Sorority Row – Review

“There are worse ways to spend an hour and forty minutes.  Unfortunately for Sorority Row, there are also better ones.”

Stewart Hendler’s Sorority Row harkens back to (better) slasher movies like I Know What You Did Last Summer and Scream, and makes as much sense as either though both of those movies at least had a bit of innovation going for them, and while the snark of Sorority Row is always welcome, it’s not enough of a differentiator to elevate the movie.

Though things begin interestingly enough, when the members of Phi Theta sorority pull a particularly mean-spirited prank on the brother of one of their members that ends in a very real death.

Soon the girls are being bumped off one by one, seemingly by the person who was the victim of their prank gone awry (mostly in visually interesting, though practically impossible, ways). Sounds familiar?  It should because it’s a plot device that been used every since Agatha Christie’s Ten Little Indians, mainly because when it works, you don’t see any of the many moving parts that need to be in sync for it to work.

Which Sorority Row, for the most part, doesn’t.

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Zoolander 2 – Teaser Trailer

The first Zoolander was released over 14 years ago, and while I recall it being intermittently funny, I am not quite sure that it warranted a sequel (despite being successful, box office-wise).

Which makes me wonder why it’s taken over 14 years for Ben Stiller to come up with one.  That being said, there were funny moments in the original, though for the most part if felt like one of those Saturday Night Live skits that doesn’t know when it’s outstayed its welcome.

Another thing is that Stiller, despite being primarily a comedian, always seemed to make movies (such as The Cable Guy) that despite the comedic elements, were more creepy than they were funny.

The teaser is pretty amusing, though.

A Reason I Don’t Take Hollywood’s Complains About Piracy Too Seriously

Every once in awhile I write about how lazy Hollywood seems as far as movie piracy goes, and this seems to prove it.

I was looking for a trailer for the upcoming Western horror movie, Bone Tomahawk, on YouTube when I found a link to ‘Watch HD Full Movie.

Now keep in mind I wasn’t even looking; imagine what I could have located it I actually put forward a bit of effort.

The site–which I didn’t join–shows posters for Minions (which is currently in theaters), Fantastic Four (which isn’t), as well as Jurassic World and Magic Mike XXL.

And while there’s probably isn’t any more money that Jurassic World can gain that it doesn’t already have, it’s still a bit problematic.

I get the feeling that if Hollywood spent less time trying to impose technologies like Ultraviolet on people, and spent more going after seemingly low-hanging fruit, like ‘Watch HD Full Movie,’ then life would be easier for everyone.

The 33 – Trailer

Not to be cynical–which pretty much means I am going to do exactly that–but I am shocked to see that the producers of the upcoming The 33 are actually casting Latino actors to play the Chilean miners who were trapped in a cave-in a few years ago (I only recognized Lou Diamond Phillips, who wasn’t among those men trapped, though hope strings eternal).  And speaking of which, why is the trailer in English? I hope they do something clever. ike in the case of The Hunt For Red October, when the actors began speaking Russian, yet through movie magic this was turned to English; which at least tells viewers that they’re doing so for our benefit of an domestic audience).

Or even subtitles would be welcome because the likelihood those miners were speaking English primarily–probably their second language, if at all–is a bit unlikely).

After all, the movie Alive was based on the story of an Uruguayan football team who’s plane crashed in the Andes, yet the cast was almost as white as the snow that capped the mountains they were stranded on.

And more recently, remember Aloha?

There’s also the danger of the Chilean minors becoming secondary characters in their own story, which if you have seen Mississippi Burning, is more possible than you’d think.

Can We Stop Fetishizing Black And White Movies?

I will admit that some movies look better in black and white than color.  It’s often striking how the contrast between light and dark can create a sense of tension, of drama.

I was going to watch A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night when I noticed that it was shot in black and white, and I almost immediately lost interest (I haven’t watched it yet, though I will at some point) because what also tends to come with a lack of color is an odd sort of snobbery, as if just by being made in black and white it’s somehow elevated.

Which is tiring because, let’s be honest, the only reason that there’s black and white anything is because color had not been invented yet.  If it had, black and white movies and television would probably be relegated to boutique and prestige-type projects (which is oddly ironic because that’s for the most part how it’s used these days.

Two of my favorite movies, Twelve Angry Men, and Anatomy Of A Murder are done in black and white, and they’re both gorgeous.  That being said, if they were originally made in color would that somehow lessen their impact?  Would E.G. Marshall, Henry Fonda or James Stewart’s performances somehow be diminished because of it?

I’d doubt it (though that’s not to say that we should go back and colorize movies because that typically looks odd, particularly flesh tones, which often look garish).

Besides, there’s one important reason why color came into dominance, namely its the way people actually see (for the most part).

By way of analogy, it’s as if you had a choice between an ice-cold Heineken and a ice-cold Old Milwaukee, and you decide to go with the latter.

Which is a valid choice, but also one I have absolutely no understanding of.

Old Milwaukee beer

Friends don’t let friends drink pretty bad beer.

Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials – Trailer 2

The Maze Runner honestly mystified me.  It was pretty popular, and hugely profitable (earning over $340 million on a $34 million budget) yet was stuck with a seriously nonsensical plot that was way more complex–and not in a good way–than it needed to be.

The cast was pretty game, and clearly brought into the entire premise, but when that premise sucks then typically all the enthusiasm in the world can’t help you.

Which leads me to Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials.  The trailer looks pretty cool (and what trailer these days doesn’t?), though I am hoping and praying that it isn’t as ludicrous as the first movie.

Cooties – Review

Cooties movie poster

Cooties is like Ebola, but funnier.”

Typically, horror movies don’t revolve around children–though there are exceptions, like Village of the Damned, The Brood, The Children, Children Of The Corn, Come Out and Play and Citadel come to mind–though they’re not typical.

And I get it.  Children are uniquely vulnerable in ways the average adult isn’t, and I can see how it’s almost the like a betrayal if we, as adults, are unable to protect them from the horrors of the world just outside the door.

Jonathan Milott and and Cary Murnion, the directors of Cooties, seem well aware of this and decide to leaven the horror with ample laughs, and for the most part it works because as messed up as the children come to be, the adults are in their way significantly worse.

There’s Clint (Elijah Wood) who’s returned home to Fort Chicken to work on his first novel about a possessed boat.  Wade (Rainn Wilson) is the PE teacher who’s dating Lucy (Alison Pill), whom Clint had a crush on long ago.

Special mention goes to Leigh Whannell (writer of Insidious, Insidious: Chapter 2 and Chapter 3–with James WanDead Silence–with James Wan and Cooties–with Ian Brennan) who plays Doug, who apparently wrote some of the best lines for himself.

And speaking of the characters, they’re all a bit broad, though in line with the somewhat lighthearted tone of the movie.

If you want to see a movie with copious violence that doesn’t take itself too seriously, you could do worse than to catch a case of Cooties.

Cooties will soon spread to a theater near you, though be careful because this is like no infection you’ve ever experienced.