Cross Wars


Rated: R | Running Time: 98 Minutes
From: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Available on Blu-ray, DVD & Digital:  February 7, 2017
Get it via : Amazon | iTunes

Cross Wars ReviewFirst I have to assume the film people involved with “Cross Wars” were going for a B-Movie feel, which is fine. I generally like B-Movies and can usually enjoy the campiness of them. Sadly this movie didn’t make the grade of B.

In doing a little reading I found that “Cross Wars” is the sequel to “Cross,” a film trying to be in the “out of the comic book and on to your big screen” kind of movie. The basic rundown is that Callan Cross (Brian Austin Green) is handed down this Celtic cross amulet that has powers, and Callan is now kind of a superhero. He rounds up a team of folks to save the world from bad people.

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Call of the Wolf


Rated: Unrated | Running Time: 102 Minutes
From: Gravitas Pictures
Available:  February 7, 2017
Get it via : Amazon | iTunes

Call of the WolfLet me start with this: Some of the publicity is comparing “Call of the Wolf” to the horror classic “Saw,” and I wish they wouldn’t. Why? My wife likes a decent, psychological thriller as much as the next person, but when it comes to gore my wife hates it. She was immediately out of my living room screening of “Call of the Wolf” based on the preliminary “Revenant meets Saw” indication. Part of me, also, was waiting for the gore, but it never really came. The movie is a psychological thriller, true, and with that comes some violence, but none of it is the sadistic insanity that was “Saw.”

Okay, enough initial ranting, let’s get to the story…

Lester (Aleksander Ristic) wakes up in a cabin in the woods, confused. His supplies are limited, basically a rifle, some bullets, a Marine survival manual, a lantern, a walkie talkie, and whatever might be in a locked safe. It is through the walkie talkie that Lester is introduced to Wolf (Matthew Oliva), the dude who kidnapped Lester and left him in the cabin.

And the psychological messing with Lester begins, starting with Wolf telling Lester he was kidnapped because he has wasted his life.

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Inferno


Rated: PG-13 | Running Time: 122 Minutes
From: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Available on 4K UHD, Blu-ray & DVD:  January 24, 2017
Get it via : Amazon | iTunes

InfernoThere are a lot of “Why?”’s in “Inferno.” Sure, you could ask: Why can’t the people with a whole lot of technology, including a drone, catch two people running on foot? Or you could ask: Why are the dudes with the guns in this cavern no where near the action? However, there are no more important wonderings than “Why are there so many chases?” and “Why did they have such a convoluted ending?”

The movie is “Inferno,” the third following “The Da Vinci Code” and “Angels & Demons,” and for me the movie folks seemed to forget that the clues were the fun to this franchise, not the chases.

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The Dressmaker


Rated: R | Running Time: 119 Minutes
From: Broad Green Pictures
Available on Blu-ray, DVD, Digital HD, and VOD:  December 27, 2016
Get it via : Amazon | iTunes

The DressmakerIn terms of some extra weirdness, “The Dressmaker” is right up there with the best of them, especially in the dark comedy genre. I mean, eventually most of the townsfolk women are walking around dressed in “designer” dresses, which wouldn’t seem that odd except it’s the 1950’s in a dirt-road, little town in Australia. Then there is the town Sergeant (Hugo Weaving), traipsing around in all of the flashiness of a matador at a bull fight. Clothes, however, aren’t really what brings Tilly (Kate Winslet in all of her sassiness) back to her hometown. Nope, she has to find out the truth about her past, a past that tarnished her reputation and left her as the town pariah.

As it is Tilly returns to town with a flash, at the rugby game, dressed to the nines which thoroughly distracts the rugby dudes. Enter Teddy (Liam Hemsworth), one of the team members, who tells Tilly she is distracting everyone causing Tilly to change outfits to something even more distracting.

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Late Phases: Night of the Lone Wolf

 

MPAA Rated – Not Rated
It’s 1:36 Long
A Review by:
Andy Labis

The more I think about it, the more perfect “Late Phases: Night of the Lone Wolf” was, especially in the realm of the old-school, and I mean this with all due respect, cheesy, werewolf movie. First there is the title, or at least the “Night of the Lone Wolf” part. Sure there’s the solo werewolf at the start, but by the end there are multiple wolves. Maybe I’m misunderstanding the title and our hero is the lone wolf, but I just couldn’t get past the fact that our main werewolf all of a sudden decided to go on a biting spree and instantly we have a pack of werewolves.

