Archive for the 'Sergio Diaz' Category

50/50

Thursday, September 29th, 2011

***½

It sucked!It'll be on cable.I liked it.It was good!It was awesome!! (Give us your rating!!)
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I actually saw this one with my fiancé, and he summarized the movie pretty swiftly. “The movie itself was a 50/50” Confused a little, I asked him to elaborate, because I thought the movie was all good. He explained that it was not whether it was a good or bad movie; it was just an emotional rollercoaster. I enjoyed the film more in the long run.

The story takes the course of some winding speeding bullet train.  At one moment, you feel the shock and sadness that Adam’s character has to struggle with, consistently throughout the whole movie. However, as in life, there are also ups that bring you laughter, a smile, and even hope. It was like Donkey Kong was dangling on my heart as a heavy weight manipulated my emotions on a whim [Swift aside . . . ok].   Eyes still soaked from the sobfest that just occurred moments earlier, you find yourself laughing at the on screen Anna Kendrick forgetting why you feel so damn sad.

This one felt so true to life, it was almost a wake-up call for me.  At times, I felt as if I was watching an exclusive celebrity documentary about this Adam person’s diagnosis; except Adam has an uncanny resemblance to Joseph Gordon-Levitt.  Adam is a twenty seven year old radio programmer, apparently in the prime of his life, he has a decent job, an amazing girlfriend, and is so careful it borders along the lines of paranoia.  He takes vitamins, won’t cross the street without a signal, and more trivial things like that. It somewhat shook me that Adam was so much like me. I am known as a worry-wart and a risk-avoider for that matter. I already knew this movie was going to affect me somehow.

Very early we learn that though Adam takes every precaution to avoid unexpected negatively impacting situations, he is diagnosed with not only cancer, but a rare one at that.  From here Adam goes through a heart breaking struggle and learns the ins and outs of love, friendship, and life itself. Adam’s emotional struggle really immersed me emotionally. It was interesting, yet difficult, to watch as a young man in his prime receives the worst news in his life and how he has to deal with it.

The movie really proves that you can be as safe as you possibly can, but there is no protection against the cruel inevitabilities people face in life. Seth Rogen portrayed Kyle, Adam’s best friend and longtime co-worker.  When Adam first accepted the information from the doctor, Kyle was his confidant.  At first, Kyle seems to be ignorantly supportive of Adam’s situation, telling him to make the most of it because “tons of people have had cancer and survived” according to him.  So he tries to motivate Adam positively by telling him that it will pass and he should use this strategic “gift” to meet women for sex. Of course Adam has a girlfriend but hey shit happens right? Anyway, Kyle’s intentions go from honorable to questionable throughout the film, as it seems he has a hidden agenda. So obviously, that relationship is very interesting to watch develop throughout the film.

Adam has a wonderful girlfriend played by the equally wonderful Bryce Dallas Howard you may or may not know from M Night Shyamalan’s Lady in the Water.  Well, she is nice and all, but I prefer to just call her a bitch…her character Rachael, I mean.  The therapist assigned to Adam is named Katherine and she is played by the bubbly Anna Kendrick.  The premise of this relationship is already comedic gold. You see, Katherine happens to be new to the medical field, extremely new in fact, and Adam has troubles coping with that fact alone – let alone his cancer. However, from his frequent office visits, you begin to see a connection develop between souls and things get even more interesting.  Aside from the support he gets from his parents, Adam  really has only these few people to rely on and help him through it.

For me Anna Kendrick’s scenes were the rage of the entire film. She brought Katherine to life and really almost pioneered the documentary feel of the movie. I’m still not sure why it feels that way to me. Perhaps the acting was just that good? With a fantastic cast and an even more amazing performance by said cast, there are probably twenty reasons you should go see this movie. Here are a few; Anna Kendrick is awesome, “50/50” is a reality check and may seriously change your life, it pushes all your buttons emotionally (in a  good way); it is a remarkable example of a film worth your money!

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2

Friday, July 15th, 2011

*****

Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part 2 (screen-play written by Steve Kloves, novel by JK Rowling) Directed by David Yates, had to be one of the most…awaited experiences for me of all time.  I started with the “Pottah” franchise way back in my high school years. At that point, at around 17 years of age, I was way late to jumping in on the franchise. I got involved when the fifth book, The Order of the Phoenix, was released.

