Showing posts from October, 2010

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Top Horror Films

5. Let Me In (2010) - Directed by Matt Reeves. Starring Chloe Moretz, Kodi Smit-McPhee
As good of a remake as you could possibly ask for. Moretz has already become an outstanding actress. In some ways this film outdoes the original. Regardless, this is one of the best stories ever written. Easily one of the ten best films of the year, so far.

4. Cabin Fever (2003) - Directed by Eli Roth. Starring Rider Strong. I may be in the minority here but I don't care, I love this movie. The performances are surprisingly good, the plot is horrifying, it's actually quite funny, it makes us think and it's just an entertaining bloodbath. The sequel started promising but fell apart. Oh well, at least it wasn't as bad as S. Darko.
3. Let the Right One In (2008) - Directed by Tomas Alfredson. Starring Lina Leandersson, Kare Hedebrant Possibly the best foreign film I've ever seen, and one of the five best horror films ever. Is it scary? No, but it's about a flesh-eating vampire, does …

Top Horror Films

10. The Crazies (2010) - Directed by Breck Eisner. Starring Timothy Olyphant, Radha Mitchell.
Olyphant is an underrated actor. This is technically a remake, but the original was actually quite bad. Think 28 Weeks Later meets The Signal and that's what you can expect. Besides the final scene, the whole thing feels believable. A sequel seems unavoidable, and I have no problem with that as long as Olyphant and Mitchell are back.

9. Paranormal Activity (2009) - Directed by Oren Peli. Starring Katie Featherston, Micah Sloat.
Although I didn't necessarily enjoy the sequel, I'm glad these types of films have found an audience. The original is much better thanks to good lead performances, an original plot, an oddly creepy demonologist and a terrific ending. Another thing that makes these types of films more satisfying is when you watch them night..with the lights off.

8. The Ring (2002) - Directed by Gore Verbinski. Starring Naomi Watts.
Everyone loves The Ring, and how can y…

Top Horror Films

15. Triangle (2009) - Directed by Christopher Smith. Starring Melissa George.
This is a rare hidden gem. It's tagged as a supernatural horror film, but I would call it a psychological horror/thriller. This film makes you think, and it challenges us to try and rap our brains around this unbelievable plot. It's loosely based on the Bermuda Triangle concept, but it's unlike anything you've seen. Triangle is quite similar to a film I've recommended before called Timecrimes. Both films are must-sees!

14. The House of the Devil (2009) - Directed by Ti West. Starring Jocelin Donahue.
This a throwback to the great horror classics of the 70's. It really looks and feels like you're back in the 70's with the hair, the vehicles and the cinematic cliches. This film takes its sweet time getting to the point, but it builds tension and the last few scenes are memorable. Every babysitter horror film take a back seat to this one, in my mind.

13. Saw II (2005) - Directed by D…

Top Horror Films

20. Saw III (2006) - Directed by Darren Lynn Bousman. Starring Tobin Bell.
After this film the franchise goes a little down hill, but they're still definitely worth watching. They do a fantastic job tying all six films together.

19. Event Horizon (1997) - Directed by Paul W.S. Anderson. Starring Sam Neill, Laurence Fishburne.
There are a few of the most disturbing scenes ever in this film. The special effects are terrific and things intensify minute after minute. This technically could be classified as science fiction, but it's horror in my book.

18. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003) - Directed by Marcus Nispel. Starring Jessica Biel.
The rare remake that outdoes the original. R. Lee Ermey is so good it's scary. This is probably Biel's only good performance in her career. The pequel is also worth a peek.

17. The Exorcist (1973) - Directed by William Friedkin. Starring Linda Blair, Ellen Burstyn.
An essential horror classic. It may take a while getting to the point, but the l…

Top Horror Films

25. Hostel (2005) - Directed by Eli Roth. Starring Jay Hernandez.
These films aren't as smart as the Saw films, but they're more gruesome. After the laugh-less first 20 minutes, this film finally gets going. It may have plot holes and some below average acting, but it's very entertaining. This is a top-notch torture film.