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VANish

MPAA Rated – Not rated.
It’s 1:19 Long
A Review by:
Andy Labis

VANish
Movie Stats & Links
Starring: Maiara Walsh, Danny Trejo, Tony Todd, Austin Abke, Bryan Bockbrader, Adam Guthrie
MPAA Rated: Not Rated.
Released By: Dark Sky Films
Release Date: February 24, 2015
Kiddie Movie: Send them to bed. Lots of blod!
Date Movie: If she likes blood-splattering thrillers.
Gratuitous Sex: There is an attempted rape in the van, though it doesn’t turn out too well for the dude.
Gratuitous Violence: Headshots, shotgun blasts, machetes, and a handy little cutting saw help with the blood splatter.
Action: Not really much action.
Laughs: Some chuckles.
Memorable Scene: Emma kicking the crap out of Shane.
Memorable Quote: “What kind of amateur bullshit is this?”
Directed By: Bryan Bockbrader
Extras on the Blu-Ray: The bloopers were decent enough, and I actually liked seeing the alternate endings.

The press release said: “three thugs viciously kidnap a drug cartel boss’ only daughter from her home in broad daylight.” With that I was a little confused at the opening scene of VANish as a dude and his lover were being abducted at night, in the California hills. Now let’s cut to the next scene of two dudes in a van, talking calmly amongst each other as dudes will talk, and I’m wondering where is the third dude? Is this the van? And what happened to those people in the first scene?

Little did I know the importance of the first abduction to the plot of the movie, to be explained during a later scene, and now I was being fully introduced to possibly the dumbest trio of kidnappers that there have ever been in a movie. That’s okay, though, because the trio of dopes really made VANish an entertaining film in the realm of blood-splattering thrillers.

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The Final Member

MPAA Rated – R
It’s 1:12 Long
A Review by:
The Dude on the Right

The Final Member
Movie Stats & Links
Starring: Sigurður “Siggi” Hjartarson, Pall Arason, Tom Mitchell
MPAA Rated: R
Released By: Drafthouse Films / Cinedigm
Released On: June 17, 2014
Kiddie Movie: They might giggle a lot, but you might want to put them to bed.
Date Movie: I was a little worried when my wife said “I wonder what his penis looks like?”
Gratuitous Sex: Some talk of womanizing.
Gratuitous Violence: Nah.
Action: Nah.
Laughs: Only like most people would laugh at penis stuff.
Memorable Scene: The ending scene was awesome, but there were two scenes I won’t mention that were hilarious and might make you cringe if you a man.
Memorable Quote: “He has this great specimen, Elmo.”
Directed By: Jonah Bekhor and Zach Math

Who knew it was so difficult to get a penis donor? That, in essence, is the underlying theme of “The Final Member,” one of the most riveting and at times hilarious documentaries that will make most men cross their legs and give that “protect my junk” gesture with their hands, while women, or at least my woman, will watch in utter amazement at the quest for a penis specimen.

Sigurður “Siggi” Hjartarson is the founder and curator of the Icelandic Phallological Museum, a museum that was started pretty much to save his marriage as Siggi’s fascination and collecting of any penis he could find was driving his wife crazy and over-running the space in their house. Over the 40 years he has collected many a penis, from the teeny, tiny hamster dink to the giant, sperm whale johnson. He also is into wood-carving, carvings, of course, of penises, with clocks, utensils, and a variety of items any man would be proud to display in his man cave. All of this is great and swell, but what his museum was missing is the most treasured of specimens, the homo sapiens.