Ever since the moment that my eyes made contact with the first curve in the “c” of “chapter 1” I was wrapped up in a magical wizarding world where the most complex things were just…simplified. It snatched my consciousness from the first book through the last.  I literally read the first five in one sitting. Not because I was on a time limit of any sort but because the author’s story telling is simplistic yet so immersive.

Unfortunately, some of the previous films, purely in my opinion, did not live up to their written counter parts.  Well I am not here to discuss any kind of novel written by JK Rowling. I screened the FINAL installment in a franchise that consumed my younger years, and that I have followed closely since the beginning…The Harry Potter films.

We are quickly brought to the final moments of the previous films. Voldemort is anxiously approaching Dumbledore’s grave, a strange lust sewed onto his face. He grabs the fragile wand from Dumbledore’s stiff hands, raising it in the air forming an immense blast of a blinding white light. It seems Voldemort has finally got his hand on one of the deathly hallows, though I don’t think he is interested in the other two.

After that little glimpse we are taken to the safety zone Dobby took Harry and other prisoners of Malfoy Manor; Bill and Fleur’s Seaside Cottage. This Seaside cottage, in the books, was actually a place often visited by Lord Voldemort in the past but that is literally, just history locked within the books. Also, just in case you feel you get the whole experience from just watching the films, please understand that there is a giant history of both Voldemort and Dumbledore that they very much avoid elaborating on in the films.

The relationship between Grindelwald and Dumbledore is one idea they had not enough focus on. Also, the books dive deeper into Voldemort’s past. We get introduced to his magical mother and charmed/charming father. We see his growth from a muggle orphanage after he is forced from his family, to the evil entity he is now. Not to mention we learn how he obtains the knowledge of horcruxes and why he chose specific items to be horcruxes. Not to mention that each horcrux was made through a separate murder. For more information on the history and background of your favorite harry potter characters, check out harrypotter.wikia.com.

The transition between part one and two is seamless, creating the effect that you just forgot to finish part one.   I would say about 10 minutes into the film, business starts being handled by both the protagonist and antagonist. You see our hero and villain both slowly, but steadily, climb their respective ladders of power to gain an advantage over the other. Anything beyond that leaking from my mouth will be considered a spoiler, and I don’t want to be silenced by You-Know-Who (Swift in this case ;]).

The chemistry between our three heroes still resonates the same with the audience as it did during The Philosophers Stone, except now, they are older and have more advanced thoughts, relationships, and social ideas.   There is not much different in terms of acting or actors. You meet a few new people but no story changers or anything of the sort.

I noticed almost instantly the “air” of the film has changed, we no longer hear whimsical melodies with high pitched notes conveying youth and intrigue and that sense of awe the harry Potter series originally delivered. Now it has all been washed out to resemble the grim future. The music is a slow drone, and any bright colors were replaced with deep blues, greens, and browns. The production crew used color and music to set the tone in an otherwise familiar, common world.

We have been inhabiting the world of Harry Potter for years, so having that sort of veil being pasted on everything nearly blows your mind after experiencing the afore mentioned feelings of joy and naivety.  If you are going in expecting to see the book play to life, you will be pleasantly surprised at the outcome; so much so that I will go as far as saying that if you have read the book, it is physically impossible for you to have this movie spoiled for you. Everything happens as it should and even in the right chronological order.  

You see the growth of these characters as they are faced with the most difficult decisions in their lives really polishing what has been a stretch of time, realistically these seventeen year old we see on screen are well into their twenties by now so, the movie could not have been made at a more perfect time.

Visually, The Deathly Hallows was an electric masterpiece. Not sure how to say so otherwise. The Dementors look stunning, and hovering eerily in the third dimension, they are almost too close for comfort. The dry worn texture of their cloaks waving in the wind and other tiny details made it apparent this film held nothing back what so ever.

Forget anything like Aloha Mora or Wingardium Leviosa.   Spells have moved on from being just handy to being necessary tools and weapons of destruction.

