dead-snow-2-red-vs-dead-dod-sno-2-tommy-wirkola-vegar-hoel-orjan-gamst-martin-starr-jocelyn-deboer-ingrid-haas-stig-frode-henriksen-hallvard-holmen-jesper-sundnes-kristoffer-joner

Dead Snow 2: Red vs Dead: picking up immediately from the end of Dead Snow, Nazi Zombie Herzog and his army turn to their original objective; wiping out the tiny village of Talvik. This film doesn’t skip a beat and – if anything – feels even better than the original in almost every way; it’s better shot, better put together, better written, bigger budget, and somehow manages to remain original and even funnier – tanking passed the six laugh test, and giving me a sore face and ear-to-ear grin by the end credits sequence. The ‘Idle Hands’ arm-swap angle makes for some great fun, a whole new side story, and some top-drawer comedy performances. It was also exciting to see the addition of Martin Starr as the Zombie Squad leader, a great piece of character casting. In fact, the only thing that I didn’t like about this was the portrayal of a gay character that could have come from a 1960s stage play – however, that aside, there’s little else to complain about. Dead Snow 2 is an absolute delight to watch; a funny and schlocky horror comedy that does both aspects well, and athe movie that now holds my title of ‘Best Zombie Comedy’ (It’s better than Sean of the Dead.)

Score: 8/10
B-Movie Score: 9.5/10

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When a tank missile hits a baby in a pram… obviously.

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Vice Principals: when a school principal retires and the vice principals are passed over for a promotion they form an unlikely tag team to take their new boss down. Not unlike most Danny McBride projects, the humour in VPs is an acquired taste: it’s stupid and lowest-common denominator stuff, but I’m a fan of the funny to watch the crass swearing, childish squabbling, stereotypes, silly faces etc… McBride’s pretty much been here before in Eastbound and Down with his faded baseball star going back to school to teach; his latest character Neal Gamby is essentially an older, and slightly more filtered/censored Kenny Powers. Goggins on the other hand turns in an against-type effeminate role, that requires a lot of eye rolling, sucking up, and mincing around in pink clothes. Both leads are great at what they do and the core supporting cast notes (Gregory / Whigham / King / Love – GO SCOTLAND! / Patterson) all hit the right comedy notes. The show mostly cruises along, with scenarios that lead to silly and cringe comedy, but there’s a few curveballs in here with surreal moments, weird filming techniques, and the finale feels a little too bizarre and doesn’t fit in with the rest of the show. Vice Principals will go down best with fans of McBride’s trademark style, and he’s firmly in his comfort zone… for regular viewers it may be stray a little too far into crass and unacceptable territory.

Score: 6/10

vice-principals-poster-hbo-danny-mcbride-walton-goggins-kimberly-hebert-gregory-georgia-king-sheaun-mckinney-busy-philipps-shea-whigham-maya-g-love-edi-patterson-susan-park-mike-ogorman

 

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Heavy Metal: animated action-fantasy anthology movie for adults. Technically, it should really be called Heavy Metal, and soft rock, and a great movie score”, but that’s nitpicking… all you need to know is that the soundtrack is very varied and really drives the movie. The over-arching story is ambitious and comes together in the vein of a grand intergalactic rock opera with elements of Noir / Fantasy / Sci-Fi / Sword & Sandals – something for every type of nerd.. The 9 segments were made by different animation studios – giving each one a unique style, and they’re all so fantastically rendered that it feels like a showcase of the best hand-drawn animation of that period. Being a ‘cartoon for adults’ this is packed to the brim with violence, gratuitous nudity, and ladies with unimaginably large waps (it is based on a French fantasy magazine made for alternative teenage boys – duh). As with most anthology movies not all parts are created equally, and ‘trippy’ doesn’t come close to describing the more eclectic parts of the story; clearly all of the drugs were been taken during the making of this, it’s probably the most 80s thing I’ve ever seen – at least since Tenebre. You have two choices with Heavy Metal: try to figure it out, fight it, and piece it together, or simply let it wash over you and absorb the crazy-good, now-defunct retro animation.