During “The Final Member” we follow Siggi’s quest for the piece that will make his museum and in fact, his life, complete. You see, Siggi is getting up in his years, and as a man who is proud of his museum he knows that without the human penis it’s just a collection of stuff. Low and behold enter two people, Pall Arason and Tom Mitchell. Pall is an elderly gentleman, an Icelandic legend not only for his adventurous nature, but also for his womanizing. Pall has decided that upon his death he would like to donate his penis to the museum, and Siggi is thrilled because what would be a better way to “complete” the collection than with an Icelandic legend. There is also Tom, however, who states “I felt ever since I was a kid that when the time came I didn’t want my penis to go to waste when I died.”, and has named his penis “Elmo.” He decides, though, that he would like to donate his penis while he is still alive, a fact that makes Siggi curious but also excited because he won’t have to wait for Pall to kick the bucket. Tom, however, is a weird dude, and if you think Siggi is obsessed with the penis, that’s nothing compared to Tom who has come up with how he wants his penis preserved, displayed, and even Siggi says of Tom, “This is a funny guy.”

Sure this is a little bit of a spoiler alert, but the movie does end with Siggi getting “The Final Member,” and the ending triumph scene is awesome. I was so happy for him at the end I almost got a little weepy. I will, however, not spoil two of the best scenes in the movie only to say that yes, they do involve the penises of Pall and Tom.

A lot of documentaries can be boring, drag on, and get preachy, but I was happy to find “The Final Member” a fascinating look at man’s obsession with his penis, blending the oddly serious nature of Siggi’s quest to complete his collection with a mix of humor that, well, goes along the line of how people generally find talking about the penis funny. It’s 5 stars out of 5 for “The Final Member.” Women will just shake their heads watching and wondering why men can be so obsessed with it, while the men will fully understand and maybe pull out the ruler to see if their penis is of legal length.

A great movie, and I now have a new vacation destination, the Icelandic Phallological Museum. The trick, now, will be convincing my wife we should go to Iceland.

That’s it for this one! L8R!!

Curse of Chucky

MPAA Rated – R
It’s 1:35 Long
A Review by:
The Dude on the Right

Curse of Chucky
Movie Stats & Links
Starring: Fiona Dourif, Brad Dourif, Brennan Elliott, Maitland McConnell, Summer Howell
MPAA Rated: R / Unrated
Released By: Unviersal 1440 Entertainment
Blu-ray Release Date: October 8, 2013
Kiddie Movie: Only if you want them afraid of every doll.
Date Movie: If she likes the horror!
Gratuitous Sex: Some girl-on-girl action, but no nudity.
Gratuitous Violence: Umm, duh.
Action: Some chasing.
Laughs: Achuckle in a horror-movie type.
Memorable Scene: I loved the death scene with the priest.
Memorable Quote: “Yea, the eighties were awesome.”
Directed By: Don Mancini
Cool things about the Blu-ray: The “Voodoo Doll: The Chucky Legacy” and “Living Doll” Bringing Chucky to Life” featurettes are great.

He is the doll that won’t die. Yes, Chucky has been terrorizing people for 25 years now, has seen many iterations since the original “Child’s Play” movie, has sometimes been horror and sometimes horredy, but for “Curse of Chucky” the evil doll is back in all of his evilness, the franchise is back into horror mode, and dammit, I enjoyed it in all its Blu-ray glory.

The story is basically the same, this time starting with the arrival of a delivery at an old house where Nica (Fiona Dourif), she being in a wheelchair, lives with her mom. Yup, it’s a creepy-looking doll, and neither of them think anything of it, and then mom ends up dead. Sure, I could have yelled “SPOILER ALERT,” but really, it’s a Chucky movie, so do I really need to warn you about people ending up dead?

In any case, with mom’s death here comes the rest of the family to support Nica, and convince her she needs to move out of the house. Of course there is a little girl involved who doesn’t find the Chucky doll creepy, of course more people start dying, of course it’s a stormy night, sadly there’s not the obligatory nudity but there is some girl-on-girl action and underwear, of course Nica eventually finds out that it is the Chucky doll doing the killing, and yes, the movie finishes where the franchise can easily continue should they want to keep horror, and the doll, alive.

Is the acting Oscar-worthy? Please, it’s a Chucky movie, although actually everyone does a great job as either the clueless-dude roll (Brennan Elliott as Ian), bimbo roll (Maitland McConnell as Jill), little kid roll (Summer Howell as Alice), and evil (Brad Dourif as Charles Lee Ray and the Voice of Chucky). Something else that is nice is that with the movie being the Chucky franchise, there is actually some money spent on effects, the movie visually looks great, and not a cheap, horror film, and we get some well-done horror music. Then there is Chucky himself, who has come a long way in terms of realism, well, for as real as a doll should act, since the initial “Child’s Play” film as yes, the animatronics are pretty impressive as Chucky just looks a lot meaner rather than cartoon-like Chucky you might remember.