We see several different spells, obviously reserved for extreme situations due to their sheer magnitude. I mean, they literally fucking huge.  Just as one example, IN THE TRAILERS they show the Hogwarts “Army” enveloping the school with a giant bubble of a barrier, in an attempt to slow down the coming onslaught by Voldemort’s dark army.  The battle is extremely epic taking up most of the movie. Seeing the hexes fly back and forth in the masses of bodies fighting was an interesting sight to see.

There was an awe of a firework show happening, seeing colors fly and zip through the air in such a  fantastic fashion is exhilarating, especially with the end of a long ass saga looming in the near distance.

With that said, I just have a special message for my fellow Book fanatics. It ends the same way as it does in the book. Yes, that entire scene is shown and you do see everyone as it should be shown. EXCITING RIGHT!? For those who haven’t read the book, be prepared for the perfect ending of a saga that has engraved itself into your hearts over the ages.  Please don’t confuse this as some kind of kid’s movie pushing the boundaries of maturity. The body count rises and it does so very fast so be aware of that before you go traumatizing your younger ones! Any age though, with the right mindset and timing would definitely enjoy this movie. Everyone better be at the midnight showing, they are giving out limited edition POTTER 3D glasses!!

The Hangover Part II

Thursday, May 26th, 2011

See what OUR Wolfpack had to say about THE Wolfpack!

Limacher's Review Sergio Diaz' Review Jason Berggren's Review Rick Swift's Review

Click on each character’s face for a different review, then post your comments below and let me know which writer belongs to which character!

 

 

Your Highness

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

****

Surprisingly good!

Your Highness is a film, that one initially looks at and asks themselves “how the hell would that work?” Me being a part of that nay-sayers guild myself. I went with faith in Franco and the rest of the cast to push the movie in the event that everything else went downhill.  Well my fair ladies and lords this flick was great, but you have to have the right mind-set going in. First…supposedly, according to Google, the film is twice as funny if you see it as intended.  In case you don’t know this would be considered a sort of stoner medieval-comedy-fantasy-adventure …and the title’s pun is also evidence of this. Second, this is NOT a heart-felt comedy or anything of that sort. The plot is your typical border-line storybook chain of events. Prince finds love- evil wizard wants to fulfill evil prophecy- love gets kidnapped-quest ensues- heroes step in to save the day.

The element of the film that stood out the most was obviously the cast. I believe they went as far as including Natalie Portman and James Franco’s award titles and proceeded to add Danny McBride, whose greatest award to date is first grade president.  I digress, the cast was great. I really felt that everyone had a lot of fun making the film and they had great chemistry on screen. Danny McBride (See Pineapple Express or The Fist Foot Way) played the role of Thadeous. He is the younger of two princes, Fabious being the older brother.

Thadeous believes that he has his life set, and is kind of off-put that he really can’t be king…not that it’s that big of a deal to him anyway. He is an idiot and obviously a spoiled brat. He has a squire named Courtney who we will consider as his best friend. He has not done anything difficult in his life, yet. James Franco plays the previously mentioned, and so comically named, Fabious. You should recognize his from the Spider Man franchise, Milk, and from the recent 127 Hours, if not get out from under your rock! He is Thadeous’s brother and therefore first in line to be king. He has a great attitude about life and everyone in the kingdom seems to get along well with him. Of course jealousy spawns . . . but nothing dramatic.

On a quest, Fabious discovers a young woman who he immediately falls madly in love with, Belladonna. He found her imprisoned in a tower and she explained she had been there her whole life with no experience of the outside world. Think Ariel from little mermaid playing human at the dinner table to impress Eric’s family. (Yeah I referenced Disney AND WHAT?) This young lady I am going on about is the shockingly beautiful Zooey Deschanel. Star of one of my favorite movies, 500 Days of Summer.  The only role she plays in the most basic terms is that of the catalyst virgin; however, the movie would be different without her presence.

Now, enter Leezar, evil wizard of the prophecies and the fiend who imprisoned Belladonna in the first place from a very young age. He comes in and steals her into the night and into some wizard’s castle of some sort. Never did see where Leezar lived that I recall.  Fabious pretty much awakens to a quest and begs his brother Thadeous to join him. He has always wanted them to just be gay. The king demands Thadeous go on the quest or face banishment from the kingdom. Of course once word of Thadeous’s questing reached Courtney’s ear, he had already been shoved onto a carriage and the party had been on its way.

