Friday, March 30, 2012

my thoughts on.... 'Chop' (2011)

With a simple title like 'Chop', this movie can easily sneak under the average film goers radar. It's unassuming and not your average big budget blockbuster. It's the dictonary definition of an indie film. Now, this little comedy nasty is directed by the writer of 'Deadgirl', Trent Haaga. Why he didn't write this? I'm not sure. You may have heard of 'Deadgirl' (if you read my review), but this one never got the same recognition, as it's not as controversial. Where as 'Deadgirl' was a very dark and twisted tale of the "undead" and other ugly things, this is more of a light hearted look at revenge. I actually had really high hopes after watching the trailer and I really enjoyed the first 3/4 of the movie. Towards then end though, it kind of started to fall apart just a bit. Not too mention that the ending was either the most satisfying ending ever written or the least satisfying ending ever written. I still am not sure exactly how I feel about the movie as a whole, since the ending was so.... um, odd. If you want to see it, before you finish this review, it's available on Netflix OnDemand as of this past week. Also, you may recognize the lead actor and are asking yourself, "Who the hell is that guy and where do I know him from?" His name is Will Keenan. He's the star of Troma's classic Shakespeare adaptaion, 'Tromeo and Juliet'. He really stands out in this movie and I kind of hope it finally gives him a bit more stardom than he's had before. Honestly, everyone in this movie seems to really be enjoying the whole experience. I think it has a lot to do with the somewhat original storyline. Let's get to that part, before going any further.

The plot is actualy quite simple. (taken from "Lance Reed is forced by a psychotic stranger to confront his duplicitous past. Seeking retribution for a crime, the man forces Lance to reveal his inner most secrets by systematically removing his limbs." or there's this version: (taken from "After accepting a ride when his car breaks down, Lance finds himself tortured by a man from his past he can't remember who holds a grudge for events Lance has forgotten. Now Lance must choose between saving the life of his brother or his wife." Both of these plot breakdowns are accurate. The simplest way of looking at this is, Lance has to remember what the heck he did to piss off his captor, before he has all his limbs chopped off.... literally. He's tortured for almost the entire movie, but not in the 'Hostel' way. It's much more psychological and comical. It gets to a point where you're not entirely sure what's going on anymore than Lance does. Not too mention that the cops aren't much of a help either. It's kind of brilliant.

You now have all of the pieces of the puzzle, but what you don't have is the ending. I'm not entirely sure that the writer did either. Like I said earlier, I can't determine how I feel about it. I don't want any spoilers here, just in case you decide to see it. And I don't know that I have a better ending in mind. It just felt too much like a student film. Perhaps that's my issue with it. The fact that it seemed like the typical student film finale. One that is supposed to be ironic or cool, but as the film maker gets more seasoned, they realize that they can do so much more to create a good ending. It doesn't make it bad, it just makes it feel a bit lazy. As the same time, it's so rare to see someone take a leap of faith and go for the gut punch ending. I can honestly say that I did NOT see the ending playing out the way it did. I really had no idea how it could end well. You're also given lots of possible solutions along the way, but they never really reveal much. It's refreshing.

Just like this movie, my review is disjointed and broken. It feels a slight bit unfinished, but I don't think it would have been so charming if it was done any other way. It's just a fun little movie. Plain and simple. Everybody in it seems to be having fun, therefore the viewer has fun and that makes you want to watch it again. That, to me, is the sign of a good film maker. I just hope that their next project is a bit more well polished. I'd love to see what they can do at full stregth. Even with all of the little negative bits, I still gave this movie 4 out of 5 stars. Mostly, for just being a good time and a bit of a 'no-brainer'. Just be open minded for the ending. If you don't over think it too much, you just might be plesantly surprised.

If you like this, check out: 'Deadgirl', 'Tromeo and Juliet' and 'Easter Bunny, Kill! Kill!'