Score: 6.5/10

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Soft Landing

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Grimaldi

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Harry Canyon

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Den

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Captain Sternn

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B-17

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So Beautiful and So Dangerous

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Taarna

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Epilogue (Loc Nar)

 

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Keeping Rosy [soilers]: after losing her job and taking it out on her cleaner, Charlotte goes from very successful businesswoman to a murderer – and worse – in a couple of days. This is a microbudget microdrama that’s impeccably shot (if you don’t mind relentlessly cold, grey, minimal / clinical visuals) but feels at home on your TV screen. There’s only a handful of actors in this, but none of them are given more depth than their borderline offensive off-the-shelf character sheet: cold career focused woman; rough northern girl; spying security guard; businessman that likes affairs… In saying that, the acting is solid for the most part. The film’s pitched as an ‘hitchcockian’ thriller, but ends up being a bit of a comedy by the end, with some large – and visible a mile away – twists and turns. My biggest problem is that the film asks you to feel sympathy and root for a cleaner-killing, child-abducting lead – who’s setup as a ‘bitch’ from the start. Keeping Rosy has promise, but feels very muddled with its messages and execution.

Score: 3.5/10

 

 

 

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Jean-Claude Van Johnson: what if the ‘rubbish’ straight to DVD movies JCVD made in the between the bigger films were just cover for his super-agent alter ego to carry out real black ops missions? That’s the premise for the Amazon pilot Jean-Claude Van Johnson. The episode has a lot of great action genre and movie business digs and jokes; although some of the more general jokes fall a bit flatter, focusing on easy targets like hipsters, pop-up restaurants, vaping etc. The scrip is littered with witty LOL moments like an entire Looper / Timecop debate, and lines like “I’m real retired, not like Nicolas Cage retired. While the love interest angle doesn’t quite work with the meager time assigned to it; it has potential to grow through a full season. The Van Johnson pilot is handled beautifully, and clearly made with affection for JCVD’s career and filmography…  It’s also great that a star of his stature can poke this much fun at himself; making this an absolute must-watch for any JCVD or action B-movie fans.

Score: 8/10

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Swiss Army Man: a marooned man befriends a washed-up corpse, who turns out to be very useful for getting them back home in one piece. Both leads are very strong; Radcliffe turns in a superb physical performance paired with equally strong deadpan comic delivery. Paul Dano is also great to watch, but feels more like he’s cruising in his typecast weirdo role. Together, they have undeniably fun ‘bromance’ chemistry that really elevates the film. Tonally, “eclectic” doesn’t do this film justice: it’s creepy, uplifting, strange, beautiful, depressing, funny, weird, innocent, unique, entertaining, and batshit crazy – all at the same time. It shifts and shimmies between all of its quirky ideas so quickly that it stops you even thinking about how and why all of the surreal things are able to happen. It like the kind weird films you’d have expected to come out of Japan in the early 2000s, and most resembles cinematic oddities like Rubber, Happiness of the Katakuris, and a little bit of Be Kind Rewind. It feels like the filmmakers were really wanted to bring up some observations about our modern values and way of living… but because of all the farting, trouser compassing, and fart-based jet skiing & flying the film ends up avoiding any deep or meaningful insights altogether, coming across as superficial a ‘pop philosophy 101’ class. Swiss Army Man is truly a film like no other, and one which defies categorization; and it really does need to be seen to be believed… however, it does feel more like a collection of individually ‘cool’ ideas, jokes, and moments that would be better suited to a barnstorming music video, or more focused, upbeat, and magical short film.

