Category: Movies

“I Think We’re Alone Now” (2018) / Z-View

I Think We’re Alone Now (2018)

Director:  Reed Morano

Screenplay by:  Mike Makowsky

Starring:  Peter Dinklage, Elle Fanning, Paul Giamatti and Charlotte Gainsbourg

Tagline: In the End…Chaos Will Find You

The Overview:  Beware of spoilers…

Years after an apocalyptic event wiped out humankind, Del (Dinklage) has comes to terms with being the last human alive.  He spends his days going house to house to scavenge for supplies (batteries are a must!) and bury the dead.  Del lives in the school where he used to work.  He fishes in a pond near the school.  At night he reads and prepares for the next day.  Del has adapted to his life of solitude until…

…the day he discovers Grace (Fanning) unconscious in a wrecked car.  Del takes Grace to a home where he bandages her wounds and nurses her back to health.  He then gives her a car, supplies and tells her she must leave.  Grace begs to stay and follows Del as he goes through his daily routine of scavenging and burying the dead.  Soon they form an uneasy trust as Grace assists Del in his daily routine.  Grace and Del grow closer until one day when…

Patrick (Giamatti) and Violet (Gainsbourg) show up.  They claim to be Grace’s parents and tell Del of a community where thousands of survivors live.  They’re there to take Grace back. They invite Del to join them.  Patrick tells Del that he would be of use to the community.

Del and Grace argue.  He can’t believe that Grace never told him of the community.  As Del leaves, Grace tells him that Patrick and Violet aren’t her parents.  They community paired them!  Del ignores Grace’s pleas for help.

Patrick and Violet leave with Grace.  Del returns to his previous routine, but soon begins to miss Grace.  Del decides to find the community and Grace.  Del has no idea what he’s in for.

I Think We’re Alone Now is a slow burn.  I enjoyed the movie, overall it would have fit well as an episode of The Twilight Zone.  I think most film makers would have gotten to the community quicker and had more conflict there, but those weren’t the choices made here.

I Think We’re Alone Now rates 3 of 5 stars.

RIP: Glen Trotiner

Glen Trotiner, actor, producer and director, died on June 16, 2022, at the age of 65.  No details on the cause of death were given.

Mr. Trotiner was best known for his work as a Second Unit or Assistant Director on feature films and television.  His resume lists 101 credits under this title on films that include The Untouchables, Awakenings, Independence Day, Deep Impact, Oz, ER, Phone Booth, Perfect Stranger, Captain America: The First Avenger, Braven and Morbius. Glen Trotiner sometimes appeared in small roles in films that include Regarding Henry, Freejack, Jungle to Jungle and Big Daddy to name a few.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Glen Trotiner’s family, friends and fans.

“8 Days to Hell” (2022) / Z-View

8 Days to Hell (2022)

Director:  Shane Woodson

Screenplay by:  Harold Pepper, Shane Woodson

Starring:  Eric Roberts and Shane Woodson

Tagline: The devil pays a visit to Los Angeles

The Overview:  Beware of spoilers…

8 Days to Hell is a low-budget horror anthology consisting of seven connected tales.  Each tale is designated as a “day”.  I made it through day five before I tapped out.  It just wasn’t for me.  For example…

Day One – an actor tries out for the part of a gangster.  After his audition the producer (Roberts) berates the actor’s performance saying he should have projected Brando-style machismo and a frightening image.  The actor leaves, has a drink, is encouraged by a vision/demon and then goes back to re-audition.  This time he does a bad Brando voice and shoots the producer.

Day Two – The actor is having sex with a woman and she turns into a preying mantis who kills the man.

I should have stopped watching there.  Your mileage may differ, but 8 Days to Hell just wasn’t for me, so it gets 1 of 5 stars.

“Intrusion” (2021) / Z-View

Intrusion (2021)

Director:   Adam Salky

Screenplay by:  Chris Sparling

Starring:  Freida Pinto, Logan Marshall-Green, Robert John Burke and Megan Elisabeth Kelly.

Tagline:  The Quietest Towns Hide the Darkest Secrets

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

Meera (Pinto) and her mild mannered husband, Henry (Marshall-Green) have just moved into their new house located on the outskirts of a small town.   Henry’s an architect who designed and built the house.  It’s ultra-modern, beautiful and near perfect.  The only issue is occasionally the water pipes make a weird noise.

