Monday, December 28, 2009

Review: Avatar (2009) [Reviewed By Clifford Kiyabu]

Directed by: James Cameron
Written by: James Cameron (written by)
Genre: Action / Adventure / Sci-Fi
MPAA: Rated PG-13 for intense epic battle sequences and warfare, sensuality, language and some smoking.
Released: 18 December 2009
Starring: Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, Stephen Lang, Michelle Rodriguez, Giovanni Ribisi, Joel Moore.

Plot: A paraplegic marine dispatched to the moon Pandora on a unique mission becomes torn between following his orders and protecting the world he feels is his home.

Review: 10/10

The Story is about: AVATAR takes us to a spectacular world beyond imagination, where a reluctant hero embarks on an epic adventure, ultimately fighting to save the alien world he has learned to call home. James Cameron, the Oscar-winning director of "Titanic," first conceived the film 15 years ago, when the means to realize his vision did not exist yet. Now, after four years of production, AVATAR, a live action film with a new generation of special effects, delivers a fully immersive cinematic experience of a new kind, where the revolutionary technology invented to make the film disappears into the emotion of the characters and the sweep of the story.

My Thoughts: In all my years I’ve always had a hunger for wanting to observe and learn the many different cultures and historical events the world has to offer, from life’s most horrific atrocities like wars without end to life’s greatest creation both natural and man made, what I‘ve learned though is that in all corners of the globe history has shown one quintessential truth: man fears what he simply does not understand, and he will destroy what he doesn’t understand! How much beauty has this world once had, and still has that is being destroyed by man all over the world? And that doesn’t include man’s thirst for taking what’s not his.

For a long, long time I have stood in disbelief over the production of James Cameron’s latest flick Avatar Mainly because I’ve always thought of him as an overrated director whom people over exaggerate from time to time, I mean sure he’s made some really good films in the past but I never really saw him as anything masterpiece like worthy, especially after he made Titanic (Don‘t get me started, I was forced to watch that movie in theaters so many times that I can recite the film’s dialogue scene for scene in my head.) so after he decided to leave directing to journey around the world by sea for all these years I figured with 12 years absent from the directing spot light he was pretty much done, and there was no way we’d get back the man we all knew from the 80’s and 90’s, I mean you’d have to take into account that 12 years is a long time, and the times have changed and he may not be able to live up to the monumental prestige he built over the course of 28 years, so I basically pre-judged this film from the get-go with a somewhat negative outlook on it, heck I didn‘t even think it would become anything note worthy when I first heard about it years ago when it was still in it‘s conceptual stage. Well that was before I sat down to watch it, and let me tell you; with all the fibers of my being telling me this film did not have the slightest chance of succeeding, I fell in love with the magnificently stunning world that is the Pandora!

Pandora is a lush earth-like moon that rotates around the gas giant Polyphemus, in the Alpha Centauri system and is inhabited by the na’vi, a species of humanoid-like natives that are blue skin and stand at rightly 10 feet or so tall. These wonderful beings are only the tip of the ice berg in the film Avatar. James Cameron has grafted a plot that is with layers of sub-messages that many film critics who’ve criticized the film failed to notice that the plot in itself is enriched with an echoing past tale presented in a futuristic setting, it’s like a modern telling of Pocahontas, I won’t go much future into saying anything else so as to not ruin the film for anyone. But I will say that Director James Cameron has outdone himself with creating one of the most visually unique enriching worlds with the film Avatar, what he’s done is bring more than just a film, but an experience of the decade! The stunning visual effects are second to none, and the storyline is a gripping hang on to the edge of your seat experience that is fully satisfying to say the least. I cannot stress how truly beautiful a film this is overall other than it’s nothing short of EPIC! The only slight problem the film had which I honestly don’t see it hurting the film in the slightest way is the dialogue some of the characters use in the film, it often at times seemed a little cheesy, but after a second viewing (Yes, this film needs to be viewed more than once to truly appreciate the wonders Cameron has created) I found it somewhat acceptable.