Forget Chucky getting in on with another doll, forget tons of cheesiness, and relish in horror goodness that treats the franchise with the respect a scarred-up, 25 year-old doll deserves. “Curse of Chucky” is horror goodness, there’s a nice surprise at the end, and it’s 4 stars out of 5. Had the girl-on-girl action involved a nip-slip or at least some side-boobage I could have easily seen me getting to 4 ½ or 5 star horrorness, but alas, I’m leaving it at 4.

The Blu-ray combo pack gives fans of Chucky a great look at the history of the franchise with “Voodoo Doll: The Chucky Legacy,” and if you want to know how Chucky looks so awesome, check out the “Living Doll: Bringing Chucky to Life” featurette. The gag reel is a throw-away as far as I’m concerned, but all in all, a decent Blu-ray set of features.

That’s it for this one! I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!

Gimme the Loot

MPAA Rated – Not Rated
It’s 1:29 Long
A Review by:
The Dude on the Right

Gimme the Loot
Movie Stats & Links
Starring: Ty Hickson, Tashiana Washington
MPAA Rated: Not Rated
Released By: IFC Films
Released on: September 17, 2013
Kiddie Movie: Unless you want them to be foul-mothed graffiti artists.
Date Movie: If she likes a well-done movie.
Gratuitous Sex: It’s got some hanky-panky.
Gratuitous Violence: Nothing horrible.
Action: Nah.
Laughs: Lots.
Memorable Scene: Trying to break into the rich girl’s apartment.
Memorable Quote: “I got stickage!”
Directed By: Adam Leon
Cool Things About the Blu-ray: The “All City Hour” is fun, and its got the commentary and deleted scene stuff, too.

Sometimes a movie surprises you. Sometimes that surprise is bad, sometimes that surprise is good, and sometimes that surprise is great. “Gimme the Loot” is a movie that was a great surprise.

Sure, that opening paragraph should be enough to get you to go and get the movie, or at least download it, but I’ll give you some story stuff to help you along.

If you see a synopsis about a couple of kids in the inner city who like to spray graffiti you might shy away thinking this is going to be either a do-gooder kind of film, how kids find out they can be more than graffiti taggers, or you might think the movie is a sad look at the inner city, with gang shootings and danger. “Gimme the Loot” isn’t either, but a great story about Malcolm (Ty Hickson) and Sofia (Tashiana Washington), two friends who live in the Bronz and happen to be graffiti taggers. When their latest creation gets painted over by a rival gang, the duo decides that the tagging war is too back and forth for them, and that they need to hit the ultimate goal for taggers in New York City, tagging the New York Mets home run apple.  The good news: They have a connection to let them sneak into the stadium. The bad news: They need $500 in two days to pay him to let them in.

So our couple is now on a quest to scrape up $500, and how do you try to make money in the inner city? Well, you try to sell a cell phone you took from the kid who took your bike, you sell some dope to the rich girls, and you, well, you also see a necklace at the rich girl’s apartment and decide it might be easy to steal.  With that we get Malcolm working the selling drugs side through some stoners, and we get Sofia doing her best to help out with the stealing a necklace heist, and through it all we get to wonder if maybe Malcolm and Sofia can actually pull this off, if they actually have a thing for each other, and if their life will be better by becoming famous.

The thing with “Gimme the Loot” is that, and I don’t know how accurate it is, but it really is just trying to show two kids living in the inner city, during a couple of atypical kind of days for them, complete with some rival tagging-gang interaction, some punks in the neighborhood, some people who are always a little more “trouble” than they are, although they need their help, and some hanky-panky.

The language in this movie is real, so be ready for a lot of f-bombs, and there’s a slight “beating up” part, but for the most part this movie nicely shows the weird world of tagging, surviving, scraping, and trying to be famous, and maybe even some love. The kids actually have a nice heart, though their circumstances put them in some bad situations, and the writing in the movie is also witty at times, with the kind of straight talk you would expect from any batch of teens, like “You’re fucking breath smells like ass, so get out of my face,” and “I got stickage!”

