Friday, May 31, 2013

Stop Or My Mom Will Podcast, Episode Three Now Available!

Episode Three: Cruisecast – Tyler Perry, Tossed Salads, and The Three Hole Wonder

Come listen to the triumphant return of my second awesome podcast, Stop Or My Mom Will Podcast, episode three, worth the wait, I assure you.

Download directly HERE

Or Stream Below:
This Episode Inclues:

- More Jodie Arias, More Tyler Perry, and More religious talk because you couldn't get enough of it.

- A literal asshole of the week and a discussion of the dark side of Chinese pornography

- Two incredibly long boring quotes read verbatim. 

- A distracted movie review of Rock of Ages and wild unfounded accusations about an actor's sexuality.

- Scientology, and a connection to the CIA that Mom assures me exists somewhere.

- A rape ghost from Zanzibar with an interest in politics.

- An aborted Horrible Hypothetical to wrap up the show with an argument. 

The Cinema File #190: “The Great Gatsby” Review

You know, it's strange. Even though I've never liked a Baz Luhrmann film, and in fact vehemently disliked many of them including this one, I can't honestly say that he's a bad director. In fact I might even call the man a genius just based on his mastery of the visual medium. That being said, much like Charles Oppenheimer, great genius can often be misapplied leading to horrific results. Only the long arc of history will be able to judge whether the career of Baz Luhrmann in its totality will prove worse than the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but after watching The Great Gatsby, I'm placing my bets in the affirmative.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

The Cinema File #189: "The Big Wedding" Review

There comes a point when you post movie reviews on a semi-daily basis where the grind to see more and more movies you wouldn't otherwise see purely for the purposes of amassing online content leads to something like The Big Wedding. Had this movie come out this time last year when I was only seeing movies I actually had an interest in, none of us would be here right now. For me to come up now and talk about how much I disliked it seems a little unfair in this light. I knew I wasn't going to get anything out of this movie, and I didn't.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Cinema File #188: "Epic" Review

People talk about guilty pleasures all the time, but I've never really understood this concept. If you like something, even if the majority of people don't or think its silly, why would you be ashamed of it? Doesn't the fact that you like it indicate that there is something worth liking, thus making all the opinions to the contrary immediately suspect? I don't know. All I know is, I just watched a movie called Epic, a kids' film intersecting two of my greatest passions, fairy tales and animated cinema, that as a man in my now late twenties I gather I should feel bad for liking. I'm not really sure why, so I'm just going to go ahead and not do that.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The Cinema File #187: “The Hangover Part III” Review

Recently, I reviewed the film Fast & Furious 6, the sixth installment of a movie series about which I am at best casually indifferent, and in which I had not seen the majority of its prior installments. Today I am reviewing The Hangover Part III, the third in a series for which I have active contempt, and in which I only wish I skipped the prior installments. It is a common criticism of the second Hangover to accuse it of being a carbon copy of the original, so much so that a mid-credit sequence in the new one makes a joke of this by suggesting a potential fourth movie exactly the same as the first two. If indeed there is a loving God out there somewhere, this will never come to pass, and yet, while The Hangover Part III is an honest attempt to do something different, I wonder if the film would not have been better served being more of the same, as in the end, the differences are not for the better.

The Idiot Box: Hannibal 1x09 - “Trou Normand” Review

Once again, sorry for the lateness. Using Memorial day to get caught up on some things, which I'm pretty sure is the point of it right? This holiday is to commemorate me updating my blog, isn't it? Anyway, finally got around to watching the latest episode of Hannibal, the title of which I don't have the wherewithal to look up the meaning of. I'm a bit conflicted, as the episode is still generally good, basically consistent with the quality of the show up to this point, but once again we are back to the norm of Hannibal being a supporting character to Will Graham and the deer obsessed cannibal's daughter, which is a bit disappointing in the wake of the last two stellar episodes that had him as more of the focus.

Monday, May 27, 2013

The Idiot Box: Defiance 1x06 - “Brothers In Arms” Review

Yeah, I know the TV reviews have been a little late of late, but as I think I may have mentioned, various issues, chief among them sickness, has waylaid me recently. Anyway, the upside is we had a great episode of Defiance this week (or as it happens, last week) that breaks the sorry trend of every other episode being less than stellar, probably the newest best of the series in fact. I know that's kind of silly to say after only six episodes, but this was the closest I think this series has come to reflecting the sort of grandiosity I've been harping on this show so often for failing to exploit.