As for the acting: I’m not sure what the heck actor Sam Worthington did to make such an impression as to Star in two major films this year (the other being Terminator Salvation (2009)) but I’m glad he did it because he was fantastic in the leading male role, though I wasn’t to keen on his performance in Terminator Salvation, the latter was stunning to say the least, I greatly look forward to see what he’s got going for him next. Zoe Saldana was out-of-this-world in the leading female role, which is a huge step up I must say, because in my opinion she has usually played mediocre roles over the last decade, but in this year alone has changed my entire opinion on her after watching her preformed in this and in the summer hit Star Trek (2009). Sigourney Weaver has always been an on and off enjoyment for me, meanly because while I liked just about everything she’s done throughout the 80’s and 90’s, I’ve never fully enjoyed her work as an actress in the 00’s era as much as I’ve done in the past, but once again she has saved herself from falling from grace with her performance in Avatar as Dr. Grace Augustine, and brings out the part of herself that is reminiscent of the Weaver we’ve all come to love. Stephen Lang give a stellar performance that commanded authority on screen, and though he has some of the most cheesiest dialogue in the whole film, it’s clear the he was born for this part as he suit it perfectly.

It’s not unheard of that I’m a big Michelle Rodriguez fan, I’ve enjoyed her acting since my first viewing of Girlfight (2000), though I haven’t enjoyed much of her work in the more recent films (Fast & Furious (2009)) and I often wish she would think wisely about her choice in films she’d act in (Uwe Boll's BloodRayne (2005) the biggest disappointment for me) but we get a glimmer of that tough-girl performance that won over audiences years ago with her newest film Avatar! Though it’s not her best, it’s at least on par with her more better work which I’m more than satisfied with. Giovanni Ribisi give a pretty reasonable performance that I found very entertaining, and it’s especially nice to see him in a major film such as this again (everyone remember when he was a new up and coming actor? What the heck happened, man?). Joel Moore did impressively well, which is saying a lot from me, because I’ve always thought of him as one of those actors people consider a guilty pleasure, you can’t stand him in the roles he play, yet you can’t stop watching for the sake of curiosity.

Final Say: Avatar was an experience for the decade no doubt, it‘s one of those rare films that come along that you don‘t watch, you live it!, and after fully examining the film over in my mind I’ve come to the conclusion that such a film as grand as this would not be possible ten years ago, and had it been made earlier the film would have been an utter disaster! I’m glad James Cameron waited all these years for the technology to catch up in the film industry before making it, it certainly was well worth the wait and money, and hopefully we won’t have to wait another 12 years to see a sequel. I highly recommend it!

Copyright 2009
All Rights Reserved

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Rain Man Passed Away At 58.

As most of you know I’m not one to always report news regarding a celebrity’s death unless it’s someone monumentally big in show business, or simply because I have a fondness for them. Well it saddens me to report this next bit but: Kim Peek has died at the age of 58 According to The Guardian, the 58-year-old suffered a heart attack in his hometown of Salt Lake City, Ut. Peek was often labeled a 'megasavant' for his incredible recall and memorization abilities, being able to remember things the majority of people can even begin to fathom.

In case you don’t know who Peek was, he was the inspiration behind Dustin Hoffman's character 'Raymond Babbitt' from the oscar winning film Rain Man (1988). And after working on the set of the film he had gone onto making appearances all over the United Stats and elsewhere outside of the country appearing before more than 2 million people in his travels beside his father Fran and making new and personal connections with everyone he met. He was deemed by multiple groups as one of the ‘brightest individuals’ to come around in the last 100 years, and had a brain that many medical groups as well as scientist were fascinated by. In his journeys he’s managed impressively wow likes of Oxford University. Peek possessed expertise in about 15 different subjects which included history, geography, sports and literature, but unfortunately due to his permanent brain damage from birth he lacked motor skills to the point where he couldn’t perform basic tasks like dressing himself. Kim Peek is survived by his father Fran Peek, whom cared for him everyday of his life. Mr. Peek, it was a pleasure having to share yourself with the world, we certainly will not forget you.

