Category Archives: MOVIES

Grizzly Review: DRIVE ANGRY (in 3D)

For the 2nd installment of ‘Random-Ass Movie Reviews’, we look at the Nic Cage insta-classic DRIVE ANGRY. If you don’t know what this is, please allow me to introduce you. Let’s start with the trailer:

Looks awesome right?  Well, it is, and I’m about to tell you why.

First though, let’s talk about what makes a movie artistically successful. For me, a movie that knows what it is, and excels at being so can be called successful regardless of its Box Office totals or critical accolades. To better show what I mean, let’s look at a few examples – THE STRANGERS and PUBLIC ENEMIES.

thestrangers4

The Strangers is a slasher film, built on a strong foundation of suspense. Now a lot of people don’t care for slasher films, but I think most of the ones who do would say this was a decent one. I saw it and it made me jump. The whole theater seemed frightened, and it had been a few years since I have seen a movie that had such an effect on me. When I left the theater with my 2 friends we all agreed it was well worth the price of admission, and for that reason when it came out on DVD, I bought it. This is a movie whose biggest star is Liv Tyler, it cost only about $10 million to make, and was aimed a specific audience. Yet it delivered exactly what it promised, a creepy ass good time.

It has a 6/10 on IMDb right now, however, if you were to ask fans of the genre, I think they’d tell you a 6 is too low.

On the flip side, we have Public Enemies. Directed by Oscar Nominated Michael Mann, starring 2 of the biggest names in Hollywood -Johnny Depp and Christian Bale, and which cost over $100 million to make. This Action-Drama had a target audience too, the Academy. This movie was meant to be Oscar bait from day 1. However, while this was still a movie I was quite excited to see, I left the theater thoroughly disappointed, it just felt flat. I’m a gangster movie fan and even I thought it was slow. It quite simply just failed to deliver what was promised in the trailer.

It has a 7.1/10 on that same IMDb scale right now, though I bet the people it was targeted at would rate it lower.

As far as I’m concerned The Strangers accomplished what it wanted to do, Public Enemies did not. Despite this, it’s unlikely you’d hear many people argue that The Strangers is the better of the 2 movies based simply on prejudice against certain genres.

Now the whole point I’m trying to make above is that DRIVE ANGRY fits into a very specific genre, and within that genre, as my new favorite actor Charlie Sheen would say, it wins. Most people would watch the trailer above and say: “That looks stupid.”, and that’s because it is stupid. However, it delivers exactly what it promises in the trailer, and is thoroughly entertaining in doing so. I didn’t walk out disappointed, and that’s saying something now. This movie, for me, should be compared to the likes of Grindhouse, Snakes on a Plane, and Machete. All of which make deliver an entertaining watch, and no illusions of what they really are: B-Movies.

Now, as far as the merits of Drive Angry itself, let’s start with the cast.  First off, the supposed A-List actor,  who has done more B-List work than any other major name around – Nic Cage. It is Cage’s ridiculous persona that makes this movie work before you even see it. You know you’re not getting Cage from The Rock/Leaving Las Vegas/Adaptation. This is the Cage you saw in (or more likely didn’t see) in Knowing/Season of the Witch/The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. A crazed tornado of emotion and overacting under a ridiculous hairdo. This is the modern Cage.

And cast as Cage’s sexy young sidekick – Amber Heard.

You may remember her as the hot neighbor turned flesh-eater in Zombieland or as Seth Rogen’s underage girlfriend in Pineapple Express. She actually plays off of Cage pretty well, and her legs allow you to ignore how well he is coping with the craziness around her.

She is a waitress at a diner who gives Cage’s character Milton a ride. As the movie progresses, she is thrown into situations that would make even Stallone and Schwarzenegger nervous. But in what is apparently a requirement to waitress in this world, she loves punching people in the face and apparently is afraid of nothing. An admirable quality in a sidekick.

Next, we have the man from Hell, sent to reclaim Cage, and he’s played by none other than William Fichtner.

Fichtner is, in my opinion, one of the most underrated, and overly entertaining actors working today.  He is probably most recognizable from Armageddon and TV’s Prison Break. But I’ve actually always associated him with Drowning Mona, where I thought he was hilarious. And the fact he was in The Dark Knight doesn’t hurt his resume either.

Then for the 4th Principal Character, we have the man who lured Milton out of Hell in the first place, Cult Leader Jonah King, played by Billy Burke.