Don’t forget every knight has his squire, so Fabious brings along Julie.  Played by Toby Jones, Julie is the zaniest most hilarious character in creation.  He seems to be some kind of mini-magician in training and carries a suspicious air about him.  However, this causes Fabious’ right hand man to become quite jealous which is definitely going to lead to problems for the team. In one of their stops in the beginning of their journey, they are forced into a coliseum battle in “Martiti’s  Lair” and there they meet the fantastic Isabel (Portman), a lethal ass whooping rogue like character. From here on they venture together towards the same goal…sometimes.

The movie was slightly bizarre and actually really well done for a satirical film. I am back and forth as to whether or not the cast MADE the film…if they gave it that push that saved it from being a flop. However after much pondering, I don’t believe this to be the case. The cast has had similar roles in the past so that is one dynamic to look at in the movie. I know the movie, ebbing that it has this cast, might be expected to explore some kind of deeper meaning or a dark truth…or that it has  a major plot. Please do not expect anything like The Hangover, or Date Night or anything like that. I would categorize this particular flick among “Scary Movie, Not Another Teen Movie, Strange Wilderness, Dracula Dead and Loving it”.  It is a movie that uses the common idea and plots of the fantasy genre and balls it into one hilarious parody in which, if you are into fantasy like me, is so relateable that it literally hurts.

I am not saying the film has no plot, but it mostly is just there to call it a movie. The best way to describe it, and I hope this registers in your minds the way I intend it to. This movie is somewhat like pornography for your funny bone. No substance really, hell-uh funny. One thing I do promise you is pages of one liners that really hit home for me. Isabel is explaining about why she is on a  quest for revenge and mentions something about wanting it so bad.  She proclaims “revenage has been burning in her beaver ever since…” and just other small things like that push the movie to comedic greatness. They break the olde English dialogue for a “fuck” here and “fuck shit up/bitch” there. Though it turned me off and broke the whole “presence of fantasy” I thought it was odd enough to be funny and was a good addition.

So let me just break it down simply for everyone wondering if they should just see the movie or not. Ask yourself these questions. Have you ever played fantasty based games or read a book of the genre? Have you played any RPG games of the sort? Do you love James Franco/Natalie Portman? Tired of caring during a comedy movie? Is your idea of a good time a band of warriors battling a giant mystic snake monster together only to have to fight off the village that summoned it? Then this is definitely your film to watch!

Daybreakers

Friday, March 25th, 2011

***½

I am not sure why “Daybreakers” has been downplayed every time I went digging for an opinion of it.  Even my closest friends insisted I skip it. The movie honestly didn’t initially interest me, the trailer’s presentation and everyone’s summary gave me one idea of the movie. There is an infection that turns people into vampires and there are a few humans trying to fight against the vampire as a last stand. Survival horror, with vampires? No thanks, 30 Days of Night was probably better .Well  I finally built the courage to watch it, and I am happy to say I could not have been lied to any more.

“Daybreakers” is an intelligent and logical (using the term loosely here) film that explores the possibilities of a legit human-to-vampire pandemic and the effects of it on civilization. Usually we see movies where “the event” begins in the movie. For example, the first signs of zombies in Dawn of the Dead happens in present time in the beginning of the movie. You don’t find the characters trained and armed to their hairline with weapons and ammo five months after the initial outbreak. “Daybreakers” is set seemingly years after the infection, way after the virus has settled down and the new breed of people living on the earth have adapted to their new forced lifestyle.

The vampire bio-formula in this one seems to be classic. They don’t glitter in the sun, they spontaneously combust. They can’t “resist the hunger”. Finally, if you slam a stake through their heart, these fuckers don’t just dust cloud on you, they fucking explode.  One thing to note about the new world population, like classic vampires they feed on blood. This is where the movie’s conflict comes into play. The vamps are getting desperate for blood. With humans constantly converting or being sold as stock (for their blood) the human population inhabits about five percent of the earth at this time. Since we are so hard to find, this creates a shortage of the human blood the vampires have been stocking up. For now, I’ll just say if vampires starve, they will go fucking bananas. Insane enough to feed on themselves but that’s a totally different gruesome story.