11 November 1951 – 19 December 2009

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Review: Don’t Shoot The Pharmacist! (2009) [Reviewed By Clifford Kiyabu]

Directed by: David Broitman
Written by: David Broitman (Written By)
Genre: Comedy
MPAA: Not Rated
Released: 2009
Starring: Ben Bailey, Edwin Matos.Jr, Godfrey, Steve Byrne, Jayson Simba, Roger Anthony, Erik Davies, Shaun Taylor-Corbett, Myles MacVane, Ardie Fuqua, Emily Sproch.

Plot: A Pharmacist, braves a memorably zany night as he muses about life as a Vegas roulette dealer while encountering a range of odd customers

Review: 7/10

The Story is about: 2008 Emmy Winner Ben Bailey plays Zack Wright, a Pharmacist stuck on a zany graveyard shift in Brooklyn who must do everything in his power to simply survive the night.

My Thoughts: I’ve always wondered, what is the definition of a dream job? For some it’s one with a high pay, while for others it’s one that holds a sense of prestige and entitlement behind it, and for the few, a dream job is simply one that does not require money nor power but requires something that neither money or entitlement can buy. While those enjoy making a lot of money, it’s greatly depressing to force one’s self to get out of bed every morning to do something that gives little enjoyment to the soul, and to do this reputedly over and over each and every day can be greatly tiresome to a point where it can be compared to a slow and painful death. For the few, a dream job is something that makes you want to get out of that forsaken bed every morning, it put’s a voluntary smile on your face everytime you walk through the doors of your work place and fills you up with glee inside. Unfortunately not everyone get’s to feel what that feels like.

Recently I had the pleasure of reviewing the film; Don’t shoot the pharmacist! A comedy about Zack Wright (Played by Ben Bailey), a pharmacist who dreams of being a Los Vegas roulette dealer but works miserably day in day out in a small 24Hr New Jersey Pharmacy. The film starts up on Zack’s day off, or what should have been his day off to be exact. After getting a phone call from his work notifying him that his co-worker who’s supposed to cover the nightshift called in sick, Zack is forced to cover for the guy wither he likes it or not. The film take place over the course of one very humorous and eventful evening with Zack encountering a slew of weird characters who hangs out around a pharmacy that’s open 24 hours. From the over priced prostitute who everyone wants a piece of, to the a guy suffering from OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) to the crazy old guy who seems to be just wondering in and out of the place constantly. You know, the regulars! Anyways, the film is a delightful indie comedy that doesn’t hold back on being raunchy and crude and sometimes a little unusual. Like a comedy straight out of the 90’s, Don’t shoot the pharmacist! Carries a certain sense of comedic film Noir that has been mostly absent in most of these modern comedies.

The film plays closely to the theme of a similar film that some should remember from the early 90‘s. Does Kevin Smith’s cult classic comedy “Clerks” ring any belles? Well it certainly should if you are any bit of a fanboy or fangirl because it revolutionized the modern comedy genre in ways we’re still trying to grasp, and the film; Don’t shoot the pharmacist! pays homage to that sense of comedy in more ways than one, rather it was the filmmakers intention to do just that or not is yet to be seen, either way the film hits all it’s comedic punch line on target which is what makes it work so perfectly. But let me get one thing clear: though I’ve said the film plays out very closely in the same sense that clerks does (Which is basically the main characters and the situations their put in) I must stress that it is not a carbine copy and or a rip-off in any way, but rather brings it’s own brand of uniqueness to the table. Does this make it a good film? Yes, is it perfect? No, not by a long shot! The film does have it’s problem don’t get me wrong, but none of which however hurts the film in any real bad way. But to add to that I must point out one problem I had with the film that I feel needs addressing which is in regards to the plot. While the plot’s main focus is supposed to be on Zack’s dream of one day becoming a Los Vegas roulette dealer. We see very little of that presented in the film, to which point you’ll often at times completely forget what was is the main character’s life goal was to begin with, I really wished they’d had included a much deeper in-depth look into the reasons behind his wanting to become a roulette dealer, never the less the film was still an entertaining peace of cinema to experience no less.

