Titanic, Avatar)

Monday, August 15, 2011

Action Movie For The Day - Jack Colton and Joan Wilder return for more fun in THE JEWEL OF THE NILE (1985)

When friends get together....

Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner return as adventurer Jack Colton and romance novelist Joan Wilder in The Jewel of the Nile, the sequel to their smashingly fun film, Romancing the Stone. Danny DeVito also returns as the meddlesome Ralph, a thief who crossed paths with the duo in Stone. Jewel of the Nile is a good if not great follow-up. The action moves from the jungles of South America to the African desert. Still there is plenty of action and humor as the trio still have wonderful chemistry. Douglas handles all the required stuff while Turner is engaging and sexy as ever. Devito gets most of the laughs. Stand-out sequences include a wild chase through the streets of a crowded town and a fight between Jack and a huge African tribesman. Plus you can never go wrong with the catchy theme song, When The Going Gets Tough as sung by Billy Ocean. I dare you to listen to the video below and not hum along.
The Jewel of the Nile
Jack has that look have got to be kidding me...
The Jewel of the Nile
The lovely Joan Wilder...
The Jewel of the Nile
Ralph looking a little pissed...
The Jewel of the Nile
Jack and Joan having a good time with their new friend Jewel...

The pair escape in a fighter cool is that

The lovely couple finally tie the knot...

Check out the video below of the theme song....

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Star of the Month Rose Byrne is terrific in the super creepy INSIDIOUS...

Star of the month Rose Bryne is terrific in the creepy thriller, Insidious. She and Patrick Wilson play husband and wife with three children who move into a new house. Once their eldest child goes into a coma and the doctors find nothing medically wrong with him, Renai (Rose's character) starts seeing things and think the house is possessed. So they move yet again but still can't shake these apparitions.
But when Josh (Patrick Wilson) mother shows up, they realize it isn't the house that is possessed, but their son. They call in Elise (played by Lin Shaye) who has had dealings with this short of thing as she and her two man crew attempt to bring the couple's son back from the dreamworld called The Further. It's a place where restless spirits dwell, and who will do anything to get back to the real world. And the young boy becomes a link from their world to the real world.

Renai and Josh looking suitably worried...

Insidious is one seriously twisted movie. And it is very creepy. The music alone will send shivers down your spine. The spirits are freaky looking and will scare you a few times. The cast is perfect especially Rose Byrne and Lin Shaye. Byrne is perfect as the distraught housewife who believes instantly about evil spirits and the Further. Her husband, not so much. And Lin Shaye is very effective as the spirit buster. This film really surprised me and it ends with a cliff-hanger. So I wouldn't be surprised if a sequel comes out very soon.
Elise: It's not the house that's haunted. It's your son!

Elise and Specs ready to do some spirit busting.....

A couple of spirits who look all innocent and nice...but are not

Freaky looking thing..ain't she?

Oh Elise don't mess around when it comes to dealing with evil spirits...IT'S ON!

Renai trying to explain that she has been seeing some weird things...