Dawning of the Dead #MovieReview

Prepare for a zombie apocalypse this Christmas!

Uncork’d Entertainment and filmmakers Tony Jopia, Nika Braun, Yannis Zafeiriou and Alexander Zwart reanimate the silly season with Dawning of the Dead, premiering on Digital 12/5.

While a virus that causes the dead to reanimate brings the world to its knees, the scientist responsible entrusts his cataclysmic findings to Katya Nevin, a troubled ex-war correspondent turned anchor-woman at W.W News. While she and the rest of her crew witness the collapse of society via video feeds from around the globe, a deadly special agent climbs the building floor by floor, his only goal to ensure her silence. Armed only with information and an indomitable will to live, Katya must overcome her crippling anxiety and learn to lead in order to make it out of the studio and into a terrifying new world where only the dead survive.

Honey Holmes, Leo Gregory, Pixie Le Knot, and Sean Cronin star in Dawning of the Dead, on Digital 12/5 and DVD 3/6.

Dawning of the Dead Review

I was given a screener of this film prior to release for review consideration.

Although the first couple of minutes of the film had me wincing, by the end of Dawning of the Dead, I had developed a surprising amount of affection for the film. As you might be able to tell via the key art above, this was not a film that tried to take itself too seriously. And that’s good, because if it had been a serious horror film, it would have failed…horrifically. Instead, Dawning of the Dead owned its cheese factor with considerable aplomb, and balanced it out with some surprisingly serious and well-acted scenes when you least expected them.

I have seen a ton of zombie movies. I’m almost guaranteed to watch a film if you tell me zombies are involved. Most of the time, the newscast scenes announcing the outbreak are basically not worth remembering. They’re there to instill the seriousness of the situation, or show how massive the outbreak has gotten. Ruth Galliers does a solid job with this scene in Dawning of the Dead. Enough so that I stopped giggling and actually sobered up for a moment as I listened to her. In fact, her character, Katya Nevin, had become one of my favorite female leads in a zombie movie by the end of the film. She definitely a screen presence that demands your attention. I can’t wait to see her in more films.

One of the (many) things I appreciated about this film is that there is a lot of role reversal in it. On the whole, the women tend to be the strong, take-charge, ‘we can survive this’ characters, and the men take on the more emotional, freaking out roles. There were a few exceptions, but on the whole, it was a nice change up. Especially when the egotistical, sexist pig continually gets put firmly in his place, and then proceeds to lose his mind in a satisfyingly embarrassing way.

There were a lot of hilarious scenes in the movie, and I don’t want to spoil them for you so I won’t say much. But there are some nods to popular zombie films, including one to Dead Alive that just leaves you grinning. And if you roll your eyes at the whole ‘headshot every time’ thing, you’ll need to watch this film for an absolutely ridiculous scene involving donuts and dead things. The director and writers had a lot of fun poking at the more ridiculous aspects of zombie films with Dawning of the Dead

The CGI was painful, though. It was blatantly obvious whenever something in a scene was CGI. If there was one thing I would have changed about this movie, it would have been to just eliminate these scenes. And the zombies were, well, I’m sure everyone had lots of fun doing their best zombie shamble. Lets just leave it at that.

Overall, while I desperately wish they had been given a bigger budget, Dawning of the Dead was a highly amusing film that is perfect for fans of horror comedies. I wouldn’t go so far as to say it’s a great film, but it was highly entertaining. They did a fantastic job, all things considered. It looks like a movie that was a lot of fun to film.


Note: This is supposed to publish at 8:30 AM. At 9 AM, if everything goes right, Miss L will be under sedation and her heart cath and bronchoscopy will be starting. So, uhm, positive thoughts, please, people.

 

Bedeviled #MovieReview

Movie cover for BedeviledBedeviled Synopsis: Five friends are terrorized by a supernatural entity after downloading a mysterious app.

Tagline: Evil is about to go viral.

