Cell (2016) Review

Posted: July 13, 2016 in Horror Movies, Movie Reviews

 

  • June 10th, 2016
  • 98 Minutes
  • Horror

 

After finding one that Cell, one of my favorite Stephen King books, had been released nearly under the radar as a film I was eager to see it. Sadly however this doesn’t come close to what the book offered.

The film follows Clay, a artist, who after realizing that a weird cell phone signal has sent the world into a crazed apocalyptic state he is determined to travel back to New England to get his son. Along the way he meets other survivors along the rest in his quest for his son.

Now for a film starring John Cusack (who also co-produced it), Samuel L Jackson and Isabelle Furhman all the actors just look like they are phoning it in. Cusack and Jackson almost always have a bland emotionless look on there face making it clearly apparent that there wasn’t a strong love for this film by them. It doesn’t help either that the film has such a hard time grabbing you in. I never sensed any danger for the characters or truly even cared as there wasn’t much backstory given for anyone to make me care about them.

The worst thing is that even with knowledge of the book I was still confused because they often failed to give full explanations for things in the film leaving a casual viewer likely confused. I can imagine if I was confused as to what was going on then almost anyone else would be even more lost. By the end however knowing that they fully changed the ending was even worse, the end is a total letdown for the film and just feels almost like a cheap cop out.

From the beginning scene in the airport though they set your hopes so high, the beginning is tense and violent and starts with a rush only to slow down too much. Even with the occasional good moment from the infected in the film the constant horrible CGI really dumbs it down.

Overall with this letdown of a film just read the book instead.

 

Score :

 

2/10

 

Sony Pictures’ ‘Don’t Breathe’, Fred Dekker, Doug Benson, & 25th Anniversary screening of Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey Among Highlights Of Third Annual Bruce Campbell Horror Film Festival Lineup, August 18-21 In Chicago

Presented by STARZ Original Series ‘Ash vs. Evil Dead’, in conjunction with Wizard World Comic Con

 

ROSEMONT, Ill., June 22, 2016— Bruce Campbell’s Horror Film Festival, presented by Starz and their hit original series Ash vs. Evil Dead, returns for its third annual festivities on August 18-21, in conjunction with Wizard World Chicago. Today, the Festival announced highlights of the groovy lineup, sponsored by Shudder and Bloody-Disgusting.com, featuring the critically acclaimed opening night nail-biter Don’t Breathe, directed by Fede Alvarez; a salute to genre hero Fred Dekker; an epic event featuring comedian Doug Benson; and a 25th anniversary celebration of the most excellent sequel, Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey (originally titled Bill & Ted Go To Hell).

 

“I’m thrilled to bring our annual horror festival back to the Windy City for the third year,” said Campbell. “There were some wicked cool flicks this year and we went after the cream of the crop. If you love all things horror, check out our lineup!”

 

The festivities will kick off on Thursday, August 18, with the opening night film Don’t Breathe, the highly anticipated shocker from director-producer-writer Fede Alvarez (Evil Dead) and produced by Sam

Raimi & Rob Tapert. Alvarez will be in attendance. This will reunite Campbell with Alvarez, who directed the successful 2013 remake of Evil Dead. Sony Pictures is set to release Don’t Breathe on August 26, 2016.

 

 

 

The inaugural “Groovy as Hell” award will be presented to writer/director Fred Dekker (Fox’s upcoming The Predator). The awards ceremony will consist of a 30th anniversary screening of the cult classic Night of The Creeps and a very special screening of The Monster Squad with actors Andre Gower (Sean) & Ryan Lambert (Rudy) also in attendance.

 

Festival favorite Doug Benson (Doug Loves Movies, Chromic-Con, Super High Me) will be in town for a very special ‘Doug Benson Movie Interruption’ of Army of Darkness, with guest interrupter Bruce Campbell! The two will sit in the front row together with a selection of mystery comedy guests, and say whatever hilarious stuff that pops into their head. A limited amount of single tickets for this event are on sale now!

 

BCHFF is thrilled to present a 25th anniversary celebration of everyone’s favorite time-traveling metalhead slackers, a screening of Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey with director Peter Hewitt in attendance! Additional guests for this screening will be announced at a later date.

