Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Blaze You Out (2013)

seksi 2013
Symbol of Contrition? Veronica Diaz-Carranza gets inked.
latino loving
Mark Adair-Rios is one charged cabron.
At a glance:
The labour of Latino love entitled Blaze You Out (2013) is a gangland drama written and directed by feature film first timers Diego Joaquin Lopez and Mateo Frazier, set in Esperanza Valley, New Mexico. It's about an aspirin DJ named Lupe (Veronica Diaz-Carranza) who's sucked into her sick town’s heroin underworld to save her younger sister Alicia (Melissa Cordero). Mark Adair-Rios has strong presence, playin a wordsmith of a thug named Whitey. Title refers to the villain's refrain as to why he's makin rounds.
Veronica Diaz-Carranza
Bad news on the doorstep:
Lookin to transcend demographics is surely the plan here. However, a lot of story flow are lost to its somewhat self-important characters. There's plenty of dramatic weight and style. Great music, even. Sometimes the lines are strong and feel like they come from a very real place. At other times, they feel as if we're bein treated like a two-bit chavalo to have to take it all in. Puñeta!
Perennial wonderment:
Elizabeth Peña
Elizabeth Peña is no longer the crisp article we saw in La Bamba (1987) and Jacob's Ladder (1990), eh? She gets a runout here, playin a gang matriarch.
Reminds me of:
Playin GTA on the XBOX many, many years ago.
Watch out for:
Openin credits, to the tune of Devil's Playground by Gram Rabbit. Definitely looks like it belongs in a superior product.
Amacam joker, berapa bintang lu mau kasi? 
You could worse and you could do better, I guess. Sounds like a community project that really took off and despite its shortcomings, you can tell the story has a heart that's in the right place. Go check out the official Facebook fan page and also the official website for more info.★★1/2

Bonus material:
Hispanicize 2013
Regal Cinemas South Beach,
Miami Beach, FL - 10 AprBlaze You Out crew & cast 
(Photo: Jesus Aranguren)

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Blackout (2013)

kulum sakdik fuck tattoos
Chelsea Reeves riding a disinterested Timothy Woodward Jr in Blackout.

Does Bill Oberst Jr
know what he's doing here?
At a glance:
Matthew K. Hacker's maiden feature film Blackout (2013) is a shoestring budget murder mystery currently on VOD release, so let's cut him some slack whenever we can. After a drunken night out at a strip bar with friends, our lead character Harley (Timothy Woodward Jr) is rudely awakened by his sexy fiancée Sophie (Chelsea Reeves) who refuses to relieve his mornin wood, instead hurryin him for an all-important meetin with her lawyer dad which would seal his position as hotshot junior partner at their firm. Shit is afoot when he discovers a dead woman in the shower and he doesn't remember a damned thing. Two other characters in this skeleton story are his best friend Alfred (Robert Covington) and the creepy concierge Rommel (Bill Oberst Jr) in his building.
Bad news on the doorstep:
I would love to wake up to this. Wouldn't you?
South Carolina native Timothy Woodward Jr carries the charmless frat guy feel and he's very far from bein a polished actor - but he has managed to turn in the kind of dodgy performance that makes you stick around to see if it improves, so that's a start, I guess. The biggest problem is with the movie plot. It's a disaster with several questionable characters and the subsequent arcs they take. The awful endin, particularly, plays like it was thrown in because they didn't know where else to run with it.
Perennial wonderment:
As long as you get your movie out there, it's gotta be some sort of success, right?
Reminds me of:
Wotta mess. Then again, I must've done worse in my time.
Most memorable line:
Amacam joker, berapa bintang lu mau kasi?
Come to think of it, I'm not too absolutely certain what happened in this movie. Did they lose their minds when they were writin the story? Lookin at the movie title, the pun is all too easy to make. Let's have mercy.★★
"Shit. Should've killed a skinnier bird. How am I gonna move all this fat!"

Sunday, 28 July 2013

The Ouija Experiment (2011)

ouija experiment eric window 2011 2012 poster bedroom fuck
Eric Window: "Baby, I promise you. It's not gonna be on YouTube.
It's not gonna be on Sex Tube. The only place it's gonna be is on my tube."