We begin with a few shots of newspapers, pamphlets, all either news about the infection and its progress and propaganda for the new vampire community. Enter Edward Dalton (I guess Edward is the choice vampire-y name for a handsome male lead…that is a vampire) lead Hematologist at [Humans being harvested] Inc.; A company that seems to be doing rather well due to their high amount of blood inventory and the shareholders that have invested on these stocks. However stockholders begin pulling out because of the human blood shortage and Charles Bromley, head of the company, prompts Edward to continue working on a perfect blood substitute. The current ones, in the simplest words, don’t seem to ever work out nicely, but you can get the details from the movie.

So Edward Dalton goes home for the morning. You may be wondering at this point, how they get about during the day so fast. To quell that curiosity, they developed a nifty “Sub-Walk” that should be self-explanatory and also, neat loopholes, for the whole exploding in sunlight syndrome. Including but not limited to automatic shutters on their car windows and an intricate camera interface for them to see during the day from the inside out. Please note that shutters are not bulletproof.

Technology aside, our hematologist finds himself suddenly in a pretty lethal looking car crash from him eating shit (That’s a phrase meaning: Not paying ANY KIND OF attention) in his car’s space ship looking dashboard.  Both vehicles make contact and spin out, crashing into the respective obstacles that halted them. Edward runs out to make sure the other passengers are ok. As he opens the door of the vehicle, he sees a crossbow pointed directly at him. I recall him being shot a few times but they were meant as a warning to back off. The person in possession of it seems to be the head of the small survivor squad. Here lies the fated meeting between Edward Dalton and I guess expert survivalist Audrey Bennett. Almost as if on cue, police sirens filled the recently silenced night.

Edward and Audrey both know they are heading to the scene of the accident. Both in panic, Edward manages to get Audrey and her “posse” to get into his car and stay out of sight. He gets the police on their way, and is thanked for his service as Audrey decides to disappear stupidly into the night. Later on, he is visited by his Vamp-Military (?) brother, Frankie Dalton. Frankie reveals he works for Charles Bromley. They go into one converting the other but honestly, I couldn’t follow who bit what where why. So, here Audrey sneaks in and says that she has someone who can help with the blood substitution. From there on I will leave it to your imagination what could possibly happen. I can say, if this movie has not been spoiled for you, and if you haven’t seen it obviously, you could not guess what follows.

The acting in the movie was good all across the board.  We had Ethan Hawke playing our lead, Hematologist Edward Dalton. Charles Bromley was played by the very epic, Sam Neill, who you may know as Dr. Alan Grant from the Jurassic Park franchise. The expert survivalist woman Audrey Bennett was executed flawlessly by Claudia Karvan, half a bitch the whole movie.  Michael Dorman was Edward’s brother Frankie Dalton.  There are also some characters/actors that I didn’t mention.  William Dafoe who plays Elvis, Audrey’s partner, adds a rather interesting twist to the cast.  Finally, there was Isabel Lucas portraying the human daughter of Charles Bromley. The interaction between these two is worth watching the movie alone.

There were also plenty of neat gadgets that helped out with vampire life and small consistencies that helped maintain the theme of the movie. For example, having adapted to drinking blood, their milk, or coffee, now can be up of a varying percentage of blood at coffee shops. Also, when vampires starve, which they obviously will in this situation, they start to diminish in a way. They begin to mutate slowly into these bat-like creatures that truly cannot tell the difference between food and enemy. Hell, they even eat themselves as they heal…gross.

The most prominent memory of the film is this one scene where one of the aforementioned characters is fucking devoured to a messy blood sprinkler of organs and skin. Best devouring scene I have ever seen in my entire life. So with that said, go ahead and see this film if you haven’t. It seems like a horror movie, but it really isn’t. I believe  that is the only reason why people consistently underrate “Daybreakers”

Little Fockers (Dueling Reviews)

Friday, January 7th, 2011

From time to time, rarely at iRATEfilms, we get such divergent opinions of the same film that it perplexes me as an editor.  Two critics that don’t always see eye to eye might not always agree on a film’s delivery, but Little Fockers stands out as Sergio simply loved it and Limacher loathed it!  Click the image below to be taken to each review, then tell me, the hapless master-of-puppets, who got it right and who got it wrong.  -Swift

(more…)

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1

Friday, November 19th, 2010

*****


[Need more POTTER?!?!!, Click here!!!]

