INCLUDE_DATA

MULTIPLE MOVIE ROUND-UP by THE DARK SIDE CRITIC

Posted on January 1st, 2009
Posted on January 1st, 2009

1. DEATH RACE (2008) *** now available on DVD

Jason Statham can kick my ass any day. Taking the role of “Frankenstein,” the death racer who can’t be killed (made famous by David Carradine in “Death Race 2000”), Statham once again plays a tough dude who can whoop tail and drive cars like a maniac.

I loved the original “Death Race 2000” and this one is a loose adaptation, but it has a few new tricks up its sleeve. Instead of driving cross-country and running over innocent civilians for points, these racers are prisoners on a closed course, racing for their freedom. Running over icons spread throughout the track will either arm certain vehicle weapons or spring deadly booby traps. It’s a videogame begging to happen. “Mario Kart” should sue.

Anyway, the only other character to appear from the original film is Machine Gun Joe played by Tyrese. Rumors originally had Sylvester Stallone pegged to return as Joe, one of his first non-porn roles ever. I’m sure once he finally got a hold of the script and discovered this Joe would be a gay black man with a gang of prison bitches, he decided to pass.

Joan Allen appears in her trashiest role ever, an evil warden who invented Death Race. She resorts to blackmail and even murder to ensure the success of her new sport. I’ve always hated her as an actress and even here she somehow manages to come across as stuck-up and pretentious. Nuts to her.

This one lacks the social satire and outrageous humor of the original, but hey it’s a Paul W.S. Anderson movie. Besides “Shopping” and “Event Horizon,” his reputation bad films has been sub-toilet with the critics and fans. I will give him credit where credit’s due… He does know how to blow stuff up real good. Watch this time-waster if you want to see cars go ka-boom. If you want a more fun movie, check out the original. Trailers below for both the recent and the 1975 versions…

2. LET THE RIGHT ONE IN ***1/2 in limited release

This Swedish import has ended up on many critics “best of 2008” lists. Oskar is a twelve year-old loner with revenge fantasies about stabbing the bullies who torture him mercilessly every day. One night he meets Eli, a girl who isn’t bothered by freezing temperatures and who takes a strange interest in the shy Oskar. Turns out Eli is an immortal vampire stuck in the body of a pre-teen. While she hides out in her apartment, her human caretaker is out botching attempts at killing residents to bring her fresh blood. As Eli’s situation grows dire, she becomes more dependent on Oskar for companionship.

While some are screaming at Hollywood studios to leave this one alone, I’m actually encouraged by the prospect of this one being remade for an American audience. The two child leads in the original are stiff actors and the script could use a few tweaks to make the story 100% solid. I can imagine a thoughtful remake becoming a huge horror hit. As long as they do the original justice. Trailer below…

3. TRANSSIBERIAN ***1/2 now available on DVD

Here’s a well-written Hitchcockian thriller from Brad Anderson, the director of two underrated masterpieces, “Session 9” and “The Machinist.” Ex-troubled soul Jessie (Emily Mortimer) and her jolly, optimistic husband Roy (Woody Harrelson) board the Transsiberian Express on a sightseeing tour after doing missionary work in China. They share a sleeping cabin with the El-Rico-Suave Spaniard Carlos (Eduardo Noriega) and his American companion Abby (Kate Mara). It’s obvious that Carlos, who’s seen too many Antonio Banderas movies, is a scumbag as he not-so-subtly tries to put the moves on Jessie, but he also has other plans for her. Meanwhile, Russian Inspector Grinko (Ben Kingsley) boards the train on the tail of some murderous drug mules, but he has ulterior motives of his own.

“Transsiberian” unfolds masterfully as the story takes some twists and turns you never see coming. It ends clumsily, missing a couple of opportunities and takes a confusing twist regarding Kingsley’s character. Nevertheless, I consider Anderson a master of psychological thrillers and I can’t wait to see what he does next.

