You didn’t think the 2018 review posts were over did you? Maybe everywhere else on this world wide web we’re all tangled up in, but not here! I was shocked to look back at my posts this year to see that I didn’t do a single Halloween Scene post which means I didn’t write about horror AT ALL in 2018. That’s ridonculous. So, I’m making up for that here with a list of 10 newer horror flicks I dug last year.
The biggest release of the week by far is Louis Letterier’s Now You See Me, the magic-themed heist flick starring Morgan Freeman, Common, Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo, Isla Fisher, Michael Caine, Woody Harrelson and Dave Franco.
How is it possible that a movie featuring Dwayne Johnson, Liam Hemsworth and Emma Roberts didn’t get a wide theatrical release as was the case with Empire State? Maybe it’s because, cool as the movie looks, Johnson just doesn’t fit in with the 70s period piece aesthetic of the film.
TV-wise, Person of Interest: Season Two, Revolution: The Complete First Season, Spartacus: War of the Damned – The Complete Third Season, Da Vinci’s Demons: The Complete First Season and Sinbad: Season One are all available now.
WB has a 20th Anniversary The Fugitive Blu-ray to check out, but there aren’t any special features listed.
We haven’t seen Mulan: Rise of a Warrior, but seeing this movie for sale on Amazon lead us to the above trailer and now it’s definitely on our to-watch list.
Hey, Jean-Claude Van Damme fans both Hard Target and Sudden Death now have fancy new Blu-ray versions. Note that both of these are all regions import discs that come with zero special features, so they might not actually be very fancy.
You guys like multi-packs? We here at Explosions Are Rad LOVE them. As you might expect we’re all over 4 Film Favorites: The Matrix Collection (BD) [Blu-ray] (basically the same thing as the DVD version that’s been out for a while) and the Dusk Till Dawn Blu-Ray/DVD Combo pack which features the three movies as well as Full Tilt Boogie, a documentary shot during filming of Robert Rodriguez’s initial film.
We’re also interested in multipacks with less well known films like Echo Bridge’s 8-Film Fast Action [Blu-ray] which includes People I Know, Ordinary Decent Criminal, Malevolent, Albino Alligator, David Cronenberg’s Existenz, B. Monkey, Dolph Lundgren’s Men Of War and Sean Bean’s Bravo Two Zero.
Finally, if you just can’t get enough Sharknado on Syfy, you can now buy your own copy for repeated watching.
We’re probably not going to get into too much comic book movie news here on Explosions Are Rad because they’re covered really well on other sites, but it’s pretty cool that an action-packed flick like The Wolverine took the box office and made $86 million worldwide according to Variety.
We’re also not looking to delve too much into horror movie news for similar reasons, but Syfy’s Sharknado had enough (terrible) action scenes and explosions to qualify for a quick bullet point. TheWrap reported that the film will hit Regal, UA and Edwards Cinemas for a Friday, Aug. 2 midnight showing. It will be interesting to see if the so-bad-it’s-good phenomenon will transfer over to make actual money after being offered so often for free.
The Mary Sue recently posted an interesting story about a new Pakistani animated series called Burka Avenger that stars a female superhero who spends her days as a teacher. It definitely sounds like kid stuff, but the concept of a strong woman using her brains to fight crime is aces in our book.
Collider did an interview with Jon M. Chu about this week’s G.I. Joe: Retaliation DVD and Blu-ray release and also talked a bit about the third film which he’s signed up for. Briefly, he said that Dwayne Johnson and Bruce Willis are returning, they’re looking for a writer now and also to “double down on the adventure part of the movie” while also looking to possibly bring in more Joes.
Speaking of Dwayne Johnson, the man known as The Rock, Tweeted out an image from the set of Brett Ratner’s Hercules with the message: “Let it be to death or victory” THANK U my ‘Thracian soldiers’. Intensity & energy.”
There’s a flick in the works called Black Friday that revolves around a man trying to get his wife back after she’s kidnapped inside a giant mall. He’s got to perform crazy tasks to get her back. Sounds silly, but I spent enough time in the Palisades Mall to give this a look on Netflix. John Sullivan wrote a script that Darin Beckstead’s attached to helm. (via Deadlline)
World War Z fans can look forward to checking out the big budget zombie flick starring Brad Pitt in IMAX 3D for a week kicking off on Aug. 2. (via Deadline)
Today’s Friday Night Fight was inspired by Deadline‘s news that Syfy is making a show based on director Scott Stewart’s Legion from 2010. I don’t remember much about the film, but this battle between Paul Bettany’s Michael and Kevin Durand’s Gabriel is pretty rad. The actual fight starts around the 2:30 mark.
Personal highlights include that crazy spinning mace weapon and the way they used the wings throughout. You’ll believe a man can fly…in a diner…with wings.
Thanks to the missus and I burning pretty quickly through How I Met Your Mother reruns and the seeming schedule change of SNL reruns on VH1 we found ourselves looking for something new to watch. As we tend to do in situations such as this, we went through shows available on Netflix Instant and decided to give Syfy’s Eureka a shot. That was about a month ago and since then we’ve gone through three seasons of episodes and really enjoyed the show.