24. House of 1000 Corpses (2003) - Directed by Rob Zombie. Starring Sid Haig, Bill Moseley.
This is an extremely weird horror film. I've never seen anything quite like it. The sequel is actually unbelievably boring, but that's neither here nor there. There are some very creepy performances from Haig and Moseley.

23. Trick 'r Treat (2009) - Directed by Michael Dougherty. Starring Dylan Baker, Brian Cox.
One of the best Halloween films ever. Dylan Baker's character is so awesome! Although it may not be entirely scary, it's got a lot going for it. An absolute must-see Halloween flick.

22. Hostel: Part II (2007) - Directed by Eli Roth. Starring …

Top Horror Films

In celebration of Halloween, the weirdest worldwide holiday ever, I will be counting down my 30 favorite horror films of all time. Keep in mind that these are my favorite horror films. They're not necessarily the 30 best. Horror films are often hard to grade, because they're often stupid, corny and poorly acted. Some of these films you might say aren't horror, but just because a film doesn't have monsters, ghouls, ghosts, an axe-murderer, zombies or vampires doesn't mean it's not horror. Horror is an intense, painful feeling of repugnance and fear. Or something unpleasant, ugly, or disagreeable. Some people say the Hostel or Saw films aren't horror, but I strongly disagree. Put yourselves in their shoes. Now, tell me that isn't horrific. There will no doubt be some films that you believe should be on this list. If so, please let me know. Most of the films on this list were made in the last decade. A lot of the movies that scared me in the 90's just …

Please Give (2010) R

Chances are you haven't heard of this film, but it was actually released on DVD this past Tuesday. I knew very little about it going in, and was pleasantly surprised at how funny and clever it was. Indie filmmaker Nicole Holofcener (Lovely & Amazing, Friends with Money) wrote and directed this surprisingly effective "chick flick." Although this isn't a chick flick, the trailers, the cast and the storyline make it out to be one. A tremendous cast is one of the main reasons this was an enjoyable experience. It's led by Catherine Keener (Into the Wild, Capoote); she's never boring and always interesting. She plays Kate, a wife and mother living in New York City. Her husband Alex (Oliver Platt), is a large man with a peculiar sense of humor and a lazy streak. Their teen daughter Abby (Sarah Steele) is angry at the world and her parents. She has low self-esteem and only seems to care about $200 jeans. Don't let the unusual opening credits throw you off.

We …

Paranormal Activity 2 (2010) R

Well, a sequel was inevitable, and it didn't take long. A third chapter will undoubtedly be made next year. I'm going to set the record straight here and say that this is NOT a sequel, it's a prequel. It's directed by Tod Williams (The Door in the Floor), and I think it was a big mistake to replace Oren Peli. Peli took hours of sleep from us with a $11,000 budget. Williams steals our $6.50, and 1 1/2 hours of our lives with a $3 million budget.

The film starts in the middle of a conversation between Kristi (Sprague Grayden) and her housekeeper/nanny Martine. I'd like to mention that no trailers were shown beforehand, which was odd. It was confusing for most of the audience. We weren't sure if we were watching a trailer or the film. Anyway, right off the bat we know that this film will have the same feel, and the same look as the first film. We are introduced to Dan (Brian Boland) and Kristi, and Dan's daughter (from a previous marriage) Ali (Molly Ephraim). …

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (2010) PG-13

I saw this film on the big screen way back in May, and I watched it again on DVD this past week. I've decided to review it for anyone who hasn't seen it. For those of you who don't know, this film is loosely based on the video game, which shares the title. When I first saw Disney was releasing it I was disappointed, but it doesn't feel like a Disney film thanks to its PG-13 rating. The Sands of Time is directed by Mike Newell (Donnie Brasco, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire). He has an interesting résumé that isn't quite noteworthy, but I thought he did a fantastic job. It's not easy to make a film based on a crappy video game. The main reason this film is watchable is the always excellent Jake Gyllenhaal (Brothers, Zodiac). His accent isn't half bad, and I'm sure the ladies love the flowing locks and his exposed guns. He plays Prince Dastan, one of three sons of King Sharaman (Ronald Pickup). His brothers Tus (Richard Coyle) and Garsiv (Toby Kebbel…

