Film Review “Triple 9”

Starring: Casey Affleck, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Woody Harrelson
Directed by: John Hillcoat
Rated: R
Running time: 1 hr 55 mins
Open Road Films
Our Score: 4 out of 5 (stars!)

A group of men rush into a local bank. Brandishing weapons they wordlessly force the manager into the vault. Soon they have what they came for and run out. A few hours later they change clothes, put on their badges and go to work.

A well-crafted thriller, “Triple 9” is a game of one-upmanship between a group of dirty cops and the wife of an imprisoned gangster. It seems that one of the gang had a child with the wife’s sister and now she is holding their son hostage until she gets what she wants. What she wants is achievable but to buy the time necessary they need to have a “Triple 9” – a police call that signifies that an officer has been shot. Who will be the unlucky boy in blue?

Sharply written and featuring an amazing cast, “Triple 9” is an early spring present for movie goers. As the leader of the baddies, Ejiofor is strong. Hot when he needs to be, but always cool, it is easy to see why the men follow him. Anthony Mackie, Norman Reedus and Aaron Paul are among the bad apples, and the rapport they share on screen is strong. Harrelson is a veteran detective who is helping mentor his nephew (Affleck), the new guy on the block and the cop with a bullseye on his back.

The action set-pieces are well performed and director Hillcoat keeps the film moving from the first frame to the last. The film’s tone is set and runs on the original music and songs created by a very talented quartet of young men. The music is often able to further the plot in a way that simple dialogue cannot. Who is bad and who is good? Instead of hitting you over the head, “Triple 9” lets you decide on your own.

“Force 9” – A Comic Blast From The Past Has Arrived

I grew up with a lot of friends that could draw. Actually, I take that back. These guys were artists. Some of them went on to do some great work. Unfortunately the only things I could draw was the shark from JAWS and Albert, the alligator from the comic strip “Pogo.” In December 1982, young Joel D. Wynkoop turned out issues #42, 43 and 44 of his original comic series “Ray Blast.” Wynkoop has assembled these stories into a 60-plus page book entitled “Force 9.’ Filled with original super-heroes, and the occasional visitor or two from the Marvel Universe, the stories are a fun look back at a simpler time when young men with dreams put pen and ink to paper to capture them.

Printed on heavy glossy paper, with any and all blemishes still intact (words marked out with pen, constantly spelling nobody as “knowbody”), “Force 9” is a nostalgic trip down memory lane that will make readers recall their younger days of taking out pen and paper and creating. If you want to relive that moment again I suggest picking up a copy of “Force 9” by stopping by www.joeldwynkoop.com

DVD Review "Charles Band Presents: Death Comes in 3s – 9 Film Collection"

Actors: Gary Busey, Tim Thomerson, Trent Haaga, Logan Alexander, Debbie Rochon, Angeles Vargas, Jackie Beat, K-Von Moezzi, Robin Sydney, Selene Luna, Tracy Scoggins
Directors: Charles Band, Peter Manogian, Sylvia St. Croix, William Butler, Craig Ross, Tammi Sutton, John Lechago
Number of discs: 2
Rated: R / Not Rated
Studio: Echo Bridge Entertainment
DVD Release Date: March 5, 2013
Run Time: 671 minutes

Our Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

I don’t know what it is about Charles Band and his crazy movies at Full Moon but they always draw me in.  I have been a fan of these films since I was tall enough (and probably too young) to see them on the video store shelves. This collection comes with nine horror films from three different franchises: Demonic Toys, The Gingerdead Man and Killjoy series. I mean how can you say no to killer toys, cookies and demon clowns? It is really a no-brainer if you are a fan of cheesy yet fun horror films.

Includes the films “Demonic Toys”, “Demonic Toys 2”, “Dollman Vs. Demonic Toys”, “The Gingerdead Man”, “Gingerdead Man 2: Passion Of The Crust”, “Gingerdead Man 3: Saturday Night Cleaver”, “Killjoy”, “Killjoy 2: Deliverance From Evil” and “Killjoy 3”. The main concern I have with this release is that it is technically not complete. “Puppet Master vs Demonic Toys” was released in 2004 and is not included here but that is most likely due to the fact that Echo Bridge does not own rights. Also missing is the new “Killjoy Goes to Hell”, which was just released late last year. Nonetheless, it still contains some very fun films and is a real great collection for any fan of Full Moon and Charles Band’s madness.

DEMONIC TOYS: A botched bust on a pair of arms dealers inadvertently leads to the awakening of a demon with the power to bring toys to life as his personal minions. DEMONIC TOYS 2: When an oddball group of characters gather to inspect an ancient puppet, strange things begin to happen. DOLLMAN VS. DEMONIC TOYS: Officer Judith Gray seeks the help of miniature-sized cop, Brick Bardo, and his equally small girlfriend, Nurse Ginger, when she runs into trouble with the evil Toys.