The Cinema File #186: "Fast & Furious 6" Review

First off, I should point out that pretty much everything I have to say about this movie should be read with the understanding that this franchise and the specific vehicular action sub-genre to which it belongs are simply not my cup of tea. I understand the appeal, and I'm not saying that these movies are necessarily bad or even poorly made, just that I don't personally have much interest in them. I can't really relate to the die hard Fast & Furious fan, and I can only assume based on the caricature I have in my head that the endless tire screeching and explosions in this sixth installment are more than enough to satisfy them.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

The Cinema File #185: "Heebie Jeebies" Review

Heebie Jeebies is now the fifth Syfy Channel Original Movie I've watched since I decided to do this little impromptu retrospective on the network's recent releases, and while I might be giving it more credit than it deserves just in the wake of the lackluster affair that was Flying Monkeys, I found it to be fairly entertaining. The look and concept of the monster was a bit better than most, and while it started off pretty slow, it eventually descended into that special kind of crazy that I always hope for with movies like this. While not as inspired or as well put together as Tasmanian Devils or BattleDogs, it easily beats out Chupacabra Vs. The Alamo for the number three spot on my Syfy top list so far, if that even matters.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

There Is No Defense For: The Nutcracker 3D

Okay, so I have this recurring segment on this blog called In Defense, where I take a second look at movies or TV shows that I feel have gotten something of a bad rap, and as the name implies, try to mount my best defense of them. Most of the time, I've seen the movie and have my defense in mind before writing, while other times I have to watch the movie again to remember if I actually liked it or not, as was the case with It's Pat: The Movie. This time around, I decided to tackle a movie I'd never seen, purely based on the assumption that its weird dark fantasy style seemed right up my alley. I have now watched The Nutcracker 3D, and unfortunately, as much as I wanted to love this movie, and as much as I by all rights should have given my tastes and tolerance for over-indulgence, I am at a loss.

Friday, May 24, 2013

The Cinema File #184: "Flying Monkeys" Review

It suddenly occurs to me that the sentence I am about to write might be the first time this sequence of words has ever been formed in this exact way: “This movie about killer flying monkeys was a complete waste of the talents of Vincent Ventresca.” Oh, yeah, and after Chupacabra Vs. The Alamo, I've decided to introduce a new segment for every time I review a Syfy Channel Original movie, highlighting my favorite stupid line of dialogue. This movie's winner: “I don't know where you get them wings, but I do know, it's dying time my friend.” Anyway, I just watched Flying Monkeys, and it was a thing.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Cinema File #183: “Peeples” Review

Okay, I wanna make one thing perfectly clear. Just because I've made a commitment to watch all of the Tyler Perry movies featuring his signature Madea character does not mean that I feel I am obligated to watch and review every movie his name is attached to. I just wanted to make this known as I coincidentally reviewed the last one, Temptation, even though it didn't have Madea in it, and I will be reviewing the next one after this, because it will have Madea in it. And Larry the Cable Guy, because Tyler Perry hates me. If one happens to come along that doesn't qualify for the Madea Challenge and I decide that I want to skip it, so be it. Anyway, I just watched The Peeples, of my own free will and unconnected from any other review series I might otherwise be doing, and admittedly, while not particularly good, it was not nearly as terrible as I was expecting it to be.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Idiot Box: Warehouse 13 4x14 - “The Sky's The Limit” Review

Well, this is the first review for a Warehouse 13 episode I've posted since the news broke that the show has been officially cancelled, or rather, renewed for the last time for an abbreviated six episode fifth season. I suppose its fitting that this is also the episode where we finally got a little bit of development for the main story that I've been clamoring for since this season started. It's not a lot mind you, just one foreboding scene that really doesn't get us that much closer to knowing anything about the main bad guy, but at least its something. And the rest of the episode wasn't too bad either.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Cinema File #182: “A Resurrection” Review

Whenever I see a movie featuring an actor I like that’s been released posthumously, I almost feel an obligation to watch it, even if it isn’t necessarily the kind of movie I think I would enjoy. Such is the case with today’s review, the last film starring actor Michael Clarke Duncan before his untimely passing last year. His performance in the now somewhat ironically titled A Resurrection is easily the best part of the movie, which I suspect would be the case even if the circumstances surrounding his appearance didn’t lend it an added level of poignancy. The problem is, his relatively small role is pretty much the only good thing about it, and as much as I really wanted to come away liking it, there’s just too much to find stupid and frustrating about this god-awful film.