 

The festival will also mark the World Premieres of Found Footage 3D, the long-awaited satirical horror film produced by Kim Henkel (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre) and directed by Steven DeGennaro, and Show Yourself, a haunting & remarkable genre-bending feature debut from Billy Ray Brewton (subject of the wonderful award-winning 2014 documentary Skanks, and programmer for Slamdance Film Festival).

 

Fans in the region will also experience the Chicago premieres of:

 

  • The Greasy Strangler – The most hilariously disturbing film of the year. From Elijah Wood’s Spectrevision, Drafthouse Films, & Ant Timpson.
  • Here Alone – Winner of the 2016 Tribeca Audience Award.
  • Abattoir – From Darren Bousman, the director of Saw 2, 3, 4, Repo: The Genetic Opera, Mother’s Day, and The Devil’s Carnival. Darren will be in attendance to present the film.
  • Pet – The SXSW hit starring Dominic Monaghan (Lord of The Rings Trilogy).
  • I am Not a Serial Killer – Starring Christopher Lloyd in yet another career defining performance.
  • Beyond The Gates – Winner of the midnight audience award at Los Angeles Film Festival.

 

The Bruce Campbell Horror Film Festival jury this year includes a few dignitaries well-known to horror fans: Tom Holland (writer/director, Fright Night, Child’s Play); Barry Bostwick (Rocky Horror Picture Show); Cerina Vincent (Cabin Fever); and Zach Hagen (producer, He Never Died).

 

“It’s been another astonishing year for horror cinema”, said festival director, Josh Goldbloom. “I’m overwhelmed by the amount of talent & creativity working in this field. Their contributions are innovative, visionary, beautifully unnerving, defiantly weird, and of course, bloody as all hell. This year’s festival is a showcase of all the many reasons why genre film & its fans are the best in the world.

 

Many additional titles, surprises and guest announcements will be announced over the coming month, along with a very special closing night feature, presented by Bloody-Disgusting.com.

 

Festival badges are $100, and are on sale now at http://www.bchff.com! Limited single tickets sales for screenings will go on sale Wednesday, July 6th.

 

The festival and all screenings will be held at the Carmike Muvico Rosemont 18.

 

First Wave

 

Opening Night:

DON’T BREATHE

A trio of friends break into the house of a wealthy blind man, thinking they’ll get away with the perfect heist. They’re wrong

Cast: Jane Levy, Dylan Minnette, Daniel Zovato, Stephen Lang

Dir: Fede Alvarez

Distributor: Sony Pictures

U.S. Release Date: August 26

 

ABATTOIR

How do you build a haunted house? Ask the enigmatic Jebediah Crone, the main suspect in a case of stolen rooms where horrific tragedies have occurred.

Cast: Jessica Lowndes, Joe Anderson, Lin Shaye, Dayton Callie, Bryan Batt,, J. Larose

Dir: Darren Lynn Bousman

 

BEYOND THE GATES

Seven months after their father’s disappearance, two brothers reunite to liquidate the family video store. Unfortunately, things go from bad to worse when they find an old VHS boardgame with evil powers, and all hell breaks loose.

Cast: Chase Williamson, Graham Skipper, Brea Grant, Barbara Crampton, Matt Mercer, Jesse Merlin

Dir: Jackson Stewart

 

FOUND FOOTAGE 3D

A group of low-budget filmmakers sets out to make “the first 3D found footage horror film,” but find themselves *in* the first 3D found footage horror film when the evil entity from their movie escapes into their behind-the-scenes footage.

Cast: Carter Roy, Alena von Stroheim, Chris O’Brien, Tom Saporito, Scott Allen Perry, Jessica Perrin, Scott Weinberg

Dir: Steven DeGennaro

 

THE GREASY STRANGLER

Pure. Fucking. Chaos.

Cast: Michael St. Michaels, Sky Elobar, Elizabeth De Razzo

Dir: Jim Hosking

 

HERE ALONE

A young woman struggles to survive on her own in the wake of a mysterious epidemic that has decimated society and forced her deep into the unforgiving wilderness.

Cast: Lucy Walters, Adam David Thompson, Gina Piersanti, Shane West

Dir: Rod Blackhurst

 

I AM NOT A SERIAL KILLER

In a small Midwestern town, a troubled teen with homicidal tendencies must hunt down and destroy a supernatural killer whilst keeping his own inner demons at bay.

