[OK so it seems everyone is flipping out over the new ‘Predator’ prequel ‘Prey’ just released yesterday on Hulu! Most are claiming it to be the best of the franchise since the original 87′ masterpeice, some even boldly claiming it better than the original. Well I’m here to clear things up because in 1987 Predator was the very first ‘R rated’ movie I ever saw in the theater and I snuck into it at the age of 13!!
At this point I’d pretty much lost any enthusiasm for another Predator movie after 2018’s pathetic sequel ‘The Predator’. However I’m quite happy to report that 2022 has brought us the latest movie in the series, ‘Prey’ and it’s overall a sweet breath of fresh air finally. I’m gonna put it slightly above ‘Predators’ which I thought mixed things up nicely with a unique plot that deviates from the others. Prey goes back to the basics and it essentially works, the time setting of 1719 and the physical setting of the Great Plains combined with its unique Native American tribal characters make for a visually stunning survival adventure. I gotta be honest though, the dialogue of the tribe felt way out of place and took me out of the movie’s supposed era several times, it felt WAY too “modern America”, if like the tribe were actually modern day cosplayers from LA or something. They really could have done better to make them feel a bit more convincing vocally because they looked amazing.
But one of the best things though was indeed the setting, beautiful locations that of course make me wonder how much of what we saw on screen was actually real or created via CGI? I hope it was filmed on actual location. Whatever the case it really worked in this particular situation, at times rivaling the jungles of the original film. Of course the basic plot set up does feel a bit heavily treaded as of late at least, it features a young, strong female lead who’s marginalized by her male tribe members who believe she doesn’t have what it takes to be a true warrior. However she’s a total badass master hunter, fighter, tracker & her male peers just refuse to accept her.
The lead, Naru, like Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Dutch is a force to be reckoned with. However when Dutch finally becomes the hunted it’s clear his macho-man antics are simply not going to save his ass from the Predator. Nope, he’s going to have to massively reevaluate everything he’s learned in order to survive the Predator’s attack. I felt Prey lacked much of that visceral tension, urgency and nail biting suspense of the original. Perhaps because Naru seems more than capable of besting The Predator in hand to hand combat right from the get-go. I personally would’ve prefered a bit more character struggle that let the tension rise to its boiling point. I never really feared for Naru’s life at any point in Prey. It could’ve featured her crafting some inventive new tricks to outwit the Predator but instead felt like it lacked the clever hero’s ingenuity humans normally need to come out on top against an alien force. Instead it relies more on her just facing it straight on with hand-to-hand combat. The action scenes were quite well done but I wish there would’ve been a little more to her having to “Macguyver” her way to victory. Given the script though, Amber Midthunder, who portrays Naru, did a great job as our new hero. She’s cool but maybe just a bit too badass at times for me to truly believe that she’s ever in any actual legit danger. Still the whole vibe, time period, dazzling looking characters and her awesome dog companion made this a real welcome surprise when put neatly all together.
I also had some issues with some of the CGI work done with the animals in the movie. It’s a cool concept to see the Predator go one on one with a bear and a wolf but the way it was executed took me out of the movie again as the CGI sadly just wasn’t convincing enough. I also have somewhat of a problem with the Predator’s new look this time around as it was clear there must have been some sort of wonky CGI going on with it’s normally amazing practical animatronic face. Something that cannot be topped from the first 2 movies at least. Still though it managed to breathe some much needed fresh air into a fully dying franchise and at no point in the movie was I ever bored. So all in all I can admit this is a pretty damn solid entry in the franchise, one of the best installments but I can also say quite firmly that imo it’s NOT the best sequel to Predator.
I recently rewatched ‘Predator 2’ on Blu-Ray and it’s aged like a fine wine. Danny Glover is an amazing charismatic lead and the city setting/concrete jungle created a whole new creepy exciting scenario for the brutal carnage. PREY In my opinion doesn’t come close to besting Predator 2. Perhaps if the it was released in the early nineties it might have felt much more fresh than it does now today but sadly the franchise just doesn’t feel anywhere near as interesting as it used to no matter what scenario you might want to introduce. In many ways the Predator franchise has simply run out a gas.
