WordSlinger's Published Articles
Movie Review: Paranormal Activity 4
October 22nd, 2012 at 7:00 pm | |
Paranormal Activity 4
Directed by Henry Joost, Ariel Schulman
Written by Christopher Landon, Chad Feehan
Starring Katie Featherston, Kathryn Newton, Matt Shively, Brady Allen, and Aiden Lovekamp
Rated R | 88 Minutes
Release Date: October 19, 2012
Things that go bump in the night. The primal unknown that can make anyone lose sleep. It’s a simple concept that we can all relate to, which is why the original Paranormal Activity struck such a nerve. Audiences loved it, and it made over 12,500 times its budget in profit. So it’s not surprising Paramount has been churning out sequels every year since.
As with the previous films, Paranormal Activity 4 features “found footage” captured by the characters themselves. Each film as found put a unique spin on how the footage is captured, but the result is the same. This time, the audience is shown an amalgamation of footage captured from web cams, digital cameras, and, in a less-than-subtle piece of product placement, feedback from an XBOX Kinect setup. Unlike the previous films, however, this one offers no explanation for when or how the footage was found and put back together. This was the first sign that storytelling was not a high priority this time around [...]
DVD Review: The Increasingly Poor Decisions Of Todd Margaret Series One
October 12th, 2012 at 10:00 pm | |
Blu-Ray Review: Kill List
The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret Series One
DVD | Instant Video
Starring David Cross, Will Arnett, Sharon Horgan, Blake Harrison
MPI Home Video
Release Date: December 27, 2011
Todd Margaret (David Cross) is not a smart man, and his desire to succeed and impress those around him constantly gets the better of him. A compulsive liar who is completely unable to admit his mistakes, he ends up way over his head when a sudden job promotion lands in his lap by accident.
When his new, extremely aggressive boss Brett (Will Arnett) promotes the incompetent Margaret to head of UK sales for a North Korean energy drink called Thunder Muscle. The problem, well, the first problem, is Margaret knows nothing about sales or the United Kingdom, but that doesn’t stop him from taking the job and heading across the pond. [...]
October 11th, 2012 at 10:02 pm | |
Convention Report: Motor City Comic Con 2012
Blu-ray | DVD
Directed by Ben Wheatley
Starring Neil Maskell, MyAnna Burning, Michael Smiley
Rook Films, X Warp, IFC Films, MPI Media Group
Release Date (US): August 14, 2012
Kill List came to the states with a lot hype behind it. The sophomore feature film outing for British director Ben Wheatley is inaccurately described as a horror movie, but it is really a crime movie with a bit of the occult thrown in for flavor.
I had to wait for the home video release of Kill List to see what all the hype was about, but unfortunately, I was still left wondering as the closing credit appeared. Kill List is by no means a bad movie, but there is nothing special about it either. [...]
June 3rd, 2012 at 5:30 pm | |
The Motor City Comic Con is not a newcomer on the convention scene, but I can’t help but feel it’s a late-bloomer still unsure how things are meant to run.
The 2012 convention was held in Detroit, Michigan, last month and turnout this year appeared much higher than the rain-plagued 2011 event. Walking through the comics side of the Suburban Collection Showplace proved difficult as crowds clamored around the various comic and collectible vendors. Big name artists like Ethan Van Sciver and Talent Caldwell were almost always seen talking with fans or busy working on sketches.
But conventions like this are also a good place for smaller, local talents to find a wider audience. I Love Lightning Bugs, a band heralding from Royal Oak, Michigan, had a booth showcasing both their music and a new comic book illustrated by local artist Mindy McPeak featuring the band members adventures into the paranormal. First looks suggest a Gorillaz-esque alternative reality but with protagonists based on real people [...]
