Zombieland is #1, thank you America


Just as I had given up all hope that Hollywood would ever produce another original movie in walks “Zombieland”. The buzz was small but impressive, and as I arrived at the theater my excitement became wiley. After the audience did a thorough job at laughing at the extended New Moon trailer, the movie started off with a cinematic bang and I barely had time to catch my breath.

A beautiful slow motion action sequence bled into the introduction of the narrator, played to perfection by Jesse Eisenberg. One can almost always expect to be slightly mocked by movie narration. Most writers can’t figure out how to use this plot device to explain their story to the audience without making them feel like they are dumbasses but that is where Zombieland differs. The writing is modern, witty, sharp and accessible. After spending some alone time we make our way over to meet Woody Harrelson’s character, “Tallahassee” and then the real fun begins.

A friendship is created amidst the post apocalyptic world these unlikely chums are forced to inhabit, where a deadly disease is turning everyone into the flesh eating undead. There are certain rules you must always follow in order to survive and sometimes you may be forced to break a few.ZOMBIELAND

Harrelson demonstrates the lunatic charm we all love to see from him. While Eisenberg usurps Michael Cera’s every nerd crown and succeeds in places where Cera has never been cuz remember that Eisenberg was on the scene first. The zombie journey continues and we are introduced to a pair of ass kicking sisters, played by Emma Stone (Superbad) and Abigail Breslin (Little Miss Sunshine)  hellbent on familial survival. The story takes a shift at this point but t’s not for the worse. Twists, turns and a brilliant cameo ensue and I left that theater with a giant smile on my undead face.

I can confidently say that Zombieland is now my favorite movie of 2009 so far. Beautifully shot, written and acted, I was so overwhelmingly entertained that it was jarring. I suggest that if you are heading out to the cinema that you give this movie your box office dollar. You will not regret it.

In defense of ‘Jennifer’s Body’


I’m very confused by this weekend’s box office results. Diablo Cody, Oscar winning screenwriter, and Transformers’ star Megan Fox released a horror/comedy movie  and it only managed to take 5th place, taking in a little over $6 million in its opening weekend. What?!


So why didn’t the movie perform to expectations? Megan Fox did a complete blitz marketing campaign, from a zillion magazine covers to starting feuds with Michael Bay and mental health. Dangerbowie.com saw a 200% increase in site views because of the last Megan Fox post. Even writer Diablo Cody was out there pimping it strong but to no avail. Perhaps the R-rating killed the chances of a large portion of it’s would be audience. There was also talks on the interweb about how the horror comedy genre just doesn’t play well to Americans. What “they” are saying  is that we (Americans) will watch giant robots come to life and breakdance, we can get into teen angst vampires, but the concept of Evil Dead or Gremlins just don’t do it for us commercially? Bollocks.

I firmly stand behind this project because it is so rare that you get a movie written, directed and starring women in non traditional roles.It’s always the same  romantic comedy that paints a one sided picture of the ditz/chubby/awkward/dumb girl who eventually gets the guy. They took Jennifer’s Body and spun in it in an entirely different direction and kudos to them. I hope that this softer opening weekend doesn’t prevent these ladies from continuing to make movies that feature women in different societal roles. Long live Diablo!

Obsessed: A Promising Cast Gets Stuck With a Not So Promising Story

I don't like people playing on my phone.
I don’t like people playing on my phone.


Sorry for the brief absence kids, but I’m back with a vengeance. I had the opportunity to check out last weekend’s #1 movie “Obsessed,” starring Beyoncé, Idris Elba, and Ali Larter. I’ll start by saying that it’s nice to have a movie with minority leads get the top spot at the box office. However, next time I’d prefer a flick that was 90% more original and did not feature the entire story in the 2-minute trailer.

*spoilers ahead*

Idris Elba, enjoying an amazing year of work, plays Beyoncé’s super successful, super suave, super naive husband Derek Charles. He is an asset manager; Jerry O’ Connell is his best friend; and everything is right with the world. Until Ali Larter’s character, “Lisa,” starts working at his firm as his temp. She is immediately attracted to Derek, and who wouldn’t be, he’s attractive, successful, a loving family man, and just naive enough to not see that Lisa has become, well, obsessed with him. Beyonce plays Sharon, a no-nonsense housewife, who used to be Derek’s assistant at the office. Lisa takes sexual matters into her own hands at the company Christmas party by sneaking into the bathroom while Derek is taking a leak and proceeding to seduce him. After this the shit pretty much hits the fan. Lisa begins to stalk him, gets access to his car and hotel room during a business trip, and proceeds to try to make the man her own.

Idris Elba, Beyonce, Ali Larter
Idris Elba, Beyonce, Ali Larter

The movie is being touted as “Jungle Fever’ meets “Fatal Attraction” — huge comparisons to live up to. The derivative story  gave a promising cast nothing to work with. At times, the audience’s comments during the screening made the movie more interesting. For other movies this would have spelled the kiss of death, but in this case public opinion was very welcomed. It’s nice to see a diverse cast but it’s even nicer when you don’t feel like your demographic is being mocked. Screw the Madea effect, where the studios now believe that Black people will watch anything starring Black people. It’s insulting. I hope the next time a disposable interracial suspense thriller is greenlit, the studios remember that it’s not just casting that’s important, a decent script is a necessary requirement as well.

