Aug 27 2010

The Last Exorcism

A documentary film crew following Rev. Cotton Marcus (Patrick Fabian) gets more than they bargained for when they set up camp to watch the “exorcism” of a young girl named Nell (Ashley Bell). The real purpose of the documentary is to show how charlatans and fakes work to perform exorcisms and bilk hard earned cash from people who want to believe. The rub is that Cotton actually comes from a long line of real exorcists, and despite his lack of faith, apparently he and the film crew have stumbled into a legitimate demonic possession. Now it’s up to Cotton and the film crew to see if they can actually perform a real exorcism; of course, when you take on true evil you’d better be prepared to give all, but just how far will they go? Points for creativity and believability in this mocumentary of sorts. The chemistry between Fabian and “documentarian” Iris Bahr comes across as genuine with enough wit and cynicism to lull the audience right into actually caring about the characters. Furthermore, good ole’ scare tactics in cinematography still prove to be effective with a minimal leaning on CGI to put the spook in spooky– proving once again it’s not always what you see but rather what you don’t see that can be the scariest of all. And, up until the very ending, the film certainly succeeds in pulling you along for the roller coaster ride forcing the audience to keep guessing what’s really going on. Unfortunately, for such a sweet build up the ending does leave the viewer feeling a little let down but this almost doesn’t matter since the first 7/8ths of the film work so nicely. Worth a matinee and worth seeing in a group to get the full group scare effect. The Last Exorcism is rated PG-13.

Aug 27 2010


A whip smart group of high stakes bank robbers are coerced by an old colleague named Ghost (T.I. Harris) to take on their biggest heist ever. Led by the unflappable Gordon Jennings (Idris Elba) the group hustle to make their move and get the job done; meanwhile, detective Jack Welles (Matt Dillon) is on to the plan. But what about the Russian mafia’s interest in the cash, why does Ghost feel so untrustworthy, and what doesn’t detective Welles know about his closest associates?
 Almost completely forgettable, lazy screen writing and poor character development make this one a bit of an eye roller. Conceptually the film has potential but there’s nothing here that hasn’t been done better a zillion times before. Paint by number action continues with, fights, parkour, helicopters blowing up, impossible shoot outs, and fraternal love that’s thicker than thieves….so to speak. The overall impact feels kind of like eating a bunch of rice cakes, there’s not much sustenance. On the positive, Elba and Dillon both feel genuine in their roles and this helps add a little gravity to the film. Regardless I’m still thinking this is a rental when you’re truly bored this winter. Takers is rated PG-13.

Aug 19 2010

Vampires Suck

Summing up and roughly following the plot lines of the first few Twilight films in parody form, Becca Crane (Jenn Proske) is a angsty teenage girl caught in a love triangle with vampire Edward Sullen (Matt Lanter) and werewolf Jacob White (Chris Riggi). Meanwhile, the town of Sporks is being ravaged by a new trio of dangerous vampires and Becca’s friends are busy spinning drama of their own. But how can this all shake out, who will Becca be with in the end and how will teams Edward and Jacob make out?
First and foremost, let’s be clear about this, this is a spoof film, it’s not meant to be taken seriously, anyone who is expecting to see cinematic greatness is sure to be disappointed– that’d be sort of like expecting a Kindergartner’s finger painting to trump a Monet. That said, this is not a great film, but it does have it’s merits, it’s irreverent, it’s crass, it’s crude, and for what it’s skewering, it’s not half bad. If you’ve been subjected to the Twilight series thus far, rolled your eyes and wondered what exactly do people see in this garbage, Vampires Suck will serve as a train wreck that exploits a large handful of the problems, inconsistencies, and directorial choices that have lead to the misery you’ve felt. To that end it’s delicious, but only delicious in the way you might compare a happy meal to a cut of prime rib. Probably not worth shelling out the big bucks for this one, but perhaps a rental for a mindless watch later. Vampires Suck is rated PG-13.