Showing posts with label Method Man. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Method Man. Show all posts

Saturday, December 23, 2023

Negromancer News Bits and Bites from Dec. 17th to 23rd, 2023 - Update #16

by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"

You can support Leroy via Paypal or on Patreon:


CULTURE - From Variety:  On Jan. 1st, 2024, the earliest versions of Mickey Mouse enter the public domain. Also entering the public domain works from 1928 (such as Virginia Woolf's novel, "Orlando") and sound recordings from 1923 (including works by Bessie Smith and Ma Rainey).

MOVIES - From THR:  The stars of "The Color Purple": Fantasia Barino, Taraji P. Henson, and Danielle Brooks, and the film's producer, Oprah Winfrey, discuss the film with "The Hollywood Reporter."

From Deadline:  During an interview on Gayle King's SiriusXM show about the upcoming movie musical, "The Color Purple," Oscar-nominated and Emmy-nominated actress, Taraji P. Henson breaks down over pay disparity in Hollywood.

OSCARS - From Deadline:  The Oscars "shortlists" have been revealed for 10 categories:  "International Feature Film," "Documentary Feature," "Original Song," "Music Score," "Sound," "Visual Effects," "Makeup & Hairstyling," and the documentary, animated and live action short-film categories.

AWARDS - From Deadline:  Comedian Jo Koy will host the 81st Golden Globe Awards.  Koy is coming off his successful "Funny is Funny World Tour."  The 81st Golden Globes will air on CBS, Sunday, Jan. 7th and stream on Paramount+.

BREAKING - From VarietyWarner Bros. Discovery and Paramount Global have held talks about a potential merger of the two media companies.

From Variety:  Media mogul Byron Allen has renewed his attempt to buy BET Media Group from Paramount Global.  He has made an offer of 3.5 billion dollars (up from his previous 2.7 billion offer), which would get him the BET cable channel, VH1, BET Studios, and the BET+ stream service.

MOVIES - From Deadline:  Director Christopher Nolan says "Oppenheimer" is his most successful film to date.

SCANDAL - From Deadline:  A New York City jury of three men and three women has found actor Jonathan Majors guilty of reckless assault and harassment in his domestic violence trial.  The actor, who appeared in Creed III and Disney+/Marvel Studios' "Loki" is scheduled to be sentenced Feb. 6th, 2024.  He could face up to a year in jail.

From DeadlineDisney/Marvel Studios has fired actor Jonathan Majors in the wake of his guilty verdict on charges of reckless assault and harassment in New York City.  Majors had played "He Who Remains" a.k.a. "Kang the Conqueror" in two seasons of the Disney+ series, "Loki," and in the film Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.

BOX OFFICE - From BoxOfficePro:  The winner of the 12/15 to 12/17/2023 weekend box office is Warner Bros.'s "Wonka" with an estimated take of 39 million dollars.

From Deadline:  Searchlight Pictures' "Poor Things" tops the specialty box office with an estimated take of 1.3 million dollars, also good enough to make it to the #10 spot at the domestic box office.

MOVIES - From DeadlineMichael Jai White (Black Dynamite) has wrapped production on "Trouble Man!," the action-comedy that he directed and stars in for Samuel Goldwyn Films.  The movie, which also stars Orlando Jones, Mike Epps, and Method Man, to name a few, will be released in 2024.

CELEBRITY - From ETOnline:  Actress Rosario Dawson is going to be a grandmother. [Yeah, I'm shocked, too. Leroy.]



From AwardsWatch:  The New York Film Critics Online (NYFCO) have named "Killers of the Flower Moon" the "Best Film" of 2023.  Christopher Nolan wins "Best Director" for "Oppenheimer."

From AwardsWatch:  The Las Vegas Film Critics Society have named "Oppenheimer" the "Best Picture" of 2023, with the film's director, Christopher Nolan, winning "Best Director."

From AwardsWatch:  The winners at the 2023 Chicago Film Critics Association Awards have been announced.  "Killers of the Flower Moon" wins "Best Picture," and Christopher Nolan wins "Best Director" for "Oppenheimer."

From THR:   The winners at the 2023 / 49th annual Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards have been announced.  The Holocaust historical drama, "The Zone of Interest," wins four awards, including "Best Picture," "Best Director" (Jonathan Glazer), and "Best Actress" (Sandra Huller).

From Deadline:  The nominations for the 2024 / 29th annual Critics Choice Awards have been announced. "Barbie" leads with 18 nominations.

From Deadline:  The nominations for the 2024 / 81st annual Golden Globe Awards have been announced.  The winners will be announced Jan. 7th, 2024 on CBS and Paramount Plus.

From AwardsWatch:  The Las Vegas Film Critics have announced their 2023 LVFC Awards nominations.  "Barbie" and "Oppenheimer" are the leading vote getters.  The winners will be announced Wed., Dec. 13th.

From THR:  The winners at the 2023 European Film Awards have been announced.  "Anatomy of a Fall" won five awards including for "Best Film," "Best Director" (Justine Triet), and "Best Actress" (Sandra Huller).

