Saturday, December 31, 2011

2012 is the year of THE EXPENDABLES 2!!!

I know there are a lot of big movies coming out in 2012.  You have THE AVENGERS, THE DARK KNIGHT RISES, WRATH OF THE TITANS, THE HOBBIT, ALIEN PREQUEL #3 and so forth.  But for me nothing is bigger than THE EXPENDABLES part 2.  Seeing almost all the big action stars from the eighties together in one film is too epic.  I am excited.  The teaser trailer actually shows Arnold and Willis running around with guns.  This time they aren't just standing around and talking.  The most intriguing thing of all is that Chuck 'FREAKIN' Norris makes an appearance and he too is armed to the beard.  He probably won't do much but I can't help but wonder what his role is.  The dude punched Bruce Lee in the face in WAY OF THE DRAGON.  If you think about it Norris was the first modern action hero.  Before him there were only tough guy heroes like Eastwood and Wayne.  Nowadays we ain't got squat!

The eighties created Stallone, Willis, Van Damme, and the a biggest one of all Schwarzenegger.  Movies like COMMANDO, ROBOCOP, PREDATOR, RAMBO: FIRST BLOOD PART 2, DIE HARD and CYBORG (That's right I love CYBORG) brought big body counts and simple stories that delivered on what they promised.  KICKASSNESS!  Then the nineties came and the big body counts were replaced by big budget special effects, jumping out of the way of dangerous stuff action, watered down PG-13 blandness and JUNIOR.  Our big movie stars like Van Damme and Seagal went straight to video with not so great convoluted stories of confusion trying hard to be 'smart'.  I couldn't believe it when I saw Seagal's THE PATRIOT sitting on the store shelf without a theatrical release.  I knew the times were changing and so was I.  While American action movie plots revolved around a bunch of bad guys taking over a place and only one man can stop them mumbo-jumbo (AKA the DIE HARD FORMULA) John Woo was over seas making character driven bullet-fests that strangely show the ugliness of violence filmed like beautiful dance numbers.  He directed action movies the way I played with my G.I. Joes back in the day.  So I moved on to films like HARD BOILED and THE KILLER dabbling for a short time in Hong Kong martial art films mostly staring Jet Li.  The Internet gave me access to a plethora of foreign action films that were far superior in the 'action' category than what was coming out in America in the last twenty years.  Thankfully though Stallone has brought most of the old badasses together again to reclaim some of that lost glory but this time with less Hollywood flare and more tough guy grit.  I missed them all and I cannot wait for August to come.  They got just about everybody.  I think the only one they are missing is Seagal.  Get with the times, Seagal.

Anyhoo I have decided to post a bunch of reviews of some of my favorite (or not so favorite) films from the cast of both EXPENDABLE movies throughout the coming months.  It all depends on how unlazy I get.  I will most likely be reviewing lesser known films from the likes of Norris and Scott Adkins but I think I will do some of the bigger ones like PREDATOR and COMMANDO as well.  Expect a lot of bad analogies, mixed with some nerfed curse words and blander than bland reviews cuz that's the way I roll, Mutha Truckas,


Tuesday, December 20, 2011


Maybe that is being a little harsh.  I will take that title back slightly and say that SUPER 8 is super okay.  Abrams tries to catch the same cinematic magic that E.T. delivered back in the awesome 80's with a story about a boy and an alien but this time there are huge explosions, jumping out of the way of stuff action pieces and enough lens flares to make even Michael Bay scratch his head.  The characters are likable yet mostly forgettable. The story is character driven but takes the focus a little too much away from the mystery about the alien. There is no connection with the main character and the supposed evil monster run amok.  Well I guess there is a little connection at the end with the alien, but there is touching involved.  That's not good.

So the story revolves around this boy named Joe Lamb whose mother died in an accident at a steel mill or factory or whatever.  Apparently the boy's mother took a shift from a guy who called in because he was too hung over.  This causes a rift between the boy's father and the guy who was suppose to work that fateful day.  The guy has a daughter named Alice but neither father wants the boy or the girl to hang out together because seeing each other's kids reminds them of painful memories.  But Joe and Alice hang out together anyway while helping their friend film his zombie movie.  Oh!  And there is an alien running around killing people. 

I did enjoy the back story of Joe Lamb and how the death of his mother effects his life but SUPER 8 focuses way too much time on that and almost forgets about the dang alien.  The kids are shooting a zombie movie with Super 8 film.  The whole point of calling the movie SUPER 8 is because they capture the alien escaping a wrecked train on film.  But they don't discover that until about an hour or more into the movie.  By that time we already know it is an alien running around.  Capturing the creature on film only helps a little at the end to help convince some other characters like the dad that there is a monster on the loose.  By this time in the film everyone should know because its running around creating all kinds of strange shenanigans.  The fact that the monster is caught of film is almost completely meaningless.  But how else are they going to call the movie SUPER 8?

