Hey Boys and Girls! This is Movie Goer Grim here with you this issue to review two new movies, as well as three films that have just been released on DVD--so let's get to it!
All right, the first film that has landed on my hit list is the third installment to the 2002 mega-hit blockbuster "Spider-Man" with you guessed it, "Spider-Man III!" The film begins with Peter Parker basking in his success as Spider-Man, while Mary Jane Watson begins her Broadway career. Harry Osborn still seeks vengeance for his father's death and an escaped convict, Flint Marko, falls into a particle accelerator and is transformed into a shape shifting sand monster. An alien symbiote crashes to Earth and bonds with Peter, influencing his behavior for the worse. When the symbiote is abandoned, it finds refuge in Eddie Brock Jr., a rival photographer, causing Peter to face his greatest challenge.
I really enjoyed this flick--okay, maybe Ďlikedí is a better word. Like everything else now a days, the third part of Spider-Man did not live up to the hype. I mean, yeah, it had super cool special effects and it was a good story line. Ah! And therein lies the problem. You see, I realized that the movie was a good two and a half hours long, but in that one film there were at least four different stories going on. Spider-Man and M.J., Spider-Man versus Sandman, Spider-Man versus Goblin Junior, Spider-Man and the symbiote, and Spider-Man versus Venom. Good God, thatís five! Now something like that may have worked for a feature like the "X-Men" because there were a handful of characters/heros to do that with. But with Spider-Man there is only one hero: Spider-Man. Seriously folks, they could have made five separate movies out of part three!
So when you break it down time wise, you get five 30 minute episodes! Personally, I wish they would have done the entire movie around Peter Parker getting fused with the alien symbiote and then put out Part Four with Venom. So in the end boys and girls, I give "Spider-Man III," Two web-spun Howls of Pleasure .
Next is a new release to DVD: Guillermo del Toroís "Pan's Labyrinth," possibly the biggest film DISAPPOINTMENT of this year!
To make a long story short, it takes place during 1944 in fascist Spain. A girl who is fascinated with fairy tales, is sent along with her pregnant mother to live with her new stepfather, a ruthless captain of the Spanish army. During the night, she meets a fairy who takes her to an old faun in the center of the labyrinth. He tells her she's a princess, but must prove her royalty by surviving three gruesome tasks. If she fails, she will never prove herself to be the true princess and will never see her real father, the king, again.
My first surprise with this movie was that itís not even in frackiní English! Now, donít get me wrong, I like subtitled films; some of the best movies are foreign made. But I was expecting this movie to be in English, so I immediately became disenchanted with the whole thing. My next little surprise was when the title of the movie (in Spanish) flashed on the screen it read: Laberinto del fauno, El, which means The Labyrinth of the Faun. So, why did they change the name for U.S. distribution and I will give you that answer in a bit.
Okay, still with me? Good. So, then we come to the story itself. You would think itís about how Ofelia (the little girl) journeys along weird and wonderful places to complete these tasks and prove that she was worthy of being royalty. Maybe something in the realm of like a "Lord of the Rings" epic? Nope! Not in this film. I would say that only twenty minutes was dedicated to the child's tasks to become a princess. Thatís it! Twenty measly minutes. The rest of the movie is evenly divided up between Ofeliaís mother being sick during her pregnancy, and the continuing battle between the Captain and his men and the rebels who were hiding in the woods. And thatís pretty much it! Now, back to the question about the title; it was a marking trick. They changed the name to "Panís Labyrinth" to have the American viewers connect it with "Peter Pan," to perhaps get more of an audience. For "Laberinto del fauno, El" I give one Hangmanís Noose !
A movie I found on DVD is a horror classic from 1997 starring Laurence Fishburne, Sam Neill, Kathleen Quinlan and directed by Paul W.S. Anderson (and if you donít know his work, you should look him up) in "Event Horizon."
In the year 2047 a group of astronauts are sent to investigate and salvage the long lost starship, "Event Horizon." The ship disappeared mysteriously seven years earlier on its maiden voyage and with its return comes even more mystery as the crew of the "Lewis and Clark" discover the real truth behind the disappearance. Unfortunately, the ship has something on board which leads to horrific consequences.
This film is probably the last good horror film made in the twentieth century. Too bad it took me ten years after its debut to see it. The best way to describe it is to imagine ĎHellraiser,í but in space. I truly enjoyed this film and give the now classic "Event Horizon" Tree Howls of Sci-fi Horror filled Pleasure !
Okay folks, just bare with me a bit longer as we roll into the home stretch. The last movie I would like to review with you is the Sequel to "28 Days Later," which is "28 Weeks Later". Twenty-eight weeks have passed since the rage virus has annihilated the British Isles. The U.S. Army declares that the war against infection has been won, and that the reconstruction of the country can begin. As the first wave of refugees return, a family is reunited--but one of them unwittingly carries a terrible secret. The virus is not yet dead and this time--since the disease shows no outward symptoms--it is more dangerous than ever.
Very rarely will you find a sequel that is better than the original. Well, this movie is definitely one of those. The first film, "28 Days Later," I actually reviewed and it received two Howls of Pleasure. But again, like I said Part Two was much better. Better plot line, better actors, better everything! And in fact I nominate this film for the Grimís Bloodiest Movie Award! So I am happy to give "28 Weeks Later" Three zombie filled, blood spewing, Howls of Pleasure !
Okay, happy people, Iím beat! So thatís it for me this month. Thanks for hanging with me through to the end! And in closing remember, donít take my word on these movies--go out there and judge them for yourself!