Starring: Saxon SharbinoBonnie MorganBrandon Soo Hoo

Release Date: October 22nd, 2016 | Runtime: 1 hr 31 min | Coolthulhus Earned: 4

Source: Netflix

 

 

 

Bedeviled Review

Bedeviled was a random choice on a Monday morning when I was home from work because I was feeling crappy, and just needed to veg out. I was actually expecting something so cringeworthy that I’d switch to one of my favorite documentaries within a few minutes. I was pleasantly surprised to find myself quickly invested in what was going on.

It sets a good tone right away, using cool blues and vibrant reds in the opening sequence. Even though the opening is nowhere near original, it’s still well done enough to grab your attention. The cool tones change to warm periodically throughout the movie. Again, nothing new, but the cinematography was still very nice to the eyes. Though I will say that sometimes the dark scenes felt a little too dark. Also, the way the movie was filmed, with natural changes between regular filming, and handheld/phone cameras, was nice. A little jarring at times, but it worked.

Saxon Sharbino (Alice) and Mitchell Edwards (Cody) both do great in their respective roles, but all of the cast does a solid job. I appreciated how sweet and sincere Carson Boatman came across as Gavin. They all felt pretty believable and not like the cardboard characters usually set up to be knocked off in these movies. I really appreciated that it was a movie where the group really seem to truly be friends and care about each other. Much better than wasting half the movie on catty infighting.

The pacing of Bedeviled was great. The dialogue felt realistic. It’s an hour and thirty one minutes, but I was so wrapped up in it I was shocked to find out it was that long.  It’s almost a given that there are a lot of jump scares in this movie. However, given how much I liked the other aspects of it, this part of Bedeviled didn’t bother me too much. I’ll easily admit that at least one made me yelp, and another forced a shocked giggle from me.

My favorite line in the whole movie was an older man’s snark about social media and selfies. It was so unexpected, which made it even funnier.

“I can’t tell a duckface from an a**hole.”

In a lot of ways, Bedeviled felt like a new version of Nightmare on Elm Street for modern day. Obviously not nearly as awesome as Nightmare on Elm Street, but surprisingly entertaining and well done nevertheless. I would definitely recommend checking it out on Netflix or Amazon when you get a chance.

Buy link: Amazon 

Disclaimer: I was on pain pills when I watched Bedeviled and wrote the review, so it’s very possible my review may be slightly too kind. Just take it with a grain of salt.

Thor: Ragnarok #MovieReview

Movie cover for Thor Ragnarok

Thor: Ragnarok Synopsis: Imprisoned, the almighty Thor finds himself in a lethal gladiatorial contest against the Hulk, his former ally. Thor must fight for survival and race against time to prevent the all-powerful Hela from destroying his home and the Asgardian civilization.

Tagline: No Hammer. No Problem.

Starring: Chris HemsworthTom HiddlestonCate Blanchett

Release Date: November 3rd, 2017 | Runtime: 2 hr 10 min | Coolthulhus Earned: 3

 

 

Thor: Ragnarok Review

When I first walked out of Thor Ragnarok, I was fairly happy with my viewing experience. The little bit and I both agreed that it was better than the previous films, but not fantastic. A four star rating seemed about accurate for it. But, as time went on and I got some distance from the viewing experience, I realized that I wasn’t as fond of the film as I initially thought. Still definitely better than the last few Marvel movies, I’ve seen, though!

Chris Hemsworth shone in this film. He consistently kept me amused with his delivery, even if some of his lines felt a bit forced. I think he has a solid sense of timing, and he’s obviously not afraid to make a fool of himself. He’s owned the Thor role in such a way that I think it will be very difficult for anyone to ever try to step into his shoes.

Hiddleston’s Loki had me cackling at a few parts in Thor: Ragnarok. His funniest part is probably a few seconds that actually involve him not saying a word. His posture and the look on his face tell you all that you  need to know. I don’t like his character overall, but dear Cthulhu, that was awesome. I’m snickering again just writing it up.