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Miranda Martinez scar
(SFX makeup artist Josh Fread)
At a glance:
Apparently shot with just $1,200, filmmaker Israel Luna (Ticked-Off Trannies With Knives, 2010) has completed The Ouija Experiment (2011), now sensibly retitled The Realm for its DVD release, in an attempt to either avoid legal wrangles with Hasbro head honchos or sound less like a bargain bin staple. Unfortunately, the package cannot escape its poor "found footage" pedigree, not even in its very first few minutes when most movies of its ilk would succeed in flatterin to deceive. It opens with a pretentiously weak title card about the titular occult object and a very annoyin actress of Vietnamese descent named Belmarie Huynh. She's soon followed by a motley crue of similarly inane and disengagin characters with their embarrassingly hammy lines.
Bad news on the doorstep:
It's the kind of movie I'd really look forward to if all my friends are in it.
Perennial wonderment:
Surely you'd ask about lottery numbers
instead of cheating boyfriends, no?
When will this genre bring somethin new to the table? Here's a list of some of the ho-hum found footage films I've sat through recently - The Tunnel Movie (2011), Another Kind (2011), The Jungle (2013) and Absence (2013). Of all these, The Ouija Experiment is certainly no better.
Reminds me of:
The last ouija board effort I watched was Ouija (2007) a.k.a. Seance. That was a Filipino effort by Topel Lee and it had a hot chick or two at least.
Amacam joker, berapa bintang lu mau kasi?
Maybe if they had just shot the ouija-playin bits in a conventional format and then added the elaborate 10-min flashback sequence towards the end, it would've worked better. Also, the fact that there's also a video webchat interface midway when the characters contacts someone online fatally takes us out of the "found footage" experience. Oh, well. You can check out its official Facebook fan page for more information. Otherwise, jog on.1/2

Bonus material:
Leah Diaz as Gracie.

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Paper Moon (2013) @ 紙月亮

In Paper Moon, the DOP fashioned a wau from Chrissie Chau's bikini.
Okay, I lied, but they might as well have done that, seeing how bizarre it was.

At a glance:
"Whaddya mean I can't wear this in Kelantan?"
Earnest but every bit as flimsy as its title, Double Vision / Astro Shaw's Paper Moon (2013) a.k.a. 紙月亮 is a peculiar PG-13 / CAT IIB botched time-lapse romance and I wonder how many of its shortcomings the wayfarin TVB director Stanley Law Tak Ming 羅德明 of Ice Kacang Puppy Love fame would admit to himself. Budget-backpedallin to the tune of RM 2.37m only to see an embarrassing collection of just RM 170k over its theatrical run back in January, it's actually a gorgeously shot picture with an luscious production design and several notable Hong Kong stars in its fold. Stars they indeed are, unless you're as disgusted as Anthony Wong when it comes to leggy leng mos like Chrissie Chau Sau Na 周秀娜. We'll come to that later. This cinema release is like an origins story based on the ntv7 teleseries The Iron Lady, starrin the wonderful Yeo Yann Yann as a ball-breakin matriarch of some sort in period times. I'd hate to giveaway the connection, seein that it's also a spoiler but if you've read the vastly differin synopses out there for this movie, you'd realise that the package is suspect from the off.
Bad news on the doorstep:
"Seriously man, when are they gonna call a lunch break?"
Several structural surprises short of goin great guns gonzo, Paper Moon is guilty of makin token references to everythin, includin its eventual connection to the TV series. After you have forgiven the jarringly staged flashbacks, and the intrusive score and sound mix (so often the bane of sappy Sino sentimentality and all forms of Oriental melodrama), we arrive at several most unfortunate chemistry no-go's, the most fatal bein -- who the hell is gonna buy a Lam Ka Tung and Chrissie Chau romance? Worst than havin no affinity with each other, ol' Gordon looks like he genuinely couldn't bear bein in the same room as her. The skinny? It's a convoluted caper about a poor and bitter kitemaker in Kelantan who comes across a sexy tourist one fine day. However, the deluge of sudden info in the final act will befuddle you no end. There's a lot of shoutin and cryin but nobody is touched.
Sucking eggs always leads to sex.
Perennial wonderment:
How Chrissie Chau maintains her Kim Kardashian career is beyond me. Forget the little known Best Actress awards and the name brand of Chrissie Chau for a minute to consider her performance at face value. Is she pullin off the crossover? She tries very hard but sadly, these dramatic roles are beyond her depth. Maybe in 10 years she can be the new Shu Qi but now that they've had a go with her and seen the results, maybe we oughtta keep her in the negligee catalogues with Angelababy for now.
Reminds me of:
Talkative ex-girlfriends (not mine) who send long text messages and cry all the time. Annoyin!
"Hmm... will Nik Aziz approve of us?"
I can't remember if I cried:
When Gordon Lam spoke some token Malay. That sums it up, really. Too much token and too little thought bein placed on tidyin up these disastrous character arcs.
Watch out for:
Some sex scenes on the DVD that didn't make the big screen. They were nothin much but at least singer Tedd Chan 曾国珲 got a go at Chrissie, eh? Good on ya, son.
Amacam joker, berapa bintang lu mau kasi?
paper moon
At least Tedd Chan got a go at Chrissie, eh?
Good on ya, son.
Two or three rewrites were sorely needed to save this epic wannabe and wannabe epic. Wau, this movie has really brought out the worst puns in me. Bin my keyboard and shoot me already.★★