Monday, May 20, 2013

The Idiot Box: Game Of Thrones 3x08 - “Second Sons” Review

Yeah, that's right fat boy, run away from the one thing you just found out kills the invading monsters. That's smart...

I'm noticing that this season, perhaps more than either of the other ones, is an exercise in delayed gratification. Every time I watch a storyline play out and find myself frustrated by it not going where I want it to go, or not getting there fast enough, almost like clockwerk, I get what I want by the next episode. Case in point, this week we have Tyrion finally getting an opportunity to defend Sansa's honor, Stannis finally registering a glimmer of understanding that that Red bitch be crazy, and we get some always welcome White Walker action to boot.

Further Thoughts On Star Trek Into Darkness

In my review for Star Trek Into Darkness, I made every attempt possible to avoid spoiling the film’s many twists, which made it difficult for me to express my feelings about the movie positive and negative in any great detail. The following is my attempt to fill in those intentional gaps and address the things I couldn’t talk about specifically in the earlier review, and as such it will contain many spoilers, so if you want to go into the movie fresh, stop reading now. If you’ve already seen the movie or don’t really care, read on if you would like to hear my unencumbered thoughts about the movie.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

The Idiot Box: Doctor Who 7x13 - “The Name Of The Doctor” Review

When this season started, producer and head writer Steven Moffet made a conscious decision to scale back on the arc heavy connections between episodes seen in previous seasons to do more stand-alone adventure stories. As a result, we've had what is easily the worst season in the history of the show. This latest episode, the finale and last Who installment until November's 50th Anniversary special, followed the trend of the last few in being markedly better than the majority of this year's efforts, and yet the arc averse formula that gave birth to it made what could have been an amazing hour of television much less than what it by all rights should have been given the collective talent behind it.

The Idiot Box: Hannibal 1x08 - “Fromage” Review

Sorry I'm a little late with this one, been waylaid by illness recently. Anyway, we're back with another episode of Hannibal, a direct sequel to the previous one which at the time I considered to be possibly the best of the season. Though the new episode relies on a particularly gruesome gimmick that I think (or at least hope) is somewhat unrealistic, it was nonetheless another top notch installment that proves why this show should be getting a lot more praise, and a lot more viewers, than its gotten up to this point. The only reason I know what the title of this one means is because of an old Dexter's Laboratory cartoon, but I fail to see what cheese has to do with any of it.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

The Cinema File #181: “Superman Unbound” Review

Though I've always generally been more of a Marvel guy than a DC guy when it comes to comics, I have a special place in my heart for the Bruce Timm/Paul Dini cultivated DC Animated Universe, which spanned multiple classic animated series including Batman, Superman and The Justice League before it was wrapped up a few years ago with Justice League Unlimited. These shows bookended my childhood, which is why the replacement straight to DVD self-contained releases of recent years have been a little bittersweet for me. They are produced by many of the same people and resulted in one of my favorite films of last year, but often serve as a reminder that the continuity I want to see picked up again will most likely remain closed for the foreseeable future. The latest of these releases is Superman Unbound, a re-telling of a story we've seen quite a few times before, which while technically stylish and entertaining, ultimately seems like a waste of all the talent that went into it.

Friday, May 17, 2013

The Cinema File #180: “Star Trek Into Darkness” Review

Make sure to have your Gallagher style ponchos ready folks, because I can guarantee that after this review, the first three rows will be covered in nerd.

