Hey everyone, this is Balcony Betty, here to review some of the early summer blockbusters. Since all three of us are here is month I am gonna keep this short, sweet and to the point. I am reviewing two movies this month, ďAn American Haunting,Ē and ďThe Da Vinci Code.Ē
First off, letís start with ďAn American Haunting.Ē This movie is about an early American family being haunted by a seemingly ďdemonicĒ force. While the previews make the movie look great and very spooky, I was sadly disappointed, overall. The majority of the movie was done very well, but the ending is rather abrupt and left me confused, wondering where I missed a step. For these reasons I gave ďAn American HauntingĒ only 2 howls of pleasure .
For my second movie, I saw ďThe Da Vinci Code.Ē I liked the movie, but I suggest that everyone read the book first. Like so many books made into movies; there are many parts which are left out, parts that are changed drastically, and sections that are added in to make the story more easily digested by the public at large. Even with the changes and what not, I still completely enjoyed ďDa Vinci Code,Ē and gave it 4 howls of pleasure .
Thatís it from me this month; remember to stay out of my balcony seat. Take it away boys.
Hello Boys and Girls! This is Moviegoer Grim and I have a boat load of flicks to go through with all of you this month. Three brand spankiní new films, as well as a salvo of DVDs that recently hit the shelves.
So letís get straight to it, shall we?
First movie on the list is a film that was inspired by a dark video game called, "Silent Hill." The eerie and deserted ghost town of Silent Hill draws a young mother desperate to find a cure for her only childís illness. Unable to accept the Doctorís diagnosis that her daughter should be permanently institutionalized for psychiatric care, Rose (the Mother), flees with her child, heading for the abandoned town to search for answers, while ignoring the protests of her husband.
It soon is clear that Silent Hill was unlike any place Rose had ever been. And when the Mother loses track of her little girl, it becomes a game of cat and mouse which reveals a dark past.
I found the film very hard to follow, but coming into the movie I did not realize that it was an adaptation of three video games crammed into a two hour feature. The acting was rather weak, which was a big turn off. What saved this flick was the sheer darkness of the general concept, as well as wonderful special effects.
So, I give the movie, "Silent Hill," Two unsure Howls of Pleasure , because even at that I might be overrating it.
Now we jump to the DVD release, presented by Quentin Tarentino, "Hostel."
Two American college buddies (Paxton and Josh) backpack through Europe, and along the way pick up a new friend Oli, an Icelander, who is also backpacking.
During their search for drugs and women, Paxton and Josh are eventually lured by a fellow traveler to what is described as a haven for American backpackers; a particular hostel in an out of the way Slovakian town stocked with eastern European women as desperate as they are gorgeous.
En route to the Slovakian town, they take a train, and while on board they meet a man who takes a "Special" liking to Josh.
Soon the three men arrive at the town and quickly pair off with exotic beauties (Natalya and Svetlana). In fact, too easily!
Initially distracted by the good time they are having, the two Americans find themselves trapped in a sinister situation. Their friend Oli disappears, and what they discover can only be found in the darkest, most sick recesses of human nature.
Believe it or not, I expected more bloodshed in this movie. With all of the hype about people becoming sick and running out of the theaters after what they had seen on the screen, I had the notion that I was going to see something so bad, I would myself become physically ill. Well, I wasnít; not even close. The first half of the film reminded me of "Euro-Trip;" I was waiting for the robot to walk out and do the now famous fight scene. And the sex in this flick is countless. Every time you turn around someone was doing it.
Then in the blink of an eye, everything changes into a dark and for the most part, bloody scenario, but it was nothing that I hadnít seen already.
So for "Hostel," I give Two of Pleasure , because it was a good idea, but it was just too overly hyped.
Moving right along, we jump back to the big screen in the most anticipated movie this year (for me anyway), the Ron Howard film based on Dan Brownís New York Times Best Seller, the "Da Vinci Code." Famed symbologist Professor Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks), is called to the world famous Louvre Museum in France, where a curator had been murdered, leaving behind mysterious trail of symbols and clues.
With his own survival at stake, Langdon, aided by the police cryptologist, Sophie Neveu, unveils a series of stunning secrets hidden in the works of the great painter, Leonardo Da Vinci, all leading to a secret that has remained hidden for 2000 years.
The pair set off on a thrilling quest through Paris, London, and Scotland, collecting clues, as they desperately attempt to crack the code and reveal secrets that will shake the very foundation of mankind.
I had waited for this movie for over a year. The Dan Brown novel was fantastic. I really could not wait to see this film, but by the very end of the feature I only had one thought in my mind: "Does anyone in Hollywood ever read the book before making a bloody adaptation?"
They can not EVER get it right; the movie was chopped up and remade to their liking! If you have not read the book, you would be left clueless as to what exactly happened in the movie!