Worse of all this is suppose to be some kind of weird homage to E.T. or something.  At the movie's core SUPER 8 is about a boy and his alien.  This time however the small friendly E.T. is replaced by a giant pissed off alien that looks like freakin Megatron from the TRANSFORMERS movies.  The alien is good except the evil military caught it back in the sixties and held it prisoner.  Now it thinks all people are bad.  Then at the end after we see it kill a couple of innocent people the boy makes friends with it and then the alien's ship magically builds itself from common everyday junk allowing the alien to finally escape into space.  I guess we are suppose to feel sympathy for the alien but 1.) like Megatron it kills people and 2.) it looks like Megatron.  I can't feel sorry for that.  SUPER 8 pays more homages to the recently released TRANSFORMERS movies than it does E.T.

SUPER 8 isn't all bad but it doesn't quite hit the mark.  The movie is slow and tries to be funny but mostly it is all stuff you have seen before.  I feel like the movie tries too hard to be "Speilbergian".  Speilberg made larger than life movies that pushed the boundaries of special effects and what could be put to film.  But they had great characters that were brought to life effortlessly through the natural progression of the story.  Nowadays everything is done with computers and character development is forced with cliched sad back stories.  Everything in E.T. looked or felt real.  SUPER 8 is too artificial.  I would say that SUPER 8 has heart.  Its just that it is a high tech artificial heart that can transform into a handgun or tank.


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

My interview with film maker Jason Brasier writer and director of DRIFTER: BROKEN ROAD!!!

Without giving too much away what is the story of DRIFTER:  BROKEN ROAD?

Five years after a brutal second civil war, a figure known as Drifter befriends the owners of a trading post on her trail to revenge.

Who is the Drifter and who plays her?

Formerly with the FBI, the Drifter is skilled in hand-to-hand combat as well as firearms.  During the onset of the Second Civil War, she fought to preserve the U.S. government.  Circumstances pushed her away and she joined the ranks of the Loudon Rangers, a militia group in Virginia for a short time before starting her journey west.  She is played by Vanessa Leinani.

How did you discover Vanessa Leinani?
Vanessa actually found me, if memory serves me correctly. She had moved to the area a few years back and was looking for local filmmakers and actors. She was wanting to get involved in productions.

What does the 'BROKEN ROAD' mean to the story?
I think the title 'Broken Road' is very symbolic for the entire story. For me its about being on the right path and then you run into road construction or in this case some demolition. The story takes place after a second civil war. I wanted to avoid the whole post apocalyptic angle. What I mean by that is, no nuclear bombs or fallout. The world of Drifter takes place in a society torn apart by itself.
Think of it like this. New roads and highways look great when they are built. They can last forever if taken care of. Sure there will be some bumps along the way, but in the end, if you don't fix and keep everything up to date over time, a road that's been traveled over and over again becomes weathered, beaten, cracked, and over time, not safe to drive. This is the world of Drifter and can also be applied to each character in the story.

When do we get to see DRIFTER: BROKEN ROAD?

March 2012

Are there any movies or directors that have influenced your directing or writing style?

John Carpenter is the man who inspired me to pick up a camera and make a movie. Every time I saw one of his films, I could always tell, this guy is just having fun telling a good scary story. That's what I wanted to achieve. Telling stories cinematically and just having fun doing it. From there, Sam Raimi, Quentin Tarantino, Clint Eastwood, and Sergio Leone became huge influences. The first films I can remember that really influenced me at an early age were, Star Wars: A New Hope, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and John Carpenter's The Fog.

Top Influences: 1. John Carpenter, 2. Sam Raimi, 3. Quentin Tarantino, 4. Roger Corman, 5. Sergio Leone, 6. JJ Abrams, 7. Joss Whedon, 8. Clint Eastwood, 9. Yimou Zhang, 10. John Woo.

How long did it take to film BROKEN ROAD?

We shot Broken Road at a breakneck pace over a total of 8 days.

Where did you film?

We filmed at a location 35 minutes past Buffalo, Missouri.

What are your plans for the Drifter in the future?

I have Drifter's journey mapped out as an online trilogy. Broken Road is just the stepping stone on that journey.

 Do you have a favorite film?

TOP 12:
1. Doctor Zhivago, 2. Once Upon a Time in the West, 3. Creature from the Black Lagoon, 4. The Hustler, 5. Indiana Jones Trilogy, 6. Lord of the Rings, 7. Cape Fear (1962), 8. The Empire Strikes Back, 9. Young Mr. Lincoln, 10. Rio Bravo, 11. High Plains Drifter, 12. Star Trek 6: The Undiscovered Country.

Have you seen THE GREAT SILENCE yet?

I have not. It is on my list of films to watch

Thanks for you time, Mr. Brasier.


Check out more here at

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


CONAN THE BARBARIAN 3D is not a remake of the original CONAN film.  CONAN 3D is a comic book movie.  With that said I would also like to say that this is a terrible comic book movie that rips off PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN, PRINCE OF PERSIA, LORD OF THE RINGS,  THE NEW CLASH OF THE TITANS and some other crap I suppose.  CONAN 3D tries to be epic with elaborate sets and well detailed costumes but everything comes across as flat and uninteresting.  The story is sloppy and rushed.  The characters are small and insignificant taking a back seat to all the violence and buckets of blood.  The movie borrows liberally from other films big time pretending we the audience have never been to a Hollywood blockbuster before.  We are not that stupid......Well I am.  I bought this movie on blu-ray.  Whoops.

