COMING SOON: HANSEL & GRETEL: WITCH HUNTERS (2013)

CLICK HERE TO READ MY REVIEW

Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton in Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters

Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters stars Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton, and its release date is January 25, 2013. In this film Hansel and Gretel are all grown-up and they hunt and kill witches. The brother-sister duo track down a witch played by Famke Janssen, who is the leader of a coven of witches.

Here is the trailer. This looks like a fun and bloody action film.

I’m not a huge fan of Jeremy Renner. He’s so hit-and-miss for me. I didn’t like him in The Hurt Locker or The Bourne Legacy, but I loved him in Mission Impossible 4. Sometimes he comes across as overly serious and bland, but when he takes on lighter-hearted roles he becomes more likeable for me.

Are you planning to see this movie?


COMING SOON: THE COLLECTION (2012)

I recently found out some great news. On November 30, 2012 The Collection will hit theaters! It’s a sequel to the 2009 film The Collector.

The Collection poster

The Collector is an awesome horror film but I’m afraid it’s flown under the radar. It’s about a handyman named Arkin who needs a large sum of money to save his ex-wife from violent loan sharks. He has recently done work for the Chase family, so when they leave for vacation he breaks into their home to steal a pricy diamond. However, he finds out there’s someone else in the house, named The Collector.

I’ll leave the summary there, but let me tell you…there’s some very intense scenes in the film. You have Arkin dodging The Collector in a house, so there’s a lot of close calls and near run-ins between the two characters. And The Collector gets his name because of his hobby of collecting people. Yes, that sounds lame but you have to trust me. It’s a good movie.

The Collector in The Collection

Ok, here’s a picture of The Collector in the upcoming movie, The Collection. In this sequel we have Arkin tracking down a young woman who was abducted by The Collector. Here’s the trailer.

I can’t wait to see this movie. What are your thoughts about it?

Pictures and trailer found on the official website for The Collection: http://www.thecollectionmovie.com/


SCANDAL: BELTWAY UNBUCKLED (SEASON 2: EPISODE 4)

Hi folks! Episode 4 of Scandal season 2 is named Beltway Unbuckled and it’s a doozy! We have a young college student who disappeared and was later found dead, and a foreign diplomat appears to be responsible.

Olivia and Fitz have a serious discussion about their relationship that leaves both of them in tears.

Huck has some serious problems. Yikes.

David inches closer to figuring out the Quinn conspiracy, and the folks behind the conspiracy are not happy.

Ready for the recap! Let’s go!

Scandal Beltway Unbuckled Episode 4 Season 2

Credit: ABC/RON TOM

Fitz is sleeping in the nursery instead of sleeping in the bed with Mellie. The level of disgust between the spouses is thick!!

Huck is at his AA meeting, which he attends to help his addiction to killing people. Huck has some serious problems.

Abby and David have finished another romp in the bed. I really, really don’t want to see these two in bed. Yuck. David’s phone rings and he pretends it’s Mommy calling him, so he asks Abby to leave the room. Turns out it’s his assistant asking if he’s dragged out any information from Abby about Quinn’s case. He says “Not yet.”

This week’s case: Jenny Nystrom has gone missing. She’s a sophomore in college and an every day, sweet girl. Senator Davis brings the parents to Olivia and she helps them grab the attention of the national media.

Meanwhile Harrison does a weekly check of a blog that he follows, named Beltway Unbuckled. It’s updated anonymously by a young woman who sleeps with politicians and then blogs about the sexual trysts. Turns out she hasn’t updated her blog in a week, and Harrison determines the innocent Jenny is actually the Beltway Unbuckled girl.

Olivia’s team tracks Jenny’s steps leading up to her disappearance. Olivia takes a mysterious phone call and heads to a crime scene where she identifies the body as Jenny’s. Olivia orders her team to continue looking into Jenny’s disappearance.

Mellie gets puked on by a young boy during her PSA about immunizations. She goes OFF on Cyrus and President Fitz, and demands to sit at the ‘grown up’ table and get involved in more serious issues. She’s tired of doing the First Lady duties. Cyrus and Fitz blow her off. Fitz has been very hostile to her.