But if you still find yourself a die hard thirsty fan of the franchise looking for something new, you can’t go wrong with this new installment. It delivers enough of what we loved about the original to make it a worthwhile survival adventure flick! It’s a fairly unique little creature feature that would have been fun if it’d shown up in theaters…or 32 years ago!
So for a while there was a lot of talk about the anthology “A Star Wars Story” movies that were potentially in the works, that was until ‘SOLO’ bombed at the box office. An Obi Wan movie, a Boba Fett and even talk of a Lando solo adventure. However the one that interested me the most was the idea of a Yoda movie, where we follow the adventures of a younger Yoda. This for a while seemed like an actual possibility but besides Solo’s failure in theaters, Frank Oz had stated a Yoda movie would simply be too difficult to articulate the puppet for a feature length movie and would likely need to be fully CGI. I think it could be done, utilizing both old school puppetry blended with CGI. The more I’ve thought about it all the better the idea seems to me, that Yoda should indeed get his own movie though.
So in response to Frank Oz, I think doing incredible puppetry in 2018 with the Disney budget doesn’t seem all that impossible, especially with green screens, CGI being able to erase wires, strings & actors who’re controlling it’s actions. I think utilizing CGI as well to bring Yoda to life in full body shots / lightsaber duels is indeed a must but using puppetry for close ups is also a must. It would be the perfect mixture of both to make everyone’s green Jedi really come to life in an epic full length adventure. Doing it the way they did back in 70’s though? Yeah, I’m certain that’d be quite a headache, though in the 80’s they pulled it off beautifully in the ambitious Dark Crystal.
Which leads me to the next point, imagine a Yoda movie that was more of a modern mix of The Dark Crystal and Star Wars. A spin-off Star Wars Story that maximized the use of real Puppets, exotic locations/sets and a stronger blend of old school fx blended with todays modern tech. It’d definitely be something different for a Star Wars movie especially in this day and age of total overuse of CG in blockbusters. I imagine someone like Guillermo del Toro at the helm, or at least someone who truly loves practical fx work, epic fantasy and incredible monsters. Just the hype of the movie featuring heavy puppetry alone I think would bring something truly unique to the table for today’s young and old fans of the franchise. They could even add some animatronic modifications to the Yoda puppet, giving him more complex facial expressions & get help from The Jim Henson Company to bring it all to life. I bet you’d have a hit on your hands at the box office. Continue reading
Ok total click bait headline right? Well I have to admit upon seeing the most recent teaser trailer the thought of Harrison Ford dubbing his voice didn’t seem like all that bad of an idea at first. Now first I’ve gotta say, that Superbowl teaser was pretty damn cool. Visually it had some excellent moments that had me suddenly feeling the excitement of a this new “Han Solo” prequel origin flick. However yesterday upon seeing the longer teaser trailer there was one big ass thing that had me a bit worried. My first impression of this new “Han Solo” played by Alden Ehrenreich, I just wasn’t feeling it was Han. That’s a big worry for a movie called ‘Solo’ I think.
Now don’t get me wrong, these two teasers look pretty cool and I think there’s some serious potential for something really fun. I know a lot of Star Wars fans proclaim they weren’t asking for a new Han Solo movie, but I’ve been cool with it as I’ve seen a young Captain Kirk and crew played by younger actors work quite nicely in the modern TOS Star Trek movies for the most part. Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, and Karl Urban (who fuckin’ perfectly nailed McCoy!!) all did a splendid job as the iconic characters. So I still have faith Alden could possibly pull it off. This first trailer though, as cool as it came off didn’t scream ‘Han Solo’ to me. It felt to me like an adventure in the Star Wars universe with all new characters with the exception of Chewy. Let me just add, thank god we’ll be getting a ton more of Chewy, as the iconic character has been cast aside like the family dog in The Last Jedi, only seemingly there to interact with the Porgs for comic relief sporadically throughout the movie.
