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Monday, December 19, 2011

Bag of Bones Part 2

   A little late I know, this movie has been kicking around in my DVR for a week before I had a chance to watch it.

   The filmmakers have realized that they wasted 2 hours of footage watching Pierce Brosnan cry. Now important plot points are being hurled at you left and right. Bam! Max Devore is dead. Bam! Sarah Tidwell is the ghost that is haunting Mike. Bam! Maddie and Mike are an item. Bam! She's dead.

   So Mike realized that he has to destroy Sarah's corpse and end the madness. Sarah possesses a vagina shaped tree and tries to stop him. Joanna shows up in a red halter dress that proves bad fashion taste never dies. Her fighting style: boring Sarah to death with platitudes that Dr. Phil would find corny.

   Mike and Kyra are a family now and skipping off into the sunset. Let's just forget that he doesn't have legal custody. Or that he killed a cop. Or that there's a dead body in his house. Who needs logic when you can have a happy ending.

  Let's start with Max Devore what a waste of a good villian. He just tools through the film like a geriatric soothsayer spouting doom wherever he goes. But at least he gets a topless scene and a hot makeout session with his daughter. Okay, she was only his daughter in the book but still eww.

   This is not how I imagined Rogette at all. When I read the book I always imagined her looking like Beth Grant.

   Matt Frewer exists for one scenes bringing his scene count to four. You do not hire Matt Frewer and use him for four scenes. That's like buying a fine champagne and pouring it down the drain, it's wrong, wrong I say.

   And of course, who can forget Maddie the oldest 20 year old in the world. There's is not a moment where she doesn't come as jaded. There's no real emotion in this character at all. As for her and Mike's love story and her subsequent death, snore city. Had the couple shared more than a handful scenes this might have been important. A little less crying Pierce, a little more action.

   The only bright spot of this film is Anika Noni Rose. Even though she doesn't get enough screen time to show off her acting skills, she gets to show off her singing skills. The girl is just fabulous and I look forward to hearing more from her.

   The soundtrack is available through iTunes and is recommended. I bought her rendition of Frankie and Johnny as soon as I heard it.

  Remember when I said that Pierce Brosnan should never say frisky again? Well, I'm also going to add knockin' boots to that list as well. For shame, Pierce, for shame.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Stephen King's 'Bag Of Bones' Part 1

 Film adaptions of Stephen King's novels are in a word, a gamble. Sometimes they win and other times they bomb spectacularly. Sadly, Bag of Bones so far seems to be camping in the fail territory.

   The film and novel follow Mike Noonan, an author suffering from writer's block after the untimely death of his wife, Jo. He seeks refuge in their vacation home and soon finds himself being haunted by spirits from beyond. Mike also becomes embroiled in a custody battle between a young mother and her powerful father in law.

   Mike is played by Pierce Brosnan, he is definitely not how I pictured Mike. I am not sure who I would have cast, but Brosnan would not be on that list. Other problems I have with the casting is Melissa George playing the young mother, Maddie.

  Maddie is supposed to a 20 year old girl in over her head. Her youth and innocence are partly what drove the novel. Melissa George is 35 and no amount of suspended disbelief can change that. She comes off more like a jaded soccer mom than an innocent little flower.  Matt Frewer, one of my favorite actors also appears. However so far in the film, he is being woefully underused. Jason Priestley also appears as Mike's agent, Marty.

   The first part of the film is slow and borderline coma-inducing. I understand they are trying to set up the story but it feels more like 2 hours of filler before the good stuff happens. How many times do we have to see Brosnan cry? And the unnecessary montages featuring him jogging and writing are ludicrous. Just as the movie started to get interesting the cable decided to go out for ten minutes. God has a sense of humor.

    My main quibble with this film is how they handled Jo's death. In the book it was a brain embolism, in the movie it was one of the fakest bus crashes I had ever seen. The character was pregnant for Pete's sake, the bus seemed to be a low blow. I know filming a brain embolism would have been hard to do. They could've have easily changed it to a heart attack, a simple clutching of the chest would have been sufficient for the audience.

    Speaking of ridiculous scenes, one scene in particular demonstrated how much better a book is than a film. In the book, there is a moose head who inexplicably gets more screen time than Matt Frewer. His name is Bunter and he wears a little bell. Mike and Jo apparently knocked boots soon after buying Mr. Moose. After that they refer to sex as ringing Bunter's bell.

   Now when a book character silently reminisces on this, it's sweet and tender story. When a movie character blurts it out to an elderly caretaker that he just met, it's creepy and more than a little awkward. And Pierce Brosnan is officially never allowed to utter the word frisky ever again.