If you’re unfamiliar with the premise a US Marshall named Jack Carter winds up becoming the sheriff of a small town in the northwest called Eureka that is actually the home of lots and lots of scientific geniuses who work for a big scientific research company called Global Dynamic. Carter has a daughter named Zoe and lives in an automated house called SARAH. The premise of the show is kind of a mix of monster of the week sci-fi (like Buffy or X-Files) and a procedural cop show a la CSI, but with a lightness to the proceedings that those other shows usually don’t have. Essentially, each episode finds something going wrong with an experiment and Carter, his deputy Jo Lupo and any number of other assorted cast members trying to figure out what happened. While Carter isn’t the scientific genius the other denizens of Eureka are, he does have a keen mind that he uses to solve the crimes.
A town filled with geniuses might sound like it would get pretty annoying pretty quickly, but luckily a good deal of them are pretty down to earth, especially Henry Deacon a scientist who starts the series off working in a garage and winds up having a pretty important position down the line. There’s also Dr. Allison Blake who works for the Department of Defense as the go between between Global Dynamic and the DOD. There’s a “will they, won’t they?” vibe between her and Carter that is a lot more complex and interesting than what that kind of element on a sitcom might be. A big reason for that comes thanks to Dr. Nathan Stark who begins the series as the head of GD (well, after the pilot) and also Allison’s ex husband. There’s a great dynamic between he and Carter, there’s a lot of back and forth insults between the two characters, but, even though it doesn’t get said, you can tell they actually respect one another. I’m trying to think of a relationship from comics that it’s similar to, but I really can’t. It’s kind of like if Tony Stark and Superman were in the same universe, I guess. Stark might look down on Supes for not being as smart as him and Supes might not see what the big deal with Stark is.
Even with the crime-of-the-week episodic nature of the series, the creators still maintain larger arcs that go through entire seasons. One of the earliest mysteries revolved around a division of GD called Section 5 that was somehow connected to Allison’s son Kevin. There’s even an entire alternate reality that Carter lives where he marries Allison and lead a whole life together only to realize it’s not the correct reality. He has to get back to the regular version of reality and put a stop to it by jumping into his past consciousness and stopping the culprit which results in him actually remembering everything from that reality. I liked how they handled this aspect of the story by not being afraid to reference it later, but figuring out a way to keep it from being the focal point for the remainder of the series.
The series really lives or dies based on the performances thanks to the sometimes complicated plots which seem to all be based on real science though taken about 50 steps ahead of what’s currently possible, it seems. Colin Ferguson as Sheriff Carter does an awesome job of carrying that load. He’s no genius himself, but he’s not such a dumbass that you want to slap him. He really is a regular guy who happens to be really damn good at solving crimes. He pulls off the cunning law enforcer really well and yet keeps everything grounded to offer non scientific geniuses like myself someone to related to.
My one real complaint about the series is how some characters go from being a relatively big part of the show to not being mentioned ever again. The first person I noticed this with was Taggart, an Australian character who we saw help Carter out on plenty of adventures. Now, mind you, some of the ancillary characters aren’t in every episode, but do appear occasionally. I’d say that, after a while, Taggart turned into a pretty prominent member of the (for lack of a better term) Scooby Gang. And then, all of a sudden, he was just gone with no explanation. We would found out in the second to last episode of Season 3.5 that he was off exploring something or other, but before that we got nothing. It was almost like he never existed. Speaking of being completely forgotten, that reminds me of Carter’s former flame Callie who ran the Eureka dry cleaners. They seemed to be really hitting off at the end of season two, but then once three hit, she was completely out of the picture and never mentioned again.
Aside from a few minor flaws though, I think Eureka’s a solid show that offers a lot of fun. I’ve read that the fourth season started airing this summer, had a Christmas episode recently and will kick back off later next year, so maybe we can get all the way caught up by then. As I’ve never really been a sci-fi TV fan (I only even watched X-Files sporadically) the only other show I have to compare this one to is its Syfy sister Warehouse 13. Both have lots of fun to them, but there’s just something about Carter that makes me like him more. Maybe it’s that he looks kind of like Indiana Jones…
Anyone else watch the first two hours of SyFy’s modern day retelling of Alice In Wonderland? I did and it was alright. Or maybe it was just okay. Or maybe it wasn’t good. I guess I’m still making up my mind. The basic premise is that Alice meets a guy who gives her a ring. Next thing she knows, she’s in Wonderland. The Queen Of Hearts tricks people from the regular world into hers so her people can absorb their emotions and distribute them to her people. Alice meets up with the Mad Hatter who’s part of the underground resistance. There’s a lot more to it and I think that might be one of the problems. This thing felt SUPER long. The most I’ve ever been exposed to the Wonderland mythos is watching the Disney movie and Mad Hatter appearances in Batman comics and cartoons. So, maybe this thing hits all the right notes, I just don’t know. To me it all feels over-long and I can’t imagine sitting through another two hours of this thing tomorrow (and most likely won’t because all the good shows are on tomorrow). I will say that I enjoyed the special effects. The movie isn’t steeped in them, but when the big ones show up, I thought it looked like at least a pretty good SyFy movie and not a crummy one. So there you have it, one man’s opinion on a fantasy show.