Jenny was last seen at a State Department dinner. Then she was involved in a car accident, dragged from the car and left alive in a ditch where she slowly died 5 hours later.

Alex Lavich was at the State Department dinner. The pieces of the windshield found in Jenny’s head matches the type of windshield used in the car that Lavich drives. Turns out he’s a foreign diplomat from Kurkistan and he has immunity unless the President forces their hand.

Olivia goes to the White House and asks Cyrus for help, and of course President Fitz walks in. He coldly tells Olivia that he will not have the diplomat’s immunity revoked. Olivia quietly walks out and Fitz looks like he regrets talking to her so harshly.

Senator Davis offers to get involved and Olivia reminds him that he’s being investigated for discussing intel with her.

Abby keeps trying to set up a date with David but he’s blowing her off. She breaks into his apartment and find his Quinn/Olivia collage on the wall.

In a surprising move, Mellie and Olivia team up to get Lavich’s immunity revoked. Mellie joins a protest on the White House lawn, and even though she doesn’t say anything, her presence is enough to show that she supports bringing charges against Lavich. Fitz laughs that the two women in his life have teamed up against him.

Olivia goes to dinner expecting to eat with Cyrus, and Fitz shows up. He wants to spend more time with Olivia and she tells him that they have no future. Fitz reluctantly agrees and decides to let her go. He walks out and Olivia cries.

Fitz tells the nation that he will not pursue the Nystrom case, which upsets Jenny’s parents.

Quinn tells Harrison that she wants to know how Olivia saved her. Harrison reveals that Olivia saved him from going to jail for insider trading, and in fact she had his record wiped entirely. Because she saved him and allowed him to work for her, he will always be loyal to her and he’ll never ask her how she was able to keep him out of jail.

Jenny’s parents find out on the news the Lavich died at his home from a ‘freak heart attack’. Then we immediately are cut to Huck’s AA meeting, where he says that he’s started drinking whiskey again. He means he’s started killing again, and I’m assuming he killed Lavich to avenge Jenny’s death.

The last scene shows that Cyrus, Mellie, Olivia, and a couple of other people were somehow involved in the Quinn conspiracy. They get together to determine how they can keep David Rosen from figuring out what happened.

The End!


MOVIE REVIEW: TAKEN 2 (2012)

Running time: 1 hour, 31 minutes
Cast: Liam Neeson, Maggie Grace, Famke Janssen
Director: Olivier Megaton

Taken 2 is an unnecessary sequel. Also, it seems like Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) didn’t learn his lesson from the first film: Don’t let your family go overseas.

Liam Neeson in Taken 2 Poster

In Taken 2 Bryan Mills (Neeson) takes his ex-wife Lenore and his daughter Kim to Istanbul. There’s some bad guys waiting for him. Apparently these guys are upset with Bryan for the killing spree that he unleashed when he was trying to rescue Kim in France during the first film. Now, Bryan and Lenore are kidnapped in Istanbul and it’s up to Kim to help free them.

So there’s your summary, and here’s my take. (Do you see what I did there?)

This movie is cheesy and just…..not good. At all.

We waste about 20 minutes looking into Bryan’s personal life. Kim has a new boyfriend so Bryan plays the typical “Father gives boyfriend the icy shoulder’ routine. Kim whines.

Lenore re-married after she divorced Bryan but somehow the movie has to explain why she would take an overseas trip with him, so we watch an awkward scene where she cries about her loveless marriage and Bryan listens to her and understands her.

Then we see an even more awkward scene where we learn that Liam Neeson doesn’t know how to act bashful. He meets with some friends for drinks, and these paid extras tease him about possibly getting back together with his ex-wife. Ok, I don’t know if the ‘actors’ were really paid extras. All I know is, this scene was just horrible. Neeson looked uncomfortable and so did I.

After all of that nonsense, the family goes to Istanbul and Bryan and Lenore are kidnapped. Even though Bryan is being held hostage he still manages to call Kim and play a long game of trial and error to figure out his location. He even sits on hold while she sets up an explosion.

Oh yes, there’s another awkward scene. We see 60 year-old Neeson running very slowly from the young bad guys. Of course they can’t catch up to him.