As an avid, uber, borderline insane fan of the Harry Potter franchise (books), I always pick apart each Potter film release once I finish watching and immediately begin to dismiss  scenes that were not in the book or that were completely altered to almost unrecognizable proportions  (see Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban). Though the movies have not followed the book, they do incorporate a lot of the events skipping what some fans call the “padding” within the books giving us purely relevant scenes.

Needless to say, my knees were shaking and I could barely contain myself walking into the theatre. The line outside was discouraging but, thankfully, I had a job to do, literally…and thankfully that job was watching Harry Potter. I skipped the line since we already had our seats, grabbed a nifty mini-poster from SOL 95, a local Spanish radio station and galloped up to my seat, which was perfect because I got the golden spot right in the center of the theater.

I am just going to try and pretend that I haven’t read the books, but for those who have grown with ‘Book’ Harry, this film was ON POINT! So, the movie starts just like the others, on 4 Privet Drive except things are definitely leaning towards the dark side. The Dursleys, pale with fear, have all their things smashed into their tiny car. I am not sure where they are going but it is one hundred percent away from Harry Potter. Right now, he is public enemy number one to everyone but his closer friends and acquaintances…even the Ministry in all their “justness”  becomes corrupt and begins a campaign, with propaganda and all not unlike the Nazi’s, against him. The Nazi factor comes to play when you see legions of people creating anti-mudblood (muggle/wizard mixes) flyers and posters and news headlines. It actually seems a lot more horrible than it was in the book, but it was a great scene nonetheless.

There was a very huge amount of adrenaline injected into some of this film. Like the other Potter movies, this one had action scenes but they seemed extra exhilarating. I am not sure if it was the fresh Harry Potter anxiety or the extreme amount of soda I drank before I sat that got me so wound up. These scenes were noticeably not consistent in the movie. Not to say the movie was ever boring; but they could have done a slightly better job of transitioning from one main scene to another.  The trio (Harry, Ron, and Hermione) have as much chemistry on screen as ever…and then some. Everyone’s acting was perfect and reflected their characters’ behaviors very accurately.

The road to Hogwarts takes a leap of faith into what some anal parents would dub “mature content”. Straight from imdb.com it tells us that the movie is “rated PG-13 for some sequences of intense action violence, frightening images and brief sensuality.” Let me elaborate on this. The intense action would come from the two chase scenes, a few “jinx to the death” battles, and in the form of a neat little animated short. The short, for those who have read the book, tells the story of the three brothers in complete details in an animation style that I fell in love with.

I don’t want to spoil it, but this tale refers to the main legend backing this installment of Potter’s adventures. The jinx battles occur like your common gun fight except with flying broomsticks, wands, and multi-colored and fatal electricity…oh and oddly named magic spells. The brief sensuality comes in the form of a “horcrux” (Evil Voldemort life piece) defense mechanism. If you are with children, this will be a very uncomfortable moment for you that much I will disclaim. Harry and Ginny also share their moment of lust for an odd length in the earlier part of the film, creating lesser of a reaction because this time Harry and his “kiss-partner” were not naked. Adding to the maturity is the actual fear the movie brings. There are sudden loud noises that startle you and pretty frightening images for our younger folks. Think of dark empty alleys, filled with giant snakes and the limp bodies of those tortured muggles and wizards that could not withstand the pain and you’ll get the overall feel of the film.

With that said, I guarantee you that book readers will not have complaints about the film in relation to accuracy. (Of course someone is going to say otherwise eventually however, I disagree with them ahead of time) This is also a film where the prequels do not have to be seen to understand what exactly is happening in the main story because they go back and make several references to the past. Sadly, they don’t elaborate much, leaving the viewer knowing only as much as they could gather from the different items and characters that they flashed back to. Kids younger than eight, I suggest you take them at your own discretion as it can result with a noisy brat forcing you to leave early which in this case, you will not want to do. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 1 was a heart-stopping broom ride that definitely belongs among the great Harry Potter collection.

