Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Little Shop of Movies Review: Bullet to the Head, Welcome to the Punch, Twixt & Evil Dead

Story Synopsis:

After watching their respective partners die, a New Orleans hitman and a Washington D.C. detective form an alliance in order to bring down their common enemy.

Based on a graphic novel of the same name Walter Hill is joining the masses with his adaptation of a comic book, with a twist as this was almost written for Mr Hill. Taking old style filmaking that he is known for where the two main characters have a dislike of each other this is his forte as he did so well with Eddie Murphy and Nick Nolte in two outings of "48 Hrs"
Being a big fan of Stallone there are not one film of his that has come out that I have not seen, now that does not mean I like all that he does, heck even he doesn't but he always entertains me when you go see one of his films you know what you are in for.
This is a film that yes has been done many times over but there is a likability to the characters portrayed here and the actors do their part, this is an action film folks and one of the more enjoyable ones of late. Also Stallone does a great job of kicking ass in this film.

                                Story Synopsis:

Ex-criminal Jacob Sternwood is forced to return to London when his son is involved in a heist gone wrong. This gives his nemesis, detective Max Lewinsky, one last chance to catch the man he's always been after.

There have been some decent villains thus far for films over the past decades but Mark Strong as Jacob Sternwood has got to be one of the coolest strong and scary villains, without being overly dramatic he is a cold killer.

He is part of criminal element that has just robbed a bank in the few minutes into the opening of the film there is your standard motorcycle/car chase....STOP!
Then our lead Max Lewinsky(James McAvoy)does stop his car, but a few blocks so have our thieves stopped their bikes, he listens to see if he can hear the bikes revving at all.

If you like films where the story is smart and you feel good after watching smart action films, if you like Die Hard then this is the new Hans Gruber, cold killer.
I know James Mcavoy is the lead actor but my favorite film critic of all time is Gene Siskel and he always said a film is only as good as it's villain, that is so true here-he steals the film away from everyone.
There is  a cat and mouse game that ensues throughout the film and if you leave the room hit the pause button as you cannot afford to miss precious moments in this film.

Story Synopsis:

A writer with a declining career arrives in a small town as part of his book tour and gets caught up in a murder mystery involving a young girl. That night in a dream, he is approached by a mysterious young ghost named V. He's unsure of her connection to the murder in the town, but is grateful for the story being handed to him. Ultimately he is led to the truth of the story, surprised to find that the ending has more to do with his own life than he could ever have anticipated.

The film was made in 2011 and I was curious as to what took so long for the film to get a release, well in my research there is a fantastic(long)letter of this reasoning on the Twixt website-it is worth a read for film fans, when you get there click on the Director's Statement.

This is a true character study for sure there are very little things that go bump in the night here this is a slow moving film more personalized storytelling here.
This is just a very well told ghost story and to help with his writer"s block Edgar Allan Poe comes to him in his dreams(drunken dreams), played wonderfully by Ben Chaplin.

Bruce Dern plays the local sheriff who thinks he has what it takes to co-write a novel with Hall Baltimore(Val Kilmer)and makes no bones about keeping on him about it.

This is not your typical film from Francis Ford Coppola at all this is very David Lynch inspired filmaking and kudos to him for branching out and trying something different all together instead of what the norm expect, this film was financed by American Zoetrope(Coppola's Studio)


                       Story Sympnosis:

Five friends head to a remote cabin, where the discovery of a Book of the Dead leads them to unwittingly summon up demons living in the nearby woods. The evil presence possesses them until only one is left to fight for survival.

Well I won't be popular with this review as I found this as boring as 90% of the horror films of today there are no good scares anymore this was average run of the mill horror.

While things looked good this can and never will take the spot for Sam Raimi's original series and they had no intention in doing that with this I can see, but with titles the same and both Raimi and Bruce Campbell producing this amongst others I guess I expected better, the problem being I think is Sam Raimi did not direct and therein is the problem.

The possession scenes were done very well however it was missing that real edge that it needed to really scare the pants off of you(or me for that matter)
The book of the dead I liked this version better that was the only thing that I found better done, the camera when the evil was approaching through the forest was dull.

Thank you for reading this
Anthony Nadeau

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