As for the acting: what can I say, the acting was quite enjoyable here, it’s certainly nothing Oscar worthy but still something that keeps the viewer entertained. Ben Bailey whom anyone who watches the Discovery Chanel will know right off the bat from the show “Cash Cab” was fantastic in the lead as Zack Wright, he gave the character this unsettling tone of humor that projected quite nicely. Edwin Matos Jr. was very entertaining, he matched Bailey’s unsettling comedic tone with a wise guy sense of humor that made them a perfect onscreen duo. I can’t say I’m much a fan of Godfrey mainly because I’ve seen some of his past performances in other films and just like this one I wasn’t pleased, not to mention his form of comedy tends to be a bit over the top for my liking, however despite my not caring much for his performance in this film I will say it was the most tolerable if that helps in anyway. Jayson Simba and Shaun Taylor-Corbett fairly decent but could have been a little better, Myles MacVane gave probably the most wired yet peculiar performance in the film, because it‘s authentically believable to a point where you‘d believe that this man is actually somewhat disturbed. Ardie Fuqua and Emily Sproch give wonderful performances that complements the film’s tone and works incredibly well with the situations.

Final Say: Don’t shoot the pharmacist! Was an interesting film to see because it doesn’t try to be anything more than it was which is a heck of a comedic trip full of wired. Is the film full of holes? Yes, is it original? Not by a long shot, but what it was is a wonderful piece of cinematic entertainment that is worth checking out. I recommend it!

Copyright 2009
All Rights Reserved

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Brittany Murphy Dead at 32

Shocking news TMZ has just reported that Actress Brittany Murphy has just died on Sunday morning December 20 at 10:04 AM at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. TMZ has claims that according to multiple sources, Murphy went into cardiac arrest and could not be revived. TMZ is also reporting that the Los Angeles City Fire Department confirmed a 911 call was made at 8 a.m. Sunday morning from the home of Simon Monjack, her husband.

And according to the site the LAPD has launched a death investigation. Murphy who came into stardom after co-starring in the 1995 sleeper hit Clueless (1995) and went on to star in other known films such as Don't Say a Word (2001) 8 Mile (2002) Just Married (2003) Sin City (2005) and Happy Feet (2006). Murphy has drifted from the major spotlight recently but was due for a hug comeback before this great tragedy struck. Brittany Murphy Dead at 32.


November 10, 1977 – December 20, 2009

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Boondock Saints 10th Anniversary is Coming!

Wendy Shepherd over at has just notified me that the Boondock Saints 10th anniversary celebration is coming up and it’s definitely not going unnoticed especially with the recent publicity from it‘s sequel which was released almost ten years to the day of it‘s original! Read below on what was posted on…

Help bring the ORIGINAL FIRST Boondock Saints to the big screen...

Do you want to play a role in bringing the 10th Anniversary
Celebration of the original Boondock Saints to the big screen in movie
theatres nationwide for an exclusive one-night event around St.
Patrick’s Day 2010? If so, demand that it come to the big screen in
your hometown! We’re planning to pull out all of the stops for this
event with special behind-the-scenes footage, an interview with
writer/director Troy Duffy and other special guests and surprises.
It’s up to you to make this event happen! Demand it NOW, post the
widget to your personal pages and encourage your friends to do the
same! The sooner you tell us you want it, the sooner we can start
making it happen.