  I will be tuning into part 2, because I am a masochist who hates myself. But this movie better step up it's game and become interesting.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Milo (1998)

Not that you'd want to watch this piece of shit anyway.

  I am not sure whether to be offended or bored by this tepid entry in the killer kid department. Milo is about a peculiar little boy with an unnatural interest in gynecology. I can't believe I just typed that sentence.

  Milo lures five little girls to his house under the guys of seeing aborted fetuses. Yeah, that's totally what girls are interested in seeing. I'll admit Milo is creepy with his raspy voice and face dutifully hidden by a yellow slicker. Well Creepy Hauser M.D. ignores his Hippocratic oath and goes scalpel crazy.

  We flash to present day and the scariest part of the movie, the main character's fashion sense.

Headless Marie Antoinette doll not included.
    This fashion victim is Claire and apparently one of the aforementioned little girls. She returns to her hometown for a wedding only to learn that the bride, Ruth, died the night before. To Claire, death is synonymous with job opening and takes over Ruth's teaching job.

Oh hai, Mila Kunis!

    We learn that Claire is a mediocre substitute teacher who is not married. She talks to goldfish, I wonder if they call her out by name. She is seen opening a cardboard box that was delivered to her. What's in the box? A plastic baggie with her goldfish inside. Did she Fed Ex the fish to her house?

   Claire begins to repeatedly see and hear Milo everywhere she goes. Is he really haunting her or is he a manifestation of her guilt? Here's a better question: How long before this film actually gets interesting?

  Claire confides in one of the other girls, Abigail, who reminds her that Milo drowned when they were young. Claire leaves and naturally Abby has an unfortunate run-in with Milo's scalpel. Claire tries to convince her last surviving friend, Marian that Milo is back.

   Marian reminds Claire that she went a little nuts after the Milo incident and suspects that she is going crazy again. Ethan, a troubled student of Claire is seen talking to Milo. Or was he? And Claire's is attacked by someone in a rain slicker. Or was she? And LadyJ finally finds this film interesting. Or does she?

   Claire breaks into Milo's father's office and is caught by Daddy Dearest. Daddy shows her Milo's grave but she still isn't convinced. Milo manages to dispatch Marian via bicycle and drags her into the woods. Marian tries again to talk to Daddy while Milo assaults the school janitor in the hallways.

   Rather than take him to a real hospital they return to Milo's father's clinic where Claire finds some freaky deaky medical equipment. Daddy bounds and gags the janitor as Milo chases Claire. Guess what Milo is alive and well and was apparently a stillborn baby that Daddy resurrected. Yeah, it makes no sense to me either.

    Claire gets knocked out and awakens wearing a wedding dress. And they say men can't commit. The janitor somehow gets loose and drowns Milo. Since he's a black man in a horror movie, he dies as well.

   In Milo's chamber of horrors, Claire finds the bodies of her friend clad in wedding gowns as well. Great not only is he a psycho killer/amateur gynecologist but he's a polygamist as well. As for poor Marian, well, Milo kind of took the choice out of pro choice. Milo killed Marian which would be believable if the actresses' legs weren't moving throughout the scene. Acting like a corpse is not rocket science, people.

   Well Claire kills Milo and escapes. We are treated to the strangest ending ever where the new janitor finds graffiti reading "Milo Was Here" Then they cut to a blink and you'll miss it scene of a young Milo attacking a young Claire.

   Congratulations Milo, you officially suck worse than Troll 2.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

The Walking Dead:Rise Of The Governor

 The best part of The Walking Dead: Rise Of The Governor is the twist ending. A twist ending that would have definitely rocked the comic readers mind's. It would have rocked my mind too, had I not read the book before starting on the comics.

  Still Rise is a gritty post apocalyptic novel that those who have not read the comic can still enjoy. It follows Phillip Blake, his daughter Penny, brother Nick and friends as they try to find a refuge from an ever growing zombie population.

  What I appreciate is the non gross out writing. I am in the minority of horror fans who don't like too much gore. Hey, I can throw up for free, I don't need to spend money on a book or movie to make me do so. The characters they encounter throughout the novel are richly described even if they only show up for a few pages.

 Rise is what a zombie novel should be, intriguing, scary and at times heartbreaking. It's also a great introduction for people who haven't read the comics. It's more of a standalone novel with nods to certain characters that appear in the comics. I have been a long time fan of the show but never had any interest in the comics until I read this book.

  Even if you don't particularly care for the Walking Dead series, but are a fan of zombie literature read this book. It's a must read for horror fans.