The MEG – Trailer #1

Screenshot 2018-04-10 03.27.30A trailer just dropped for The MEG, a movie about a megalodon going around doing what sharks do in movies, which is eating humans (despite the fact that we’re by no means a normal part of their diet).

Though I have other problems with this trailer.  First off, the book this movie is based on is named ‘MEG,’ not ‘The MEG.’

It’s a small point but it makes a difference.  ‘MEG’ is short for ‘megalodon.’  ‘The’ MEG is just dumb and unnecessary.

Besides, when I see The MEG, The BFG pops in my head, which is probably not what the producers intend.

Then there’s the cast., which like Pacific Rim: Uprising seems designed to make an impression in China (and that’s understandable.  After all, one of the production companies is Chinese, though it doesn’t need to be as blatant as it is.

Then there’s the trailer, which starts off like a little like Jaws 3D (the one with Lou Gossett Jr) combined with Deep Star Six then turns into Piranha (the remake directed by Alexandre Aja. not the Joe Dante original).

It’s early days yet, but beyond seeing Jason Statham kick ass I can’t find any reason why I’d want to see this (and I tend to like shark movies, despite knowing how outlandish they tend to be).

Late Phases – Review

“Late Phases Is An Interesting Diversion, Though Hardly The Best The Werewolf Genre has To Offer.”

When all is said and done, what separates great werewolf movies from also-rans is the quality of the titular beast itself, which unfortunately isn’t Late Phases strongest point.  The aforementioned monsters here look less like wolves than large hairy gnomes, which is interesting–and a little bit odd–because it’s not like research material–wolves–can’t be found in zoos or on the Internet.

In nature they’re beautiful, powerful creatures (and significantly larger than you’d think) that are in their way quite graceful.

The closest filmmakers have come to capturing the innate grace and power of the animals has been in movies like Dog Soldiers (where director Neil Marshall actually had them played by dancers, in an effort to give them a certain elegance of movement) and Joe Dante’s The Howling.

In John Landis’ An American Werewolf in London, while it had groundbreaking practical effects by FX virtuoso Rick Baker, the creature itself was more bear-like than wolf (which had a lot to do with how bulky it was.  Wolves aren’t massive in that sense, and they move with an ease that Landis’ monster lacked).

Where Late Phases does shine is in its depiction of relationships, in particular, those between fathers and sons.  Nick Damici does well as Ambrose, a soldier who’s blinded in combat, and whom can’t seem to put the war, the Vietnam War, behind him.

Ethan Embry holds his own as his son, Will, who’s doing the best he can for his father, though the tension between the two is always bubbling beneath the surface.

Damici plays blind well, though something’s a bit off about his performance.  Part of it is that he really looks like Charles Bronson, which is distracting.

Another is that he seems always tense, as if his sense of peace went along with his vision.

As I implied, the movie is for the most part petty well-done, though it’s at it’s weakest when the werewolves make their appearance.

Which is a pity, since it is after all a werewolf movie.

Late Phases is currently stalking on Netflix.

‘The Howling Reborn’ Review

In all the annals of film history, I suspect that being a werewolf has never seemed quite so dull.

It’s tough finding an entertaining horror film, especially since so many aren’t.

A new crop of films recently appeared on Netlflix, but quantity isn’t the same thing as quality.  Take “The Howling Reborn,” for instance.  It’s an attempt to relaunch a franchise that began with Joe Dante’s 1981 film,  “The Howling,” a sublime horror that for my money is better than John Landis’ “An American Werewolf In London.”

That being said, “The Howling Reborn” isn’t a worthy relaunch of the series, though judged on its own it isn’t that good either.

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Does Netflix Stream Films Complete And Uncut?

I asked a variation of this question before, in reference to Starz, and their airing of “Tron: Legacy.”

Now it’s Netflix’s turn, which when I watch I expect to see a movie in its entirety, exactly as it was shown in theaters.  So, imagine my surprise when I was watching Joe Dante‘s “The Howling”–quite possibly one of the most literate horror films I have ever seen, which makes sense considering John Sayles wrote the screenplay–when I noticed a scene was missing.

I haven’t seen the movie in years, yet I remember the scene because it was quite possibly the most shocking in the entire film.  It was when Eddie Quist, played by Richard Picardo, (a Dante favorite) is about to kill either the photographer (well-played by Terry Fisher), when he digs two fingers into his skull, via a bullet hole he got earlier in the movie, and says:  “I want to give you a piece of my mind,” and proceeds to do just that.

Why this scene was cut, when it’s no gorier than numerous others that weren’t, makes me wonder if it’s little more than an oversight on the part of Netflix, which bothers me because, besides being arguably the best werewolf film ever–even better than “An American Werewolf In London”–a viewer who had not seen the film would have no idea that the scene was absent.

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