Now a select few of you may recognize him from this little series of movies that have come out in the last few years. The movies revolve around a mopey teenage girl who is slowly devouring her own face, a vampire who wears way too much body glitter, and a werewolf so poor he can’t afford a shirt. But MOST of you should remember him for delivering one of the greatest lines in the history of 24…“Kim, I will kill you.” Boom. What more do you need?

So the movie itself. Here is a story of a man who is in Hell, and see his daughter murdered, and her baby kidnapped by a cult leader (Billy Burke). He escapes Hell in order to save his grand-daughter and does so in Awesome-Fashion. The Devil’s Accountant (Fichtner) is sent to fetch Cage John Milton and bring him back to Hell. Waitress Piper (Amber Heard) tags along on the journey after Milton helps her out. Fun is had by all, especially the best henchmen ever – Man in Wig.

This was an action-packed thrill-ride, filled with quality cast and ridiculous events happening one after another. All 3 people I saw this with seemed to enjoy it, yet despite its customer satisfaction, it grossed only half of what the new Sandler crap-fest did, despite Sandler’s movie has already been out for a couple of weeks. And while not everyone will love DRIVE ANGRY as much as I did, I bet a smaller percentage of people are disappointed by it than that Sandler movie.

So, this movie gets credit for doing something original and letting you know it was gonna be stupid fun right out of the gate. On entertainment value, I give it 4 stars.


Images: Summit Entertainment

MARVEL has a lot going on…

With the impending release of Thor, Captain America, and the newest X-Men movie, Marvel is in the spotlight right now. Then there is also the future projects The Amazing Spider-Man, Iron Man 3, Wolverine 2, and The Avengers. Needless to say, its gonna be a busy couple of summers over at Marvel. Well, I thought we’d get a little caught up on some of it.

THOROpens May 6th, 2011

Relative new comer Chris Hemsworth will play the title role, while Geek-Goddess Natalie Portman will appear as Jane Foster, Thor’s longtime romantic interest in the comics.

Marvel just released a new extended trailer for the film that will introduce many non-geeks to the God of Thunder for the first time.

X-Men: First Class Opens June 3rd, 2011

This is one, that despite having a director I like, I’m just not pumped for. X3 and Wolverine were so terrible I can’t allow myself to get excited for this yet, but SupaScoot did a pretty detailed writeup on it.

CAPTAIN AMERICAOpens July 22nd, 2011

While Chris Evans isn’t who I had in mind when this movie was announced, I am hopeful that he’ll exceed my expectations. Director Joe Johnston however, does not excite me, so I have to remain skeptical…

The Amazing Spider-Man Opens July 3rd, 2012

The reboot cast is highlighted with Emma Stone, Dennis Leary and Martin Sheen. The new Spidey though, Andrew Garfield is a mystery to me. Maybe that’s cause the only thing I’ve seen him in is Red Riding: In the Year of Our Lord 1974, and I don’t even remember him. But this picture looks awesome…

The Avengers2012

Joss Whedon is directing what will be the most ambitious Comic Movie project ever undertaken. This is what Marvel is banking it all on, set for sometime in 2012.

Below is a fan-made poster based on the upcoming project.

Iron Man 3In Pre-Production

The Iron Man franchise is in flux, and I couldn’t be happier about it. The first Iron Man was great, but the 2nd one was a bit of a letdown. Iron Man 3 will be a direct sequel to The Avengers. The first 2 movies were directed by Jon Favreau, who is now leaving the franchise. And while I like Jon Favreau, I love his apparent replacement – Shane Black.

If you’re not a movie dork you may not know Shane Black, but I’m sure you’ll recognize his work as a writer. He, in my opinion is batting a thousand. He wrote the first 2 Leathal Weapon movies, The Last Boyscout, The Monster Squad, Last Action Hero, The Long Kiss Goodnight, and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. He also directed Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.

Black and Downey Jr on the set of KISS KISS BANG BANG

The Wolverine Pre-Production

This video has nothing to do officially with the Darren Aronofsky helmed follow-up to the piece of crap Wolverine movie, but it is pretty damn cool.

This is pretty surreal, to think that piece of crap Wolverine movie is gonna spawn a sequel directed by one of the most respected Directors working now. The Wrestler, Black Swan, The Woverine?