So maybe Alden doesn’t look much like the Han we’ve known for all these years and he certainly doesn’t sound like him. Recasting legendary cinematic characters is a seriously tuff fucking thing to do and sometimes it’s just maybe not the best idea to attempt do so. I had my doubts though with Chris Pine as Kirk, despite the fact he at least, looked the part. Though he doesn’t attempt blatant Shatner-isms he does to a certain degree subtly slip them in from time to time without most even noticing. He mostly emulates Kirk’s true spirit very similar to the way that Shatner did without actually trying to be Shatner and some how by some miracle, he’s totally believable in the role and it just worked.
So it’s hard to tell if ‘Solo’ will resonate with fans, so far I’ve got my doubts about Alden. This one definitely feels as if it’s taken some lessons from JJ’s 2009 Star Trek movie. From the ‘SOLO’ teaser it’s kinda like ‘Star Trek Beyond’ meets Modern ‘Star Wars’ meets ‘The Fast & The Furious’. For me it could really go either way, I liked ‘Star Trek Beyond’ for the most part and I’ll admit I was quite ready to hate on it before I saw it (I can’t stand those Fast & Furious movies) but again I really like the actors who were cast in the original roles. They kinda saved it for me and now I’m looking forward to yet another Star Trek cinematic adventure. So while I’m hopeful that ‘Solo’ is going to be a ton of fun, it’s success however is totally dependent on Alden’s performance as Han and if he can convince the crowd that HE is indeed the legendary gunslinger. If not then oh boy, Disney’s got another Star Wars mess on it’s hands, and maybe my idea of Harrsion Ford overdubbing Alden’s lines just might not have sounded like such a crazy idea after all….
‘Alien: Covenant’ finally dropped at theaters yesterday, and after all the hype the smoke finally cleared as I sat back for a late night viewing of the “prequel” for the legendary horror franchise. Ridley Scott returns again after the lackluster ‘Prometheus’ for purely passable installment that is Alien: Covenant. I wasn’t a huge fan of Prometheus, it’s one of those movies I can’t say I ever care about seeing again and same is the case also with ‘Covenant’. It does though fit quite nicely alongside the current trend of forgettable sequels to once amazing movie franchises of the 80’s that are cranked out these days. It’s like the ‘Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull’ of the Alien series, making the third and fourth installments of the Alien franchise suddenly feel more legit.
This doesn’t mean I hated the movie, it just means that I’m quickly growing tired of the trend of sequels that I once endlessly pined for. It pains me to see Ridley Scott now for a second time bringing us such uninspired pieces of cinema. The movies large cast of characters hasn’t got anyone in it you’re likely to give a damn about and spends it’s time focusing on the android “twin btother” characters played by Michael Fassbender instead. ‘Covenant’ simply feels like Ridley has run out of ideas and decided to start lifting major plot points from ‘Bladerunner’ simultaneously trying to re-create a “best of” compilation of scary scenarios from his first Alien movie.
So while no one from the cast gets much time to develop into much more than alien prey you might think that at the very least we’d get quite possibly the best most bad ass version of the legendary ‘Alien’ creature now that it’s 2017 and they’ve more than got the budget to do so. Quite the contrary, ‘Alien: Covenant’ can’t even get that right for fans. For a movie that’s been boasting impressive practical fx work from day one you’re likely to be disappointed by it’s incredibly cartoony looking aliens littered about the movie frantically. Heck the fx work in this movie makes the two ‘AVP’ flicks suddenly feel kinda legit as well and that’s a damn hard thing to do. Long gone is the suspense & stylized horror of the old movies, instead you’ll be treated to the same old CGI schlock you’re used to from all the huge summer blockbusters. The Alien franchise officially lost it’s heart & soul quite a long time ago and even bringing Scott aboard hasn’t resulted in finding it. Right down to final battle, this movie simply fails, proving that we ALL really miss Sigourney Weaver in a BIG way. Ridley has now truly mastered mediocrity as I honestly may’ve actually enjoyed Prometheus more than this, because at least with that one I wasn’t expecting much there from the start.