From AwardsWatch:  The 2023 National Board of Review film honors have been announced.  "Killers of the Flower Moon" won "Best Film," "Best Director" (Martin Scorsese), and "Best Actress" (Lily Gladstone).

From AwardsWatch:  The American Film Institute (AFI) names its top ten films: American Fiction, Barbie, The Holdovers, Killers of the Flower Moon, Maestro, May December, Oppenheimer, Past Lives, Poor Things, and Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse.  It also names its top ten television series: Abbott Elementary, The Bear, Beef, Jury Duty, The Last of Us, The Morning Show, Only Murders in the Building, Poker Face, Reservation Dogs, and Succession.

From AwardsWatch:  "Barbie" and "Oppenheimer" lead the nominations for "Astra Film & Creative Arts Awards," which are put on by the "Hollywood Creative Alliance" (formerly known as the Hollywood Critics Association).  The winners will be announced Jan. 6th, 2024 in Los Angeles.

From Deadline:  At the 2023 / 26th British Independent Film Awards, director Andrew Haigh's "All of Us Strangers" won seven awards, including "Best British Independent Film."

From Variety:  The winners at the 2023 / 89th New York Film Critics Circle Awards have been announced.  "Killers of the Flower Moon" (directed by Martin Scorsese) was named "Best Film of 2023."  Christopher Nolan won "Best Director" for his film, "Oppenheimer."

From Variety:  The winners at the 2023 / 33rd Annual Gotham Awards were announced Mon., Nov. 27th.  Writer-director Celine Song's South Korean romantic drama, "Past Lives" won the "Best Feature" award.


Saturday, April 30, 2016

Review: Amy Schumer Shows Her Brilliance in "Trainwreck"

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 10 (of 2016) by Leroy Douresseaux

[This review was originally posted on Patreon.]

Trainwreck (2015)
Running time:  125 minutes (2 hours, 5 minutes)
MPAA – R for strong sexual content, nudity, language and some drug use
DIRECTOR:  Judd Apatow
WRITER:  Amy Schumer
PRODUCERS:  Judd Apatow and Barry Mendel
EDITORS:  William Kerr, Peck Prior, and Paul Zucker
COMPOSER:  Jon Brion


Starring:  Amy Schumer, Bill Hader, Tilda Swinton, Brie Larson, Mike Birbiglia, Evan Brinkman, LeBron James, Amar'e Stoudemire, Colin Quinn, John Cena, Dave Attell, Vanessa Bayer, Randall Park, Jon Glaser, Ezra Miller, Norman Lloyd, Cliff “Method Man” Smith, Matthew Broderick, Leslie Jones, Marisa Tomei, and Daniel Radcliffe

Trainwreck is a 2015 comedy and romance directed by Judd Apatow and written by and starring Amy Schumer.  The film focuses on a woman who prefers sexual encounters instead of committed relations and who then meets the kind of good guy that she cannot simply leave.

Amy Townsend (Amy Schumer) is a party girl who drinks too much, smokes weed, and sleeps around with other guys, even when she has a boyfriend, as her current boyfriend, the muscle-bound gym-addict, Steven (John Cena), is about to discover.  Amy learned her promiscuous ways from her father, Gordon Townsend (Colin Quinn), who once told her that monogamy is not realistic.   Strangely, Amy's sister, Kim (Brie Larson), is doing just fine with her boyfriend, Tom (Mike Birbiglia), and she is even more of a mother than a stepmother to Tom's son, Allister (Evan Brinkman).

Amy writes for a raunchy men's magazine, “Snuff.”  Her boss, Dianna (Tilda Swinton), assigns her to write an article about a sports doctor named Aaron Conner (Bill Hader).  After Aaron helps her with a family matter, Amy feels a bond with him and even has sex with him.  However, Aaron sees that as the beginning of a romance, while Amy sees the sex as a one-night stand.  Amy tries to find a way to avoid monogamy, even when part of her starts to believe that Aaron could be the good guy she needs to keep.

If you like Amy Schumer (and I do), you will like Trainwreck (and I do – for the most part).  As a romantic comedy, however, the film really doesn't work.  Bill Hader is a comedian and a professional impersonator (at which he is quite good), but he has no business trying to be a romantic lead.  There is nothing remotely interesting about him in this film; he delivers what is almost a zombie performance.

I really don't buy Schumer as a romantic lead or as a magazine writer.  Schumer is at her best when she is skewering social, sexual, and gender conventions.  The character Amy Townsend is at her best when she is being a one-night stand or is mocking other people's ambitions of respectability.  When actress Amy tries to make fictional Amy fall in love... well, it's a trainwreck.

Tilda Swinton gives a killer performance as Amy's despicable boss, Dianna.  Swinton can disappear behind even the least amount of movie make-up and hair with the best of them.  John Cena delivers a sparkling two-scene performance as Steven.  Every time Colin Quinn is on screen as Amy's father, Gordon, he is a delight to see.  Director Judd Apatow does not do much here, except get out of Amy Schumer's way, which works when it works, but he does nothing to save the last third of this film which is a... trainwreck.