The Original didn’t get the wide release it deserved nor was it well received by most of the mainstream critics. But over the years is has received a massive cult following that has spawn a sequel and cause some critics to change their opinion on the film from basing to praising! For those of you who don’t know, Boondock Saints followed Fraternal twins Connor and Murphy McManus (Played By Sean Patrick Flanery and Norman Reedus) who set out to rid Boston of the evil men operating there while being tracked down by an upbeat FBI agent (Played by Willem Dafoe).

Head on over to to demand it in your city if you want to take part in the celebration!

MTV to Make TEEN WOLF Remake!?

Not sure if this is news most people will want to hear, but apparently MTV is planning to remake the 1980’s classic TEEN WOLF! Which I already know many people (Me included) are sick and tired of having to stomach news of remake after remake thrown at them by Hollywood, and that not including the so-called “Re-Imagining” that so many producers like to claim aren’t a remake. Though word about it being remade have circulated the net for years, many (Also including me) thought it wasn’t going to happen due to a mixture of rumors and creative conflict on how’d modernized version would be handled.

But apparently it appears that MTV is finally moving forward with productions with some very interesting news, now hold on just a minute before jumping to any conclusions about the remake coming to a theater near you, reports show that MTV has decided to go a different rout with the remake and instead will be turning the classic teen comedy that once starred Michael J. Fox as the loveable basketball dribbling werewolf into a series! YEP, you read it right, it’s going to be a series, the show is set to star Tyler Posey, Tyler Hoechlin, Crystal Reed and Dylan O'Brien and the story will follow closely to the original movie with one exception being there will be villainous werewolves in the town who our heroic Wolf will do battle with throughout the show. However as it stands right now the project is only set as a pilot and MTV hasn't given it full commitment just yet, and with hopes of the bed publicity they’ve been getting lately with their bad choices in programming we can only hope this show will never see past it’s pilot.

On a side Note: is it just me or wasn't MTV a fantastic past time when the M stood for Music and not Moron?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


There are so many different types of sub-genres within the horror genre that makes staying up late for a little midnight madness (Oh how I can relate) but the one that truly stands out for me is none other than the classic monster mash genre (Dracula, The Mummy, The Wolf-Man, ect.) most of which have either been remade or re-Imagined as how the many studio execs like to put it.

But it seems yet another famous monster is about to join the ranks of remakes and get his own makeover, Yep you’ve guessed it, it’s none other than the Gill Man from the famous 1954 horror classic Creature from the Black Lagoon! Universal is in talks with Carl Erik Rinsch to re-launch the Gill Man films onto the big screen as soon as 2011 (release date is still a rumer and not finalized), though nothing is set in stone just yet Rinsch has indicated that things are moving forward as planed and we should see things happening very soon. With the new WOLFMAN movie on it’s way to the big screen next year could this be a sign that Universal is serious about re-launching the classic Universal Monsters? As you know The "Universal Monsters Legacy" played a huge part in forming the Universal Pictures we’ve all come to love, though I won't say you should be jumping up and down with glee over the news just yet as there is no reall offical word on productions starting at the moment, it will be interesting to see how this unfolds over time.

Where the original Creature from the Black Lagoon was released in 3D it’s highly likely that the remake will follow suit. More news on this will be reported as we hear it.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

G LOVE Wins Award at Accolade Film Awards!

I know news articles pertaining to everything in the entertainment field haven’t exactly been on par with movie reviews over the year, but I’m hoping to turn that around with the new year on it’s way, and what better why than by starting with this article right? Recently I got word through the grape vine that a certain up and coming director has just been recognized by "The Accolade Film Awards" and was awarded an "Award of Merit" for his new film G Love, which from what I‘ve heard has left quite an impression among certain followings and even received a few nods by the awards committee. If you still haven’t s clue as to who the heck I’m talking about than let it be known that it’s only a matter of time before Director P.B. Floyd and Actor/Producer Seth Donavan make their mark. Read on below for more details.

