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These Movies Suck! The 10 Worst Films of 2015 - Part II

There's only a few hours left in the year, and I've got just enough time to dish out the top five movies that deserves nothing by my one-finger salute in closing up shop for 2015.

5. The Boy Next Door - Jennifer Lopez is a decent actress when given the right script and a juicy story to sink her teeth into (see: Selena and The Cell). Starring in an erotic thriller about a recently divorced high school teacher having a regretful one-night stand with the hunky boy next door, Noah  (Ryan Guzman), sounds like a good idea, but the execution from screenwriter Barbra Curry and director Rob Cohen (xXx, Stealth, The Fast and the Furious) was a huge miss: yes, Lopez and Guzman are both attractive leads and they do hold some chemistry on screen, but the acting is too melodramatic to the point where it begins to feel like self-parody, which begins to bleed over into the section where Noah begins to become obsessive and gradually humiliates her in order to reignite their sexual affair - i.e…

These Movies Suck! The 10 Worst Films of 2015 - Part I

Another year is almost in the books, and with that means the time-honored tradition of discussing what made us cheer and what made us pull out our hair being at the cinema for 2015. This year wasn't as bad as last year, where I had to endure shit like God's Not Dead, About Last Night and last year's reining champion of suck in The Fault In Our Stars, but there's still movies that made me suffer through the 12 months, and for that, they're going to end up on this list of shame.


10. Spectre - How do you follow up one the best entries in the continuing adventures of Agent 007 and the best performance in the current Bond era? By making one of the most boring and uninteresting entries in the franchises' 50+ year history. James Bond goes rouge to stop a sinister organization from becoming Big Brother on steroids and face its leader whom he shares a past with Her Majesty's most trusted servant, but the revelations dished out are stuff you could easily guess coming…

A Tip of the Cap to Mr. Abrams

For good or bad, for better or for worse, director J.J. Abrams loves taking Sgt. Dignam's theory on federal agents and applying it to...well, everyone else in the film world: casual moviegoers, fans, critics, movie news sites; hell, probably even with family and friends who aren't involved in Abrams' group-knit circle for whatever movie he's making. In the case of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, I didn't think for a moment the filmmaker would have been able to keep such a tight lid on the project; I thought after the flack he took for his handling of the John Harrison character (spoiler alert: it's really Khan) in Star Trek Into Darkness, the man would not play that game with the Star Wars sequel trilogy, and let leak some hints about what's in store for audiences.

Up until the world premier in Los Angles tonight? Nothing. Nada. The big goose egg. Zilch.

We haven't seen one review of The Force Awakens, despite the norm that a film like this would have a…

The Netflix Files: The Legacy of Torture Porn

I've made a grave mistake.

Not doing Halloween Horror Week back in October; no, that's been really fun. I got myself better acquainted with the work of Wes Craven, re-discovered that Tim Burton is a great director when given the right material to work with, realized that I don't really need to go past Saw III to understand that the rest of the series is a seemingly lazy exercise in offering the audience nothing by more torture and grizzly, pointless violence, and that I'd love to see Jessica Chastain in more horror movies. But when it came to the last movie on this list that I chose to watch, I had much better options. 
I could have reviewed Halloween: The Revenge of Michael Myers. Sure, it's probably same movie John Carpenter made back in 1978, but hey - an early Paul Rudd would have a few wisecracks thrown in there, right? I could have done Vampire in Brooklyn, but I had already covered New Nightmare, so covering two Craven movies didn't really sound like a g…

Life Imitating Art

I didn't care much for Paul Schrader's erotic drama The Canyons, but I did enjoy the performance of adult film star James Deen as Christian. He's this charismatic and charming guy who has it all - a career financing indie pictures, a lovely girlfriend (Lindsay Lohan, also doing good work in this movie), and a sex life that most men only dream of having. And yet, as we go further into he story, we discover that it's all a mask to hide his controlling, abusive and borderline sado-masochistic tendencies. It's a surprising and solid piece of acting as this seemingly suave guy slowly being unraveled until we encounter the real Christian. In a scary twist of irony, the performance by Deen now rings all too true with his character's unraveling, as the famed porn actor has now been accused of sexual assault and rape this past few weeks.

James Deen held me down and fucked me while I said no, stop, used my safeword. I just can't nod and smile when people bring him up…

Mad Max and the Awards Season Or: Let It Go, Let It Go...

And so, the Oscar race has officially begun, with the Nation Board of Review's annual best of list, applauding and honoring the creme de la creme in film for 2015. I definitely didn't expect to see films like Sicario and Straight Outta Compton to be on their list of the 10 best movies of the year, so big brownie points to them for their inclusion. Drew Goddard winning Best Adapted Screenplay was a shock, and well-deserved for taking the source material and creating a funny, exciting script where Matt Damon "has to science the shit" out of being stuck on an unforgiving planet like Mars after being marooned by mistake by his fellow astronauts. I think The Martian is easily Ridley Scott's best and most enjoyable film in years (yes, I'm taking into account that I liked Prometheus) , and it's fun to see the director this playful, though I think Damon winning Best Actor and Scott taking Best Director is a bit of a stretch.