Score: 7/10

SHARKNADO 3 OH HELL NO Ian Ziering, Tara Reid, Cassie Scerbo, Bo Derek, Ryan Newman, Jack Griffo, David Hasselhoff, Frankie Muniz, Mark McGrath, George R. R. Martin, Mark Cuban, Chris Jericho,

Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No [mild spoilers] – while receiving a medal for saving L.A. and NYC, Fin Shepard gets caught up in a third shark attack that stretches up and down the entire US East Coast. The production values are very high for a B-movie, but it the film retains the series’ ‘poorly-planned, sporadically-shot, and sloppily-put-together’ aesthetic – with thousands of short shots blended together to form a semi coherent narrative. There’s even more crowbarred cameos and extras (partial list below) whose continual introduction and lingering shots absolutely hammer the story’s flow and movie’s pacing. It’s even more bizarre because the majority of these are so niche that they won’t register with most viewers (other than hardened reality TV fans). On the plus side the action is way bigger and more ambitious, and the story enters utterly ridiculous territory: the main guy gets hurled off a full speed rollercoaster and survives; they go in to space with laser chainsaws… after a shark fight in space (!!) Tara Reid re-enters the earth’s atmosphere inside a shark (!!!); gives birth (!!!!), and pushes a baby through a gash cutout by her chainsaw hand (!!!WTFM8?!?!?!). It’s ridiculous. It’s utterly preposterous. It’s beyond stupid… and that’s what makes it so fun. As these events unfold – each upping the last – you get a genuine kick at how over-the-top it gets. Ian Ziering plays this pitch perfectly, with a knowing, tongue in cheek action hero shtick, and Cassie Scerbo (who was sorely missing in ‘nado 2) is a welcome return as a sexy, kickass sidekick. The less said about everyone else, the better. The Sharknado franchise is a very peculiar beast: it’s like your weird uncle and out-of-touch granny accidentally created a teen sensation but are determined to kneecap it by insisting on their shit friends getting cameos; milking every cent’s worth of product placement (Universal Studios / NASCAR / NASA / Subay / Today Show); and writing the script/story themselves to save money: maybe it’s part of the plan? Maybe that’s the charm? Who knows!? Sharknado 3 is probably “Peak Sharknado”, as I’m not sure that it’s possible to strike a better balance between shameless, unbelievably ridiculous, and rip-roaring fun that this movie pulls off. The third installment continues the trend of being bigger, better, dumber, funnier, and more enjoyable than its predecessor.” Heck, it’s even swimming in to normal movie scores territory.

Score: 5/10
B-movie: 8/10

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LIST OF CAMEOS – doesn’t even include half the z-listers, competition winners, family members, etc!

Ne-Yo (Auto Tune legend), Jared Fogel (Child porn connoisseur), Kim Richards (Real Housewives), Anthony Weiner (Dicks out sexter), Ann Coulter (Right Wing Troll), Chris Jericho (Fozzy frontman), Steve Guttenberg (Lavalantula & 2 Lava 2 Lantula Star), Jerry Springer (WTF), Lou Ferrigno (Original Hulk), Mark Cuban (Shark Tank), Frankie Muniz (Malcolm in the Middle), George R. R. Martin (GoT Author), Holly Madison (Playboy Playmate), Penn and Teller (Magicians), Hoda Kotb (TV Anchor), Kathie Lee Gifford (Regis’ tag team Partner), Mark McGrath (Sugar Ray Singer), Michele Bachmann (formerly respected Republican), Jackie Collins (Novelist), Jedward (Irish Twin Twats), Rick Fox (eSports owner), Chris Kirkpatrick (NSYNC), Robert Klein (Comedian)

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Shark Deaths:
– Sharkpunch
– Golden Chainsaw
– Broadsword
– Dyson Hoover
– President’s Shotgun
– President’s Grenade
– Floorsliding double M-16s
– George Washington Statue Bust
– American Flag (Iwo Jima homage)
– Caravan Carbomb
– Samurai Sword
– Laser beam
– Construction site Lamp
– Double Chainsaw
– Universal Globe
– Laser Chainsaw
– Re-entering earth burn

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SHARKNADO REVIEW
SHARKNADO 2: THE SECOND ONE REVIEW