MCCC 2012: Cosplay Round-Up
May 23rd, 2012 at 1:45 pm | |
Sean Patrick Flanery Confirms ‘Boondock Saints 3′ Being Written Now
One of the big attractions for convention-goers of all ages is the chance to dress up like their favorite characters from comics, anime, movies, cartoons, and video games. So it was not surprising that a number of dedicated cosplayers showed up at Motor City Comic Con last weekend wearing intricately detailed outfits. While many competed in the costume contest, others were just there to have fun, posing for pictures with others guests and interacting with each other in moments of cross-genre roleplaying.
Here are some of the outfits that really stood out at the 2012 Motor City Comic Con [...]
May 21st, 2012 at 6:09 pm | |
Among the plethora of media and comic stars that appeared at the 2012 Motor City Comic-Con this weekend, the biggest draw was by far Sean Patrick Flanery and David Della Rocco, stars of the cult classic film The Boondock Saints. Though originally slated to appear, Norman Reedus was unable to attend MCCC due to filming obligations for the third season of AMC’s The Walking Dead. That left the two three-named stars to pose for pictures and sign autographs for hours on end. The only time “The Saints” seemed to step away from their table was to take part in a short discussion panel about cult classics with Sherilyn Fenn of Twin Peaks, James Duval of Donny Darko, and Patricia Quinn of The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
The panel itself got off to an awkward start as the lights remained off for the first 10 minutes and there was no microphone for audience members to use. But Flanery kept things going by sharing humorous stories about his Boondock Saints co-stars and fielding questions to the other guests when it appeared the audience was mostly there for him [...]
Movie Review: Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows
December 19th, 2011 at 11:58 am | |
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows
Directed by Guy Ritchie
Starring Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law, Jared Harris, Noomi Rapace, Stephen Fry, Rachel McAdams, Kelly Reily
Release Date: December 16, 2011
Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey Jr.) is back, and this time he is facing the greatest challenge of his life. His former partner, Dr. John Watson (Jude Law) has moved on with his life as he prepares to wed Mary Watson (Kelly Reily). Holmes is left alone to let his mind wander between his latest inventions (which include “urban camouflage” and adrenalin shots) and ongoing investigation in crimes which nobody else even believes are even happening.
Though the story of Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows continues roughly where the first film left off, an unknown amount of time has passed. In that time, Holmes has become increasingly erratic as he obsessively tracks what he believes is an international scheme by Professor James Moriarty (Jared Harris) [...]
Comic Review: Troy Duffy’s Boondock Saints: In Nomine Patris
November 9th, 2011 at 3:30 pm | |
Movie Review: Paranormal Activity 3
Boondock Saints: In Nomine Patris
Written by Troy Duffy and J.B. Love
Art by Guus Floor
Letters by Innfusion Studios
Covers by Chris Brunner
12 Gauge Comics
Release Date: November 9, 2011
Cover Price: $19.99
Long before two Irish brothers became prayer-reciting vigilantes in south Boston, their father went on a similar crusade against the mob. Before the legend of “Il Duce,” there was the life of Noah MacManus. Fans of the cult classic film The Boondock Saints know there were a lot of unanswered questions about the man whose name wasn’t even revealed until the sequel. Though the second film answered many of those questions, the series took to a new medium shortly thereafter, with 12 Gauge Comics publishing a trilogy of comic series exploring the character’s backstory. Now, the whole story is collected in a single graphic novel for the first time in Boondock Saints: In Nomine Patris [...]
October 23rd, 2011 at 11:01 am | |
Paranormal Activity 3
Directed by Henry Joost, Ariel Schulman
Written by Christopher B. Landon, Oren Peli
Starring Lauren Bittner, Chloe Csengery, Christopher Nicholas Smith, Jessica Tyler Brown, Dustin Ingram, Katie Featherston, Sprague Grayden
Release Date: October 21, 2011
It was not surprising that Paranormal Activity was turned into a franchise after the original, which was made on a budget of $15,000, made over $100 million at the box office. What is surprising is that Paranormal Activity 3, despite rehashing the same formula as the first two films, still manages to scare people half to death.