THE GINGERDEAD MAN: When the ashes of a deranged killer make their way into a secret gingerbread cookie mix, a mini-murderer is born. THE GINGERDEAD MAN 2: THE PASSION OF THE CRUST: The deranged cookie murderer “The Gingerdead Man” crashes a movie studio and leaves behind a trail of bloody murder and hilarious mayhem. THE GINGERDEAD MAN 3: SATURDAY NIGHT CLEAVER: The Gingerdead Man travels back in time to a 1976 roller-boogie contest where he causes more chaos than ever before.

KILLJOY: When an outcast is bullied to death, a killer clown exacts revenge in his honor. His name is Killjoy and he thinks murder is a laughing matter. KILLJOY 2: On a wilderness rehabilitation trip, a group of at-risk youth find themselves in the home of a voodoo woman where Killjoy’s spirit is summoned. KILLJOY 3: A group of unsuspecting college students accidentally open the portal to Killjoy’s demon realm and get trapped in a strange funhouse world with the killer clown and his friends.

When it comes to the “Demonic Toys” series, I have always enjoyed each film equally. They are all micro-budgeted but I love the use of the puppets throughout.  The first is the best in the series but I do have a special place for “Dollman vs. Demonic Toys”, even though it is barely an hour and focuses a lot of flashbacks.  The “Dollman” series has always been one of my favorites and it is fun to see him go against these killer toys! “The Gingerdead Man” is something that cannot enough be described to anyone without being looked at funny.  For this series, the best film is the first – did I mention that Gary Busey stars in this?  The second and third are both fun but very silly and over-the-top but don’t forget we are talking about a killer gingerbread man. Lastly, the “Killjoy” is a lot of fun.  Who isn’t afraid of clowns…even just a little.  Killjoy is a great character.  The first one is also the best but the second and third are a whole lot of fun as well.

Echo Bridge packed all nine of these films onto to two DVDs, which is quite a lot and I feel that the films themselves do suffer a bit.  “Demonic Toys 2” is a pretty rough copy of the film, probably the worst of the bunch.  It has a lot of transfer issues throughout. Though that is kind of expected these are not high-def films and where shot very low-budget. Besides the nine films, there are no other special features included on this release but that is expected with a massive 9-film collection like this.  Is it worth the price of less than $15? You bet you ass! Don’t miss this release for sure!

“The Vampire Diaries” Official Convention Comes to Orlando for the First Time December 8 and 9th

Creation Entertainment’s The Vampire Diaries Official Convention will come to Orlando December 8 -9 at The Hilton Walt Disney World Resort, 1751 Hotel Plaza Blvd., Lake Buena Vista, 32830.

The romantic and suspenseful storylines of The CW’s mega-hit series The Vampire Diaries (Thursdays 8/7c), from Warner Bros. Television, have introduced television viewers to fantastic breakout stars who have seductively attracted a worldwide following of passionate fans. This weekend event is dedicated to putting fans in the middle of all The Vampire Diaries action.

Throughout the weekend, on stage celebrity guests from The Vampire Diaries will include:  on Saturday, Michael Trevino (Tyler Lockwood), Steven R. McQueen (Jeremy Gilbert), Todd Williams (Connor Jordan) and Nathaniel Buzolic (Kol); on Sunday, Ian Somerhalder (Damon Salvatore), Paul Wesley (Stefan Salvatore), Torrey DeVitto (Dr. Meredith Fell) and Robert Ri’chard (Jamie).

Hosting this weekend’s show will be Hannah and Hilly Hindi and guests from the The Hillywood Show, a YouTube hit who are known for their hilarious spoofs from various movies.  They will also be performing skits, posing for photos and adding to the weekend of fun!

The fun will be kicked up a notch with the Saturday Night The Vampire Diaries Decade Dance, Cocktail Party and Centerpiece Contest where attendee can have a night of fun featuring music, dancing, contest and celebrities. A separate ticket is required for this event.

In addition to celebrity appearances, the non-stop auditorium show will include costume and trivia contests, no minimum bid auctions of unique collectibles and one-of-a-kind items, and previews of upcoming sci-fi television shows and motion pictures.

Limited tickets are available in advance or at the door starting at $25 on Saturday and $45 on Sunday.  Tickets for the Saturday Night Cocktail Party are $79.  Show hours are Saturday, 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM and Sunday, 9:45 AM – 7:00 PM.