LOS ANGELES Oct. 29, 2009 --- Youth in their teens and early twenties
get the insider's view of the actions some people will take for love
in Director P.B. Floyd's film, G Love which has won a prestigious Award of Merit from The Accolade Film Awards Competition.

Floyd took time from working on his new teen dance family film, "I
Wanna Dance," to work on "G Love." The short romantic comedy, starring
Seth Donavan as Steven Dork, presents the idea that there is love for everybody, if they can just be themselves.

Since winning the award, Floyd is making plans to produce "G Love"
into a feature-length film to share more of the humor and imagination
Donavan's Dork character brings to a wide-theatrical release.

"With the comedic talent of Jim Carrey, and the looks of a young Tom
Hanks, Seth Donavan is making his mark to ensure his spot at the top
of the motion picture industry,"
Floyd said.

"Seth really stood out as Steven Dork," Floyd said. "His quirky
reactions and cool responses made this movie more intense. He did a
great job of feeding off the other actors' energy to help deliver the
story with a lot of finesse."

"The entire production team, including editor Devon V. Collins and
sound designer Mike Snugg, created an exceptional product,"
Donavan, who also produced the film. "This extraordinary team was able
to put together a final product that surprised even us with its polish
and sparkle. By the ending of the script's deliverance, I recognized
that this could be something special."

The Accolade Competition recognizes film, television and videography
professionals who demonstrate exceptional achievement in craft and
creativity, and those who produce standout entertainment or contribute
to profound social change. Entries are judged by professionals in the
film and television industry. Information about The Accolade and a
list of recent winners can be found at

"The goal of The Accolade is to help winners achieve the recognition
they so deserve, but it is not an easy award to win,"
said Thomas
Baker, Ph.D., who chairs The Accolade Competition. "Entries are
received from around the world, so this award helps set the standard
for craft and creativity. The judges were pleased with the
exceptionally high quality of entries for this particular

In winning an Accolade, "G Love" joins the ranks of other high-profile
winners of this internationally respected award.

For more information about the film "G Love" or it’s cast head on over to and contact Wendy Shepherd and/or visit the official "G Love" Website at

Review: Carter (2009) [Reviewed By Clifford Kiyabu]

Directed by: Ryan Andrew Balas
Written by: Ryan Andrew Balas (writer) & Richard Buonagurio (co-writer) & Deirdre Herlihy (co-writer) & Julia Porter Howe (co-writer) & Mark Robert Ryan (co-writer)
Genre: Drama
MPAA: Not Rated
Released: 24 November 2009 (USA)
Starring: Julia Porter Howe, Mark Robert Ryan, Deirdre Herlihy, Ryan Andrew Balas, Joe Berardi, Richard Buonagurio.

Plot: After vowing he’d kill himself at the age of 25 if he was not married by 23. Jebadiah Sminch is in love with Carter the only woman who completes him; however he is only three days away from his 25th birthday and still unmarried. Will Jebadiah stick to vow or not?

Review: 6/10

The Story is about: When Jebadiah was 17 he vowed to kill himself when he turned 25 if he wasn't married by the time he was 23. This film takes place three days before his 25th birthday. Jeb is in love with Carter, but unmarried. Now he must make the hardest decision of his life; be with the woman he loves or carry forward with his pact.

My Thoughts: While young at heart, most people are so egger to grow up that they allow their childhood to past them by. How sad it is to see people, who spent so much time trying to grow up that they never enjoyed their childhood to the fullest. Such regrets live on with most individuals for years to come.

