Friday, April 19, 2013

Netflix recommendations can't be trusted!

I had put two movies at the top of my DVD queue due to my Netflix recommendations. Unfortunately, both films fell flat.

The first was Eyes Front starring Michael Madsen and Christopher Stapleton. Written and directed by Darren Doane, and apparently going straight to DVD, this social commentary on serial killers was distributed in 2008. Doane stepped outside of his usual punk music videos to make this full-length film but, in my opinion, he didn't step far enough. The editing, the cinematography, the music all made me feel like I was watching an hour-long music video. The storyline is extremely weak as we follow the separate lives of two killers. Madsen plays a family man seeking redemption after killing his wife, while Stapleton plays a cunning and maniacal serial killer. I understand that Doane was trying to present a controversial perspective on what might lead someone to kill, but neither the plot nor the character development ever went deep enough to make things interesting.

The movie trailer teases us: "Look inside the mind of a killer." I'm glad they cleared that up, because I thought I was simply looking at a really, really bad film.

The second movie was a remake of Brian DePalma's 1973 Sisters, this time with Chloe Sevigny and Stephen Rea. The first few minutes were quite promising with an eerie soundtrack playing behind a beautiful montage of twin fetuses in the womb. But that's where the good stuff ended and this droning, unimaginative remake lost my interest (the acting was pretty awful, too). Also released straight to DVD, this version cannot compare to DePalma's genius in bringing us scares, suspense, and scenes that make us turn away in terror. Do yourself a favor and skip this one, but watch DePalma's original.

Not wasting any jumpers on either of these movies and you shouldn't waste your time.

Until next time,

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Walking Dead Season 3 Limited Edition Blue-Ray Box Set

Thanks to the guys at The Nerdist (and to my pal G who happens to be the biggest nerd of all) for the info on this limited edition box set of season 3 of AMC's The Walking Dead. Seems that the packaging was designed by McFarlane Toys while the crew was building the actual "aquarium wall" on-set. Although pricey (Amazon currently has it at a reduced price of $104) this is sure to be a collector's item especially due to its interactive nature. Interactive?! Yes, Todd McFarlane is allowing the consumer to fill the "tanks" with water and, thanks to the hooks on each of the heads, to arrange the heads however desired. Hmm... I wonder if they'd continuously bob up and down if you filled it with carbonated water? Or beer!

Until next time,

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Hannibal (NBC)

I can't believe it's already April. Perhaps more so because there is still no official word from the Coroner's office about the autopsy of Elisa Lam (see previous Dark Water post). After repeated searches of the internet there is no available update, although I did find some photos of her family and friends attending her funeral - which leads me to believe that the Coroner released her body to the family. So sad.

If you've found any information that I may have overlooked, please post it in the comments section. Thanks and may Elisa rest in peace.

Someone commented to me the other day on how distressed they were that today's society seems to be so obsessed with horror: movies such as Evil Dead and television shows such as The Walking Dead seem to permeate the airwaves and our conversations. He truly seemed disturbed by this so I did my best to hide my delight. I really love this stuff.

So why wasn't I more excited to discover that NBC was bringing one of the best horror characters to television via Hannibal? Could it be because shows like The Following or American Horror Story start out with such promise only to fizzle toward the middle of the very first season? I wasn't going to add another disappointing item into my DVR's to-do list (Lord knows my DVR has been working overtime) until my son urged me to watch.

Hannibal introduces us to the legendary Dr. Lecter (he's not yet legendary in the show, I'm only speaking from my perspective), a psychiatrist with an appetite for human organs. (Kudos to NBC for making cooked lungs look like a delectable dish from Barefoot Contessa.) What I found interesting about the pilot episode is that we get to view the serial killer's mind through another profiler, not through Dr. Lecter. That profiler, special agent Will Graham (played by Hugh Dancy), is infintely more interesting than Lecter at this point. He's young, he's gifted, he's squeamish, he's vulnerable. I like this character so much that I'm already dreading his predicted demise at the hands of Lecter. Dancy is the best part of this cast, possibly because I'm not familiar with his previous work so I don't see any typecasting with him. The other cast members, however (yawn*), aren't really holding my interest. Laurence Fishburne is the main FBI agent. Someone needs to tell him that he isn't playing the CSI character anymore. Bo-ring! Mads Mikkelsen as Dr. Lecter is also underwhelming so far. He and James Purefoy of The Following could be interchanged and I wouldn't even notice. Same voice, same delivery, same... Bo-ring! And can I mention the annoying Asian female medical examiner? I honestly can't wait for her to get killed in the crossfire.

Nonetheless, I did find the first episode of this 13-episode season interesting enough to throw it into my DVR's season pass list, albeit only for Dancy's portrayal of Will Graham.

You can watch the entire episode here:

Not scary yet, so I'm only giving the pilot episode one jumper. Hopefully I'll return at some point during the season to insert more.

Until then,