But then came the pick for Best Pictur…

The Netflix Files Presents: Halloween Horror Week - A Salute to Wes Craven

Earlier this year, the horror genre lost arguably it's most influential icon: Wes Craven. Nicknamed the "Sultan of Slash", the writer/director's contributions to the genre spills across the cinematic landscape, even to this day. Remember how production company Lions Gate Films went from obscure indie company to a legitimate powerhouse, thanks to the the success of the Saw film series; even dubbing it, "the house that Jigsaw built?" Craven did the exact same thing for New Line Cinema with the Nightmare on Elm Street series, even bringing actor Johnny Depp to prominence. What about how Jigsaw, Michael Myers and Jason have become twisted main characters that you want to root for? Again, that bears a debt to Mr. Craven, as actor Robert Englund's Freddy Kruger became the main draw to the Elm Street sequels, mostly for his dark sense of humor and creative ways he slaughters his victims. Even the ways Jigsaw makes and plants traps for his victims to be brutal…

Halloween Horror Week: Beware of Crimson Peak!

As I said yesterday, if Tim Burton's Corpse Bride were realized in live-action form, it might look like Guillermero del Toro's Crimson Peak, with the Gothic undertones, the themes of death and the supernatural and the semi Victorian-era setting. That's where the similarities would end, though. Whereas the former is a family-friendly fantasy musical/comedy, the latter is a dark, sinister and haunting picture that's gorgeous to watch in every regard. Edith Cushing (Mia Wasikowska), like Haley Joel Osmet in The Sixth Sense, can see dead people. Kidding, but she did experience some paranormal activity when she was a little girl, as she witnesses her mother's ghost, warning her of a place called Crimson Peak, and yes, that will be the last time I make a lame horror pun in this review. Years later, she's still fascinated with the supernatural, as she's writing a ghost story, in addition to being married to the charming and mysterious Sir Thomas Sharpe (Tom Hiddle…

The Netflix Files Presents: Halloween Horror Week - A Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

Despite the title, this series is, at its core, just a list of great and not so great movies I feel like talking about. And despite Halloween being a night to hang out with friends and watching slasher flicks, ghost stories, zombies and creatures & things that go bump in the night (at least for me sometimes), not all movies are like that. Sometimes the best movies to watch on Halloween are the ones that you remember as a kid growing up. Films like The Nightmare Before Christmas, Hocus Pocus and the Halloweentown series are probably some of the most fun flicks I remember seeing during this time of year, before I found Ju-On: The Grudge, The Ring and other creepy movies from Japan - both the original and American counterparts. Today's installment has to do with the man who probably loves the twisted side of life - Tim Burton.

To me, Mr. Burton really doesn't need much of an introduction: if you're a child of the 80's or the 90's (like yours truly), then you'v…

The Netflix Files: Halloween Horror Week!

Ah, it's good to be back! Yes, I've been gone for weeks, and yes, I've got a ton of movies I need to review, and I hope to get to them in good time, but for the next five or six days, I'm diving head-first into the horror genre to review five or six movies that deal with slashers, the supernatural, and remembering the Maven of the genre himself. To kick things off, I'm reviewing horror's newest icon on the block - Jigsaw.

Back in 2004, director James Wan bust onto the scene with his psychological thriller, Saw. Written by his writing partner Leigh Whannell, the film dealt with two men, Dr. Lawrence Gordon (Cary Elwes) and a photographer, Adam (played by Whannell himself) awake to learn they are chained in a dingy room by a sadistic serial killer known as "Jigsaw" (Tobin Bell). His motive is that he wants to play a game of survival with the two men: one must kill the other and escape in the time provided, of they both will be trapped in the room foreve…

I'm Leaving On A Jet Plane (And a Cruise Ship)...

For the next week and a half, chances are ya'll won't hear much of me and I won't be watching many new fall releases. I'm going on a cruse ship to the Dominican Republic, and in a few hours, I board a flight to Miami overnight to get there. So, if you're wondering about the silence, that'll be why. Even movie nerds, like yours truly, need a vacation every now and then.

 See ya'll in 10+ days time!

Never Have I Pined More for Madonna's Die Another Day

In October of 2012, I heard Adele's contribution to the latest 007 picture Skyfall, and I thought the title track of the same name would go on to win the Oscar for Best Original Song, which tuned out to be spot on. So far, I have a perfect 1-1 track record in predicting what will win the Academy Award in music, so I'm going to make another accurate prediction: not only will the theme song to this new James Bond film, Spectre, will not only miss a Best Original Song nomination, but it will also go down as one of the worst 007 tracks in the franchise's storied history.



I hate to do this, because, in general, I do think Sam Smith is a very good singer-songwriter. I love that he goes for a mix of soul, lush melodies and emphasis on production value. I think tracks like "Stay With Me" & "Not The Only One" are solid pop tunes. The problem is that his soft falsetto voice does not mix with the theme of a Bond song; and furthermore, the track comes off as an…

Trailer Talk: Farewell to Prim

Geez, Hunger Games franchise: I know Mockingjay - Part II is the last movie in your sci-fi YA series, but there's no excuse to all but announce that Prim (Willow Shields), Katniss Everdeen's younger sister, is going to end up biting the dust!