Now, if you’ll be so go as to vote on this poll you won’t have to suffer the same fate as our mascot did at the hands of the Hulk…

ROBOCOP UPDATE

With 38 days still remaining before the deadline, donations for the ROBOCOP statue to be built-in Detroit has already met its goal. They were giving it till March 29th to raise $50,000. Well here we are on Feb. 16th, and they’ve already raised $50,769.

According to the Detroit Free Press the group in charge of the fund-raising will keep accepting donations until the original March 29th deadline and make the statue “as big and good as possible”. Supporters of the statue got a big boost Tuesday when San Francisco businessman, Pete Hottelet, donated $25,000.

He runs a company you may have heard of: Omni Consumer Products

If that name doesn’t sound familiar to you, you need to watch ROBOCOP again. They were the company in the movie that bought the Police and ran “New Detroit”.

Well Hottelet’s company isn’t one I was familiar with 20 minutes ago, but I instantly fell in love with. This OCP, instead of destroying Detroit, actually makes products based off of non-fictional items…

In addition to Ghostbuster’s Stay Puft Marshmallows, they also make Tru Blood Drinks, Anchorman inspired Sex Panther cologne, and the energy drink that destroyed the country in Idiocracy – Brawndo: The Thirst Mutilator.

Now it’s not yet decided exactly where the Robocop statue will stand, but if you’d like to be part of history, you can Donate Here

Please take a minute to vote below…

Alright. Article Over.

UPDATE: As of 10:41 am, on Wednesday Feb. 21st, the total is now at: $60,903

Yet another member of the INCEPTION cast set to join THE DARK KNIGHT RISES?

While this has not yet been confirmed, a few reliable sources have reported that Marion Cotillard could be coming to Gotham. Cotillard is a French actress who you might recognize from BIG FISH or PUBLIC ENEMIES, but most prominently from last summer’s INCEPTION, where she played Leonardo DiCaprio’s dead wife. As we are still in the rumor stage surrounding THE DARK KNIGHTS RISES it’s not yet clear who she would play if she does indeed show up in Nolan’s 3rd Bat-film. Most popular guess right now: Talia al Ghul.

Continue reading Yet another member of the INCEPTION cast set to join THE DARK KNIGHT RISES?

ROBOCOP: Keeping Safe the streets of Detroit

Internet buzz this last week or so has brought to light a suggestion to erect a statue of Robocop in Detroit. What started as a joke on Twitter has found a voice online.

NBA Hall of Famer, Pistons great, and current Mayor of Detroit, Dave Bing first brought attention to the topic when he responded to the suggestion with this tweet:

@MT There are not any plans to erect a statue to Robocop. Thank you for the suggestion.

Well, it was Bing’s response that alerted the web to the suggestion and it’s taken off since then. An effort has begun to raise money for the statue to be commissioned.

Detroit’s Imagination Station, a nonprofit group charged with cleaning up Detroit’s blighted areas, pledged Roosevelt Park as the Robocop statue’s future beat, where he will follow his prime directive to “serve the public trust, protect the innocent, uphold the awesome.”

Thus far they have raised $16,046 towards their goal of $50,000. I donated a 5 spot myself just moments ago and will have no issue putting in more when we get closer to the final total. Kickstarter is the fundraising platform they are using, designed for independent profit and non-profit projects to which anyone can contribute. Contributors lock in their donations via Amazon.com or other payment means but aren’t charged until all the money is raised and the project goes through.

Now several people have criticized this whole project as being wrong to promote such a violent movie, or simply stupid given other things the money could be spent on. But tell me Metro Detroiters won’t make a special trip downtown to see it once it’s up and stop for lunch while they’re there. And while it’s unlikely to inspire widespread tourism, it certainly couldn’t hurt.

Philly has a Rocky statue, and should I ever visit there you better believe that’s the first stop I’m making. Every time I’ve been to Chicago I have gone by the ‘Married with Children” fountain. There is a Superman statue in Smallville, Kansas and a Yoda in San Francisco. Even New York City honors fictional characters with their Ralph Kramden statue at the bus station. And in Japan, they have not once, but twice built a 60 foot Gundam statue.

Why can’t we have a Robocop?

Please, tell me what you think…

UPDATE: As of 10:31 am on Tuesday, the new total is $19,967. To Donate click HERE


Images: Orion Pictures