Stuck at Home? Currently Watching: HIGH MOON streaming on Roku via Amazon Prime Channel/App!

Stuck at home? Well here is a suggestion:

 

HIGH MOON aka HOWLERS(2019) – I like Westerns and I like Werewolf movies, so combine the two and I’m definitely the audience. Add to that this Josh Ridgeway directed flick is actually not the campy parody the title would suggest (HIGH NOON being one of my favorite Westerns).

Smartly written, also by Josh Ridgeway, with a nice mix of horror and wit, and excellently performed by a cast of solid actors, this movie is surprisingly good. Matthew Tomkins, who I have never seen give a bad performance, is his usual rock solid self, and the whole cast delivers. Chad Michael Collins is great as the primary protagonist, the time tossed Cowboy, Colt. Tom Zembrod, as his furry nemesis is the type of scenery chewing villain, that puts a smile on your face. Sean Patrick Flannery also keeps the film flying with his portrayal as a Mayor, quite a few steps beyond corrupt. And the ladies likewise, Chelsea Edmunson and April Hartman have roles of some complexity to dig into.

Add in good makeup effects, solid action, and characters you care about and you have a rip-roaring monster mashup. Man, did i have a lot of fun with this movie. A solid B+.

Howlers (2019)

Really glad I caught this courtesy of Amazon prime, and this one goes on my ‘to own’ list.

No Blu-ray at this time, but you can snag the DVD here!

Early Contender for one of my favorite TV Shows of 2020 – Netflix’s SHADOW Action Series!

The 1st season of THE TERROR, the 1st season of Amazon’s BAD BOYS, and the 1st and only season of BBC’s BODYGUARD on Netflix were my favorite television shows of 2019.

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4 episodes in and I am absolutely loving Netflix’s South African action/thriller series SHADOW.

Part EQUALIZER meets WALLENDER meets STRIKEBACK, the other part is its own unique texture and vibe; this series is hitting all the right notes… the actors are fantastic, plots Baroque and strange and compelling, the action riveting. Took a while for me to actually give this series a try, however now it (along with Netflix/BBCs DRACULA) is an early contender for one of my favorite tv shows of 2020.

I really hope both these shows eventually get a Blu-Ray release, complete with special features/director’s commentary. The best of any year deserves the permanence of DVD/Blu-Ray. That said I’m still waiting on season 2 of Luke Cage to make it to Blu-Ray… looking at you Netflix. 🙂 .

 

 

Movie Posters of the Day!

If the purpose of an effective poster, is to get your attention, to be intrigued about the film, and in and of itself, to be an appealing work of art; the below are examples of this week’s recommended and effective posters.

Now the actual TV show or movie or trailer can be great or awful, however the following posters judged on their own merits as posters… are, in this reviewers opinion, this week’s winners.

 

 

 

Antebellum (2020)Rogue Warfare 3: Death of a Nation (2020)Tales from the Loop (2020)Arkansas (2020)

 

 

Now where there are posters that are effective and compelling, there are posters that aren’t. These are some of the ones that stand out to me, as not interesting or effective posters.

Again the movie or trailer could be great or awful, i am here just talking about the poster itself.

 

I like Tom Hanks, I think he is a good actor, if not a personal favorite of mine, I acknowledge he is a good actor. However, all of his movies, the posters are just pictures of his face. And there is no lazier form of poster design then that. I mean the closeup of a face can be effective, when it is used to tell a story, or set a tone for the film, look at the ANTEBELLUM poster above. A closeup, but a closeup that gets you thinking, and wondering, and coming in on the middle of a story. It is a closeup as part of a storytelling moment, as opposed to this Hanks poster that is glorified selfie.

And not just for him, but for any actor, and for any poster, I general feel taking a close up of the stars face and calling that a poster or marketing… is LAZY and BORING and UNINTERESTING poster design.

And again, this is not just Tom Hanks, they do the same thing with other big stars like Will Smith, etc, people just want to take a big pic of the stars face, and photoshop in a lame background.

It is incredibly lazy poster design. Put some bloody effort and thought into it, give us the Struzan paints or Saul Bass typography, earn your effing money as a piece of marketing, and maybe even as a piece of art.

Here are some other examples of inept poster design/marketing.

I mean they are trying in this poster. Some thought has obviously gone into it, just for me, the design does not in anyway interest me to stop on this image, or want to find out or explore what the movie is about. I  can not click off of it, or go past it quickly enough. Not the sign of a good poster.

The trailer for this looks good. The actual poster, not so much. The background is interesting, but the foreground of the star running toward us, just not interesting.

Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Cush Jumbo in The Postcard Killings (2020)See my rant above, on the Tom Hanks poster. A selfie does not a great or even good, poster make.

 

Agree. Disagree. Have your own recommendations of great or mediocre posters, than subscribe, like, and feel free to comment or email.

 

Thanks and come back next installment!

Oh and give love to this week’s sponsors below.

 

Deal of the Day#1!

Deal of the Day #2!

Netflix Daredevil Season 2 Television Review

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The first season of Netflix’s DAREDEVIL was with one or two missteps, a masterpiece… and now the long awaited 2nd season has broken onto Netflix. And the verdict after watching all 13 episodes… it’s good overall, great in sporadic parts, and uneven throughout most of it. It feels tired and maudlin in a way the first season never did.