Nice going Dragonball Evolution

masterI may lose a few loads of any credibility my opinion site has managed to get me in the last month, but I don’t care. Dragonball Evolution was a pretty decent manga live action movie. You may have seen the trailers and the posters, hell you probably laughed as heartily at them as I did. The special effects looked like they had  been copy pasted  from the mid 90’s cult classic “Mortal Combat” which was awesome. Beyond that, choosing Justin Chatwin, the guy who played Tom Cruise’s son in  “War of the Worlds”, to become”Goku”, the main protagonist from the manga, seemed like Hollywood’s bastard attempt to create an anime  live action anglo friendly box office titan. It may have well been, but Chatwin was pretty kick ass to say that he didn’t have a whole lot to work with.

Having never read more than 2 pages of the manga, I found that the writer did a good job of explaining the story without alienating a non-Dragonball fan.

Chatwin summons the box office gods

Chatwin summons the box office gods

“Dragon Ball: Evolution” is the story of a unpopular teenaged boy named Goku, who  is found by an old martial arts expert who raises him as his grandson. On Goku’s 18th birthday his grandfather gives him a Dragon Ball. There are 7 Dragon Balls spread all over the Earth, and whoever possesses all seven can summon a dragon who will grant any wish. Piccolo, an evil alien demon, comes to Earth in search of all the Dragon Balls so that he make a wish to destroy the planet. Lord Piccolo (James Marsters, Spike from Buffy) and his faithful sidekick (Eriko Tamura wearing a bad wig) have descended on Earth to appropriate all seven Dragon Balls,  so that they can destroy the planet. Bulma (Emmy Rossum of “Phantom of the Opera” with a silly blue hair streak), a scientist who wants to use the Dragon Ball’s as an energy source (go green!) finds Goku at his house with her Dragon Ball Energy Finder. Together they start a quest with Master Rochi (Chow Yun Fat), Goku’s Grandfather’s trainer, to find the Dragon Balls before Lord Piccolo so they can save the Earth.

While true fans of manga will be shocked and appalled by the story’s modification and the anglo “Goku” who does not have a tail, viewers who are just looking for a good time at the matinee will not find any harm. The actors and actresses all seemed to be in good spirits, Yun Fat yucks it up as “Master Rochi” in his Hawaiian shirt, Bulma’s love interest Yamcha (Joon Parks) is charming and fun as a hustlin’ surfer dude, and Chatwin’s Goku is pretty charming and likeable. Even Ghostbuster Ernie Hudson shows up in a brief role as a monk . Ernie Hudson is 63 years old, I can hardly believe that.

The special effects came to the aid of a slightly soft script, adding nicely to slowed down fight scenes, dynamic alien space ships, a fucking dragon, and amazing Buffy the Vampire Slayer makeup for Lord Piccolo, a demon who was imprisoned for 2,000 years and is a wee bit vengeful about it.

Spike from Buffy, is that you under there?

Spike from Buffy, is that you under there?

Overall this movie was a fun watch, coming in at 86 minutes it had amazing pacing, I also had a few laughs “with it” as opposed to “at it”. Weirdly enough I’m pretty interested in seeing the promised sequel. If you’re stuck babysitting your younger sibling this weekend take them to see this one. It will probably rank number 10 at the US box office this weekend, though it’s been very successful in Asia.

Fast and the Furious 4 brings in $72.5 million. Did we see the same movie?

Fast and the Furious 9

Fast and the Furious 9

I saw this movie on Friday afternoon at a half filled AMC theatre near the beach. I decided to have a family night at the movies featuring my mom, who’s a sucker for the action genre of cinema. Fast forward to the middle of the movie and my mom had fell fast asleep. That should offer you some insight into how “awesome” this movie is going to be.

I know, I know, I complain yet I’m a small part of why this movie holds the biggest opening of 2009. Well, fuck I review the movies in hopes that you’ll read the reviews and avoid wasting your hard earned bucks. My sacrifice to my 2 loyal readers.

The movie opens with a hijacking scene, that is pretty much wholly featured in the trailer. We are reintroduced to 2001’s hottest stars, Vin “One Note” Diesel, who does his best buff guy, scruffy voice as “Dominic” the misunderstood buff good hearted rebel. He lacks the timeliness and appeal of Dwayne Johnson and yet he has redeemed himself with this huge box office, I am chagrined. The movie is a story of revenge and reunions.


The untimely death of Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) forces Dominic to infiltrate the organization of reknowned drug runner Campos (John Ortiz). Now Dominic is still on the FBI most wanted list, so this means F.B.I. agent Brian O’Connor(Paul “Poor Man’s Keanu Reeves” Walker) has to infiltrate the organization to catch Dominic, who he let escape 2 movies ago. Don’t forget Mia (Jordana Brewster), Dominic’s perpetually tanned, hair banged sister, who had a lusty fling with O’Connor. Now you have the perfect recipe for a kick ass sequel right? No, actually you’re horribly wrong and so was this 90 minute movie that felt as long as Pirates of the Caribbean:At World’s End.

This movie will make a better video game or P. Diddy music video than live action feature. With a maximum of 4 chase scenes, 2 of which were riveting, there was far too much screen time for the main characters to fill with their bad acting from their soft generic scripts. Lots of homo eroticism, loads of references to nitrous, and plenty of throwback references to 2001’s “Fast and the Furious” which I only remember well enough to say that it was the best in the series. That’s kinda liked preferring to drown over being burned to death. Harsh decisions. The special effects were good but belonged in “Twisted Metal” as opposed to a blockbuster movie.

I resigned that I am not within this movie’s demographic.I will say that the ten minutes of trailers before the movie, including “Transformers”, “Land of the Lost”, and “Star Trek” were the best part of this theater experience. At least it gave me something to look forward to besides the ending of this movie which is sure to spawn a 5th installment. Thanks mom.