Sunday, February 22, 2015

Two thumbs up? At least one, I would think.... episode 134 of 'The Kpants' is at the movies!

The 134th episode of 'The Sunshine Happy Kpants Hour' is uploaded and now available through iTunes, Talkshoe, Stitcher Radio and streaming LIVE right here.

This week, it's all about my epic journey with Comcast, adopting my new puppy and a sort of tribute to Roger Ebert. It's a return to form. ENJOY!

Songs played this week:

1) The Irony Of Choking On A Lifesaver by All Time Low

2) Get High, See No One by The Smith Street Band

3) I Feel Like Dancin' by All Time Low

4) Young Drunk by The Smith Street Band

5) Something's Gotta Give by All Time Low

6) Sigourney Weaver by The Smith Street Band

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Episode 133 is luke warm and ready.... 'The Sunshine Happy Kpants Hour' is here.

The 133rd episode of 'The Sunshine Happy Kpants Hour' is uploaded and now available through iTunes, Talkshoe, Stitcher Radio and streaming LIVE right here.

This week, it's upbeat music and a bit of downbeat topics. I talk about having to give up my dog, getting a massage for the first time and what makes a good person. It's quite an interesting episode. ENJOY!

Songs played this week:

1) Grand Theft Autumn/Where Is Your Boy by Fall Out Boy

2) No One Can Touch Us (featuring Alex from All Time Low) by Sing It Loud

3) Somewhere Else by Will Tang

4) Jasey Rae (acoustic) by All Time Low

5) Don't Save Me by Sing It Loud

6) Umbrella by All Time Low

Saturday, February 7, 2015

my thoughts on.... 'The House That October Built'

Everyone keeps complaining about how the found footage genre is dead. However, every new film maker out there seems to want to take a stab at the genre. (All puns intended.) You get big budget film makers wanting a piece of the pie too and soon you have an over saturated marketplace. Where everyone seems to think that the whole thing is just played out. There's still a few of us die hard fans out there that are hoping that there is still life in this half dead horse. 'The House October Built' was making some pretty big promises that I wasn't sure it could keep. It also had some reputible critics behind it, championing it. Saying that it was bringing something new and different to the world of found footage. This peaked my interest. I mean, I've watched as many of these as I can find. Good ones, bad ones and ones that just didn't need to be made. They're like that meth habit that you just can't quit. One more hit. Maybe this one will be the one that satisfies me forever, but that hit never comes and that high never lasts. Was this the movie that finally caught the red dragon? Answers lie below.

The basic premise of this movie is simple, a group of 5 people are out to find out if the underground haunted houses are real. The ones that are hands on, in your face, realistic haunts that are only one step away from a real life horror film. Filming the entire adventure, they document the quest for the unknown. As they start their journey, they learn that it won't be as easy as they thought to find one of these mythical houses. But each and every mile that passes and the more haunted houses they attend, the deeper and deeper down the rabbit hole they go. Soon they're being harrassed by some of the workers from the haunts. They seem to be following them from town to town. Eventually the harrassment becomes all too real, but at the same time.... they get the invite to what they've been waiting for. On Halloween night, it finally happens. With one crew member already missing, they soon get split up and thrown in the nightmare they were looking for, but never really expected. What happens next, is something only you can find out.... if you're willing to take the journey.

It sounds good on paper, right? Well.... in actual execution, not so much. This is part of the reason I keep coming back to this genre. There's so many neat ideas that would work really well, but that just seem to fail time after time. Found footage is the new zombie movie. It used to be that the zombie movie was the type of movie every young film maker wanted to do. They were cheap, simple make up's and seemingly endless script ideas. Now, found footage is the way to go. It's even cheper, no make up needed for most of them and endless ideas. The problem is, anyone and everyone can make a movie like this. All you need is an off the shelf camera and some actor's. That's it. You're a film maker! However, that doesn't mean you've made a good film. It just means that you've edited a bunch of stuff together and created a narrative.... sometimes not even that much. The other problem is that no matter how unique and cool the idea sounds on paper, getting it to play out the way it was in your head and to have a satisfying finale, is a tick most can't pull off. So many movies (even big budget ones) fall flat on their faces in the third act, therefore I can't blame this movie for having the same issue. But if you're going to set out to make your dream project come true, make damn sure you have all the pieces of the puzzle. Otherwise, you're wasting your time and the viewers.