Trailer below…

4. THE DEAD PIT * been available on VHS since the 80’s

What a piece of trash. This one mixes two plots in one and can’t decide what devices to use, so it throws everything in, including the kitchen sink. It’s got a psychic mental patient, a mad scientist, demons, a gateway to hell, zombies, a British bomb expert and a climax involving an exploding tower (that looks suspiciously like the one that looms over Sony Studios) full of holy water. Supposedly, this was a cult classic due to the decent gore effects and wacky plot. It’s a minor footnote in 80’s horror, only for completists (like myself) who have to see them all. A sloppy entry from Bret Leonard who directed three underrated films: “Lawnmower Man,” “Hideaway” and “Virtuosity.” Trailer below…

Going cold turkey isn’t as delicious as it sounds!

-The Dark Side Critic

No Comments •

Comments

Search
Search Form
Trailer for the award-winning short PRISMA…


A corporate promotional VHS tape from 1984 conceals a brain-altering signal which is said to grant increased health, longevity and psychic powers to those who watch it. View at your own risk...

WINNER: SPECIAL JURY PRIZE, 2017 Oxford Film Festival

WINNER: BEST EXPERIMENTAL FILM, 2017 FantaSci Short Film Festival

SEMI-FINALIST: 2017 NanoCon International Science-Fiction Film Festival

NOMINEE: BEST ANIMATION, 2017 End of Days Film Festival

NOMINEE: BEST GRAPHICS, 2017 FantaSci Short Film Festival

OFFICIAL SELECTION:
2017 Nightmares Film Festival
2017 H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival
2017 Oxford Film Festival
2017 Crossroads Film Festival
2017 Clarksdale Film Festival
2017 Twisted Dreams Film Festival
2017 Tupelo Film Festival
2017 NanoCon International Sci-Fi Film Festival
2017 FantaSci Short Film Festival
2017 End of Days Film Festival
2017 Grenada Afterglow Film Festival
2017 Shiver International Film Festival

Trailer for the lost short GOD MAKER…


Northern Mississippi 1932:
In a cabin in the woods, a blind blues guitarist will discover his destiny from a lovesick goddess who seeks to corrupt his soul.

GOD MAKER remains unfinished and in limbo for now, but the trailer expresses the mood and imagery intended for the project...

Coop’s award-winning 48 hour short film trailer for REGRESS…


Told in reverse, this experimental made-in-48-hours film begins with a shocking murder then backtracks (like a viewer rewinding a VHS tape) to reveal the chilling origins of this tragedy.

WINNER: BEST SHORT FILM at the 2013 Clarksdale Film Festival...
NOMINATED: BEST DIRECTING by the 2012 48hr. Guerrilla Film Challenge (international contest)...
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2013 Crossroads Film Festival

Watch Coop’s award-winning short film THE BEST DAY…


WINNER: 2012 MAGNOLIA FILM FESTIVAL "Best Homegrown Film"
WINNER: 2012 SEATTLE TRUE INDEPENDENT FILM FESTIVAL "Best Scream"

OFFICIAL SELECTION:
2012 OXFORD FILM FESTIVAL
2012 CLARKSDALE FILM FESTIVAL
2012 CROSSROADS FILM FESTIVAL
2012 NORTHEAST MISSISSIPPI FILM FESTIVAL
2012 ATLANTA INDIE HORROR FILM FESTIVAL
2012 OTHERFEST
2012 MISSISSIPPI INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
2012 SUN AND SAND FILM FESTIVAL

Morgan Freeman asks Coop a question at THE BEST DAY premiere! Video below…


My short film THE BEST DAY premiered in October 2011 at the Delta Cinema in Clarksdale, Mississippi.

Little did I know I had a special guest in the audience who was about to ask me a question during the Q&A. Yep, I got a little flustered when I saw who it was.

The Small Town Critic’s SCREENWRITING SERVICES
Follow Coop on Twitter...
    follow me on twitter
    Follow smalltowncritic on Twitter
    Archives
    Subscribe via Email!

    Enter your email address:

    Delivered by FeedBurner

    Subscribe via RSS feed!