A Short List Of Movies Or Films Without Full Reviews: part 9

As a lover of cinema, I watch a lot of stuff. Sadly, I don't have the time, energy or even desire to write reviews for everything I see. Rather than to just continue to let these movies sit on a list, I've decided to post them here with a rating and maybe a little word or two. If you trust my judgement or agree with me on my decisions, then maybe this will be helpful to you in finding some keen new stuff to watch. I think it will also free up my mind a bit to see a much shorter list of things to review in the future. That being said, here we go!


The Captains

A documentary about the 'Star Trek' captains hosted by William Shatner? Yes, please. That was my feelings going into it, coming out of it I learned some things. 1) Patrick Stewart is just as cool off screen as he is on. William Shatner will always be the same. Scott Bakula is awesome. Avery Brooks is a weird-o. Chris Pine is kind of pretentious and Kate Mulgrew is pretty normal, for theater folk. This was entertaining and being a closet fan of 'Trek' for my whole life, it was a nice trip down memory lane. Also, I know that Jeffrey Hunter has been dead for quite a while, but they should have at least done a tribute or something. He WAS the original captain. All in all, 3 out of 5 stars and 4 out of 5 for hardcore 'Trekkies'.


The Rocker

I've been a Rainn Wilson fan since I first saw him in 'House of 1000 Corpses'. Since then, I've followed his career and seen him appear on some of my favorite shows. So, when I heard about this movie, I figured it was a no brainer.... I was going to love it. In the end, it was just 'okay'. I learned to appreciate Emma Stone a lot more and Rainn had some funny moments, but it just never went above and beyond. If you dig music and some light comedy, this is for you. 3 out of 5 stars.


The Hollywood Complex

This movie seemed like it was going to be a trainwreck of bad parenting, but overall the parents and kids were fairly normal. The overall feel of this documentary was positive. The only people portrayed negatively were some of the talent scout people. To me, this was more a realistic look at the kids who want to be stars and the fact that it's next to impossible. A pretty well done documentary, in my opinion. 3 out of 5 stars.

(no trailer available.)


The Zombie Diaries

"The best zombie movie ever." Is what the poster claims. I beg to differ. This isn't even close to that title. Granted, it was better than quite a few of them, it just didn't hold up all the way through. As a matter of fact, I was severly let down by the ending. I have also put the sequel WAY back on the back burner after finishing this movie. I had such high hopes, only to have them dashed on the rocks. This movie does not come highly recommended. 2 out of 5 stars.


Comic Book Confidential

I was a comic book collector for many years. I still have the majority of my comic books, at least the ones that haven't gone missing. Everything about them is cool. The art, the stories the characters.... it's the stuff of daydreams. Now, this documentary isn't a recent one. It's from 1988. Sometimes it gets a little weighted down by it's age, but it still is a pretty awesome collection of interviews and details about some of the more influential comics of my lifetime. Well worth the watch for comic book fans and non-fans alike. 4 out of 5 stars.


Land of the Lost (2009)

Before I write anything, let me just say that this movie isNOT for kids. Unless you don't care about censoring bad language from your youngsters. Other then that, this movie is quite a bit of fun. I found myself giggling out loud at quite a few things that happened. This movie isn't going to change the face of comedy, but I don't think anyone thought it would. It's fun and that's it. T-rex steals the show. 3 out of 5 stars.


Chasing Ghosts: Beyond The Arcade

If you've seen 'The King of Kong', then you really need to see this movie too. It's got a lot of the same people and themes, but it focuses a specific group of games.... not just a couple of them going head to head. It captures a place in time that will never happen again. If you've ever wondered what happened to the 'professional' games of the 80's, this is the documentary for you. Very well done and very engaging. 4 out of 5 stars.


The Amityville Haunting

This is not good. That is all. 1 out of 5 stars.


CNBC: Game On! The Unauthorized History Of Video Games

For a special on CNBC, it was pretty good. It covers the origins of video gaming and takes you through the entire history up to about 2006. Very comprehensive and kind of fun. However, it is not the be all end all bible of video gaming. After all, it was just a TV special. 3 out of 5 stars.