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Jug Face (2013)

jug face seks hutan rimba melayu seksi tetek puting jagung sos tiram
Jungle jism: Lauren Ashley Carter loves incestuous in-and-outs in Jug Face.

At a glance:
Jug Face (2013) is about face jugs.
Backwater bad religion and sibling sex come together swimmingly in the impressive indie Jug Face (2013). By all accounts, debutant writer-director Chad Crawford Kinkle is gonna have a great career ahead of him. That's if the gods of hillbilly horrors and the supernatural slasher genre will stick around to preside over a few generations more of Southern Gothic inbred killers and the horror DVDs they sell. Here, we closely follow an isolated community from the animated opening credits through to a grim, deterministic end. It's a tight little village story about young Ada (Lauren Ashley Carter), who's supposed to be a nubile virgin about to marry straight-laced Bodey (Mathieu Whitman) but she hides a bun in the oven, an unspeakably incestuous one co-baked with her brother Jessaby (Daniel Manche) at that. Running parallel to this story is another village secret. There's a magic pit in the woods that sends its sacrificial wishlist by way of visions to a seer named Dawai (Sean Bridgers) who happens to be the village halfwit. Every season, this reluctant potter will fashion a clay jug bearing the face of the next intended and the villagers will offer up a blood sacrifice via slow-drip. Wotta fresh spin! Bring on the mystery and the moonshine, fellas.
Bad news on the doorstep:
"The pit wants what the pit wants."
Not a big issue but some didn't like the CG aspects, however little, for they do remind us how cheaply the movie was put together. Make-up FX veteran Bob Kurtzman is attached to this, so I wonder if there were better ways to film the more demanding apparitions we see. Others note the underpopulated village as another down point that took us out of the experience. Also, the somewhat muted ending seems to wanna hold itself back unnecessarily. I'd have fancied a stronger finish.
Perennial wonderment:
"Please, sir. Can we have a sequel?"
If you're wondering where you've seen big-eyed brunette Lauren Ashley Carter before, she's the younger sister in The Woman (2010). Lass sure has blossomed nicely, eh? Birds like these do so swell in horrors playing the dishevelled innocent.
Reminds me of:
A refreshing evil blend of Terribly Happy (2008), The Breed (2008), The Shrine (2010) and M. Night Shyamalan's The Village (2004).
Most memorable line:
"The pit wants what the pit wants."
Amacam joker, berapa bintang lu mau kasi?
Confident piece of storytelling. Even the music is good and adds value to the package. Definitely several cuts above the usual crap lately. Check out the official website and the Facebook fan page for more info.★★★1/2

"Open further and lemme see that smelly snatch, you ungrateful whore!"