Have you ever made a pact? Sure you have, we’ve all made a pact of some sort in our lives, may it be a pact to lost some of that belly fat we gained over the holidays, or one at the beginning of the new year to change something about your lifestyle. Pacts are more common than most would think. But what if someone were to make a pact with themselves that would ultimately result in their own demise? That’s where the film Carter comes into play. The film is widely scaled with the overall premise of wanting to re-live that spark of the past, and feeling the awful regret of losing the dream. The film Carter centralizes itself around Jebadiah Sminch (Played by Mark Robert Ryan) a man who made a pact with himself as a teenager that if he didn’t get married by the age of 23 he was going to kill himself on his 25 birthday, the only problem is he has found someone who makes him happy. So now he’s torn between either following through with the pact or stick with the good thing he’s got going with the woman he loves. Now I know what you’re thinking; if the main character the film is surrounded around is called “Jebadiah” than where the heck did the title name “Carter” come from? Well that’s a simple question to answer, because Carter (Played by Julia Porter Howe) is the name of Jebadiah’s girlfriend who loves him so much that it’s killing her deep down inside knowing that though he loves her, he’s too honor bound to his own pact that he’s willing to throw away the love they have just so he can remain true to himself. The question is though, what will he decide in the end, will it be a happen ending or a bitter sweet one?

What can I say? For a lack of better words, the film is a bit of a mixed bag for me. Though I liked some of the aspects the film presented, there were a lot of problems there as well. As a pro, the film presented this fantastic opening which introduced the female lead in a silent, yet forth telling scene where though she had no verbal lines, her overall body language communicated her intentions very well. The relationship between the two main characters on screen works well at times but also hurts the storyline too; their unconditional love on screen definitely does not go unnoticed. However, while their unconditional love proves to be atmospheric at times and gives the viewers a sense of realism, it lacks intimacy on a grand scale. I waited and waited for something intimate to happen between the two of them to convince me that they were believably in love, but upon waiting for this to happen throughout the film’s course I was left unsold on the idea and instead keep getting the overwhelming “just friends” vibe from them. Even as I watched them kiss each other on screen it felt, in my opinion, forced. The other problem I had often at times was the dialogue. Nothing personal against the dialogue in the film, but the way it’s projected on screen comes off rather weak at times. I really wanted to enjoy this film as much as I did the last two installments in the One Way or Another Productions “Naked Series”, and to some extent I did enjoy a part of it. But in my opinion the film just didn’t quite live up to the hype I felt from the previous films.

As for the acting: Julia Porter Howe was great, I loved her take on the opening very much. The opening scene with her was fantastic because she managed to express so much in her emotions and body language without so much as saying a single word, which is a great talent to have believe it or not. However, there were moments throughout the film where her performance in general was how should I say, rocky? It’s not that her performance was bad after the beginning of the, it‘s just that there were times where I felt that her potential was being held back for some reason. Mark Robert Ryan was not that impressive to me, in fact I had the hardest time following his performance in the film due to the mustache. Yep you read right, that mustache of his was just one big distraction for me. So much that I had to re-watch a few scenes over just to focus better [Laughs] but it’s because of this that I honestly could not find the compassion in me to feel for his character in his most darkest hour. Deirdre Herlihy was pretty okay, her performance was slightly better in this than when I last caught a glimpse of her acting style in the film “Uptown” earlier this year. Perhaps this means she’s making great improvements? Either way she stands to be adequate in this. Aside from directing this film Ryan Andrew Balas does a pretty decent job in his performance, though I will admit that I have yet to see any of his other works to really place a true judgment.

Final Say: Carter was a very interesting concept of a film. Something you don’t see too often in movies now days. However the concept of the film may have intrigued me, I still had a hard time following this film close to heart. I really wanted to like this film, I really did because the overall concept is very alluring and yet, the film is not. If only it had a few changes done to it perhaps this film could have lived up to the promise it presented.

Copyright 2009
All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Review: Ex Occultus: Badge of Langavat (one-shot)

Written by: Robert James Russell & Jesse Young
Art Work: Sandra Lanz
Colors: Tim McDonley
Publisher: Saint James Comics
Released: Jul 21, 2009

Plot: 1864, Scotland - Francis Wakefield and fellow occult hunter Fergus Duff find themselves investigating the disappearance of children from nearby villages. Their hunt leads them to a forgotten castle belonging to a family of undead, cursed werewolves who have nefarious plans for the taken.