Cast: Christopher Lloyd, Laura Fraser, Max Records

Dir: Billy O’Brien

 

PET

Seth works at an animal shelter, and for years has been secretly in love with a waitress named Holly . When he repeatedly fails in his attempts to woo her, he naturally decides to lock her in a cage at the shelter where he works. And that’s just the beginning…

Cast: Dominic Monaghan, Ksenia Solo, Jenette McCurdy, Nathan Parsons

Dir: Carles Torrens

 

SHOW YOURSELF

When his friend dies unexpectedly, Travis heads into the woods with his ashes to say goodbye. But as he deals with his grief, and the way it has affected the relationships in his life, he starts to realize that he actually might not be alone.

Cast: Ben Hethcoat, Corsica Wilson, Barak Hardley, Stephen Cone, David McElwee, Robert Longsteet.

Dir: Billy Ray Brewton

 

Fans can visit www.BCHFF.com for full details and additions to the slate as they happen and dates and times for each screening. Follow the festival on Twitter: @groovyfest

 

For more info on the 2016 Wizard World Comic Con Chicago (August 18-21 at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont), visit http://wizd.me/ChicagoPR.

 

About Wizard World (OTCBB: WIZD)

Wizard World, Inc. (www.wizardworld.com) produces comic cons and pop culture conventions across North America that celebrate the best in pop-fi, pop culture, movies, television, cosplay, comics, graphic novels, toys, video gaming, sci-fi, gaming, original art, collectibles, contests and more. A first-class lineup of topical programming takes place at each event, with celebrity Q&A’s, comics-themed sessions, costume contests, movie screenings, evening parties and more. Wizard World has also launched Wizard World Store (www.shopwizardworld.com), CONtv, a digital media channel in partnership with leading independent content distributor Cinedigm™ (NASDAQ: CIDM), and ComicConBox™ (www.comicconbox.com), a premium subscription-based monthly box service. Fans can interact with Wizard World on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and other social media services.

 

The Wizard World 2016 schedule is available at: http://wizardworld.com/searchby/city/.

 

  • Feburary 26th, 2016
  • 1 Hour 46 Minues
  • Comedy / Drama / Biography

 

 

Eddie The Eagle is that little sports film you never knew you’d love. A film so much character and heart you can’t help but love it.

We follow the unlikely Olympian Michael “Eddie” Edwards beginning as a child with his extreme desire to one day go to the Olympics even with almost everyone telling him he will never do it and isn’t good at sports. His mentality isn’t even to win however it is to simply take part in the journey. We follow his set backs and see others try to stop him while also seeing his rise and determination to follow his dream. This movie is about his struggle to get to where he wants to be more then his success.

One of the films biggest assets though are it’s two stars Taron Egerton and Hugh Jackman. Taron brings a lot of heart to the table and makes you want to root for him to succeed. Jackman as his mentor and former ski jumper great turned resentful alcoholic is good as well. They just blend well together and have great on screen chemistry.

Even with beautiful cinematography coupled with some very gripping ski moments some would say the films only downside is that it can be cliche at times. While that is true at the same time however being based off a true story there are only so many ways they can have it play out while remaining true to the story and the cliched moments never seem to take away from anyway.

Overall Eddie The Eagle is the sports breakout film I don’t think many will see even though they should. It’ll grab you in and have you cheering for it in a good hearted way, something not many films do anymore. It’s well worth your time.

 

Score :

 

8/10

 

  • Pro Wrestling Gorilla All Star Weekend Night One
  • March 4th, 2016

 

“The Carolina Caveman” Trevor Lee vs. “The Kentucky Gentleman” Chuck Taylor – Good start to the card with both men playing to the energy of the crowd and moving through the crowd as well. Trevor Lee seems to have taken himself up as a good heel against the crowd here.

 

Chris Hero vs. Evil Uno – Not a bad match with Evil Uno taking the lead in the beginning. Turns into a typical Christ Hero match having a lot of stiff hard hits in it but still a good match.

 

Drew Galloway vs. Trent? – Overall a very solid match with both men coming out looking great. Galloway has really shined after leaving WWE and Trent? walks away from this with much respect from this solid match.