And much of the weakness of the 2nd season is directly related to carrying over the missteps of Season 1. The death of Vondie Curtis Hall’s character of Ben Urich was a mistake, and the sometimes screeching, sanctimonius, annoying nature of the Karen Page charater, also was always poised to upset the ship.

And here those two blips combine to I think after the first 3 strong episodes, bog down the remaining 10 episodes. Every scene with the Karen Page character (doing her Nancy Drew with the Editor), just highlights how much better those scenes would have played with Hall’s Ben Urich character bringing gravitas to those moments.

And while the actress who plays Karen Page, is definitely striking, her character is written and played annoyingly, so giving her more screen time this season is analagous to nails on a chalkboard. Her voiceover to round out the last episode, I’m sure was meant to be this poignant summation of the season, but came off as so much trite, cliched fluff. A failure of writing and delivery.

On top of that example, the writing which was a standout of most of season 1, stumbles here in season 2. I thought episode 5 was a complete trainwreck, boring, navel gazing, let down by both the writing and directing. It tried to mirror the emotional intensity of the 5th episode of Season 1, but lacked a story and writing and performances capable of carrying the episode.

Add to that the whole Daredevil/ Elektra/ Black Sky plotline, was delivered in a bit of a muddled fashion, it all reeks of perhaps needing more rewrites. I who am familiar with these characters, found the season a bit unclear and unsatisfying at times.

Those negatives acknowledged, there was much to like about season 2, I thought the action scenes were excellent, the characters of Stick and the Punisher compelling, the performances of most of the leads stellar.

So overall, glad to have seen the 2nd  season, but I didn’t love it.

And here’s hoping season 3 brings the magical return of Ben Urich’s character, and less screen time for the Karen Page character and the Paper’s Editor (who I found equally uninteresting),

Overall Grade:  B-.

 

 

Movie Trailers of the Day!

 

click for larger (if applicable) Trailer shows promise in this tale of cat and mouse.

The Hours Till Daylight (2015) I saw the first few images of this trailer, and turned it off. Because I was sold on seeing this immediately.

Camino (2015)The trailer plays a bit like THE WITNESS meets FIRST BLOOD. Definitely intriguing.

Extra Large Movie Poster Image for Bølgen

This THE WAVE (BOLGEN) Trailer made me go… Awesome. That’s pretty high praise for a trailer.

Extra Large Movie Poster Image for Black Mountain Side

 

I watched the first thirty seconds of this trailer, and turned it off. Why? Because I knew this is a film I would be trying for myself. So much of what sepArates good genre movies from bad ones, is do you care about the characters?

Most genre fiction gravitates to the annoying or stupid kids who go exploring usually where they shouldn’t. This trailer in 30 seconds showed more depth to these characters than most genre films ever pack into a full movie. So yeah, I was immediately intrigued by the isolated THE THING like vibe.

All movie trailers courtesy of my new go to spot for watching trailers… Amazon Prime via Roku!

 

If you dug this blog post, leave a like or send an IM, or better yet go here and purchase today’s DEAL OF THE DAY:

Movie Posters Re-Imagined: Alternative Designs for the World’s Favorite Cult Films

 

UPCOMING MOVIES: MAR/APR 2012

With walking lobotomies like 21 JUMP STREET hitting screens, March is shaping up to be one of the most uninteresting movie months in a while, with tons of films that you would have to pay me (and quite well) to sit through.

However there are a few being released in the next 60 days that may potentially be interesting.


THE HUNTER- William DaFoe stars in this thriller set in Tasmania and directed by TV director Daniel Nettheim

THE CABIN IN THE WOODS- Another first time director helms this Joss Whedon produced horror/thriller.

LOCKOUT (2012)- Two relatively untried directors helm this Guy Pearce vehicle. Not a fan of Pearce but also stars actors Lenny James and Jacky Ido, so it may be worth a look.


WOMAN THOU ART LOOSED: ON THE 7TH DAY- I saw the trailer for this, and it looked surprisingly good. I typically don’t go for these ‘message’ movies. They generally give me a swift pain, but the trailer on this looked more like a decent thriller, with some good performances. Plus it actually has a director with some experience (albeit TV experience), namely Neeema Barnette.

THE RAVEN (2012)- Now speaking of experienced directors James McTeigue is a proper film director, with roughly a film every 2 years since 2005’s V FOR VENDETTA, followed by THE INVASION, NINJA ASSASSIN and now the much delayed THE RAVEN. None of his movies have wowed me but they are all at least intriguing. And while THE RAVEN has a plot that sounds more than a bit like they poorly ripped off Marc Olden’s novel POE MUST DIE, and I’m not a John Cusack fan; however being about Poe, the film should at the very least be… intriguing.


THE RAID (2012)- Gareth Evans, with this his third feature film (previous two being MERANTAU and FOOTSTEPS), is gaining notice as a director of disturbing yet elegant films of violence. If the trailers of THE RAID are any indication… Mr. Evans may have a hit on his hands. An uncomfortable, violent, and perhaps morally suspect hit (police raids, and police brutality as entertainment doesn’t sit too well with me. Sets dangerous glorifications of fictions, that run the risk of being formative to our facts)… but a hit none the less.

Time will tell.