I am a Star Trek fan, and have been for all of my life. Though admittedly my first introduction to the franchise was the spin-off era in the 80's that started with The Next Generation, I am nonetheless somewhat obsessive in my love and attention to this entire fictional universe now being spearheaded by J.J. Abrams. I wasn't reviewing movies regularly at the time the first Abrams Star Trek came out, but as a fan, my reaction was somewhat ambivalent. It's flaws, though many and easily picked apart, were somewhat mitigated by its embrace of a fun adventurous tone that the original franchise itself had seemed to lose at some point before it petered out with Enterprise and Nemesis. As much as I lamented the fact that this new Trek would most likely mean the original timeline stories I loved would never be picked up again, the truth is that was probably the case anyway, and I've been content to treat this alternate universe as just that, and try to enjoy whatever Trek I can get, much in the same way as I can enjoy an Elseworlds tale or a What If story in comics.

The Cinema File #179: "Chupacabra Vs. The Alamo" Review

Well, it was bound to happen I suppose. Perhaps it was too much to ask that I would get a third Syfy Channel Original movie in a row as unabashedly awesome as Tasmanian Devils and Battle Dogs, especially since I knew going in that the next one in my queue was called Chupacabra Vs. The Alamo. This movie isn't very good, but it knows exactly how not very good it is and does its best to embrace its badness and exploit it for all its worth, shooting for a Tommy Wiseau-esque so-bad-its-good quality after recognizing that it has no other option. Then again, at least it tries something, which is more than I can say for some other movies I've seen recently.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

The Idiot Box: Defiance 1x05 - “The Serpent's Egg” Review

Well, maybe I was right in my prediction that every other episode of this show would be a good one, but then that only leaves me dreading next week's show. After last week's far too standard kidnapping plot, we get another story that is a little cliche, but works a lot better with the frontier western setting, such that at the very least it doesn't feel quite as much like a script from another show altogether that they just changed all the names to fit. Its a hostage standoff episode, and weirdly a direct sequel to the last good one bringing back the Hellbug luring Irathient criminal, which leads me to think that last week's bore fest might have just been some adrenaline drug induced hallucination.

The Cinema File #178: "The Bay" Review

Recently I reviewed a found footage movie called The Frankenstein Theory, which I noted was arguably the best traditional long form example of this much maligned genre I've seen so far. That statement is of course qualified by the fact that the vast majority of found footage movies are ball shrivelingly boring, and by the terms traditional and long form, to separate it from another found footage film I enjoyed more, the experimental anthology VHS. I was going to suggest that the movie I just watched, Barry Levinson's The Bay, might have already surpassed The Frankenstein Theory on this admittedly low standard, but the more I think about it, the more I wonder if it even qualifies as a found footage movie at all, or if it would be more accurately described as a mockumentary. I don't know what it is, but I enjoyed the hell out of it nonetheless.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Idiot Box: Warehouse 13 4x13 - “The Big Snag” Review

Last week, I mentioned my sort of love hate relationship with this show, how as much as I enjoy the project overall, individual week to week episodes can sometimes be dragged down under the weight of boring filler that gets in the way of what I find interesting about the series. I recognize that it isn't entirely fair to come to like one piece of a multifaceted show and then criticize it for not emphasizing that piece over the other stuff I don't care about, but being a fan with a daily review blog, I can't not see and talk about the show from that frame of reference. This weeks episode is once again illustrative of my back and forth regard for Warehouse 13.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Cinema File #177: "Dario Argento's Dracula 3D" Review

As much as I am a horror fan, and specifically horror of the 70's and 80's, I've never really been all that much of a Dario Argento devotee. I've never disliked him as a director, but I've also never really been all that excited about him either. The last Argento film I saw before today was Two Evil Eyes, and evidently I haven't been missing much, as my brief bit of research on the last few decades of the director's work suggests that he's had something of a Shyamalanian drop in quality since I stopped paying attention. Now, I'm never one to take the word of critical consensus blindly, so when I saw that the man who brought us Deep Red and Suspiria had produced his own vision of Bram Stoker's Dracula, I was legitimately intrigued. This is an instinct that I now regret deeply.

Monday, May 13, 2013

The Idiot Box: Game Of Thrones 3x07 “The Bear And The Maiden Fair” Review

I think “The Evil Notions Come Free” might have been a better title for this, especially considering the whole Bear Fight thing seemed a little tacked on. Seems odd that they'd go to so much trouble filming in a whole new continent just to get that three minutes or so, when they could have used CGI or just gone with something else. Then again, perhaps my capacity to embrace the inherent awesomeness of a Bear Fight might be diminished in relation to the fact that I'm still so fresh from watching Manborg.

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