Jackass 3D (2010) R

If you have not seen the previous two Jackass films or the MTV television series, then disregard this review. This third installment is in 3D (if you can't read). Was it completely necessary? No, but it definitely made it more enjoyable. Jeff Tremaine, who directed the first two films, is back once again. And of course, the same group of guys are also back. They include: Johnny Knoxville, Bam Margera, Steve-O, Chris Pontius, Ryan Dunn, Dave England, Ehren McGhehey, Jason Acuna (Wee Man) and Preston Lacy (who was also credited as the writer).

Tremaine, Oscar nominated director Spike Jonze, Phil and April Margera, skateboarding legends Tony Hawk and Mat Hoffman, pro football players Jared Allen, Josh Brown and Erik Ainge all get into the fun.

Some of the skits are funnier than others, as usual. Some are completely unnecessary and others are shockingly disgusting. Steve-O is always the one who does the grossest stunts and Knoxville does the most dangerous ones. Although this film isn&#…

Splice (2010) R

This is an odd little flick worth a peak for Sci-Fi junkies. It has a small cast and is riddled with special effects. Writer/director Vincenzo Natali (Cube) really sets the mood, but I'm not sure the payoff will have people looking back at their experience with good thoughts. The two main players are Adrien Brody (The Pianist, The Jacket) and Sarah Polley (Dawn of the Dead, The Sweet Hereafter). Brody is a tremendous actor who I always enjoy, and Polley is never bad, as is the case here. Brody is Clive, a controversial scientist who some would say crosses the line with his research. His girlfriend Elsa (Polley) is his partner. They basically spend every waking moment together at work and at home.

They are working on an unusual experiment where they splice a handful of organisms together. The organisms combine to make a disgusting worm-like creature. They splice two creatures, one male and one female. The creatures become mates. They seem harmless and Clive and Elsa believe this cou…

Iron Man 2 (2010) PG-13

I was one of the few people who skipped Iron Man 2 in theaters. This film had a lot to live up to. Superhero sequels these days are usually groundbreaking with Spider-Man 2 and The Dark Knight. This film makes the first Iron Man look like a multiple Oscar winner (which it wasn't). Robert Downey Jr. (Sherlock Holmes, Tropic Thunder) is back as Tony Stark, A.K.A. Iron Man. Jon Favreau (Iron Man, Elf) is back as director and this sequel was written by Justin Theroux (Tropic Thunder). Theroux is a good actor and writer, but his screenplay gets watered down with all the CGI effects, cameos and some poor acting.

Gwyneth Paltrow (The Talented Mr. Ripley, Two Lovers) is also back as Pepper Potts, Tony's trusted assistant/love interest. There are a lot of new faces in this second installment. Don Cheadle (Crash, Reign Over Me) takes over for Terrence Howard as Lt. Col. James "Rhodey" Rhodes. Scarlett Johansson (The Prestige, The Island) is Natalie Rushman, A.K.A. Natasha Roman…

The Worst of 2009

I love bashing films, and this is my chance to do so. I am going to count down the ten worst films of 2009. These are some epic fails. Some brutal films (Transformers 2) just barely avoided this list. I will give a reason why you should stay away at all costs. One thing to remember is that I don't get paid to do reviews. Therefore, I don't have to see every last movie that gets released. So films like Race to Witch Mountain, Bride Wars, Hotel for Dogs, New in Town, The Pink Panther 2, Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience, Confessions of a Shopaholic, 12 Rounds, Stan Helsing, and The Marine 2 didn't make my list (which is a shame). So enjoy! And take my advice and keep your distance from these turds.