Basically, the latest trailer is an extend montage between Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) and her younger sister, from the first movie in the series, to the clip of the two of them dancing at Finnick's wedding. All thought this is the two of them conversing from previous exchanges of dialogue from various moments in the series, which, along with the music attached to it, makes it even more obvious that the younger Everdeen is going to die. And why would the Lion Gate's PR team spoil such an important plot point in the first place? I get they're playing on fans who have already read the book, but for those who haven't read Mockingjay, this trailer is just a big, fat announcement that a major character isn't making it out o…

Summer Recap 2015: Welcome to the Most Terrifying Place On Earth

It's been 23 years since Steven Spielberg's Jurassic Park was released and was hailed as another crowning achievement from the master storyteller, and another 8 years since Joe Johnson milked dry the udders of what was left of the franchise with Jurassic Park III. It was rumored that Universal and Spielberg have been in talks for years about making a fourth installment of the series, but I didn't think by this point, that people would care enough to go see another JP film, much less be any good.

Imagine my surprise: Jurassic World was a monster hit for the studio, beating Marvel's The Avengers record for the highest grossing 3-day weekend of all time with $208 million, became the third-highest grossing film in the U.S. with $648 million and is now the third highest grossing film worldwide. But, of course, numbers don't mean jack to me if the picture is basically another Michael Bay-style soulless spectacle. Again, Imagine my surprise: Enter Colin Treverrow, the ind…

Summer Recap 2015: Singing is Easy, Comedy is Hard

If Avengers: Age of Ultron constantly flirts with falling back on old blockbuster tricks, then Pitch Perfect 2 announces, within seconds of the Universal logo being unveiled, that yes, you have, indeed paid to watch the same movie twice. The Barden Bellas are back, and four years after their triumphant victory in the national a capella competition, the all-female singing squad have become a national hit, as they invited to perform at the birthday gala for President Obama. If you guessed that this performance goes to shit, then congratulations, you saw the first movie! Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson) has a wardrobe malfunction in front of Pres-O, and the girls are banned from every a capella showcase across the nation, as well as disbanded by their university as a result. Becca (Anna Kendrick), the group's leader, make a deal with John Smith (John Michael Higgens) and Gail Abernathy-McKadden-Feinberger (Elizabeth Banks), the two a capella commentators to reinstate the Bellas if they win at …

Summer Recap 2015: Flawed, But Still Fun

For the next two weeks, I won't be going to the movies.

Sort of.

I'm taking an extended hiatus from watching the last bits of late summer movies or the early fall flicks due up on the docket, and instead, I'll be holding off until mid-September for the crime drama Black Mass, due out on the 18th, and (maybe) for the second installment in the Maze Runner series, The Scorch Trials. Don't worry - I'll still be writing; in fact, I have a backlot of stuff of summer movies I've been meaning to review, but never got around to them, so what better time, with the fall and Awards season looming around the corner, than now to start talking about what I thought about this season's mix of summer offerings?

In 2012, I called Marvel's The Avengers the best film of the year - yes, better than Zero Dark Thirty, Lincoln, Life of Pi and Django Unchained. I still stand by my choice, because, as I stated before, I saw Joss Whedon's superhero team-up as the blockbuster g…

A Fantastic Piece of Shit, Part II

When we last left our foolishly stupid twats heroes, Reed Richards, Johnny Storm and Victor von Doom were convincing Reed's nonexistent friend for most of the 1st Act Ben Grimm to take a little joyride through another dimension, break every protocol in the book and possibly get themselves killed because they want to stick it to 'the Man' and not get left behind in history, despite the fact that engineers are just as renowned in the scientific community as the explorers who launch off into space. Of course Ben agrees and they set off for Tacky CGI Effect #573....I mean, the Negative Zone. Victor sees a terrible green slime effect and attempt to collect it for future study, but this causes the ground beneath them to collapse, as Victor falls into said terrible slime effect, presumably to his death. The remaining trio have to hi-tail it out of there with the help of Sue Storm, and return to Earth, but not before the machine blows up and destroys the laboratory. So, to recap …

A Fantastic Piece of Shit, Part I

When we think of bad movies, infamous names such as Howard the Duck,Catwoman and Battlefield Earthcome to mind. We remember the loathsome lows that made us want to hurl our collective buckets of popcorn at the screen, like John Tuturro coming face to face with robot testicles in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, or Bruce Willis's non-stop, furious mugging in Hudson Hawk, or simply sitting through any Adam Sandler movie after 2000; or we remember the moments that made an-otherwise terrible movie transcend into cult-status, like James Woods making a pen bomb and threatening to blow a police station to hell in The Specialist, or Tommy Wiseau's can't look away performance as Johnny, a man coming to grips with his partner's lies and infidelity with The Room, etc. The list of cinematic dreck goes on and on, and, in a way, they shape us as moviegoers and as hardcore film geeks. In a way, we treasure the bad almost as much we do the good, built up as as a testament to just …