[Editor’s note: Sergio wanted six stars for this one, but you know my rule, no six stars til I have seen it too.]

Mr. Crowley Reaches Out to SergD

Friday, October 8th, 2010

I dialed the phone, nervously, waiting to hear a ring – but immediately I was on with Mr. Vorhees . . . I mean, Crowley, one incredible “character actor” (I use that term with the utmost respect, please don’t kill me Kane)  I didn’t even get into the pleasantries, as I imagined Kane was every bit the man of few words and mostly action.  To whit . . .

SDiaz: As a legendary name in the horror movie industry, how did you think Hatchet’s villain, Mr. Crowley would be received as a new premiere killer?

Kane: I love playing the bad guy when it comes to films. Playing these killers gives me the opportunity to show off my talents. I enjoy the freedom of executing a variety of murders and show off my talents. With Crowley, I made sure, was as scary as, or more so than, previous killers. In Hatchet II, I get to show how frightening Crowley can really be.

SD:  When you play characters on-screen that cannot verbalize, how do you make them come alive with just make-up and gore?

KH:  In Hatchet II, there is a flashback with dramatic dialogue with me playing the father. I always say an actor’s main tools are his voice and his facial expressions. It really is something that is hard as heck to do. Everyone feels like it is something anyone can do but they could not be more wrong. You get people who exaggerate movements or sound and it turns the deep horror it should be into something comedic. I’d say they were just trying too hard to act. In acting, less is more, and you have to remember that. A subtle tilt of the head may have a greater impact than a quick jerk.

SD:  Did you see yourself wanting to play giant unstoppable killers when you first got into the acting arena?

KH:  I started as a stuntman and that is really all I expected to be. Gradually in my career, I began to play more parts, and I found myself liking it more. The characters I ended up playing were a lot of fun, and as the villain/killer I would be stunting and acting, playing the best of both worlds. A friend, John Beckler insisted I keep pursuing this path.

SD:  How was it filming in a sound studio/stage rather than out on location like in the first Hatchet?

KH:  The first movie was filmed outdoors in the spring, so the nights were not very long. I ended up not having to work as much because of the time limit we had. In the studio, we had to endure up to sixteen hour days, because we could control the environment there. I just remember thinking “fuck a Halloween mask”; prosthetics are hotter because of the weight and construction directly to your person.

SD:  There is something a little bit personal I have to ask you. I read in the production notes that you guys kept things lively by trying to constantly prank each other. However, in the midst of pranks, please tell the public how you managed to break two doors trying to scare someone.

KH:  Oh yeah, I do recall that. It was especially funny, because both times I was trying to startle my good friend RA Mahaillif from “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III” who plays the role of the hunter hired by Reverend Zombie. One of the times, he was in the bathroom and I knew it, so I decided to try and scare him by kicking AT the door . . .  but I ended up kicking through it!  Needless to say, I had to pay for the damages. The second time, RA was in the dressing room conducting an interview, so I decided I had to try again because of the first one being a fluke pretty much. So, I try again, and this time kicked a hole in it. They said I had to pay to replace it, but I made sure to really fuck the door up so it wouldn’t just be patched up and the money pocketed.

SD:  There were so many injuries inflicted on you in filming. You tore your bicep and were close to being knocked unconscious. What in the world were you doing?

KH:  Both injuries actually came from the same scene and probably resulted from ad-libbing the fight scene along with the choreography we learned. We wanted to create the best looking fight scene we could, so we basically went at it. It took seven hours to film including all the takes. After just half an hour I tore my bicep but pressed on regardless, afterwards my whole arm was bruised. Largest bruise I’ve ever had!

SD:  When you were in the studios at Disney, the notes say you had to film in intervals because of the water being so cold. Along with that, there were comments that the water was contaminated. How was that experience?

KH:  It was just ridiculous. There had to be a medic on site to monitor the situation and make sure we didn’t come down with hypothermia.   Take into account that it was January, one of the coldest times of the year for L.A… It gets very cold and the temperature that night I think was below freezing. I had to film it in increments, because I had to keep getting out of the water to dry off and warm up. I hated it.

SD:  How would you compare Jason to Mr. Crowley?

