Archive | TV & Movies

Monica Valentinelli

Batman: The Dark Knight Movie Review

Posted on August 5, 2008 by

With sold out shows and talks of an Oscar, if you haven’t seen The Dark Knight you’re probably wondering if it lives up to all of the hype. Even within the body of countless movie reviews for the film there are a few who, believe it or not, don’t like The Dark Knight. Why? You see, the one thing this comic book movie has at its core (that other movies of a similar type don’t) is an atypical visibility to a broader audience. While it’s impossible to find a true statistic, could it be safe to assume that people unfamiliar with the darker Batman franchise went to see the movie just because it was Heath Ledger’s last role?

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Wanted Movie Review

Posted on July 1, 2008 by

“And what have you done lately?” So ends a fast-paced, winner-take-all honey of a comic book brought to life. Wanted builds from a nicely sardonic character study through a romp of an action film into a colossal final fight built around a twist that suddenly catapults the movie from a fun night out into an edge-of-the-seat thrill ride. It may start out slowly, but this movie ends with a bang so big, it will leave you grinning with malicious glee. All nice words aside, don’t go to this movie looking for high drama and a soaring intellectual quotient—although the movie does, at times, make witty, ironic jokes worthy of a wry smile. But if you enjoy a dark comic book writ large and riddled with as much wordplay as bullets, then this is the movie for you.

Review by Dana Hagengruber

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Hellboy Blood & Iron DVD Review

Posted on February 12, 2008 by


Starring the voices of Ron Perlman, Selma Blair, Doug Jones and John Hurt

What do vampires, an ancient goddess and Hellboy have in common? In this animated feature film, Hellboy and all his friends take on myth in his signature, sardonic style. True to the mythos, there is a touch of good versus evil mixed in with some savvy backstory and character development.

Review by Monica Valentinelli

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Monica Valentinelli

Better Off Undead DVD Review

Posted on February 7, 2008 by

Independent films often struggle with their ability to attain audiences and garner recognition. I like to think that some of these lesser-known films are self-aware, either stretching their boundaries to be a “great” film, or toying with conventional filmmaking to experiment with the media.

Review by Monica Valentinelli

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Wind Chill DVD Review

Posted on February 5, 2008 by

A Japanese terror movie remake is frequently a bad idea, but an American horror movie that looks like one is worst. “Wind chill” tries to tell a declared true story in a Japanese way. That means to use a claustrophobic atmosphere, an aesthetic style and especially a plot based on spirits that want revenge. But in the end, it’s just a nothing-happens movie with bad acting and lazy direction.

Review by Douglas Lobo

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Monica Valentinelli

The Fountain DVD Review

Posted on January 31, 2008 by

I didn’t really know what to expect when I picked up The Fountain; I had read some other reviews of it before I went out and got it and was intrigued by Darren Aronosfky’s writing and film style. Going into it, I had thought it was a film about the fountain of youth, about a couple who were possessed with finding the mythic “fountain” to restore and heal Izzy (played by Rachel Weisz) from her terminal illness.

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Cloverfield Movie Review

Posted on January 27, 2008 by

Review by: Jason Thorson

Sometimes the most innovative ideas are so simple, it’s amazing they haven’t already been done. Such is the case with Cloverfield – a giant monster movie shot entirely from the perspective of a character’s camcorder. Produced by J.J. Abrams, written by Drew Goddard, and directed by Matt Reeves, all of whom are television vets having been responsible for episodes of Lost, Buffy, Angel, Alias, and others, Cloverfield is more than merely Godzilla meets The Blair Witch Project. It’s unique in that it attempts to give us fully developed characters to inhabit it’s high concept scenario and entirely besieged Manhattan setting.

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Monica Valentinelli

Doctor Strange Movie Review

Posted on January 2, 2008 by

In Marvel’s continued Ultimates series, this particular feature is a re-imagining of Doctor Strange. This film focuses heavily on eastern philosophy and mythic influences, adding several characters that emphasize a larger setting.

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Monica Valentinelli

The Dresden Files TV Series Review

Posted on January 2, 2008 by

The Dresden Files, a series of novels penned by Jim Butcher, came to the small screen in 2007 on the SciFi channel bringing with it some variations – both good and bad. This is a difficult review to write for two reasons. First, the series was canceled after only twelve episodes. In such a short period of time, there wasn’t a lot of ability for the directors to explore the setting in this format. As a result, the events in this series loosely resemble only a few, choice events from one or two books. Secondly, this television series didn’t feel like a literal translation from the novels and, as a result, could easily stand alone on its own merits.

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30 Days of Night Movie Review

Posted on November 6, 2007 by

Review by: Jason Thorson

David Slade has provided us genre geeks something to get excited about. 30 Days of Night is quite simply a very solid horror flick. All the ingredients for success are here: good acting, beautiful photography, and great source material. It’s scary, fun, and dramatic, while also giving us a nice example of the potential this genre has to deliver engaging stories. And if a month in the dark shows us anything about modern horror, it’s that David Slade’s future is looking very bright.