Until next time, I remainÖ
All right, gang, it's Reaper Rick with you again. I have been somewhat
under the weather the past few weeks and didn't get out to see any new
movies, but I took a short trip in the 'Way Back' machine to do some
reviews on a few older flicks.
We start off in 1986 with "Big Trouble in Little China." This is an
early John Carpenter film, so you know it must be good--and it is. Kurt
Russell and Kim Cattrall star in this current day (for 1986) fantasy film
about a long-haul trucker (Russell) who likes to hang out in Chinatown
with his friends between runs. When he goes to the airport with a friend
to pick up the friend's fiancee flying in from China, Russell's entire
world is turned upside down.
The fiancee is kidnaped right in front of them by a local Chinese gang
and Kurt vows to help his friend get her back. While looking for her,
they find themselves in the middle of a Tong gang war and then discover
that the girl was kidnaped to aid a centuries old demon become human.
Kurt then enters the Chinatown underworld and is confronted with evil
magic and superhuman Kung Fu experts, all of whom are trying to kill him.
That's not much of a synopsis, but I don't want to give too much of the
story away. This is one you Have to see to believe. There is a lot of
action--with both weapons and martial arts--plus lots of Chinese
Mythology and great comedy in this movie. It is exciting and funny, and
is one of my all time favorite flicks. If you can't find it in your
local video rental store, try Amazon.com. It is worth the cost to own
the DVD. After watching this movie at least a dozen times in 20 years, I
have to give "Big Trouble in Little China" 4 mighty Howls of Pleasure .
Okay, so now if we slip back in time about a dozen years, we come to a
classic sci-fi flick from 1973. The movie "Soylent Green" was adapted
from the Harry Harrison novel, "Make Room! Make Room!" and is set in the
year 2022 when the world is so overpopulated we are running out of food
(and judging by what's going on in the world today, such a disaster in
2022 may not be that far off base).
This movie is loaded with stars--although most of them were big stars
long before many of our readers were even born--including Charlton
Heston, Leigh Taylor-Young, Chuck Connors (The Rifleman), Joseph Cotton
and Edward G. Robinson (this was Robinson's last movie role--he died in
January, 1973, before the movie's release). Heston plays a New York City
cop who has to investigate the murder of a wealthy businessman. Heston
lives in a slum section of the city with his roommate Robinson (who is a
cop's 'Book') and where people sleep on the stairs of the buildingbecause there is no place else for them to sleep. Food and water are in
short supply and people wait in long lines for both and are frequently
turned away when supplies run out. Riots ensue and a new food source is
drastically needed. The government comes up with the 'Soylent' wafers in
an attempt to stem the hunger riots.
Originally made of Soy products (hence the name), they also made the thin
dry crackers out of seaweed and other plant material and the final result
was a colored wafer, and the resulting color depended on what the
ingredients were. No matter how much of this product was made, however,
it was never enough--people were still going hungry and the riots
continued. Until Soylent Green was distributed.
Meanwhile, Heston is investigating the aforementioned murder and
discovers how the rich live--in ultimate luxury with air conditioning,
hot and cold running water, alcohol, fine furnishings and real food,
including meat, jams and jellies and bread. He also discovers that the
murder was a 'hit' to silence the businessman (Cotton) and when he
attempts to delve more deeply into the murder, someone tries to kill him
to stop the investigation. Heston finally discovers the heinous secret
his government has been trying to cover up, but even if he tries to tell
anyone will the public believe him, or will they even want to believe
This is a great classic movie and again, if you can't find it in your
local rental store, it is well worth the cost of a new DVD. Considering
the time frame involved (it was made in 1972 and released in 1973), the
subject matter and how it was presented, the actors and the acting, I
have to give "Soylent Green" 4 big Howls of Pleasure . If you haven't
seen this flick, you absolutely should do so.
All right, if we drop back in time another year we come to 1972 and the
sci-fi movie, "Silent Running." This is not your 'typical' sci-fi flick.
There are no laser battles or ship to ship fights going on in space and
no aliens to contend with. Actually, this is another look at a dismal
future we may face when the atmosphere of Earth is so polluted plants are
no longer able to grow on the surface of our planet. In order to
preserve the flora and thus the fauna of our planet, the government built
several giant bubbles attached to a space station and transferred the
plants and animals of different environments to space and into these
bubbles for safekeeping.
There are also several human caretakers on the station to monitor themany environments and make sure everything is working smoothly. Bruce
Dern stars in this movie as one of the caretakers and he has a trio of
small robots to assist him in his duties. These little guys are nearly
human--to Dern--and he named them Huey, Dewy and Louie. Everything goes
along smoothly until the government decides to shut down the station due
to financial problems and wants all of the environments destroyed.
Again, this movie is not a typical sci-fi flick. In fact, it is a rather
sentimental movie which looks at the ongoing struggle of government greed
vs. the environment of our planet--something that even today is a current
topic. So, if you are not fond of wildlife and/or the environment in
general, this movie is not something you would enjoy watching. On the
other hand, if you believe that the environment which surrounds us, which
protects us and helps to keep us alive is just as important to our
continued survival on this planet as is food and water, then you should
see this movie. I will tell you that tears do flow, both on and off the
screen, so be prepared for that, as well.
And again, due to the subject matter (which is still pertinent today) and
the time frame (the early 1970s), and because it is such an emotional
film, I have to give "Silent Running" 4 cheering Howls of Pleasure .
These are all very good movies, so you don't have to see a new release
just to view something worth watching. Check out the older movies at
your rental store (if they even have such a section) or buy an older
flick if you can't rent it. These are all worth having in your
Okay, so that's it from me this issue. All I can say is get out there
and watch some Good movies. 'Til next time...