The showdown between Bryan and the Leader of the Bad Guys is terribly un-climatic and disappointing. I left the theater thinking ‘WTF just happened?’ Save yourself by skipping this movie!

What did you think of Taken 2? If you haven’t seen it are you going to give it a watch?


TV REVIEW: SEASON 2 EPISODE 2 OF AMERICAN HORROR STORY: ASYLUM

The week we got another awesome episode of American Horror Story: Asylum. This episode is called Tricks and Treats and we see an exorcism, an escape attempt, two murders, and a glimpse into Sister Jude’s past.

Here’s my recap, and it goes in order as it happened in the show:

Present Day:

Bloody Face chases Teresa, and she tries to drag Leo through the asylum to safety. Leo is stabbed to death and it looks like Teresa will be next.

Back to 1964:

Wendy, Lana’s girlfriend, is at home with two friends. She cries and pledges to get Lana out of the asylum. After her friends leave she takes a shower, and once she finishes dressing she is stabbed and killed by Bloody Face.

Sister Jude inspects the inmates’ cells. Pepper was hiding food and the nymphomaniac Shelly shares her adventure with a cucumber. Sister Jude confronts Lana about hiding paper in her pillowcase. The papers document everything she’s been through since being committed to the asylum. Sister Jude asks her great enemy, Dr. Arden, to perform electroshock therapy on Lana so her memory will be wiped. Of course, Dr. Arden is happy to oblige.

Actor Anthony Quinto appears as Dr. Oliver Threadson and he meets with Kit. Dr. Threadson is a psychiatrist, and he diagnoses Kit with acute clinical insanity after he hears Kit’s story about aliens abducting his wife Alma.

Dr. Arden follows Sister Mary Eunice out to a wooded area. He’s asked her to feed whatever is living out there and she goes there daily to carry out her task. Shelly watches the two walk back into the asylum.

Lana experiences some mild symptoms resulting from her electroshock therapy. She overhears Kit and Grace discussing a way to escape the asylum.

Dr. Threadson talks to Sister Jude about things that he’s witnessed, such as physical abuse and the electroshock therapy. He tells her that he expected to see psychiatric therapy and humane treatment. Sister Jude tells him to scram and focus on diagnosing Kit. He barges into her meeting with a mother and father who are concerned about their son being possessed and killing their animals.

Dr. Threadson and Sister Jude meet with the son, named Jed, and something is clearly wrong with him. He has his body twisted in a strange position and he starts speaking in a demonic voice. Sister Jude recommends an exorcism.

Lana tells Grace that she knows a way out, but Grace isn’t buying it. Lana tells her that Kit cannot go with them.

Shelly comes onto Dr. Arden but he is disgusted and pushes her away. Shelly reveals her husband had her committed after he found in her bed with two men.

Dr. Threadson is appalled that Monsignor Howard wants him to be present for the exorcism. Jed is tied down and the demon takes over his body again. The exorcism begins.

Dr. Arden has paid a naughty call girl to have a romantic dinner with him. She looks a lot like Sister Mary Eunice.

We go back to the exorcism and it’s not going well. The possessed Jed throws the priest across the room, and that causes the room to clear out. Sister Jude goes in alone, and the demon inside Jed brings up Sister Jude’s past- while drunk driving she hit and killed a young girl. We also see that Sister Jude was a sexy, flirtatious, and promiscuous woman.

Lana and Grace attempt to escape but Kit tags along. Grace says she won’t leave without Kit, so Lana screams and alerts the staff that Kit is trying to escape. Kit is beaten to the ground and Grace is carried away.

It appears Jed has been rid of the demon but his body is lifeless. Sister Mary Eunice falls to the ground inside of the room.

Dr. Arden has the call girl dress as a nun. In his bedroom she discovers photos of girls tied up and possibly dead. He angrily tells her that she isn’t going anywhere, and orders her to lie on the bed. She bites Dr. Arden and escapes.