Friday, 5 July 2013

No One Will Know (2012)

Ben Bledsoe and Kelly Curran after a morning fuck in No One Will Know (2012).

At a glance:
No one will know we're following Hitchcock, right?
The tagline says not even those closest to you know the truth and the movie title is No One Will Know but everyone knows this movie, alright. Murder mystery by numbers. If you've caught this recent Osiris Entertainment DVD release, then you've revisited just about every genre cliche there is in the book. You can read about director Raj Reddy and how the "major influences were Hitchcock films, particularly Psycho, and Christopher Nolan’s Following. David Fincher’s film The Game also was an influence." You still here?
Bad news on the doorstep:

All too familiar, without bringing something fresh to the table. Some rather shallow performances with some very uninspired angles. Generic suspense music and there's a very odd track in the beginning that makes it feel like we're watching The O.C. or One Tree Hill.
Perennial wonderment:
It's not gonna end well, is it?
Sometimes I think that people who fail to convey the desperation or fear in movie characters have little understanding of what makes a person commit murder, adultery etc. I often think about how the presence of just one experienced or more intelligent person on set can make things better and point people in the right direction.
Reminds me of:
A lowbrow indie about a young couple trying to hide a fresh corpse under the floorboards of their living hall throughout their engagement party? I kept being reminded of Alfred Hitchcock’s Rope and the Edgar Allan Poe short story I read as a kid, The Tell-Tale Heart. Well whaddya know, those two are precisely what writer Logan Leikam said the movie was inspired from.
Amacam joker, berapa bintang lu mau kasi?
A competent and flawed attempt but from the behind-the-scene stills, the crew must've had some fun at least. I believe what broke it for me was that there's little to like about the lead pair. Better luck next time.★★
Bonus material:
Go check out the official Facebook fan page for more photos.

Ben Bledsoe and Jesse Draper

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Atlantic Rim (2013)

Mishmash mockbuster Atlantic Rim: A rim job to forget.

Jackie Moore
At a glance:
It's bad enough that Guillermo del Toro's Pacific Rim is this year's Battleship ... and now to be ripping that off? The very determined and unapologetic Atlantic Rim (2013) a.k.a. From The Sea a.k.a. 5,000 Fathoms Deep a.k.a. Attack From Beneath is yet another less-than-glorious product from mockbuster maestros Asylum and this time, they've culled and compiled and enough robot vs alien stock footage to release the suspicious scion before the movie proper even! If you complain that this is a cheap knockoff that rides on the buzz of another movie, then you're clearly missing the point. The plot, you ask? You shouldn't.
Bad news on the doorstep:
"So guys... what time is lunch around here?"
The movie does alright for the first third and then fizzles out. Token character exposition and sequence after sequence of frantic mayhem goes some way towards keeping up pretenses but really, it goes tits up once enough dialogue is overlapping for you to figure out that they're just going through the motions. A bizarre romantic subplot serves only to indicate how hard they were trying to stretch the idea. Several laughably poor performances here, Jackie Moore standing out. Graham Greene is almost laughing underneath that smugness!
"Awww come on girl... it ain't that bad."
Perennial wonderment:
I'd like to see a serious lawsuit one of these days but that would only give more recognition to the bastard nation of mockbusters, wouldn't it?
Reminds me of:
Armageddon (1998), minus Liv Tyler's panties on a golf club. Oh and seeing David Chokachi again reminds me of sneaking up to watch Baywatch on late night TV as a kid.
Watch out for:
Crash. Bang. Wallop. Zap. Whatever.
Cast member Treach a.k.a. Anthony Criss, formerly of rap group Naughty By Nature. Well, a brother's gotta eat.
Amacam joker, berapa bintang lu mau kasi?
Maybe if they had spent a bit more time on it, results would've been better. However I do applaud the business acumen. Folks only have themselves to blame if they paid a penny towards a download or a DVD. It's a shyte economy out there, what can you say.