 

Pro Wrestling Guerrilla World Champion Roderick Strong vs. Mark Andrews – Another solid match with more flips and spots then the previous match. It left the champ looking strong just had some sloppy moments to it.

 

Kyle O’Reilly vs. “The Villain” Marty Scurll – A great technical submissive match from these two. Great working between them both with moves and aiming towards specific limbs.

 

Adam Cole vs. Zack Sabre, Jr. – What another damn great match. Adam Cole does his heel role great working Sabre (for his match the second night) and does his USA role against the Candian Sabre Jr. Cole tries to weaken Sabre with Sabre ending up making him tap in front of his Cole’s friend (who Sabre was to face on Night Two).

 

Pro Wrestling Guerrilla World Tag Team Championship Title Match :
The Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Jackson – Champions) vs. Ricochet & “Reborn” Matt Sydal (Challengers) –

What a great way to end the night. The Young Bucks pull their heel yet oddly loveable roles off perfect. With their amazing spots however when they do a low blow or something though it does bring it down. The match is full of great spots , reversals, and near falls. Both teams fully bring it and Sydel and Ricochet together work great.

 

Overall Night One of PWG All Star Weekend is great wrestling. From the spots to the more technical matches PWG continues to show why they are one of the top indy companies in the world.

 

Score :

 

8.5/10

 

  • February 12th, 2016
  • Comedy
  • 1 Hour 42 Minutes Run Time

 

 

Zoolander 2 shows several different things like how to completely cash in a sequel and how to put out a movie out long past it’s due date while not really showing anything positive.

We follow Derek and Hansel back at it in the modeling world after leaving it from the events of the first film because an opposing agency is attempting to take them and other models out. Now the film tries to make that the story while throwing several personal characters side stories into it at the same time. It just never feels right or clicks.

One of the main reasons Zoolander 1 was such a success is because it was just so randomly bad sometimes that it was funny. It was a goofy comedy at  a time where films like that were succeeding. Sadly for this film however almost all the jokes fall flat and aren’t even remotely funny. Expect a lot of dead air when you’d have thought you’d be laughing.

The biggest loss however is the fact that we finally get Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson back it in a major comedy role. Even with all the cameos and guest spots that director / writer / lead actor Ben Stiller pulled in can’t save it. Will Ferrael reprises his role from the first film but even then I felt let down almost expecting more of him in funny moments.

It’s just sad knowing that after a 15 year wait this is what we got. It feels rushed, full of cheap attempts at humor, but mainly just a cash in to try to ride off the long lasting success Zoolander has had. I really can’t recommend this to anyone, it just isn’t a good time at all and you’ll quickly find yourself trying to find something else to do instead.

 

Score :

 

1/10

 

  • May 17th, 2016
  • Xbox One / PS4 / PC
  • Deep Silver / Dambuster Studios

 

Homefront was a last gen game that came out to mixed reviews filled with generally decent ideas just executed wrongly. With years and delays giving this game the time they needed while hyping it up it’s just almost comical that Homefront turned out the way it has, maybe it should of been left on the drawing board.

Going from the linear first person shooter Revolution could be considered somewhat of a open world FPS. Putting larger areas together in strings of missions and side missions along with other objectives pins this game somewhere between linear and wide spread. Too bad that most of it gets taken down several pegs by the often generic and bland mission objectives that you are given.

What really hurts this game is just how broken it is. First off the load times are insane, going between areas or any place that requires a loading screen means you should expect at least a minute load screen. Going from the screen you can buy guns and equipment makes the game freeze for 10 seconds and lag for a few more before getting back into place. Enemies appear and disappear in front of you. Bodies would disappear before you could loot them as would boxes or stuff you’d break. At other times boxes or enemies would get stuck in doorways blocking you from leaving a room. I found myself having to kill the innocent NPC’s then just to move out of the door and continue the game which the game then gave me a negative message for having to kill a NPC. Once I had a side quest glitch out making it to where I couldn’t complete it while another time it glitched out completely cancelling the objective for me.  The amount of bugs and glitches in this game is just insane.