The evil is back. The incorporeal evil has been caught on tape again, and this time it has a name… Toby. That’s right, the malevolent entity haunting the family in the Paranormal Activity series is named Toby. At least, that is, according to Kristi (Jessica Tyler Brown), who gives the name to what her sister Katie (Chloe Csengery) thinks is her imaginary friend. Katie and Kristie both learn the hard way that Toby is not imaginary in the first two films, but Paranormal Activity 3 is set in 1988, when the girls are still children living with their mother Julie (Lauren Bittner) and stepdad Dennis (Christopher Nicholas Smith) [...]
Movie Review: Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark
August 27th, 2011 at 9:45 am | |
Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark
Directed by Troy Nixey
Starring Bailee Madison, Katie Holmes, Guy Pearce
Release date: August 26, 2011
When it comes to remakes, horror movies seem like the most popular option. It’s far rarer, however, that the film was a made-for-TV special, but such is the case for the new Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark.
The film opens in the late 19th century at Blackwood Manor, a large mansion set in a remote woodsy area. A housekeeper is called into the basement by Mr. Blackwood only to be trapped and have her teeth bashed out with a chisel. An apologetic Blackwood, who is missing teeth himself, collects her shattered teeth and places them in a bloody dish. He places the dish inside a nearby fireplace, all the while begging to have his son back. Whispers respond, and Blackwood is painfully pulled into the fireplace.
Jumping forward to the modern day, architect Alex Hirst (Guy Pearce) and his interior decorator girlfriend Kim (Katie Holmes) are in the middle of an extensive renovation of Blackwood Manor. Things become complicated when Alex’s daughter Sally (Bailee Madison) arrives, having been sent by her mother to live with Alex. Sally quickly discovers the now barricaded basement and fireplace, and soon the whispers start again. Revealing more of the plot might ruin the scares for some people, but needless to say something scary calls Blackwood Manor home [...]
Movie Review: Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop
July 30th, 2011 at 4:24 pm | |
Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop
Directed by Rodman Flender
Starring: Conan O’Brien, Andy Richter
Release Date: June 24, 2011 (limited)
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last year and half, you’ve at least heard of The Tonight Show debacle that happened last year. Conan O’Brien‘s short-lived reign as the show’s host only lasted 7 months, but the fallout from his departure lasted significantly longer. Though it was certain O’Brien would land another show with ease, as part of his exit deal with NBC, O’Brien was prohibited from appearing on TV and radio for six months. To fill the gap, O’Brien went on his “Legally Prohibited from being Funny on Television Tour.” But even during this time, O’Brien often found himself in front of a camera, as Rodman Flender filmed a documentary about the trip. Nearly a year later, the film is now showing in a very limited amount of theaters.
The appropriately titled Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop opens with a brief summary of the events that led O’Brien to leave his post and follows the tour from conception to its aftermath. Starting with the idea of a road show, O’Brien and his team of writers and producers hastily lay out plans for a 90-minute program that is little more than an idea even after tickets have gone on sale. Pressure begins to mount quickly as, to the visible surprise of everyone, the first two shows sell out in less than 20 minutes [...]
Movie Review: Transformers: Dark of the Moon
July 2nd, 2011 at 7:13 pm | |
Transformers: Dark of the Moon
Directed by Michael Bay
Starring Shia LaBeouf, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, John Turturro, Patrick Dempsey, Peter Cullen, Hugo Weaving, Leonard Nimoy
Release Date: June 29, 2011
Say what you will about Michael Bay, the man is not a fan of subtlety. It’s pretty well established that, if he could make money doing it, he would release a movie that is just pyrotechnics followed by credits. The third movie in Bay’s Transformers film trilogy actually comes pretty close to that, but surprisingly, it’s still better than the movie that proceeded it. While that doesn’t make Transformers: Dark of the Moon a great movie, it certainly hits the mark it is aiming for.