10. New Moon - Directed by Chris Weitz. Starring Taylor Lautner, Robert Pattinson.
These films are what some people call, "gay." If I enjoyed watching a bunch of dudes rubbing each other down while shirtless, then I have a problem. I still don't know why I watc…

Let Me In (2010) R

I reviewed Let the Right One In, which was based on a novel written by John Ajvide Lindqvist, last week. Lindqvist also wrote the screenplay for that film. It was directed by Tomas Alfredson. It played at festivals in early 2008 and was finally released to a wide audience in Sweden and northern Europe in October of 2008. It also hit a limited amount of theaters in the U.S. at the same time. It became such a huge hit and success that Matt Reeves (Cloverfield) adapted it for the screen once again, just two short years later. Although Let Me In is a near replica of the original film, it stands on its on. There are just the right amount of changes and improvements to make this film a must see as well. The original film is mesmerizing and captivating, and this film will also snag your attention for 115 minutes.

Instead of Oskar and Eli, we have Owen and Abby. Owen is played by Kodi Smit-McPhee (The Road) and Abby is played by Chloe Moretz (Kick-Ass, (500) Days of Summer). They are both fant…

Top 100 Films of the Decade (10-1)

Here we go, the top ten films of the decade. These are some fantastic films, that have to be seen.
10. Confessions of a Dangerous Mind (2002) - Directed by George Clooney. Starring Sam Rockwell. Not a lot of people have seen this wonderful film based on the life of Chuck Barris. He made a lot of popular game shows years ago, but also claimed he was a CIA assassin at the time. Really interesting stuff with one of the best performances of the decade from Sam Rockwell. 9. Monster's Ball (2002) - Directed by Marc Forster. Starring Billy Bob Thornton. This is a haunting film. Thornton and Halle Berry are at their very best. A tremendous and sad performance by Heath Ledger reminds us how fantastic he was. Gripping and controversial stuff here. 8. Avatar (2009) - Directed by James Cameron. Starring Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana. There really is nothing like it. What an experience it was to see it in 3-D. Even on a television, this film still dazzles. Cameron poured his heart into this project …

Top 100 Films of the Decade (20-11)

We're down to the best 20 films of the last decade. There are some epic films in this list, some that are just plain funny, some of these films I'm alone on, and so on and so fourth. Some films in my top 20 you may hate, and that is quite alright because nobody is the same. So lets get to it.
20. The Weather Man (2005) - Directed by Gore Verbinski. Starring Nicolas Cage. Cage is a fearless actor. No matter how stupid his films are (The Wicker Man, Next) or how fantastic his films are (Lord of War, Adaptation.), he gives his heart into the role. This is a very different side of Cage, and it's hilarious, sad, and painful. Great film. 19. Children of Men (2006) - Directed by Alfonso Cuaron. Starring Clive Owen. Some people and some critics didn't necessarily think this film was all that good...ARE YOU HIGH? Everything about it is amazing. The acting, the storyline, the cinematography, ten minute long action shots. COME ON, MAN! 18. Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story (2007) - Direc…

The Social Network (2010) PG-13

I've had October 1st marked down on my calender for quite some time. Why you ask? The Social Network, that's why. David Fincher (Fight Club, Zodiac) was at the helm of this thrilling drama. The screenplay was written by Aaron Sorkin (A Few Good Men, Charlie Wilson's War), and there's already Oscar buzz surrounding his script. This film is based on a true story, which you already know. We follow Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg), the creator of Facebook. Eisenberg (Adventureland, Zombieland) is absolutely sensational, which isn't a surprise.

The film begins in the fall of 2003 at Harvard University. The opening scene is set at a pub, where Mark and his girlfriend Erica (Rooney Mara) are having drinks. Right off the bat we know Mark is not your typical sophomore. He's quite brilliant. He's a computer genius and scored a perfect score on his SAT. However, he's cruel, condescending, and extremely vain. Mark just wants to be accepted into a fraternity and bel…