I donít even want to go over any other detail about the film, because it is just not worth it! "Da Vinci Code" rates a mere Half a Howl of Pleasure óI would possibly have given it a hangmanís noose, but I really enjoyed the book and overall story idea.
Jumping back over to the DVD selection, this movie, based on true events, gives us a look at the dark side from down under in, "Wolf Creek".
Three travelers decide to go on a trip through the Australian outback (Yes, I know it already sounds like Hostel, lol!). They end up in Wolf Creek, a place where their watches stop and their car wonít start.
Fortunately, or as the case may be, unfortunately, the trio is aided by a local named Mick, who offers them a tow to somewhere they could get their car fixed. They accept, and with that are plunged into a "bloody" world of terror.
Now this film was seriously violent in the truest meaning of the word! Itís quite disturbing and I believe that the creators of "Hostel" should have taken notes from these guys. For this flick I heave out Two and a Half Howls of Pleasure .
And to round out the DVDís for this month, we will look at, "When A Stranger Calls" (Yes, I realize that there was no big lead up to the introduction for this film, and you will soon find out why).
This remake of the 1979 film brings you into the same setting; during an otherwise routine baby sitting job, a high school student is harassed by an increasingly threatening prank caller, who turns out to be a psycho killer thatís inside the house!
And thatís about it for that one. I gave "When A Stranger Calls" One and a Half Howls of 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 third installment of Marvel Comicís biggest franchise, the X-Men, in "X3, The Last Stand".
We open the third flick to learn that a "cure" has been found for mutancy, which has humans and mutants alike standing on end. For the first time, mutants have a choice; to retain their powers which would continue to isolate and alienate them, or to give up their gifts and become normal humans.
The opposing views of mutant leaders Professor Charles Xavier (who wants coexistence between humans and mutants) and Magneto (who believe that Mutants are the next step in evolution and will become the prominent being after a civil war between the two) will be put to the test! Which triggers the war to end all wars.
Iím going to stop there; donít want to give too much away with this one. So, even though the story was completely off track from the comic books, everything else was right on the money. I came into this film thinking it was going to be disappointing, but found I was pleasantly wrong.
I enjoyed this movie and cannot wait for it to come out on DVD so I can purchase a copy. Also canít wait for "X-Men 4" to come out in a couple of years! So all in all, I was very happy with X3 and am pleased to offer up three solid Howls of Pleasure !
Okay folks, we made it through to the end! So, in closing remember, donít take my word on these movies, go out there and judge them for yourself!
Until next time, I remainÖ
Moviegoer Grim, next!
Hey gang, it's Reaper Rick here and since Grim used up nearly all of our
available space with his reviews, mine will be short this month. Just
kidding, Grim (Right!).
First off, I saw "Tristan + Isolde" (pronounced, I-Sold, apparently). I
never saw this flick when it first came out, since I thought it was
simply a (shudder) love story. And it is, but is also much more than
that. Starring James Franco, Sophia Myles and Rufus Sewell ('Dark City'
and 'A Knight's Tale') and produced by Ridley Scott, this is a historic
tale set in England shortly after the Romans left that island to
squabbling tribes of petty lords, all of whom wished to be king. One
such lord, Marke (Sewell) attempts to unite the warring tribes into one
nation and thus defeat the Irish king, who has been preying on the
loose-knit tribes for years.
This is also the time when the legend of King Arthur was born and Marke
could easily have been a model for Arthur, as Tristan could have played
Lancelot, since he was Marke's trusted right hand, only to betray him by
falling in love with his wife, Isolde, nearly bringing down the
unification and starting an all out war among the tribes, and the Irish.
There is a lot of political intrigue, heroism and battle scenes in this
movie, as well as a tender, heartbreaking romance. Over all, it was a
good flick and I give it Three Howls of Pleasure . See it with the guys
or that special female--either way it will be enjoyable.
Next up is a flick I have been waiting for--"Underworld--Evolution."
Once again starring Kate Beckinsale and Scott Speedman; they discover
that the original vampire, Marcus, has been awakened and he is pissed!
While some history is dished out, covering the how and why the battle
between Vampires and Lycans developed, overall the story was weak and the
special effects (expect for the vampire Marcus) were also rather weak.
In order to save her hybrid lover, Selene drinks the blood of the
original vampire's father, making her even more powerful. And, since the
two lovers have a totally unnecessary love scene in the movie, we are led
to believe there will be yet another sequel, this time with a child
produced from the two--a new and more powerful vampire.
Perhaps the third movie will be somewhat better. I could only give this
one Two Howls of Pleasure , but perhaps you might think otherwise. Let me
That's it from the Reaper for this month. I'll catch ya all on the