The Midnight Meat Train (2008)

Rarely have I seen such art attributed to a violent serial killer. I’m surprised to say the film still drew me in and put me in that indefinable trance one can sometimes feel from horror. This killer has tools and moves he wields like deathly musical instruments as he kills on the midnight train.

I like this director, Ryûhei Kitamura if for no other reason than that he was born the same year as me. He has a long history of Japanese horror and mystery films. I have seen none of them. I wonder if any of his past films have as much blood and violent gore as this one does.

Bradley Cooper is the biggest name in this film. He’ a struggling and idealistic photographer. His wife introduces him to a big name and that’s when the film starts to chug down the tracks. It’s a ride you’ll not soon forget. Another big name in this is Brooke Shields.

Here’s a no spoiler summary: There is a killer that stalks a certain train every night. He kills people on the train in unthinkable ways. It’s all filmed i a sort of Matrix strobe/slow motion way so you can really take in the eyeballs popping out and the entrails spilling onto the floor. This may be one of the bloodiest ones I’ve seen. It’s good though. Bradley Cooper inadvertently photographs the killer and seeks to destroy him. The results are not what he had expected.

This was a bloody film and certainly not one to watch with your kids. It is however streaming on Netflix so that makes it easy to get for many people. It’s a good revenge horror. The only problem I had with it was the way they dealt with the conflict in the last quarter, See what you think and leave me a comment. A dialogue is the best part of blogging for me.

FINAL THOUGHTS
I thought the music and cinematography made this more of a “killer’s opera” than a slice and dice film. It was amazing to look at when the killing was at bay and even the killing had a certain order to the chaos. It drew me in. I was interested why this man did these horrible things. In my opinion, the answer is only partly given. I would recommend this to fans of the serial killer and gore genre. All else, run for the train exit.

6/10

Guardians of the Galaxy 2 – Podcast Review

Check out my non -podcast movie review. Only 7mins 30sec long. (I try to keep ’em short). I beg your comments if you have 1-2 minutes please. 2 way communication is my real goal here with all this.

[imdblive:id(tt2015381)]
[imdblive:posterRemote_nolink]

[imdblive:title_nolink]

“[imdblive:plot]” -IMDB

Cast

[imdblive:cast]

Directed by

[imdblive:directors]

Written by

[imdblive:writers_nolink]

Other Info

[imdblive:genres]
[imdblive:certificate]
[imdblive:date]
[imdblive:runtime]min
IMDB Rating: [imdblive:rating]

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)

This film is relatively new and I purposely left spoilers out of my review. A very similar look to the first one in most aspects. The 1970’s songs were a bit more arcane and far off which for me was cool. I liked watching things explode, the raccoon played by Bradley Cooper make jokes, and the Baby Groot emote so much expression with is highly limited words. I couldn’t help but wonder if vol2 was really necessary but it was honestly so much fun, I bought in and there were only a few places where I was bored.

So the story goes (this is in the trailers so I assume it’s not considered a spoiler): Starlord meets his biological father played by Kurt Russell. Much of this storyline is outlandish and frankly impossible but I kept reminding myself that this IS a Marvel comic book made into a film. You get the obligatory Stan Lee cameo as well but it never quite feels as polished and robust as Spiderman or Thor. The 70’s music is a standard part of the formula. Maybe it always was, I haven’t read the comics.

FINAL THOUGHTS
Look, I’m not going to criticize a movie that gave this many people jobs and brought so many people out to opening night in my hometown. The fact that the story and action is ALL OVER THE PLACE and it’s hard to focus on what is really happen is probably my fault for not being between 15 and 35 years old.

Still, there was way more comic stuff in this one. It is much funnier than the first by far. The understated, sarcastic humor made me belly laugh more than a few times. The Baby Groot is funny and cute as well. I saw a lot of promotion in the weeks before it was released and Baby Groot lived up to the hype, he delivers! So go see this wild and crazy film. It has some great effects and hilarity to boot. It’s a great way to ring in the Summer but not likely to go on anyone’s top ten of comic book or sci fi films. Then again, some young people surprise me.

7/10

Band of Robbers (2015)

This modern day telling of Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer starts a little slow but once the wheels start rolling, it has an understated humor I found quite funny. It’s been compared to Wes Anderson films though Id say it’s not that dry. It’s a well developed and clever that works in an entertaining way.

Band of Robbers is a crime comedy movie written and directed by brothers Aaron and Adam Nee. In this modern-day retelling, the two iconic rascals are grown up and small-time crooks still searching for the fabled Murrell’s treasure that has eluded them since childhood. The story draws heavily from Twain’s classic novels, including characters, plot twists and even dialogue.

Though it comes off as low budget, the writing is excellent which helped me get into it. One of the coolest features was seeing modern day adaptations of Mark Twain’s characters like Becky Thatcher (a cop) and Injun Joe.