With all of that in mind, maybe the creators of this movie, Bobby Roe, Zack Andrews, Jason Zada and Jeff Larson thought they had an air tight finale. You'd think that the 4 of them would have come up with something more original. Something less 1st year film student. I'm not saying I have the first clue what that would be or that my view might not be warped because of being a jadded horror film lover. If I had all the ideas, talent and skills to make a movie, I'd be doing that instead of this. I fully aknowledge that I'm not on the other side of the lens and don't know all of the in's and out's. I competely respect anyone that loves an idea so much, that they invest themselves 100% in bringing it to life and this movie had a lot of good things going for it. Based on those factor's, I would still recommend this movie to the horror fan looking for something a little different. I'm giving it a solid 3 out of 5 stars. Concept, execution and overall tone were there.... it was just the ending. Go out, spend some time with it and I think you'll find something enjoyable there. Even more so on Halloween night, before you go out to the local haunted house. You might just think twice.

If you like this, check out some other smaller found footage movies: 'The Poughkeepsie Tapes', 'Atrocious', and 'The Tunnel' (2011)

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

my thoughts on.... 'In Fear'

Every once in a while, you want a movie that's a slow burner. A movie that takes it's time and is simple in it's execution. There is a time and a place for a slap you upside the head, movie going experience. There's other times where you want to savor the mood, the background, the characters and the tone. 'In Fear' was one of those movies. This is one that you sit back, turn the lights off and just sink yourself deep into the world presented.

This is a fairly small budgeted thriller. It basically features a cast of three. Our two main characters and their tormentor. But what it lacks in actor's and big budget explosions, it makes up for in beautifully shot landscapes and the pure feeling of claustrophobia while driving through the winding roads. You never know when something will hit you upside the head. You aren't ever quite sure what's real and what's being imagined in our main characters paranoid minds. It makes you feel like you're almost there with them. However, it's the basic premise and low-fi approach to things, which is what creates a unique movie going experience. You keep expecting for the curtain to open up and reveal the master plan.... but it never happens. It feels like something is humming under the surface and that at any moment something horrible will happen.... but it all just ends up being simple. That's what made me love this that much more. There's no need to have a franchise building, main villain or a giant demon possessed monster pulling the strings of our hero's. It's just 3 people put into a situation that they have to decide how to get out of alive.

The simple storyline here is this, a couple are on their way to a hotel out in the middle of nowehere. This will lead into a music festival that they wish to attend. A nice get away for the two of them and a chance at a romantic weekend. While stopped at a pub on the way, they have a run in that creates drama. They leave, unaware of what that simple action has created. Soon, they're making their way down winding back roads and thinking all is right with the world. However, as the day wears on and the roads continue to keep winding and they don't seem to be getting anywhere, they realize.... something is terribly wrong. It's not immediately obvious to them. At first it seems like human error, then maybe something more, then maybe something supernatural and eventually they start to wonder if the harmless incident at the pub has come back to haunt them. It keeps getting progressivly worse, until it all culminates in a confrontation with the source of their fear. That's about it.... without giving away the milk for free, if you know what I mean?

Overall, it's a wonderfully refreshing feeling to come into a movie that takes you by surprise. One that crept in under the radar and punched you in the back of the head. I was really taken for an unexpected ride. One that was both amazing to look at and one that didn't require a lot of big effects or storyline. Something that plays on some of our basest fears. Those of being lost, hunted and unsure of where to turn when you're all out of options. No cell phone. You're running out of gas. Everything you knew is still right there in front of you, but you can't find it. This hit all the right chords and made me ride a roller coaster of real world emotions. I would highly recommend this to those of you who like your horror simple, slow burning and without all the bad guys with a gimmick. I'd give it a solid 4 out of 5 stars. If I had one complaint, it would be the ending. Not that it was bad or unsatisfying. It just felt a bit short sighted. Too simple. I'm not sure what other way it could have ended, but it seems like there was a bit more that needed to be there. A little more padding. All in all, a diamond in the rough and something that I would recommend to any horror fan looking for something just a little bit different.

If you like this, I'm not sure what else to recommend. It's really kind of it's own thing.