It doesn’t help either that the game play suffers majorly from this. Gun play often times just feels slow and sloppy. The running mechanics sometimes work as well but other times I found my character not being able to leap over normal objects or jump to ledges they should normally be able to. They also incorporate a loot system of sorts where you can open boxes and collect junk that you can sell to buy new weapons, attachments, and gear for your character. Problem is that looting itself in this game almost feels out of place and that everything you do collect seems to give little money compared to what it costs to get items.

You can drive vehicles around to get around quicker though after one drive you won’t want to again. The drive itself is incredibly buggy and almost too loose. Making turns or trying to hit a ramp often leads to you hitting a wall just missing where you needed. After that you will find that you run on foot everywhere. Another problem too is that since objectives aren’t always the easiest to find especially in another area and the tunnels connecting them aren’t easy to navigate so finding where you need to go can be overly complicated.

What doesn’t help either is that when alerted enemies seem to come in endless amounts. I watched them appear out of thin appear only to be killed, disappear, then spawn back out of thin air a few feet away. Stealth is just as bad, enemies either have deadshot aim or are blind even if you are standing in front of them. I ran head on into a group of enemies and stealth killed them while they watched each other and never had a alarm go off. The game just can’t seem to make up it’s mind. It’s not even visually or audio pleasing as it reeks of something that would of come out early of last console generation.

In short Homefront The Revolution does very short right. It feels rushed even if it was delayed several times. With so many other great games being released and so many other shooters at that doing what this game wants to only a lot better there really isn’t any basis that I can recommend this from.

 

Score :

 

2/10

 

  • May 13th, 2016
  • Horror
  • 90 Minutes

 

Most Likely To Die continues the trend in doing small horror films following the ever so well known verse of “Get kids together, kill off one by one, end twist”. Now while Most Likely To Die isn’t great it could be a lot worse.

We follow a group of old friends getting back together for their high school reunion when one by one they notice they are getting killed off but a masked figure in a graduation cap and gown. They realize soon that it might relate back to a old high school story they all took place in. Now while being pretty straight forward and generic it at least manages to move along while sticking to the generic troupes it sometime seems to be aware of.

With a cast which includes Jake Busey, Perez Hilton and Heather Morris everyone is fairly competent and can act the part even though character development and the writing leaves some to be desired.

The killer and such kills themselves are decent with each relating to what each person had as their title in the yearbook which was a neat add on for them to include. What mainly kills this movie is that especially coming out now it will just fall into the blend of hundreds of other horror films that are just generic slashers. Even being sometimes self aware the film is just here with no major push behind it or anything which could harm it in the long run.

Overall though Most Likely Is Die is decent enough for I’d say a rental on a bored night, but past that I can’t recommend it to much. It’s straight to the point but in this case that almost ends up hurting it more then helping it.

 

Score :

 

4/10

 

  • April 29th, 2016
  • Xbox One
  • Daybreak Game Company

 

DC Universe Online is a game that has been out for several years on the likes of PC and Playstation systems only to now find itself to Xbox One, does this game make a long awaited debut or go down tragically in flames?

To kick this one off the game is a pay to play essentially. What comes across as a free game with in game marketplaces and a paid membership quickly starts to show what is wrong. Upon loading the game up you are met at a screen that gives you a number in the queue to enter the game. At first after the game released the time to enter was hours on end, unless you buy a premium account that is. After days of trying however I managed to make it into a game after a mere 20 minutes, which by any means is not acceptable at all.

You start off making a character followed by a brief single player mission showing you the ropes. First thing you’ll notice is that the graphics appear to be the same one that was showcased on the PS3 and PC many years ago. Very last gen and bland looking. The game play is simply a button masher short and sweet. Not a good one at that even.

Once out of the mission you are thrown into the open MMO world with other players where you are able to take a wide string of missions or explore the city. It’s just sad that with such a great premise none of this works. The game has a lag to it as well as a input lag meaning that the game moves at a delayed rate and after imputing a action your character is on a delay to do it. Makes combat scenarios a pain to do.
The world is also full of other players but at no time did I experience teamwork or even anything close to it. Simply you just exist in the same world and everyone is at the same spots doing the same quests, the most I noticed was the lack of enemies because everyone would be killing them for their own quests often leaving people to stand around waiting for them to respawn.

Overall DC Universe Online feels like a cheap attempt to garner more cash to a outdated game by putting it on a new system. With no work done, horrible gameplay, and horrendous wait times to simply join the game I can’t recommend this one to anyone.

