Adam Wingard is one of my favorite filmmakers working in film today and he almost always works alongside Simon Barrett, a cuttingly funny and witty man who knows how to churn out a damn good script. Wingard and Barrett pull off some amazing feats together, and “The Guest” is another notch in Wingard’s belt that oddly enough doesn’t get as much mention as his banner horror film “You’re Next.” Granted, I love “You’re Next” and have seen it at least two hundred times since it arrived in theaters, but “The Guest” is such a unique horror thriller with a premise that’s very socially relevant without ever being preachy.
“Sing” is a lot like many of the other movies from Illumination Studios. It’s basically a moving greeting card. It’s cute for a few minutes, and then you’ll eventually find yourself tucking it away and looking for something more stimulating. As per most of the films from Illumination, “Sing” is just a middle of the road film that barely gets by because of the neat animation. “Sing” is cute. And that’s about it. It’s cute. And it packs a humongous soundtrack filled with pop songs both old and new that are meant to basically distract from the fact that it’s a very barebones animated movie with a paper thin narrative, that does little to convey to its audience something more meaningful.
The younger generation has a lot to say about the modern atmosphere of dating and the digital age. “Undatement Center” is the newest short from writer and director Chris Esper, who concocts an interesting concept about a company that treats dating like job training and interviews. After a long dry spell, Jack decides to visit the Undatement Center and try his hand was looking for a new girlfriend.
Arrow Video is easily one of the best movie distributors around, and if you ask certain movie buffs collectors, they’d argue that they’re the best, period. I can’t decide as Arrow Video has been on a mission for the last few years to deliver fans some of the most unique movie titles on blu-ray and DVD, and offer them in deluxe collector’s packages that would make most cineastes hyperventilate out of sheer excitement. Arrow Video has taken it upon themselves to offer fans the two tales of “House,” two films that were big movie rental fodder in their heydays and are now brought together for what is a heavily suggested anthology. Arrow Video combines two of the true “House” movies that are—ironically—about as different from each other as the last two “House” movies.
If you’re looking for some quick action packed reading this weekend, be sure to pick up my newest novel “Orphan Sword.” It took me two years to properly develop, and write, and it’s the first in what I will hope to turn in to a series. It was originally conceived as a web comic book and was turned in to a novella, changed quite drastically.
“When enigmatic young homeless drifter Noah Grey arrives in Centurion City, instead of finding the answers about his past involving being orphaned at a young age, that he so desperately wants, he finds a sinister presence is kidnapping the homeless in the shadows. When his friend Lucinda becomes a victim of the kidnappings, Noah is forced to use the martial arts and lightning quick sword skills he honed throughout his life to bring her tormentors to justice.”
“Orphan Sword” is an action thriller that is heavily influenced by fiims “Zatoichi,” and “The Man with No Name” series, comic books like “Daredevil” and “Shang-Chi,” and a plethora of other movies and TV series I love. I hope you have a good time reading it, and of course, all money for sales goes toward my goal of buying that purple monkey dishwasher.
“Virtual Encounters 2” is from Surrender Cinema, one of Charles Bands’ sub labels that specialized in the type of movie you’d usually find on late night Fridays and Saturdays on Cinemax back in the nineties. It’s always a good sign when you enter in to a new movie and the first thing you see are a woman’s erect nipples. “Virtual Encounters 2” is the okay sequel to the okay original film. The sequel follows a new group of characters, setting down on two dorm mates at Midvale College. Mel has wet dreams about the girl of his dreams and is discovered by his roommate Sam who actually can score with women. Sam convinces Mel to attend an art class with nude models and Mel is shocked to see one of the nudes are the girl of his dreams.
With the eighties came a lot of frustration about the Vietnam War and the hell that many people had to endure to fulfill the political goals of the US government. Walter Hill’s “Southern Comfort” isn’t precisely about the Vietnam war but it is a allegory for the Vietnam war right down to the very final scene. “Southern Comfort” is a startling and often surreal survival thriller, set amidst a seemingly serene Louisiana Outback during the Vietnam War. With the Louisiana National Guard stationed in the bayou, they’re set to take part in mandatory maneuvers.
This trend of comedies involving multi-generations where younger actors and or comedians team up with older actors and or comedians has worn thin. Seth Rogen and Barbara Streisand, Zac Efron and Robert DeNiro, I get it, it’s not funny. “Snatched” is another in a line of this growing sub-genre, where we spend ninety minutes noting how old one character is and how young the other is. Will they ever get along? Will they reach a firm understanding and common ground? Of course they’ll learn to love one another by the time the movie ends, and there will be some kind of self-sacrifice, and we’ll probably get a sequel. This time around it’s Amy Schumer and Goldie Hawn, both of whom have zero chemistry. They have so little chemistry it’s unpleasant. Their chemistry and lack thereof derives no laughs in what is a joyless sitcom that transforms in to a dark comedy about kidnapping, torture, xenophobia, third world countries, and human trafficking.