Look, just get this movie and be pleasantly surprised. It’s not gut-busting laughter for the most part, but for a well done, entertaining comedy with two characters you can’t help but like, “Gimme the Loot” is a 4 ½ star out of 5 film.

As far as the Blu-ray, the “All City Hour” featurette is great, and you get some of the other normal things like commentary and deleted scenes, but really, the movie is the gem here.

Java Heat

MPAA Rated – R
It’s 1:44 Long
A Review by:
The Dude on the Right

Java Heat
Movie Stats & Links
Starring: Kellen Lutz, Mickey Rourke, Ario Bayu
MPAA Rated: R
Released By: IFC Films / MPI Media Group
Blu-ray Release: September 17, 2013
Kiddie Movie: Nope. It’s got killing and blowing stuff up.
Date Movie: Nah. Unless she finds Kellen Lutz dreamy.
Gratuitous Sex: A scene where Jake picks up a lady of the evening.
Gratuitous Violence: Lots of shooting and blowing stuff up.
Action: See “Violence.”
Laughs: Nah.
Memorable Scene: Nothing really.
Memorable Quote: Hashim to Jake: “You were given two eyes and one mouth. What did you see?”
Directed By: Connor Allyn
Cool things about the Blu-ray: It’s got a nice “Making of…” featurette where we learn of Kellen’s future acting plans.

You know what makes me sad? No? I’ll tell you. A movie that has a lot of potential and a pretty decent story, only to be pulled down by a lead actor that isn’t lead actor qualified yet, and a lazy plot development that takes away from the entertaining plot/action that preceded it. “Java Heat” made me sad. And yes, there might be a spoiler in this review.

Here’s the thing, “Java Heat” isn’t a bad movie, and it tries really hard. The story is pretty safe, basically about an FBI/marine dude who is hot on the trail of an international terrorist/thief guy, and finds himself in Indonesia at the latest bombing which turns out to be an attempt to get some crown jewels. He becomes intertwined with the Indonesian police in some weird world of “We hate Muslims/We hate Americans/We hate anyone who doesn’t like our General” world, and it’s supposed to be an action-packed thriller on the way to catch the bad guy. Sounds nice enough. Just as things are heating up, and the intrigue grows, guess what? Now let’s throw in a kidnapping involving the Indonesian police dude’s family, so now it’s personal. Why? Why go with this lazy plot-line? Why not ratchet up the action? Why not throw in some double-cross? Blah!

In the not-ready-for-prime-time-role as leading action man we get Kellen Lutz as Jake, yes, Kellen of “Twilight” fame, and although he has the looks of a potential action guy, his acting seems stuck in Twilight. Then there is Mickey Rourke, fresh from awesomeness in “The Wrestler” and even being a kick-ass bad guy in “Iron Man 2,” and here he is in a role with a bad accent, in what almost seems like a toss-off role with a bad guy who doesn’t seem that sinister. Then there is the fact that as a Marine/Spy/FBI guy, Jake is an idiot. He doesn’t seem to know his room is bugged, he gets himself drugged, and he doesn’t realize they have internet in Indonesia. What kind of spy-guy is this?

I did, however, like Ario Bayu in the role of Lieutenant Hashim, well, at least he until he was relegated to “saving my family,” but without him to hold this movie together, I would have been tossing and turning at night to go with only one or maybe two stars.

It’s got some decent action, though I suppose budget constraints kept things a little tamer than they could have been, and for an evening of watching something because you’ve seen most of the other movies, “Java Heat” isn’t bad. I’ll split this right in the middle and give the attempt at a decent action thriller 2 ½ stars out of 5. A better actor for the lead, maybe a better budget, and I could have gone a little higher, but there was too much bad for Ario Bayu to bring up that much much.

As far as the Blu-ray, it’s got the “Making of…” featurette where we learn Kellen has hopes of being the next, big action franchise star. I don’t think this movie helps him on his quest, however, that and the fact that his acting in this movie is stiff. He almost needed to quit trying so hard and have a little fun. And not let his character be so stupid.

That’s it for this one! I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!