Perhaps learning from the mistakes he made with Revenge of the Fallen, Bay severely cut down the exposition, leaving an overwhelming majority of the two and half hour film to be filled with mindless action sequences. When the first Transformers film came out, some people were disappointed that there wasn’t more fighting between the giant CGI robots. This time around, it’s unlikely anyone will say the same, as the entire last hour of the film is dedicated to one long battle [...]
Movie Review: Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
May 21st, 2011 at 5:55 pm | |
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
Directed by Rob Marshall
Starring Johnny Depp, Penélope Cruz, Geoffrey Rush, and Ian McShane
Release Date: May 20, 2011
It’s hard to believe that On Stranger Tides is the fourth Pirates of the Caribbean movie to come out in less than a decade. But Disney has found a cash-cow and it’s obvious the two big stars are still having fun with their roles, so the series marches on. But by the fourth film, most ongoing series have run out of material and the second and third Pirate films were showing big signs of burnout. On Stranger Tides needed to be a new beginning as much as it needed to be a sequel, and in many ways it succeeds.
Picking up an unknown amount of time after the end of the third film, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides finds the few returning characters in very different situations than we left them. Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) has long been without a ship, having lost the Black Pearl to Captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) at the end of the last film. Barbossa, it turns out, is working for the British Navy, having also lost the Pearl, along with his right leg, in a battle with the most feared pirate in the world: Blackbeard (Ian McShane). Their paths cross once again after Spanish explorers find evidence of the Fountain of Youth. Joined by Angelica (Penélope Cruz), a mysterious woman with a history with both Jack and Blackbeard, everyone sets off in search of the fountain [...]
Movie Review: Paranormal Activity 2
October 24th, 2010 at 7:57 am | |
Paranormal Activity 2
Directed by Tod Williams
Starring Sprague Grayden, Katie Featherston, Brian Boland, Molly Ephram, Micah Sloat
Release date: October 22, 2010
It should be noted that a majority of this review was typed on a smartphone while sitting in the theater waiting for something to happen. Okay not really, but it could have been done that way given the amount of down time viewers have between scary parts of Paranormal Activity 2.
It came as no surprise that after the original ultra-low budget original film made millions worldwide that Hollywood would try to capture lightning in a bottle a second time with a sequel. While others have done the same before with weak results (Blair Witch anyone?), it’s likely Paranormal Activity 2 will get the same reaction as the first… because it IS the same as the first.
The first important detail the previews left out is that this sequel is, for 97% of the film, a prequel to the original film. Set roughly two months prior to the events of the first film, Paranormal Activity 2 follows the Rey family, a married couple with two children, including newborn Hunter. After finding their home in disarray from what they believe to be a break-in, they have several security cameras installed. The film combines the footage from these cameras and a single hand-held camera that switches hands at several points [...]
DVD Review: The Descent 2
August 17th, 2010 at 1:09 pm | |
Descent: Part 2
Blu-ray | DVD
Directed by Jon Harris
Starring Shauna MacDonald, Natalie Mendoza, Douglas Hodge, Krysten Cummings
Release date: April 27, 2010
A lot of sequels make the same mistakes: they go too far, they add too much, and they assume bigger is always better. Add to that the familiar idea of “direct-to-dvd” usually is a sign of poor quality. Fortunately for fans of the original The Descent film, the sequel has avoided some of the usual pitfalls and manages to be a relatively satisfying sequel.
Picking up immediately where the original film ends, The Descent 2 clarifies the ambiguous ending of the original, which saw traumatized spelunker Sarah (Shauna MacDonald) escaping from an previously unknown cave system inhabited by inbred, mutated humans called “crawlers.” However, the original film also included an additional scene that implied Sarah had only imagined escape as she descended into madness and was still stuck inside the caves. This ends up being discarded in the new film, with Sarah’s escape being real […]