At least one thing Ridley got right were the locations & sets he used in filming this movie. It’s visually stunning in that respect. However I’m realizing I was actually quite fine with NOT knowing the backstory of the Alien and honestly liked it when we knew nothing about it’s origins when it was little more than a monstrous stow away. The mystery is gone and instead what we end up with plot wise begins to feel a bit absurd and a tad cliche. This is a classic case of “they just don’t make em’ like they used to”. It’s a bit sad but I realize not everyone can make a ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ and sometimes attaching the original directors to these sequels clearly doesn’t always equal movie magic. That being said, after seeing this last night my excitement level for the upcoming sequels to Bladerunner & Predator has severely lowered. I’d say if you’re a casual fan of the Alien franchise you’ll likely have a good time at the movies with this one but if you’re looking for the magic of the first two (or heck even the third & fourth) you’re bound to feel a bit empty as you exit the theater. At least now I’ve developed a new urge to revisit the ‘AVP’ movies, I mean damn, I was way too hard on those I think…
‘Bubba Ho-tep’ is easily one of my favorite movies and one of, if not Bruce Campbell’s best performance of his career. It’s also helmed by the legendary ‘Phantasm’ franchise’s creator Don Coscarelli and the two make an incredibly awesome combo together. So now there’s word that Joe Lansdale who wrote Bubba Ho-tep in novella form way back in 1994 has finished writing the prequel ‘Bubba and the Cosmic Blood Suckers’ a book that will be available this coming October from Subterranean Press. This is exciting news for fans of the novella and also for fans of Bruce Campbell & the movie.
For years there’s been talk of Don Coscarelli doing another “Bubba” movie, it even had a working title, ‘Bubba Nosferatu: The Curse of the She-Vampires’. This as awesome as it sounded however never came to be, though Coscarelli was totally down to make it Bruce Campbell refused to do another film unless Joe R. Lansdale wrote it. This led to rumors of Bruce being replaced by Ron Perlman which would have been pretty cool as well. That never came to be either dammit! Well now it seems the right ingredients have arrived as Lansdale’s book could lay the groundwork for us to finally see the sequel/prequel to the 2002 cult hit.
Bruce played an elderly Elvis in Bubba Ho-tep & could easily now step into the role of the younger middle aged character seamlessly for the prequel. I’m thinking that the possibility of seeing this one materialize on the big screen is pretty damn strong. Check out the synopsis here, this book sounds pretty fucking awesome and a movie version of this helmed once again by Don Coscarelli would be the icing on the cake:
“Part of a secret government organization designed to protect civilians, Elvis Presley and a handful of hardcore warriors set out to save the world from an invasion of hive-minded, shape-shifting vampire-like creatures from a dark dimension who have taken up residence in a New Orleans junkyard.
Besides Elvis, among these righteous warriors is a hammer-wielding descendent of John Henry of railroad fame, a Blind Man who sees more than those with sight, Jack, a strategic wizard, and Elvis’s right hand man and journal writer, Johnny, all thrown in with Raven (real name Jenny) a female recruit who is also a budding pop star, and like Elvis, high on the charisma chart.
Their leader is none other than Colonel Parker, Elvis’s cutthroat manager, and a warrior himself, directly in contact with President Nixon, or possibly one of his doubles.
It’s an unnerving peek into a secret world, and a possible delusion. It’s what happened before Elvis, aka Sebastian Haff, found himself in an East Texas rest home, mounted on a walker, fighting an Egyptian mummy and worrying about a growth on his pecker.