Mark Ruffalo as both Banner and The Hulk was one of the weakest performances in the film to me. Although, considering his job as Hulk is probably just voice acting, perhaps that is not being entirely fair to him. When he’s not in Hulk mode, he just felt tepid in comparison to his previous performances. Knowing he’s capable of more just left me feeling vaguely sorry for him in this one.

I just didn’t particularly like Hulk as he was displayed, and neither did my partner. It felt like we were supposed to laugh at the tired old cliche that someone who is physically strong must also be rather stupid. I didn’t mind it so much when he wasn’t speaking, I think, just because he was a manifestation of rage and therefore it was okay in a way. But the speaking thing and having him act like a petulant two year old just bored me, to be quite frank. I passed the “laughing at the big, dumb idiot” stage several years ago.

The humor in Thor: Ragnarok was, as usual, quite hit or miss. They definitely aimed for the lowest possible bar on funny several times. From literally falling down drunk to tight pants cracks, to gigantic anuses, it’s all there. Without Hemsworth and Hiddleston to carry the film, this could have been just another tried-too-hard Marvel movie. But their presence, combined with smaller cast of characters that didn’t all need their time to shine with the funny quips and whatnot,  made it better.

Overall, Thor: Ragnarok was entertaining. In terms of don’t-think-just-veg, it succeeds fairly well. It’s not a movie I would buy, or go to the theaters more than once to see, but it was worth the cost of admission for a single viewing. It just wasn’t as great as so many of the reviews had made it out to be. (Or I’m just getting pickier and harder to please. That could have something to do with it.)

 


Because Miss L wants to do a review as well, here is what she says:

I would give Thor: Ragnarok 4 stars. Because, overall, it was kind of funny. My favorite funny part was when -mommy redacted to avoid spoilers- was running around in the never-ending circle passing -mommy redacted again-.  But there was some parts that didn’t come into funniness.

My favorite character was the blue rock guy. I liked Thor too. I don’t know what I thought of the bad guy. Sometimes they didn’t seem like they would be so bad.  There was no scary parts in it, though.  And there was no triggers.

It was really loud.

But overall, I liked it.


 

 

Train to Busan #MovieReview

Movie Covers for Train to Busan

Train to Busan Synopsis: While a zombie virus breaks out in South Korea, passengers struggle to survive on the train from Seoul to Busan.

Release Date: July 20th, 2016 | Runtime: 1 hr 58 min | Coolthulhus Earned: 5

Starring: Yoo GongYu-mi JungDong-seok Ma

 

 

 

Train to Busan Review

I realized that even though I’ve talked about Train to Busan a few times on various posts, I’ve never actually written up a review. Time to rectify that!

Train to Busan is a South Korean zombie flick that is, as the name might imply, set almost entirely on a train or in train stations. It follows two main characters in the form a father Seok-Woo ( Yoo Gong ) and his daughter Soo-An (played by Su-An Kim). Dong-seok Ma also plays a sizable role as well, as a husband (Sang-hwa) traveling with his pregnant wife. Everyone, even the secondary characters, do a great job in their respective roles. At the beginning of the movie, you don’t particularly care for Seok-Woo, but watching him realize what’s really important and grow as a father means by the end of the film you’re firmly rooting for his survival. Though, to be honest, I definitely liked Dong-seok better. He was a bit on the adorable side with his devotion to his wife, and that along with some of the tough guy moves he pulls had me cheering.

Train to Busan is a perfect example of taking a monster that has almost lost it’s appeal because of market saturation, and still turning out a flick you can’t help but be interested in. There’s nothing really new in it, and the usual cast of characters are present, including the rich selfish CEO type person that you can’t wait to see get bit. The zombies in Train to Busan are fairly typical. Not very bright, easy to distract, and such. Of course, given that people need to be able to navigate through the cars, the director works in a nice twist the humans can take advantage of.

I think one of the appeals of Train to Busan for me is that it’s not a ‘loud’ movie. It’s not dependent on loud noises for jump scares, shrill screams, etc. And even though there are several shots of bloodied zombies, and such, the gore factor isn’t particularly high. It’s much more focused on the survivors and how they deal with the situation. In most cases, that would annoy me. I tend to dislike movies where there’s less focus on the zombies and more on the characters, but in this movie, it works, unlike certain television shows that have become daytime soaps with the occasional bloody death and zombie fight. 