KH:  Well Jason had to be decorated with more make up, and it was an uncomfortable feeling. Not to mention the work was so physically exhausting – barely made it through the days! Victor was easier to work as; he had quicker movements and is unpredictable unlike Jason.

SD:  Do you like stunt work more or do you prefer working in the horror scene acting?

KH:  Best is when it is all included in one. That is why I love being the bad guy in the horror movies. You still get to be dramatic along with having stunts that I coordinated myself. My perfect situation is when I play the killer and I am the stunt coordinator.

SD:  What has been your favorite role of your career?

KH:  My favorite role ever has been Jason. I had fun in “Monster” with Charlize Theron as well. I really enjoy every movie I have played in.

I thanked him for both not killing me and for taking his time to speak with iRATEfilms about his latest work, “Hatchet II”.  It’s unrated and only releasing in limited venues.  Check it out, if you can!

Easy A

Monday, September 20th, 2010

*****


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Easy A, would have been your average “teenager movie” however, it stood out to be anything but! Well, no let me correct myself.  It technically is a teenager’s movie but every human being can get something fantastic out of this movie. Whether it is cheap laughs or the deep ethical issues Olive works through, I can pretty much guarantee you will enjoy this movie. I know I might get a lot of heat for saying this, but I see this movie being a classic in the future.  Throughout, Olive  mentions classics from different mediums the older crowd could appreciate. (i.e. sixteen candles, breakfast club, and a few other Eighties references.) The mirroring of Hawthorne’s “The Scarlet Letter” gives the movie a unique feeling especially if you have read the novel.

From the first minutes you will be giggling like a high school girl.  What starts off as a white lie to her friend, Rhi (Aly Michalka), leads sarcastic Olive Penderghast (Emma Stone) on an emotional roller-coaster involving everything from gay men, assumed prostitution, and even a musical number (for no reason) – if you include the beginning montage where Olive jams to her grandmother’s corny music card and progressively gets into the song . . . which, incidentally, makes two delicious musical numbers. While on that subject, this was the first movie soundtrack I have left the theatre planning on buying. It includes a few great cover songs plus some refreshing music by new artists. (I have confirmed that it is available on itunes with special “album only” tracks.)  All the songs fit in well with poor Olive’s rumor fiasco and it’s accelerated velocity of “terminological inexactitude.”

The characters were all VERY lovable and/or “hateable”.  The Penderghast family was literally a family that is pretty much perfect. Mom (Patricia Clarkson) and Dad (personal fave Stanley Tucci) get along perfectly well and have raised relatively fine children. The two siblings, Olive and adopted Chip (Bryce Clyde Jenkins) get along well also. Through the entire film, the family experiences no turmoil what-so-ever. I am glad that “common family problems” and “issues regarding adoption” are absent. Amanda Bynes plays Marianne, a church-obsessed student hell-bent on getting the self-admitted whore, Olive expelled from school. Her character is hilarious, if only for the fact  I haven’t seen Amanda Bynes as an antagonist before. She was great! I really wish she was in the movie just a bit more.  There are some fantastic familiar faces also, with Lisa Kudrow and Thomas Haden Church playing Mr. and Mrs. Griffith. Mr. Griffith is Olive’s favorite teacher/English teacher and Mrs. Griffith is his wife and guidance counselor of Ojai High school in California. (Ojai as in ‘Oh-jay’). The plot brought all these characters together in ways even a psychic would have trouble guessing.

There are some notable scenes that I think landed this movie a guaranteed place in the pre-order “Buy on Blu-ray” list.  It is worth it on all accounts to catch the movie in the theater, because it is a treat to watch with your friends. If possible, and you are still in high school, I suggest you watch this with your posse and see what they get out of it, maybe see how they would react if in Olive’s situation.  True, it is an average coming of age movie with an unlikely progression. However, there are fresh jokes, witty writing, and a mountain of sarcasm that makes the movie so enjoyable, albeit it feels a bit short. I have zero percent negative feelings of the movie and I see this going down next to Ferris Bueller, in the coveted coming of age movie classics aisle.

[Editor’s note:  SergD wanted to give this baby the six-star treatment, but I will have to see it first – Swift]