Strange monsters, wild fights, sex with a beautiful ghost, a drug-induced trip into another dimension, and all manner of mayhem ensue, along with a Mississippi riverboat ride on a giant paddle wheel, and of course, there will be 3D glasses, fried peanut butter and ’nanna sandwiches, and a few hard working zombies.
Bring the kids, but plug their ears and blindfold them. This is one wild and nasty ride to the dark side, but with laughter.”
Let’s get on Bruce Campbell & Don Coscarelli’s ass about making this a movie ASAP!
Damn was I disappointed with ‘The Thing’ remake/prequel from 2011! They had all of the ingredients together for a cool ass little prequel set to be a neat little companion piece to the original John Carpenter classic remake. His 1982 movie is the holy grail of monster movie for me and still stands the test of time today. StudioADI had crafted the special effects for the 2011 movie boasting practical effects on par with the 1982 classic. However what we ended up with was a piece o’ shit CG wankfest that was panned by critics and fans alike.
The sad thing is the practical effects they created/filmed were erased and they actually replaced what was really on film with CGI. God damn does that make me furious! Someone tried to take matters into their own hands back in 2015 by releasing a petition trying to get the working print of the film released with all the original fx work. Sadly the petition didn’t gather enough attention. Anyway today studioADI released a new video showing the practical effects that were filmed & designed for the movie!! Check this shit out:
Here’s another great video that gives you the full scoop on what went wrong with ‘The Thing’ 2011:
I had to take a quick moment here to mention a cool little indie flick back from 2010 that really slipped almost completely under the radar for most everyone. “The Myth of the American Sleepover” was directed by David Robert Mitchell who’s much more well known for his colossal hit horror flick from last year “It Follows”. Easily one of the best horror major movies of the last five years it got me wondering if the director maybe had anything else under his belt? One quick search on Netflix brought me to his first feature film.
Clearly Mitchell has got some serious talent and his first film is equally impressive but in very different and oddly familiar ways. Yeah The Myth of the American Sleepover actually kinda feels like It Follows minus the dismal horror. It’s a great coming of age flick with a full heart but equally oddly awkward teenage characters. It’s really a story about four teenagers again in Detroit looking for romance and action on the last weekend of summer.
You’re not going to find any cookie cutter characters here either, these kids act just like real teens and much like in It Follows the time period in the whole thing takes place is nearly impossible to peg down. Something i really dig. The movie brought back the feel of many of my own personal experiences as a teenager, I could almost picture myself running around town the same night as the kids in the movie. Another aspect the movie shared with It Follows was the odd almost dreamlike quality to it all. It’s hard to explain but this one has that same trance like feel which made It Follows such a gem.It also shares a couple of the same actors. And lastly the director must love the big indoor school swimming pools at night setting because I think these teens were at the same one in the finale of It Follows….hmm….
“Myth” feels like it’s somehow set in the same universe as it’s creepy younger brother. If you’re a fan of stuff like Freaks and Geeks, Richard Linklater flicks and are looking for something a little different most definitely check out The Myth of the American Sleepover. I’m really curious what David Robert Mitchell has up his sleeve next!
I’ve bitched and moaned here about my complete and utter disappointment for the 2011 version of ‘The Thing’, the prequel to Carpenter’s classic 1982 monster movie! To refresh your memory we were originally promised a movie that would not only be a prequel but also give us the same style of mind blowing practical creature effects the awed us way back in ’82. Carpenter’s ‘The Thing’ in my opinion is maybe the best creature feature of all time.
Yeah effects wizards at ADI (Amalgamated Dynamics Inc.) spent a ton of time and effort creating some truly astonishing practical creature FX for the movie only to have nearly ALL of them omitted from the final theatrical version of the film. Instead they gave us fans exactly what we DID NOT want, a bunch of slick, fake looking CGI in it’s place. This was a nightmare come true for all fans of the original. Well now it seems that that someone has decided to create a petition directed straight at the CEO of Universal Pictures Ronald Meyer. The petition is asking for what the fans wanted all along, the release of the work print of the 2011 film with all of the original practical monster effects that ADI worked so hard to bring us fans of the original!