Train to Busan is the zombie film I would (and do) recommend from the last decade. It’s well-acted, the perfect length, and filled with action. And that ending? Perfection.

Purchase on Amazon.

The Veil (2017) Review and Interview

The Veil Movie CoverWilliam Levy (Resident Evil : The Final Chapter) and William Moseley (Chronicles of Narnia franchise) star in The Veil, a “refreshing fantasy film that eschews digital effects for real vistas”*, out August 11 via Vertical Entertainment.

Set in a war-torn land where tribal factions live in fear of annihilation, The Veil tells the story of a deadly warrior (William Levy) leading a destructive war campaign. When he is betrayed by his own and left for dead, he is healed by a mysterious princess and taken in by a hidden tribe that believes he was chosen to wage a final battle.

Co-starring Serinda Swan (Marvel’s Inhumans), Nick E. Tarabay (Arrow), Billy Blair (Machete Kills) and Romanian Olympic gold medallist Nadia Comaneci.

From director Brent Ryan Green and writer Jeff Goldberg comes ‘’a cult film waiting to happen’’,* The Veil in select theaters and on VOD August 11.

 

 

 

Talking with Brent Ryan Green

Now is The Veil based on a true story?

               Brent Ryan Green:  No it was not.  However we looked at Native American and Aztec cultures for inspiration.   Especially with Native American culture there was a lot to admire, which we tried to put into the film.

Would you call it a revenge film?

                  Brent Ryan Green: Yes but its also a lot more then just that.   It’s about the burden of the father being passed on to the son.  Revenge does play a large role in motivating Warrior.  The group he serves killed his father and demanded he takes his place and fight.

The betrayal is a big part of what shapes our hero though, isn’t it?  What makes him tick? What gives him his motivation to carry on after his own people leave him for dead?

                Brent Ryan Green: For sure, Warrior is betrayed by his closes friends.  He is left with nothing to live for.   Without giving to much of the film away its what he discovers next that gives him the strength to carry on.

What was it about William Levy that made him the right man for the role?

                 Brent Ryan Green: Meeting with William Levy for the first time I knew right away he was perfect for the role.   His energy and passion for the project was undeniable.   We clicked right away and he was fantastic to work with.  The Veil was an extremely difficult, on location, shoot but William brought 100% commitment.  I look forward to working with him again.

Where has the film been released so far?

                  Brent Ryan Green: The Veil is out in Germany, France and Latin America I believe.   It’s now starting to open up in even more country.  So probably out a few more countries by now with many more to follow.

What do you think US audiences get from The Veil?

                 Brent Ryan Green:   An action adventure film with some deeper layers for those who want to take a closer look.  And if not,  a fun ride.

Small Sci-Fi and Scary Divider

The Veil Review

The Veil is one of those movies that begs to open the whole ‘what is sci-fi’ debate. Because, essentially, this is a fantasy movie placed on a different planet. The ‘aliens’ look like humans, there are trees everywhere, and the most sophisticated piece of weaponry you come across is a sword. However, even though it’s quote as a fantasy in the information above, on IMDB it’s listed purely as sci-fi adventure. Now, there’s nothing wrong with that, because really it’s up to the creators what they define it as. However, it did cause a moment of consternation for me when I realized halfway into the film that I wasn’t going to see any of what i think of as the traditional sci-fi elements involved. In fact, I had a flashback to Stargate SG-1 where Jack comments on no matter where you go in the galaxy, people look like people and trees look like trees.

Still from The Veil 2017
There’s also a little bit of a Game of Thrones look, isn’t there?

For all that I just ragged on it for the sci-fi and fantasy thing, though, The Veil really was a well-shot movie. The cinematography was excellent, and there were many shots that I just genuinely enjoyed looking at. The costuming was interesting in some parts, and a bit weak in others. (The Black Knight very wrongly (It wasn’t their fault at all. I don’t think.) had Monty Python and the Holy Grail flashing through my head.) But the landscape, the views of the planet above, etc, were all well done. Of course, it didn’t hurt that there was some serious eye candy of the male variety frequently on screen, and I love my sweets.