Back at the asylum, Dr. Arden asks Sister Mary Eunice about her fainting spell after the exorcism. She is lying on a cot and she isn’t wearing her habit. Her hair is loose and she’s wearing a simple white nightdress. Dr. Arden seems to have some lustful feelings towards her. She stares him down as he walks away, and it appears that she may be possessed now.

Sister Jude has a meeting with Lana. Kit and Grace are then brought into the room to receive their punishment. Kit takes all of the blame, along with all of the lashes meant for Grace. The episode ends.

– – – –

Wow! That’s alot of action packed into 45 minutes, and I enjoyed watching all of it.  I’m really interested to see what happens next week with Sister Mary Eunice. It wouldn’t surprise me if she’s able to seduce Dr. Arden and wreak havoc in the asylum. I’m also hoping we’ll find out what is in the forest, and why Sister Mary Eunice has to feed it every day. On a lesser note, if Teresa dies in the next episode what storyline will the show create so we can continue to see the asylum and Bloody Face in the present day?

What are your thoughts about Episode 2?


MOVIE REVIEW: SINISTER (2012)

Running time: 1 hour, 50 minutes
Cast: Ethan Hawke, Juliet Rylance, James Ransone, Vincent D’Onofrio
Director: Scott Derrickson

I like Ethan Hawke, and that’s why I wish he wasn’t in this movie. I think Sinister will scare people who don’t see many horror movies, or maybe it will scare people who are easily frightened, but I don’t think this movie will be good enough for seasoned horror movie fans.

Sinister is about true-crime author Ellison Oswalt (Hawke) and a missing-girl case that he is researching for his new book. Ellison is married to Tracy and they have a daughter named Ashley and a son named Trevor. Sidenote: Tracy has an out-of-place British accent that threw me off thoughout the movie. It just seemed odd to me.

Moving along, we find out Ellison has moved his family into the exact house where the little girl disappeared right after her family was hung from a tree in the backyard. It gets pretty predictable from this moment forward…bad things happened to the family that used to live in the house so now bad things are going to happen to Ellison and his family.

We find out a demon named Bughuul is involved (thanks Vincent D’Onofrio!) and he likes to possess children, have them kill their families, and then he eats their soul.

I think that’s all I will reveal here, because the story itself is pretty interesting and I think you should experience it fresh. Here are my two problems with the movie though:

1. It just isn’t scary.

This movie relies on a lot of jump scares, loud noises and misunderstandings but very rarely do you get a true scare. I will give credit to the tension build-ups, and once some ghosts started to appear the movie got better.

2. The deputy (and I) figured it out before Ellison did.

Ellison is a true crime writer. He’s built a reputation on putting together clues that the police departments often overlooked. Yet he seemed surprised when the deputy called him and told him how this all would end. This is odd to me because the movie spoiled itself well before the ending came along. In fact, I spent most of the movie waiting to see if I was right…and I was.

Overall, I’d say Sinister is an okay movie but I wouldn’t rush out to see it.

Have you seen Sinister? What did you think?


SCANDAL: HUNTING SEASON (S2:E3 RECAP)

Scandal is my favorite TV show right now, without a doubt! Season 2, episode 3 is perfectly named Hunting Season and we see Olivia Pope tackle a major Big Brother-type scandal. Then Olivia gets into a lover’s quarrel with President Fitz as he pouts and rages when an ex-boyfriend briefly comes into her life. Mellie gives Fitz an ultimatum, and Quinn stands up to a snarky Abby.

Ready for some spoilers? Let’s go.

Credit: ABC/VIVIAN ZINK

This episode’s scandal kicks off when a lowly government employee named Artie hides out in Olivia’s car. She gets in the car, he scares the crap out of her, and eventually he reveals that the government is spying on all of the American citizens. Phone calls are being tapped, emails are being read, and the government has cameras watching everyone. The whole set up is named ThornGate, and Artie shows the proof to Olivia and her team.

Artie is afraid for his life, and Olivia has Huck watch over him. She then decides to go public with the information. First she confronts an old boyfriend, Senator Davis, and he confirms Thorn Gate and tells her to stay out of it. Soon, Fitz and Cyrus find out that Olivia is all over this situation AND Fitz sees a picture of Olivia and Senator Davis together. Fitz gets jealous.