 

Score :

 

2/10

 

 

  • April 15th, 2016
  • Horror
  • 105 Minutes

 

It seems modern horror has a huge liking to anthology films, a feature film featuring multiple small stories usually connected in theme or a overlapping storyline. Holidays is the latest one to join that niche and even carrying some bigger names with it still manages to fall quite short of what it could of been.

The overall theme for Holidays is each film centers around a different holiday. We start with “Valentine’s Day” a decent little story of a younger bullied girl taking on her bully along with fulfilling her ill quest for love for her teacher she has. It’s a decent film and not a bad way to start the film.

By far the weirdest though is “St Patricks Day” with a creepy red headed child using her magic powers I assume to impregnate her teacher with a snake child. It was odd, somewhat disturbing, but ultimately is almost too short and too odd to leave a good lasting impression. “Easter” is up next and though one of the shorter films and a tough subject to do I’d assume isn’t all that bad. It has a good looking monster in it and is just okay for the length and story it tries to give.

“Mother’s Day” is one of the worst ones here featuring a girl who whenever she engages in sex gets pregnant and is then sent to a cult. It’s odd in a bad way and not at all anything interesting to watch.  The next one is the shining beacon of this analogy though and takes place in the form of “Father’s Day”. It features a woman with an abandoned father who leaves her a tape to go and locate her. It is dark, tense, and bleak short film that leaves you waiting for the big moment. Sadly that moment falls way short of anything it should of but the lead up to it is still so worthy of it.

The biggest disappointment though is Kevin Smith’s “Halloween” short. By far the easiest one to do and instead we get something barely relating. It features three webcam girls taking revenge on their rude pimp they have. Featuring Kevin Smith’s daughter Harley Quinn Smith and Harley from the webseries “Epic Meal Time” it is just a short revenge flick. It isn’t horrible, the first half of it is ultimately very weak and the ending could of been more graphic, it just comes down to the director not fully utilizing the holiday he was given.

Seth Green directs and stars in the following one titled “Christmas”. It features him attempting to get a new Virtual Relality headset for him son for christmas when the guy in front of him gets it. Upon following him into the parking lot the man has a medical attack and dies in the parking lot allowing Seth to take the toy. Upon using it however it reads his mind and shows other what he truly did to get the gift. It is a decent story but by the end just flows into generic territory and almost feels out of place in this analogy.

Closing out the film however is “New Year’s Day”, a generic film with a twist. Odd enough it is still one of the better ones here. It follows a killer using online dating to find his next victim when the tables turn on him. A fun, violent, short little film.

Overall Holidays falls short in almost every story, even the best one has a big disappointment in it. I can’t recommend this one over the loads of other analogy horror films currently out there.

 

Score :

 

3/10

 

  • PC / Xbox One / PS4
  • HeSaw (Developer)

 

Blue Estate is a rail shooter arcade game that had previously been released for PS4 and PC before coming to the Xbox One.

To try to set itself apart from other games of the type Blue Estate tries to make itself overly edgy with racial, sexual, or just almost nonstop over the top jokes. Many of them however miss completely and just feel forced for the shock value. I feel like they do this since the odds of anyone (including myself) of caring for the story.

As a rail shooter parts of this game come across as decent. The game does support Kinect though since I don’t own one I did it with a standard controller. Using that actually worked very well, aiming was easy enough and you do have enough time to aim up that perfect head shot. Visually as well the game has a good mixture of looking cartoonish but realistic enough to look good. However that doesn’t help that most levels start to look like the same mixtures of halls and rooms over and over. Doesn’t help that the levels as well start to quickly drag on and are too long with no checkpoints.

As if the long missions weren’t bad enough you will be facing up against a almost seemingly endless wave of enemies. Often times all coming from the same door or hallway almost to a laughable point. After gunning down so many including the mundane boss fights the game play just becomes too repetitive. If the missions were shorter where the game could be played in quick session it might fare better.

At the end of the day all Blue Estate truly has going for it are the controls and decent enough graphics. Long levels, too many enemies, repetitive game play mixed with the humor that tries to hard to be funny and shock you makes this rail shooter fall short like many that have come before it.

 

Score :

 

3/10