Some viewers may recognized some of the stars, such as William Moseley or William Levy. I did not. So I can’t say how their acting compares to other work that they’ve been in. For me, the only one who I truly thought felt a bit ill-fitting was Serinda Swan. I honestly can’t even put my finger on why, but she was the one who felt the least believable out of the lot.

The plot behind The Veil was a fairly recognizable one. Revenge, from the dark to the light and vice versa, training sequences, the hero, the anti-hero. I’m sure there might be layers to it that I didn’t see, but I’m not the type to think deep thoughts during a movie. The director referenced that it would be a ‘fun ride’ for people like me, and he was mostly right. Mostly because, truth be told, I just wasn’t the appropriate audience for this film.

Still, The Veil did what it set out to do, and for the people the film is aimed at, I think they’ll be a lot more impressed than I was. It was well-shot, well-acted, and pretty to look at. Sometimes even if that’s all you get out of a movie, that can be enough.

Watch the trailer for The Veil below, and make up your mind for yourself. I’m simply not the right person to lay down a judgement on this type of movie.

 

 

It Comes At Night Film Review

Movie cover for It Comes at Night

It Comes at Night Synopsis: Secure within a desolate home as an unnatural threat terrorizes the world, a man has established a tenuous domestic order with his wife and son, but this will soon be put to test when a desperate young family arrives seeking refuge.

Release Date: June 9th, 2017 | Runtime: 1 hr 31 minutes |  Coolthulhus Earned: 4

Starring: Joel EdgertonChristopher AbbottCarmen Ejogo

 

 

 

 

 

It Comes at Night Review

It Comes At Night was a great post-apocalyptic drama that tried too hard to give itself a false-horror feel. It was that trying to add horror that wasn’t already there portion that made it fizzle a bit. The movie just outright felt like it didn’t know what it wanted to be.

It Comes at Night was well-acted. The cinematography was fantastic.  The dialogue was sparse and fitting. There were moments of quiet that really set the atmosphere. While there were a few lulls, it was for the most part paced well. I will note, however, that part about the pacing is from my partner. I, personally, was bored to near tears frequently, but as that’s more because I have the attention span of a flea, I’m not going to take it out on the movie.

Basically, if it had promised what it actually was, instead of trying to be something it wasn’t, I think the reception would have been a lot more positive.  It Comes at Night had so much going for it.  From the aforementioned cinematography to the excellent actors, it scored a lot of high points. I loved the fact, too, that the family was multiracial and… well, the family was simply multiracial. The husband was white, the wife and son were not. It was simply there, and it never played into the story. Not even one tiny bit.

It Comes at Night had moments of delicious ambiguity. We left the theatre with a lot of questions, and no good answers for them. It wasn’t really clear how long the problem had been going on. I initially thought months or years. But then it made it sound like it had only been weeks. I liked that. And, for once, I can’t even gripe about the ending! It was pretty much perfect. It didn’t spell things out, but you knew what was going to happen. Lovely, really.

I loved the red door in It Comes at Night. It wasn’t subtle, it wasn’t even necessary, but it made for very striking imagery. Especially since  one would think they didn’t paint the door red just when the shit hit the fan, but that it was probably already that color. And it says so much. You know when the danger comes, wherever it comes from, that door is how it will get in. 

I felt like this movie was set up to fail, though. From the misleading marketing of It Comes at Night, clear to the fact that it was only receiving extremely limited screenings at the theatres. Our local theatres only showed it once a day at 4:55 pm. Who exactly rushes to see a ‘horror’ movie at 4:55 pm? Nobody! We had to arrange our schedule specially just to go see it!

Overall, It Comes at Night is a great movie for drama-lovers, but hardcore horror enthusiasts might want to stay away from it. 