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Devils Rejects Movie Review

Posted on October 9, 2007 by

The Devil’s Rejects is Rob Zombie’s follow up to his House of 1,000 Corpses though most of it is so different to House of 1,000 Corpses, despite being a sequel, that you wonder if it really is a sequel in spirit. The Devil’s Rejects feels more like a remake than a sequel per se, a sequel made by someone who has come off the fun psychedelics and sobered up.

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Halloween Movie Review

Posted on September 5, 2007 by

Hands down, the worst trend in the relatively recent horror movie resurgence is the incessant green lighting of unnecessary and bad remakes. It’s indicative of a larger financial problem plaguing the entire industry and while remakes may guarantee a built-in audience for the short term, they will erode the genre over time. So needless to say, I was none too pleased when Dimension Films first announced that the next classic in line for a rebuild would be John Carpenter’s seminal slasher flick, Halloween (1978). But a funny thing happened upon my learning about Rob Zombie’s involvement – not only did my steadfast opposition to the remake disappear, but I became down right excited to see the movie being made by a film maker who takes his horror very seriously.

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1408 Movie Review

Posted on July 28, 2007 by

The genre of story telling that has best succeeded in giving me the creeps is the tried and true ghost story. It tends to be reliably frightening in written form, and although less so on film, it’s hard to find someone who’s not been given a heebie-jeebies overdose by The Changeling (1980). Other successes worth mentioning include The Haunting (1963), Poltergeist (1982), and more recently, The Others (2001). Unfortunately, the list of bad haunted fright films is far lengthier. This brings us to the genre’s most recent offering. To describe 1408 in appropriately metaphysical terms, Swedish director, Mikael Håfström’s film is stuck in movie purgatory, somewhere between good and bad.

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Darkness Movie Review

Posted on June 18, 2007 by

Upon watching the unrated DVD version of Jaume Balaguero’s Darkness (2002/2005), I experienced a first. It was the first time that I would rather have been watching a safely edited PG-13 version of a horror movie (U.S. 2004 theatrical release). It’s not because the unrated version of Darkness is too frightening, gory, or disturbing, but rather it’s longer and given this movie’s lack of originality or anything entertaining at all, length in this case is a negative attribute.

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Hitcher Movie Review

Posted on June 9, 2007 by

Well, I’ll just start off by saying that the movie has a really good grabber with the two main characters going on vacation, but from there it only gets worse. Grace and Jim (the main characters) plan to go to Mexico on their spring break trip. But sadly, the first night they get stuck in a rainstorm, and then they see a guy on the road and almost hit him.

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Cemetary Gates Movie Review

Posted on June 9, 2007 by

Well, this movie has a bunch of scientist chasing a big getaway animal, and who doesn’t like a creature flick? Jaws, Cujo and other such movies showed us that creature movies can be good as long as they have a good plot and a good creature.

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28 Weeks Later Movie Review

Posted on May 16, 2007 by

Given the instant success of 28 Days Later and its money generating influence industry wide, it was to be expected that once the cinematic carnage had subsided, the entrails had dried up, and the dust had settled, we’d be treated to a second go around with the rage virus courtesy of Juan Carlos Fresnadillo’s 28 Weeks Later.

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Grindhouse Movie Review

Posted on April 10, 2007 by

I can’t remember the last time I was as entertained by the audience’s reaction to a movie as I was the movie itself. People laughed hysterically, burst out in fits of applause, and “ewe-ed” and “ah-ed” their ways through all 3 hours and 11 minutes of Grindhouse. The movie-going experience for me was outstanding, more so than the movie itself. Here’s the thing, though: The movie is pretty darn good too, which makes writing this review a bit less of a daunting task than it could’ve been. And for that I say, “Thanks, Robert. Thanks, Quentin.”

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300 Movie Review

Posted on March 20, 2007 by

300 is adapted from Frank Miller’s graphic novel of the same name about the 480 B.C. battle at Thermopylae between a monolithic and massive invading Persian army led by King Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro) and merely three hundred of the most brave Spartans led by King Leonidas (Gerard Butler). As both history and the laws of probability dictate, our noble Spartans lost, but they did inspire the rest of their fellow Greeks to resist which ultimately preserved the genesis of Western Civilization.

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Psycho Movie Review

Posted on March 6, 2007 by

I fear not only a lack of appreciation for fine horror films like Psycho, but also I wonder if modern teeny boppers and fans of bloody horror understand the nuances presented? While Psycho is gore free, the spooks might still scare kinds under 10. Truthfully anyone with a heart condition should avoid Psycho. If you’re new to classic films, old movies, or Alfred Hitchcock, Psycho is a must see. Study it and appreciate it thoroughly.

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11 Tales of Ghostly Horror

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