CONAN 3D starts off with this LORD OF THE RINGS story about a powerful wizard that had a crown made of the skulls of kings.  Then all these barbarians fought back and destroyed the crown and divided the pieces throughout the world.  So just replace the word "ring" with the word "crown".  One crown to rule them all blah-blah-crap.  Then we have a scene where Conan is born on the battlefield.  It is an embarrassing scene that tries to stress how badass Conan is.  Of course being born in battle means he will be the ultimate badass just like Leatherface from TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE: THE BEGINNING will be a chainsaw maniac obsessed with cutting things up because he was born in a slaughter house.  Bravo.  What brilliant imagination.  (hurl)  At this point in the movie I couldn't help but think I was watching something directed by Uwe Boll.  It just has that awkward misses the point feel to it.  The acting is bad. The story is lifted straight off of better movies.  You can tell that the film is hiding the weak script behind the the curtains of blood that flows about from the never ending supply of bad guys.  Conan's father is killed by Stephen Lang who seeks the pieces of the crown.  Then Conan spends his life living like a pirate until he decides to go and kill the dude who killed his father.  Oh, and there is a love story about a virgin who has the power in her blood to resurrect Stephen Lang's dead wife.  Or something like that.

Overall the film is a rush job with no time spent to develop the characters.  Conan the character is a made for t.v. personality not straying too far from a Duncan McCleod blandness.  Sure Conan looks big and mean and does the twirly sword nerdery that the nerds love but when he speaks he comes off more like a football linebacker who somehow went back in time to the dark ages and not being smart enough to do anything else is forced to live his life like a barbarian which suits him just fine.  This Conan dumb jock but good with the ladies personality doesn't fit into the dark violent world the movie takes place in.  He is almost too politically correct.  He frees a bunch of slaves saying "No man should live in chains" but why would he think that.  He is a barbarian/pirate type person.  Last time I checked they didn't give a crapola about anybody.  Why would Conan?  Oh, I guess because the writers said so.  The original Conan didn't speak much but we learn a lot about his character based on his actions.  Often the secondary characters would explain Conan's actions because Conan would not.  That fits his character.  There was thought put into the original Conan.  Not every action has to be fully explained by the main character. Its called good writing. 

CONAN 3D has a lot of scenes all of which fly by so fast that you never really know what is going on.  They almost all end with some bad guys showing up and getting stabbed, sliced and made not alive anymore.  The end fight with Stephen Lang is particularly epic in it's stupidity.  Conan and he are doing a high wire act standing on a wheel balancing over deep drop into lava or something.  They fight for like twenty minutes through Stephen's evil temple.  Suddenly for no reason the temple starts to collapse.  I don't think the movie explains why the temple decides to fall apart.  I think the writer thought that the temple falling on top of them would make the action more exciting.  Spoiler alert!  It doesn't.  Not every final battle has to take place in a place where a bunch of crazy crap happening all over the place.

It is sad at this day and age with the tools we have to make the greatest looking movies ever yet we still have junk like CONAN 3D.  It looks like a big Hollywood movie with a bunch of B-Movie actors.  What it doesn't look like is the story of a young boy who grows up in a violent world as a barbarian to one day become king.  The worst thing about this movie is how boring it was.  Not once did I find myself getting involved with the story.  It was just a bunch of stuff that happened and who cared.  The music wasn't even memorable.  Remember the original Conan?  The large, loud and triumphant orchestra boomed during the battles and set the epic mood of the film.  It was music that stayed with you and brought an adrenaline rush to the movie.  Its a smarter more detailed film than people give it credit for.  Heck, even the nudity in CONAN 3D is boring.  It's there but you have to look really hard to see it.  You shouldn't have to do that.

Maybe if you are like fifteen and haven't watched a lot of movies and you think the STAR WARS PREQUELS are better than the originals then you might actually like CONAN 3D.  Its got blood and swords and armor and medieval times stuff and big special effects.  It is all familiar and it shouldn't challenge your young mushy minds.  If you like boring and stupid and HIGHLANDER movies then I recommend.  Otherwise stick to the original.


Thursday, December 8, 2011


Click here and vote for IZOMBIE for BEST HORROR BLOG and THE HORROR BLOGGER ALLIANCE for the GOLD AWARD!  The 411 MOVIE NEWS BLOG has a bunch of awards for best blogs and stuff.  Izombie has been nominated for two!  Izombie has done a fantastic job uniting the legions of horror blogs together with THE HORROR BLOGGER ALLIANCE making it easier for people like me to find countless opinions on horror films.  Thanks for the convenience.  I enjoy reading other's thoughts on movies.  I always make it a point everyday to check out his site RETRO-ZOMBIE which is about zombies and zombie stuff.  The guy loves zombies even more than I do and he deserves to win.