Final Thoughts
If you enjoy Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer, you may really enjoy this silly film. While highly entertaining, I felt the characters were a bit too difficult to relate with. It’s probably because they took the Huck Finn/Tom Sawyer idea very seriously. For that reason, I did enjoy it but it lost some points with me. This film is streaming on Netflix and Amazon Prime. Go watch it them come back and tell me what you think. I’d love to read you take on this film.

6/10

Almost Famous (2000)

Almost Famous is now streaming on Amazon Prime. There’s a scene at the beginning of this film where the macro lens fixes on a turntable as the needle lowers on the Who’s “Tommy.” It’s so f***ing cool I want to eat pralines and cream ice cream every time I watch it. That just happens to be my favorite flavor, please imagine yours and you’ll probably get what I mean. This film is a breed apart. I can’t criticize much about it. It’s one of the great ones in my collection, what else can I say?

Director Cameron Crowe was born in 1957 and went to school in San Diego, California, USA. In the opening sequence you see the young writer William Miller (Patrick Fugit) with his mother (Frances McDormand) in 1969 walking down the streets of San Diego. That little writer is Crowe! At least, that’s what I suspect. Crowe has done so many amazing films, I’ll always see another pinnacle as the indubitable Jerry Macguire. Almost Famous is my favorite work of his to date.

Actor Patrick Fugit does a phenomenal job as an underage kid and writing prodigy basically sneaking on tour in the 70’s with a rock band, Stillwater. It’s a coming of age story about rock and roll and love on tour with a band. How f***ing cool is that? It makes me wonder what it would have been like to go on tour with REM in the 80’s. I’m 12 years younger than Crowe so my musical influences are from a bit later. That reminds me, the late Philip Seymour Hoffman plays a thirty something music critic and his lines are the stuff of pure genius. He contends rock is dead.

The story continues to introduce Kate Hudson as a 16 year old roadie who William takes up with and falls in love. H elearns so much about rock and love from her. She is one of the best actors in the film. There is an older brother type rock hero role played by Billy Crudup. Mostly we find out the decadent stupidity of fame from what he does and says but it’s well played of course. In the end lessons are learned, hearts are broken, stomachs are pumped, and rock marches on.

My favorite scene is when the band and their entourage almost crash in their plane and the things they say thinking they are about to die are side-splitting as well as revealing.

FINAL THOUGHTS
I can’t think of a film like this because it is so thick with music and amazing actors. You really do go on tour with Stillwater. You experience it all. It’s like Pink Floyd’s the wall but with a professional dramatic screenplay of which you can discern the dialogue. I will always worship this film because it’s what I stand for: rock and roll and writing. Oh, one issue I have: too many Elton John songs: they don’t fit. One would be ok but not 4.

10/10

My 2 Interviews With Mr. Movierob :)

This is a combined 2 podcast audio post. I interviewed the amazing Movierob, fellow blog critic and mentor from a distance :) Here are the interviews back to back. Pour youself a cup of coffee this a two hour show! :)


It’s full of good information and entertaining stuff as well if you’re a move fan or blog fim critic. This is an expecially good episode for blog film critics who are just starting out. Blogging can see like a maze at first. Movierob share valuable insights to help.

Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

Indiana Jones may not care that the Ark is a radio for speaking to God but he sure wants to discover it. All his life as an archaeologist, no find has been as significant as this Ark of the Covenant mentioned in Biblical writ. The trouble is, Hitler wants it too and he’ll stop at nothing to kill anyone who stands in the way of him getting it.

Raiders of the Lost Ark

Raiders of the Lost Ark

“Archaeologist and adventurer Indiana Jones is hired by the U.S. government to find the Ark of the Covenant before the Nazis.” -IMDB

Cast

Harrison Ford Indy
Karen Allen Marion Ravenwood
Paul Freeman Dr. René Belloq
John Rhys-Davies Sallah

Directed by

Steven Spielberg

Written by

Lawrence Kasdan, George Lucas

Other Info

Action, Adventure
PG
Fri 12 Jun 1981 UTC
115min
IMDB Rating: 8.5

Steven Spielberg directed this film. If you know E.T. or Close Encounters of the Third Kind, you know his phenomenal talent. If you’re too young to recognize these films, I urge you to go out and see them today along with anything else you can get your hands on by Speilberg.

Raiders of the Lost Ark represents freedom to make a “fun” movie like you dreamed of as a kid. He had the success behind him to make this film and it delighted millions, still does.

In between all the comic book excitement, there is a love story. Karen Allen plays Indy’s love interest and she does a great job. It’s great to see an independent spirit like Indy be bridled by romantic love. It reminds that it gets to the best of us. The stunts are also amazing and those along with the “Oohs and Ahhs” of his archaeological finds make this an incredibly entertaining film. It has its own ride at Disneyland Anaheim but really, all you need is Amazon Prime right now to have the ride of your life.