One night, Meera and Henry wake to the sound of home invaders.  Henry has a hidden gun that Meera knew nothing about.  He gets the gun and helps Meera get outside.  As Henry attempts to follow, the intruders attack him.  Henry kills all three.  The police arrive and identify the three as members of the Cobb family – local habitual criminals.  Coincidentally, Christine Cobb, a member of the same clan went missing shortly before the break-in.

Meera is surprised that her husband had a gun and was able to kill the three men.  While the home invasion has her shook, it hasn’t affected Henry.  Meera begins to notice some strange behaviors from Henry.  As she digs into the situation, she feels her life is in danger.  But is Henry also at risk or the one she should be afraid of?

Intrusion rates 3 of 5 stars.

“Frankenstein 1970” (1958) / Z-View

Frankenstein 1970 (1958)

Director:  Howard W. Koch

Screenplay by:  Richard H. Landau, George Worthing Yates, based on a story by Aubrey Schenck, Charles A. Moses, based on characters from Frankenstein (1818 novel) by Mary Shelley

Starring:  Boris Karloff, Jana Lund and Don ‘Red’ Barry.

Tagline:WARNING! “Frankenstein 1970” is the most blood-freezing horror ever created! This picture may be too dangerous for people with weak hearts! Beware!

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

Set in the future, in 1970, the last Frankenstein, Baron Victor von Frankenstein (Karloff) is now an old, disfigured scientist.  He needed money to purchase an at-home atomic reactor to complete his secret experiments, so Frankenstein rented out his castle to a crew producing a monster movie.  Little do they know that Frankenstein has a secret underground lab where he is nearly finished with his creation, a huge monster made from body parts of the dead.  When members of the movie crew begin disappearing, the police are called in.  Will they be able to solve the mystery?  Will they stand a chance against the Frankenstein 1970 monster?

Frankenstein 1970 was shot in eight days and it’s low budget shows.  The creature looks more like a mummified beekeeper than a Frankenstein monster,  but Karloff gives it his all.  Frankenstein 1970 rates 2 of 5 stars.

Ghana Movie Posters: “Rocky” – “Demolition Man” – “Cobra” – “Tango & Cash”

Over on Facebook, Marcus Elf posted several Ghana posters. Included were these four Stallone movie posters. Click on each to see it biggie-sized, then click over to see Marcus’ post.

Ghana posters are always crazy fun. Where else could you get Rocky slugging it out with Simon Phoenix? Or Tango & Cash starring Marion Cobretti and Jack Burton? How about Cobra as a slasher movie?

“Birth of the Living Dead” aka “Year of the Living Dead” (2013) / Z-View

Birth of the Living Dead aka Year of the Living Dead (2013)

Director:  Rob Kuhns

Written by: Rob Kuhns

Starring:  George A. Romero, Elvis Mitchell, Mark Harris, Gale Anne Hurd and Bill Hinzman.

Tagline:  1968. Peace. Love. And the undead.

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

Rob Kuhns goes behind the scenes on the making of Night of the Living Dead.  George Romero is interviewed and some of his earlier commercials are shared.  Elvis Mitchell, Mark Harris, Gale Anne Hurd, Bill Hinzman and others share the impact Night of the Living Dead made on them.  If you’re a George Romero or Night of the Living Dead fan, then this is for you.  I give it 4 of 5 stars.

“No Time to Die” (2021) / Z-View

No Time to Die (2021)

Director:  Cary Joji Fukunaga

Screenplay:  Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, Cary Joji Fukunaga, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Story by Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, Cary Joji Fukunaga

Starring: Daniel Craig, Ana de Armas, Rami Malek, Léa Seydoux, Lashana Lynch, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Whishaw, Naomie Harris, Rory Kinnear, Christoph Waltz  and Billy Magnussen

Tagline: Bond is Back

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

Five years ago Bond (Craig) was almost killed in an assassination attempt that appeared to be setup by Madeline (Seydoux), a woman he deeply loves.  After putting her on a train and vowing to never see her again, Bond dropped off the grid.

Now Bond has been contacted by Felix Leiter (Wright), his friend and CIA contact.  Leiter wants Bond’s help in capturing Lyutsifer Safin (Malek) and taking down Project Heracles – nanobots created to kill people based on specific DNA codes.   Bond agrees and finds himself at odds with his MI6 (British Secret Service) as well as the new 007 (Lynch)!  The stakes are raised when Project Heracles is used against SPECTRE and Madeline becomes involved.