War for the Planet of the Apes Film Review

Movie poster for War for the Planet of the Apes

War for the Planet of the Apes Synopsis: After the apes suffer unimaginable losses, Caesar wrestles with his darker instincts and begins his own mythic quest to avenge his kind.

Tagline: For freedom. For family. For the Planet.

Release Date: July 14th, 2017 | Runtime: 2 hrs 20 min | Coolthulhus earned: 4

Starring: Andy SerkisWoody HarrelsonSteve Zahn

 

 

 

War for the Planet of the Apes Review

While I enjoyed the first and second installments in the trilogy reboot of Planet of the Apes, none of them made a lasting impression. I had no particular desire to see War for the Planet of the Apes. But it was hot outside, and it was Spiderman: Homecoming, or War for the Planet of the Apes. I chose War. (And because Spiderman: Homecoming was sold out, so did the partner and the eight year old.)

The CGI in War for the Planet of the Apes was amazing. I absolutely loved that everything looked so believable. It really let me immerse myself in the movie. It really sets the bar for future movies.

War for the Planet of the Apes says a lot. Now, a lot of it has been said before, and even an idiot can get the not-so-underlying message But it says what it wants to say in a way that isn’t boring to watch. And for a “war” movie, there’s not much actual bam-bam-bam going on. People who like drama and sadness will find a lot to love in this movie. Caesar is a character you instinctively root for. Bad Ape gave a few moments of much needed lightness to the movie. Very Gollum-esque in appearance, but considerably more funny. I did not like the storyline involving one specific gorilla (I won’t say more for fear of spoilers).  It was one of the few things in the movie that I actually had a problem with.

Woody Harrelson does a decent job as the General in War for the Planet of the Apes. Truth be told, I wasn’t entirely sure it was him in the first few minutes he was on screen. But then I saw him in a different scene and instantly knew. He has been in such an interesting variety of films lately, and the man can act. Who would have thought that he’d be starring as the main bad guy in a war movie when he started off as a goofy bartender in Cheers of all things?

The action in the movie is well-shot. The dialogue is predictable but acceptable. A refreshing amount of the movie has ASL instead of spoken language. It’s a long movie at 2 hours and 22 minutes, but it’s not until near the end that you’re aware of the fact that it’s a long movie. War for the Planet of the Apes is a solid conclusion to an interesting (albeit easily forgettable) trilogy reboot.

Fans of the series will definitely be pleased with War for the Planet of the Apes.

If you’ve already seen it, what did you think of Bad Ape?

Gremlin Review (Horror Film)

Movie cover for GremlinGremlin Synopsis: A man receives a mysterious box containing a terrible secret, a creature that will kill everyone else in his family unless he passes it on to someone he loves to continue its never-ending circulation.

Tagline: Big things come in small packages.

Starring:  Adam HamptonKristy K. BooneGeoff Barron

Release Date: 2017-1-11 | Runtime: 1 hr 30 min | Coolthulhus Earned: 3

Disclaimer: I received a screener copy of this film from October Coast publicity for review consideration.

 

 

 

Gremlin Review

Gremlin, a story about a rather dangerous box, was surprisingly entertaining. I wasn’t quite sure what I was expecting, although since it was listed with a comparable movie of “Gremlins”, I was at least expecting a few more giggles. There were a few giggles to be had, but Gremlin doesn’t try to be anything other than a horror-movie you rubberneck at. And that is to it’s credit. The exact premise is one that I don’t actually think I’ve come across before. It’s amazing how sometimes just a small tweak can add a new dimension to something.

Adam Hampton proved strong in the male lead role, and I found myself rooting for him even when I knew I should realistically detest him. His wife, Julie Thatcher, was played by Kristy K. Boone. Boone’s performance had moments when it was fairly strong, but wavered frequently. I think if Katie Burgess, who played the daughter, did a good job, but wasn’t able to bring out her full potential. The rest of the supporting cast, apart from the brother and the main detective, were unmemorable. Catcher Stair, who played the young boy, Charlie Thatcher, gave the weakest performance of the lot. It felt like the little boy had no real desire to be in the movie, and his character was almost a cardboard cutout as a result.