FINAL THOUGHTS
The famous scene when Indy replaces the gold head artifact with a bag of sand, the rolling ball that nearly decapitates him, the opening of the ark, and so many other visual moments make this film a gem today. Probably the coolest thing is the acting talent of Harrison Ford. He IS Indiana Jones. He lives in the part and it’s attractive to the viewer like moths are attracted to a flame.

This film is now streaming on Amazon Prime. After you like my post and leave me a comment about this film, watch it!

10/10

Better Call Saul (Spoken Word Review)

NOW streaming on Netflix! My review linked below. Check it out, leave me a comment. Thx.

Better Call Saul (Season 2)

I fell into the Breaking Bad pool years ago and got hooked completely. Maybe it was because I’m a teacher and the main character is easy to identify with. Whatever the reason, I loved the show and watched it faithfully through all seasons. In contrast, I wasn’t very take in by Better Call Saul, the …

10 Cloverfield Lane (2016)

“It’s just our family now. We can do whatever we want.”

10 Cloverfield is another point of view of the same situation. A woman is in a terrible car crash and wakes up in the bunker of a doomsday prepper. She thinks escape is what she wants but she has yet to find out what is actually going on outside. Minor plot spoilers ahead.

Cast
John Goodman

as Howard

Mary Elizabeth Winstead

as Michelle

John Gallagher Jr.

as Emmett

Directed by
Dan Trachtenberg
Written by
Josh Campbell, Matthew Stuecken, Damien Chazelle
Other Info

Thriller, Drama, Horror, Mystery
Rated PG-13
1h 43min

The imprisonment of someone against their will and without cause is a horrid crime. John Goodman plays Howard, the captor. Michelle is the captive and she does an amazing job acting in this film. We relate with her in her plight. Like the recent film “Room” we feel as if we are in the room with her. But I want to let you know that while a confinement theme seemed boring to me at first, there is much more going on in this thriller.

Emmett is another hapless inhabitant of Howard’s shelter. It’s underground and solid. Howard sought refuge with Howard when the disaster started happening. We aren’t told what that disaster is until later in the film. This is a mystery and half the fun is figuring out what the next part of the story is at every turn.

There’s a lot of talk on the internet about whether this is a sequel to “Cloverfield” (2008). I’ve come to my conclusions and I’ll leave it at that. I will say that I don’t think I would have enjoyed this movie as much if I knew the answer to that question so I recommend going in innocent. After you see it, you can look it up to your hearts content. Without giving you an answer, I’ll say these are two completely different movie in theme, style, and genre.

My favorite part of this movie is the character of Michelle. She makes the movie great. Second is John Goodman. If you can get over your menta block of seeing him as Dan Connor, you’ll see a serious, solid, scary, intuitive performance from him. He’s no happy-go-lucky. I enjoyed this thriller beginning to end, for all the reasons I’ve mention, it gets full 5 stars from me. I highly recommend it.

Peeping Tom (1960)

Some people who love modern horror may scoff at a film made in 1960, they may think it couldn’t be scary. This film has a reputation among critics as being scary but does it have the scares to justify that?

Peeping Tom

Peeping Tom

“A young man murders women, using a movie camera to film their dying expressions of terror.” -IMDB

Cast

Karlheinz Böhm (as Carl Boehm) Mark Lewis
Anna Massey Helen Stephens
Moira Shearer Vivian
Maxine Audley Mrs. Stephens

Directed by

Michael Powell

Written by

Leo Marks, Leo Marks

Other Info

Drama, Horror, Thriller
Not Rated
Tue 15 May 1962 UTC
86min
IMDB Rating: 7.7

Michael Powell is a director’s director. We are talking about a man who in 1960 had directed nearly 60 films. He is truly a talent that students in film school should study. Directors like this know their craft and leave nothing to chance. What you see on the screen is what they want you to see, period.

The actors know their stuff as well. Karlheinz Böhm plays the lead and he is a frightening individual. He captures women luring them in with the promise of taking their portraits and while getting close up he stabs them in the neck. The women are attractive and scantily dressed which is nice. Hey, it’s the 60’s and this is horror right?

This film weaves a creepiness throughout. The killer is brutal but quite subdued. You watch him with the curiosity of one who might watch Hannibal Lecter. He is a psychopath who gets off filming women as he kills them. way he uses his tripod as a stilleto blade is cool. I must admit it did seem slow at times but I figure that’s because horror has sped up through the years.

FINAL THOUGHTS
This is 1960’s horror at it’s best. It’s like watching a technicolor version of dragnet but the villain is having his way with many women and killing them. Some old movies are boring, not this one. I recommend it to anyone who likes classic films and especially classic horror the likes of Alfred Hitchcock.

8/10