No Time To Die is the bookend to Daniel Craig’s Casino RoyaleNo Time to Die doesn’t feel like a typical James Bond film.  It is grimmer.  There’s no subtle winks at the audience.  There’s a weight and sadness to Bond. Let’s break it down…

The Story: I liked the story. As with most James Bond films the stakes are high and probably never higher.

Craig’s Bond:  My favorite James Bond film is Casino Royale starring Daniel Craig.  I thought he was perfect as James Bond who is just coming into MI6.  He’s not yet the suave Bond who is capable to handle every situation.  With that said, Sean Connery remains my favorite Bond.  So, getting back to No Time to Die, Craig is now an older Bond.  He gets the opportunity to show us the suave Bond, but there’s a weariness to him.  It works for this film, but my preference is the Bond that Sean Connery embodied.

The Opening / Song:  Usually Bond films open with a big stunt.  No Time To Die takes a bit to get to the stunt sequence, but it should satisfy fans.  Billie Eilish provides the opening song.  I thought it was just okay and the same with the title sequence.

New 007:  Lashana Lynch plays the new 007.  I like the rivalry between Lynch and Craig; as well as their growing respect.  Lynch is good in what she’s given to do and has charisma.

Paloma: Ana de Armas is Bond’s new partner early in the film.  She’s pretty and believable in the action beats.

Madeline: Léa Seydoux returns and is believable as the woman that James Bond would fall in love with.

MI6: Ralph Fiennes returns as M.  This time he’s at odds with Bond.  Their scenes are tense and I loved their exchanges.  Ben Whishaw returns as Q.  He has a small but important role; he’s not just the gadgets guy any more.  I love Naomie Harris as Moneypenny.  I can never get enough of her.

Felix Leiter:  Jeffrey Wright is such a great actor.  It is great that he had an expanded role.

Lyutsifer Safin:  Rami Malek is perfect.  Safin is scary not because of his physical presence, but his voice and look (this dude never blinks) let’s you know you’re dealing with a cold blooded killer.

Blofeld: Christoph Waltz returns in a small but pivotal role.  The movie is better by having him.

Primo (Cyclops):  James Bond films are famous for their memorable henchmen.  Dali Benssalah excels as Primo, the killer with the bionic eye.

Logan Ash:  Billy Magnussen plays a character you love to hate… and does it well.

I really liked No Time to Die.  I can’t say it exceeded my expectations, but it did surprise me.  There’s a twist I didn’t believe was coming.  No Time to Die makes a good bookend to the Daniel Craig Bond era and rates 4 of 5 stars.

“Blood Crime” (2002) / Z-View

Blood Crime (2002)

Director: William A. Graham

Screenplay:  Mark Lawrence Miller, Preston A. Whitmore II

Starring:  James Caan, Johnathon Schaech and Elizabeth Lackey.

Tagline: Revenge can be murder.

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

Daniel Pruitt (Schaech) and his wife Jessica (Lackey) are camping in the woods.  Daniel leaves Jessica for a snack run to a nearby store.  When he returns, Jessica has been brutally attacked.  As he races to get her to the hospital, he sideswipes a semi.  When the driver gets out, Jessica identifies the man as her attacker!  Daniel severely beats the trucker and leaves him in the back of the semi.

When Daniel gets to the hospital, Jessica identifies an orderly as her attacker!  Daniel sees a group of officers and demands to see the Sheriff McKenna (Caan).  McKenna tries to put Daniel off, but relents and says, “Walk with me. Give me a minute.”   They go to another room where a body is covered by a sheet.  When the sheet is lifted, it is the trucker that Daniel beat up…  who happens to be Sheriff McKenna’s son!

Daniel didn’t kill the Sheriff’s son, but the evidence makes him look guilty!  Daniel believes that whoever attacked Jessica is also the murderer.  Daniel is running out of time to prove his innocence and find the person who did the crimes. Sheriff McKenna plans to murder whoever killed his son and Daniel looks guilty.  As you can imagine it all comes to a, uh, smashing ending.

Blood Crime rates 2 of 5 stars.  Not even James Caan can save this one.