Gremlin had a surprisingly high production quality with some solid cinematography for their budget. Unfortunately, it was hampered by some regrettably bad special effects at some points.  Thankfully, the special effects were relatively few, and most of the on-screen magic was a CGI monster that wasn’t horrible. It looked a bit like a mutated cricket. Watching it go after the various family members was a good bit more entertaining that you would think. 

The main problem I had with it was that some of the decisions that family members make are just flat-out stupid. And not only stupid, but stupid stuck on a loop. I found myself yelling at the screen at least twice when watching Gremlin. (Upside, I was involved enough in what I was watching that I actually did yell at the screen?)

Overall, Gremlin was a pleasant surprise to watch. I’ve got the attention span of a flea, and I found myself wanting to see how things ended. It wasn’t a great movie, by any stretch of the imagination, but it wasn’t bad. I don’t regret watching it, and might even tune in for a re-watch at some point!

 

Flash Gordon: The Bad-Bad Movie with the Good-Good Soundtrack

 

J.B. Rockwell, author of the fantastic Serengeti, entertained us all when she did a guest post on Sci-Fi & Scary about Lake Placid: The Reason I Like Bad Movies Summed Up in One Film . In fact, it was so good that I asked her to do it again after hearing her wax lyrical about another of her favorite bad movies, Flash Gordon. She actually wrote this a few weeks back, but I’ve been stuffed with posts and wanted to give her a full 24 hours to herself so that everyone could be sure to see the awesomeness that was this post on Flash Gordon. Enjoy! (And remember, you can find JB at http://www.jenniferbrockwell.com/  – Lilyn


Ah, the ‘80s: a time of glitz and cheese. A time when nothing was too campy, too over-the-top, or too ridiculous to turn into a movie. Case in point: that sci-fi jewel of awesome badness and subject of this particular post: Flash Gordon.

So, some of you are wondering: Who (or what) exactly is Flash Gordon? Well, to answer that, I have to go back in time (cue Austin Powers style flashback sequence).

It was the 1930s, and Buck Rogers reigned as king of the sci-fi comic strips. ‘We need a competitor!’ someone declared, possibly with much twiddling of curly-cue mustaches, and so Flash Gordon was born.

From the very beginning, Flashy-boy and his muscles were a hit—so popular, in fact, that Flash Gordon was emblazoned on a headline banner at the 1939 New York World’s Fair—and continued to be an icon of Americanism for decades to come. Too huge to be confined to a simple comic strip, Mr. Muscles went on to appear in a whole host of productions, including a 1930s radio serial, a trio of serial films shot (also from the 1930s, the third and final shot in the 1940s), a television series (on SyFy, natch), a couple of animated TV series, an animated movie, a stage show, several comics, a novel, numerous parodies (including Sesame Street’s ‘Trash Gordon’) and, my personal favorite, in a big budget, motion picture release.

Oh, and there were toys, of course. A whole line of licensed products, in fact, including pop-up books, coloring books, a role playing game, rayguns, and toy spaceships, and all sorts of stuff.

But all that doesn’t really tell you bupkis about Flash Gordon himself, doesn’t it? Alright, let’s get to that.

Continue reading “Flash Gordon: The Bad-Bad Movie with the Good-Good Soundtrack”

Astronaut: The Last Push Review (Sci-Fi Drama)

Movie Cover for Astronaut: The Last Push

Synopsis: When a tragic accident cuts short the first manned mission to explore life on the moons of Jupiter, Michael Forrest must make the 3 year journey home to Earth in pure solitude.

Tagline: How far will man go to discover life?

Release Date: February 13th, 2012 | MPAA Rating: Unrated (but I’d say PG) | Coolthulhus Earned: 4

StarringKhary Payton, Lance Henriksen, Brian Baumgartner

Watch the Astronaut: The Last Push trailer here.


Continue reading “Astronaut: The Last Push Review (Sci-Fi Drama)”