Secret Service takes Olivia from her apartment to an early morning hunting party that Fitz joined. He forcefully tells her to get of the car. Olivia says ‘No’ and Fitz yells again for her to leave the car. Olivia doesn’t understand the major attitude that she’s getting, until Fitz threatens her with treason for harboring a fugitive (Artie). Then he tells her what he’s REALLY mad about: He thinks she’s messing around with her ex, Senator Davis. They share a passionate kiss, then Olivia breaks away and tells him ‘I’m not yours!’

So Fitz goes home to Mellie and gives her a huge icy shoulder over dinner. Let me tell you, Fitz was being a huge dick throughout this episode. Mellie confronts Secret Service and finds out her husband, the freaking President, met with Olivia. Mellie is pissed. She storms into Fitz’s office and gives him an ultimatum- never see Olivia again, or she will wreck his career and use it as a launchpad to move her political career forward.

Meanwhile, it turns out Artie is a shady rat. He goes into the kitchen and starts over-cooking a grilled cheese sandwich which causes the kitchen to fill up with smoke. While Huck tries to get rid of the smoke, Artie steals back his copy of the ThornGate software, crawls through the bathroom window and gets into a mysterious black car that’s been waiting for him.

Y’all know Huck isn’t going to take that. He hunts down Artie, takes him down with a tranquilizer dart and takes back the copy of ThornGate.

Throughout the episode Abby kept making smart ass comments about Quinn, like calling her ‘Lindsay’ and making jokes about Quinn’s secret identity. Finally at the end of the episode Quinn has had enough, and she gets in Abby’s face and tells her ‘I go by one name, and it’s NOT Lindsay!’ Then Harrison tells Abby: ‘I’m Quinn, bitch.’ YES!

Then, in a WTF moment, David the US Attorney in the Middle of a Breakdown appears out of nowhere and hits on Abby. Then these two get naked and have a romp in bed. Oooookay.

Ready for Episode 4? Here’s the preview:

 

So, what did you think of the episode? What do you predict will happen in Episode 4?


MOVIE REVIEW: LOOPER (2012)

Running time: 1 hour, 58 minutes
Cast: Bruce Willis, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Emily Blunt
Director: Rian Johnson

Looper is an action-packed sci-fi film set in the year 2074. Time travel has been invented, declared illegal, and then adopted by organized crime groups. These groups use time travel to go into the future and find people they want to kill. Then they bring those people back to the present to be killed by loopers. If a crime group wants to stop working with a looper, they’ll find the looper’s future self, bring him back, and have him killed by his present self.

This sounds tricky at first, but the movie does a great job at explaining the time travel situation without going overboard or getting too specific about how this all works. In fact, the time travel is actually secondary to the main story itself, which is about a looper named Joe who missed his chance to kill his future self- Old Joe- and now must track him down.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt has been on fire for the past couple of years. He’s working a lot and he’s joining some awesome movies. For Looper he clearly studied Willis’ speech patterns and he wears colored contacts and facial prosthetics to resemble Willis. Gordon-Levitt’s performance is rock-solid and he’s a great match for the seasoned action star Willis.

In fact, I’m surprised to say that every actor in this movie carried his or her own weight. I can’t think of one dull moment, and I found Looper to be very engaging and focused. There’s a few heart-wrenching scenes involving future selves living out the consequences of decisions made by their younger selves. That’s food for thought after the movie is over, though. If you’re looking for a philosophical discussion you won’t find it in this movie, but you will find some great acting and fun action scenes with a little sci-fi thrown in to mix it all up.

Did you see Looper? What did you think about it?


MOVIE REVIEW: FRANKENWEENIE (2012)

Running time: 1 hour, 27 minutes
Voice Cast: Charlie Tahan, Catherine O’Hara, Martin Short, Martin Landau, Winona Ryder
Director: Tim Burton

 

I recently saw Frankenweenie in 2D and I must admit that I wasn’t too impressed with it.

Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie is a full-length, stop motion, black-and-white remake of his 1984 live action short film with the same name. It’s about young Victor Frankenstein and his beloved dog Sparky that dies in a car accident. Victor actually pays attention in class and learns about muscles and electrical impulses. He takes Sparky’s body from the cemetery and brings it home, where he revives the body during a lightning storm. As Victor’s family, neighbors, and classmates learn that Sparky is alive, Victor learns a few lessons about death, science, and what happens when people use knowledge to do bad things.

I have two thoughts about this movie:

1) It should’ve remained a short film.

About an hour into the movie I was already getting burned out. I felt Burton was thinking of ways to lengthen the run time of the film so he decided to add some filler scenes featuring forgettable characters (ex: the scenes with the Mayor and scenes with Victor’s classmates). I also think the ending of the movie was dragged out to include some action scenes that weren’t needed.

My favorite character is the teacher, Mr. Rzykruski, who is very creepy but extremely intelligent and encourages Victor to “love” science and not just “do” science-y stuff.

The 1984 short film was 30 minutes, and I think if Tim Burton wanted the remake to work he should’ve hit the hour-long mark and called it a day.

2) Not too kid-friendly…

I don’t have kids, but throughout the movie I kept thinking ‘I wouldn’t bring my small child to see this.’ Maybe it’s because in the row behind me there was a small child whimpering and crying out. The emotions were very strong in this movie- especially the grief that Victor felt when his dog died. And when Sparky was brought back to life his body looked sewn together, and at some points a piece of his body would fall off. I can’t imagine young children reacting well to that, and I think they would be terrified towards the end of the movie when a few pets were brought back to life as larger and creepier versions of themselves. I think 10 or 11 year-olds may be able to handle it, otherwise you’ll have a whimpering kid in the seat next to you.

I’m not a huge fan of this movie and I probably won’t watch it again. As I mentioned, I think this movie has too much filler and it seems Tim Burton only remade it so he can add another stop motion film to his resume. It’s probably best to wait for this movie to appear on Netflix or at Redbox if you really want to see it.


AMERICAN HORROR STORY: ASYLUM REVIEW!

Sorry for the late review, work was crazy this week 🙂

I won’t post recaps or spoilers for the season two episodes. This is a show that really needs to be seen and not simply read about. I will post reviews though!

This season premiere features new actors and returning actors in a whole new set up. In the present day we have the super sexy newlyweds Leo and Teresa aka The Lovers (Adam Levine and Jenna Dewan-Tatum) exploring an abandoned insane asylum. These two have sex and make out in various creepy rooms throughout the asylum but they soon find themselves running for their lives.

Flashback to 1964 and we see a frightening and active Briarcliff Manor that is run with an iron fist by Sister Jude (Miss Jessica Lange). A nosy journalist (Sarah Paulson) comes to Briarcliff to expose the alleged abuse of its inmates and she comes across the timid Sister Mary Eunice (Lily Rabe) and her secret, nightly routine. Sister Jude and Dr. Arthur Arden (James Cronwell) clash over his use of torture to find the ‘madness’ that he believes lives in every human being. One of Dr. Arden’s victims is Kit Walker (Evan Peters) who is accused of being the serial killer ‘Bloody Face’. Kit denies the claim and he finds kindness in the fellow inmate Grace (Lizzie Brocheré).We’re also introduced to the sex-crazed Shelly (Chloe Sevigny) but it’s not clear what her involvement will be. And we also see that Sister Jude has a sexy, freaky side during her dinner with Monsignor Timothy Howard (Joseph Fiennes).

I left out a few details because you really need to see it to understand how this story all ties together in the first episode.

The creep factor is HIGH so far. I think insane asylums are already creepy, so it creates a very haunting atmosphere for the characters. Jessica Lange is very commanding and overbearing as Sister Jude, and I think she will be a constant favorite throughout the season. Also, episode 2 promises to reveal a horrific secret that she is hiding.

There’s a couple of torture scenes here, and these scenes definitely leave a mark even though they are brief and don’t show any gore. The intensity of the show increases when the show goes back to the present day to show the terror that The Lovers are experiencing.

Overall, this season premiere starts off very strong and keeps the scares going until the end. I can’t wait to see what happens next week!

Did you watch the season premiere of American Horror Story: Asylum? What did you think?