This is a superb idea and something i have wondered about for so long. What would that film have looked like in it’s original form? Well now it’s time to demand that we see the film we were promised! If you’ve seen some of the Youtube videos of these FX then you know how incredible this movie just may have been!
So all of you Thing fans out there please take a minute to sign this petition and lets get the version of the prequel we all had been hoping for once and for all you can sign the Change.org petition right HERE! What are you waiting for?!
I am a big fan of much of Jim Carrey’s 90’s comedic roles, I love the Ace Ventura franchise, Liar Liar was brilliant and of course Dumb and Dumber is one of my favorite comedies of all time. I was thrilled to hear that a real sequel was finally going to happen for Dumb and Dumber, let’s try and forget that there was a low profile prequel back in 2003 called “Dumb and Dumberer” (great title though) which did not star Jim Carrey or Jeff Daniels and it was pretty terrible. So now we’ve got a reunion of sorts nearly 20 years later with the new movie. It’s always a tough call on whether or not they can recreate the magic of previous works, whether it be a band reforming or team of actors and directors targeting our nostalgia. So did Carrey, Daniels and The Farrelly brothers give us a worthy sequel? I’d have to say they gave it a decent shot, and there were some genuinely funny moments but in the end I think the movie tried a bit too hard with a much too complicated, almost carbon copy of the first, weak ass plot. This like the first in many ways, takes our two favorite aging numbskulls on yet another road trip. It places them in a completely ridiculous story that seems almost as unnecessary and dumb as the leads. I like stupid, but I love it more when Harry and Lloyd are placed in a more believable world and they interact with people who aren’t necessarily in on the joke as well. Just seeing what the two of them are up to these days would have been good enough for me without involving a ridiculous murder plot with characters that are equally as stupid, but not nearly as funny as and Harry & Lloyd. That being said there’s no shortage of the crude humor of the first and in many ways it goes even further down the truly “dumb” route. Exactly what you might expect from these two morons who appear to have aged quite a bit but remain the same mentally as they were 20 years ago. Now don’t get me wrong I totally think Carrey & Daniels still have the chemistry and had the plot and writing been more solid the movie would have been a real winner. It’s great seeing Carrey back at what really made him shine, ridiculously stupid characters, because no one can do it quite like him. The two of them are clearly having a great time onscreen together. That being said I feel perhaps the real problem here is maybe the Farrelly Brothers, I mean think about it, what was their last genuinely funny movie? I’d say they have three, Dumb & Dumber, Kingpin and There’s Something About Mary- were all excellent and those were also their first three movies. I hope that this spawns a third film for the real Harry and Lloyd, I’d honestly like to see these two get another shot with different directors and writers, because even though this one missed the mark their still two of my favorite movie idiots of all time. I’d say this one is worth a view but don’t expect the riot of the first flick!
I just checked out the long awaited trailer for a movie I’ve been pumped about for quite some time time now, Harbinger Down! If you follow my blog at all you’ve probably heard me complaining a lot about CGI and how there aren’t nearly enough movies these days that utilize rad practical monster effects like they used to back in the 1980’s. Well Alec Gillis at Studio ADI announced a while back that he planned on making a full on monster movie utilizing all practical effects only using CG to eliminate things like rods or wires.
You see a while back they made a prequel to the classic John Carpenter Monster flick “The Thing” and Gillis and his crew were hired to do the special effects, they were told to use all practical monster effects to keep the same vibe as the 1982 classic. They went hard to work and filmed much of the movie with the effects but at the last minute the studio changed their mind, and CG’d over all of there work, claiming that people these days like their movies to look more like modern video games. The movie was bashed by fans of the original and did little at the box office. So here is Alec Gillis’ response to what happened to them, a movie that bears some resemblance to the premise of The Thing, as if him and his crew is giving the fans the movie that they were hoping for in The Thing prequel. So take a look at the trailer, this one is on the top of my list!!