Review: B+

My Thoughts: It’s a well known fact that I’m a hug fan of the graphic arts (Sophisticated Slang for Comic Book Nerd!) and have been one for as long as I could remember . Like most readers I indulged into the many timeless classic adventures of the many popular superhero titles like: SPIDER-MAN, BATMAN, CAPTAIN AMERICA, THORE, and the beloved Uncanny X-MEN and so forth on a weekly bases. Many of which have become the typical starter guide for any reader willing to dive into the comic realm, and in some cases these simple titles are considered by some as the holy bible of comics. But over the last few years I have come to love the not so well known, a genre of comics that’s set for a more mature reading audience like: THE BOYS, FABLES, and THE WALKING DEAD, titles like these are not for young readers and should never ever be recommended for such.

This turn in taste of genre has also given me the aired taste for the indie side of comics, which evidently lead me to Ex Occultus: The Badge of Langavat, which is written by Robert James Russell & Jesse Young of Saint James Comics and art work by Sandra Lanz. This comic is on it’s own level of dark storytelling that proves to be breathtaking and very entertaining in it‘s own unique way to say the least. The plot is based on a real legend from Scotland and follows two Victorian era investigators, Fergus Duff and Francis Wakefield traveling to the Island of Benbecula in the Outer Hebrides to find out if the legendary werewolves are responsible for the kidnapping of children in the local area. As the story goes on the pair finds the werewolves’ hideout, hoping to have the upper hand over them by catching them off their guard Fergus and Wakefield is quickly mistaken and falls into a trap which immediately thrown into the fight head on against an entire clan of blood thirsty werewolves looking to both Fergus and Wakefield as their next meal. armed to the teeth with pistils filed with silver bullets, a pair of silver chainmail and the usage of a couple of fairy-like creatures. Have the werewolves finally met their match, or could this easily become the last adventure that both Fergus and Wakefield will have?

I at first didn’t hold much stock in the comic, mainly because the story is told as a one shot issue, and usually one shots mostly work only after the readers have learned a little bit about the characters in question (I mean you wouldn’t dive into a Fantastic Four one shot issue without having some basic knowledge of Victor Von Doom’s hatred for Reed Richards right?) most tales like this are usually set in a mini series event with the story unfolding over the course of multiple issues so that the individual characters are given room for development so that there‘s a more three dimensional sense to them, with that said I was a little worried at first that the story would be cut short due to it’s length, however this was not the case as the story was fairly decent which clearly shows that Robert James Russell & Jesse Young did their home work which I commend them for, for bringing their own original uniqueness, and for deciding to write about one of the less popular folklores.

Upon doing my own little research on such before writing this review I barely could find any literature at my disposal online except for a few mentions here and there, meaning some heavy research was done on their part while trading nether action over story and viscera. Though I will say that the story doesn’t go without problems, the biggest problem I had laid with the development of the main character’s Fergus and Wakefield, because the story is 100% devoted to the comic’s plot there simply isn’t much background for the readers to appreciate the main characters, which I blame on the length of the comic, but to an extent this is in fact forgivable on the motion that it‘s better to have one problem with any story than to have two or three problems, am I right or what? The art work which is done by Sandra Lanz was pretty decent from where I‘m standing. The lovely blend of gray-tones in black and white which gives it this noir setting that works beautifully. Though there are some rough edges to some of her art work, but all that can easily be forgiven and forgotten when you stand back for a moment and see that her art work really does paint this story into a visual reality that is satisfactory.

Final Say: Ex Occultus: The Badge of Langavat is defiantly something worth checking out even if you’re not all that into comics, and though it has it‘s rough edges here and there, there’s a lot of promise here and room for improvement in the near future that shows this is a comic that’s here to stay.

Copyright 2009
All Rights Reserved