(no trailer available, but you can watch the whole special on Netflix and


The Last Broadcast

I waited over a decade to see this movie. It came out the same time as 'The Blair Witch Project' and is said to be the predecessor of it. I don't care which one came first, because this one was not good. It started out okay, but the ending was so lame and pointless that I wish I had waited another decade to submit myself to it. This is, simply, a giant trainwreck of garbage. It can't even hold a candle to 'The Blair Witch Project'. Avoid this one. 1 out of 5 stars.

Friday, March 23, 2012

no movie post yet....?!?! soon. but until then, here's another episode of 'The Sunshine Happy Kpants Hour'....!

The 24th episode of 'The Sunshine Happy Kpants Hour' is uploaded and now available through iTunes, Talkshoe and streaming LIVE right here!

I'm getting closer to fixing my audio issues, closer. This still feels like a good show to me. Thanks to Cody for some GREAT questions! This weeks topics are my first year of high school, how to survive a friendship or relationship break and camping with and without zombies. It's a bit longer and hopefully that's a good thing. ENJOY!

Side note: If you have a minute and have any thoughts on 'Dungeons and Dragons'.... either the game, the cartoon or the crappy movies.... please leave a voicemail about it at: (206)350-0720 Thanks!

Songs played this week:

1) Whose Booty's That by Wack Ass Egyptians

2) Candle Burnin', Wax Drippin' by Kate Martin

3) I Like You More Than I'd Like To by Jim From The Moon

4) Dark End by Sentinel

5) 4.5 To 99 by The Ghosts Of Vegas

6) Simple by Dreamwalk

Friday, March 16, 2012

issues be damned, it's ANOTHER episode of 'The Sunshine Happy Kpants Hour'....! WOOT!

The 23rd episode of 'The Sunshine Happy Kpants Hour' is uploaded and now available through iTunes, Talkshoe and streaming LIVE right here!

The issues persist, but onward and upward we go! This week I talk about the higher art of 'South Park', the changing of the seasons and the film series known as 'Saw'. Things are getting better and the music is great.... how can you go wrong? Sit back and ENJOY!

Songs played this week are all from the label Jade Tree Records:

1) Queen Of Pain by Alkaline Trio

2) O Is The One That Is Real by My Morning Jacket

3) Discretion by Pedro The Lion

4) Judas And The Morning After Pill by Good Riddance

5) Anti Anti by Snowden

6) God Deciding by Hot Water Music

Friday, March 9, 2012

I know, it's not a movie post... but soon.... ep 22 of 'The Sunshine Happy Kpants Hour' is here....!

The 22nd episode of 'The Sunshine Happy Kpants Hour' is uploaded and now available through iTunes, Talkshoe and streaming LIVE right here!

Well, I promised a better show and this is it! A tribute to The Palace Flophouse and their side project, Coed Pageant. Also, I do some talking. This weeks topics are my worst nightmare/scary story, "first's" and Rob Zombie fun facts! It's an oversized show for your Friday ear holes. ENJOY!

Songs played:

1) If I'm Not There by The Palace Flophouse

2) Where I Fall by Coed Pageant

3) Irish Tune by The Palace Flophouse

4) Park N Ride by Coed Pageant

5) 10 Feet Tall by The Palace Flophouse

6) Be Here by Coed Pageant

Friday, March 2, 2012

wow.... this is NOT good.... ep 21 of 'The Sunshine Happy Kpants Hour'.... wow.

The 21st episode of 'The Sunshine Happy Kpants Hour' is uploaded and now available through iTunes, Talkshoe and streaming LIVE right here!

I hate to say this, but after the edit was done and I listened to some of the playback, I realized how bad this turned out. The music is awesome, but the content is messed up. A bit of feedback, skipping and the levels are wonky. I promise for something better next week. Try and ENJOY!

Songs played:

1) I'm All, So You're All by Automatic Static

2) Holding Out For Spring by Jonnie Murphy

3) Cute Yellow Pills by Little Plastic Stars

4) One More Morning by Heights Alliance

5) She Fell Asleep by Coed Pageant

6) Apples by Kate Martin