For further information, call Creation Entertainment,

818/409-0960, or visit our website at www.TheVampireDiariesConvention.com

About THE VAMPIRE DIARIES Television Series

Now in its third season, THE VAMPIRE DIARIES is the story of two vampire brothers obsessed with the same beautiful girl, who are battling to control the fate of an entire town. Based on the best-selling book series by L.J. Smith, THE VAMPIRE DIARIES stars Nina Dobrev (upcoming The Killing Game), Paul Wesley (Fallen), Ian Somerhalder (Lost), Steven R. McQueen (Everwood), Kat Graham (Honey 2), Candice Accola (Juno), Zach Roerig (Friday Night Lights), Michael Trevino (Cane), Matt Davis (Blue Crush) and Joseph Morgan (Ben Hur). Produced by Bonanza Productions Inc., Outerbanks Entertainment and Alloy Entertainment in association with Warner Bros. Television and CBS Television Studios, the series was developed by Kevin Williamson (the Scream films, Dawson’s Creek) and Julie Plec (Kyle XY), who serve as executive producers along with Leslie Morgenstein (Gossip Girl, Pretty Little Liars) and Bob Levy (Gossip Girl).
About Warner Bros. Consumer Products

Warner Bros. Consumer Products, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company, is one of the leading licensing and retail merchandising organizations in the world.
About Creation Entertainment, Inc.

Creation Entertainment produces events and merchandise for fans of genre films and television.  Founded in 1971 the company has promoted over 2,000 conventions for fans of popular properties including Twilight, The Lord of the Rings, Star Trek, Star Wars, The X-Files, and Stargate.

THE VAMPIRE DIARIES and all related characters and elements are trademarks of and © Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

 

Digital Film Review “General Orders No. 9”

Directed by: Robert Persons
Narrated by: William Davidson
Distributed by: Variance Films
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Running Time: 72 minutes

Our Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

I am a sucker for cool poster art. I usually get easily draw or turned off by a film’s poster or box art. “General Orders No. 9” was one of those examples, with its pipe-smoking rabbit. I was shocked to find out that it was in fact a documentary about deals with the progress of change happening American South. Doesn’t sound interesting to you? Well it is definitely not for everyone. This is a very interesting unique film and if you are a fan of documentary and amazing cinematography then check out “General Orders No. 9” for sure.

If you have seen the work of Terrence Malick, especially “The Tree of Life”, I couldn’t help but think that some of this footage was from that movie. It seems like something that would have come out of Malick’s head. The film is a unique display of experimental filmmaking that has spanned over eleven years’ work from first time writer-director Bob Persons. This is a film about the changing landscape of the American South and focuses on nature and man’s progress. It is told entirely with images, poetry, and music throughout.

“General Orders No. 9” is definitely a unique film and quite a visual journey of the South’s landscapes. It is subtle and simplistic, yet while sending across a very important message. The film is currently available to own using iTunes for a reasonable $9.99. Like I said this is not for everyone, but you are open for an experimental documentary on the landscapes of the South then this will be for you.

DVD Review “Red vs. Blue- Season 9”

Directed by: Burnie Burns, Matt Hullum
Voices: Matt Hullum, Gustavo Sorola, Geoff Ramsey, Joel Heyman, Burnie Burns, Shannon McCormick, Jason Saldana, Yomary Cruz, Kathleen Zuelch
Distributed by: New Video
MPAA Rating: Not Rating
Running Time: 120 minutes

Overall Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

“Halo” has this huge universe that has been built around it over the years. I am sure that in order to truly appreciate “Red vs. Blue”, you need to be a MEGA huge fan of “Halo”. Well, I am not but I still enjoyed it…for the most part. This release contains the ninth season of the series. The season depicts two separate stories. The first one in uses the “Halo: Reach” engine in machinima style and continues after the finale of “Revelation”. The other part is presented with CGI and it’s storyline follows after the “Blood Gulch Chronicles”.

What I enjoyed about this season is that it really packed some decent action but was also very funny. The recorded dialogue is pretty sharp and witty. I have to saw though the machinima style is cool but definitely limited to its potential. The CGI scenes are freaking awesome but there really isn’t enough of them to make this rock. I would have loved to see more for sure. The one part that I had a issue with was the jumping between storylines…got a little confusing. From what I read about “Revelation”, in this season the machinima and CGI are not blended and each one actually represents a different timeline in the “Red vs. Blue” storyline.

The special features on the disc make this purchase worth wild for sure. First off we have commentary from directors Burnie Burns and Matt Hullum. It is fun and worth checking out. There are additional special videos and PSA’s from the series, which are short but definitely fun. The outtakes are also very funny and is a great addition. There are also deleted scenes and they are good but not great. The cast interviews worth a look also especially since you get to meet the people behind the voices. Lastly there are behind-the-scenes features which give some great insight into the production, probably the best feature.