Still, for most of this movie, Amy Schumer proves why she is currently an it-girl.  She is brilliant when she is at the top of her game, and in Trainwreck, she occasionally shows off her brilliance.

6 of 10

Friday, January 8, 2016

Edited: Tuesday, April 26, 2016

2016 Golden Globes, USA:  2 nominations: “Best Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical” and “Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical” (Amy Schumer)

The text is copyright © 2016 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this site for reprint and syndication rights and fees.


Friday, April 12, 2013

Review: "Scary Movie 3" Quite Bad, but Funny

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 158 (of 2003)

Scary Movie 3 (2003)
Running time: 84 minutes (1 hour, 24 minutes)
MPAA – PG-13 for pervasive crude and sexual humor, language, comic violence and drug references
DIRECTOR: David Zucker
WRITERS: Craig Mazin and Pat Proft (based upon characters created by Shawn Wayans, Marlon Wayans, Buddy Johnson, Phil Beauman, Jason Friedberg, and Aaron Seltzer)
PRODUCER: Robert K. Weiss
EDITOR: Malcolm Campbell and Jon Poll
COMPOSER: James L. Venable

COMEDY with elements of fantasy, horror, and sci-fi

Starring: Anna Faris, Simon Rex, Regina Hall, Anthony Anderson, Pamela Anderson, Jenny McCarthy, Marny Eng, Charlie Sheen, Jeremy Piven, Camryn Manheim, Queen Latifah, Eddie Griffin, Leslie Nielsen, D.L. Hughley, Ja Rule, George Carlin, Master P, Macy Gray, Redman, Method Man, Raekwon, RZA, Fat Joe, and Simon Cowell

The subject of this movie review is Scary Movie 3, a 2003 comedy film and parody of science fiction and horror films. It is the first film in the Scary Movie franchise not to feature members of the Wayans family.

Scary Movie 3 has loads and loads of belly laughs, but it is shockingly lame, dull, and an all out boring film, which gets worse as its nearly incomprehensible story lethargically crawls to the end. This installment of the franchise mainly targets The Ring and Signs for a good skewering or is that screwing? The Matrix and 8 Mile also fall in for a manhandling; the former parody is mildly funny while the latter is surprisingly sprightly and hilarious. The film, however, is one long gag reel superimposed over a deplorably bad movie.

The story this time, as it may be, has Cindy (Anna Faris) and her lame heartthrob George (Simon Rex) investigating crop circles and a killer ghost from a haunted videocassette. Somehow, it’s all tied together, and Cindy also has to help President Harris (Leslie Nielsen) stop an alien invasion.

If this doesn’t sound like much, it’s because Scary Movie 3 isn’t very much. The presence of so many stars in small roles and cameos is very nice, and some, like Anthony Anderson, Pamela Anderson, and Jenny McCarthy, actually make the film worth seeing. The cast, like the raunchy humor and endless sight gags, don’t exactly save the movie, but they can make you laugh, and in the end, those laughs might be the only reason to justify seeing this lame duck. David Zucker, part of the team responsible for Airplane and Naked Gun, lavishes Scary Movie 3 with his trademark gag-a-minute style, and it works to an extent.

I must really emphasize that this film can cause some hard and deep laughing, but I was also very shocked at how often tasteless and tactless the film was. Jokes that involve violating a corpse at a wake and pedophilia on the part of Catholic priest cross the line. It’s not so much that this kind of humor seems desperate; it’s that the filmmakers seem so willfully shameless and tasteless. Some things are not funny. They are sacred or taboo for reasons that are important to a society. It’s not that such things cannot be discussed; it’s how they are discussed. To use them as jokes is the sign of a weak, unimaginative mind – a selfish and immature person determined and desperate to get what he wants at any cost.

That said – I laughed a lot, and I cringed behind my arms almost as much. Scary Movie 3 won’t ever be listed among the great comedies. At best, it’s a temporary and exasperating thrill that is forgotten as soon as the film fades to black.

3 of 10

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Review: "Red Tails" Has Wings

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 52 (of 2012) by Leroy Douresseaux

Red Tails (2012)
Running time: 125 minutes (2 hours, 5 minutes)
MPAA – PG-13 for some sequences of war violence
DIRECTOR: Anthony Hemingway
WRITERS: John Ridley and Aaron McGruder; from a story by John Ridley
PRODUCERS: Rick McCallum and Charles F. Johnson
EDITORS: Ben Burtt and Michael O'Halloran
COMPOSER: Terence Blanchard


Starring: Terrence Howard, Cuba Gooding, Jr., Nate Parker, David Oyelowo, Tristan Wilds, Elijah Kelley, Ne-Yo, Kevin Phillips, Bryan Cranston, Lee Tergensen, Gerald McRaney, Daniela Ruah, Marcus T. Paulk, Leslie Odom, Jr., Michael B. Jordan, Andre Royo, Cliff “Method Man” Smith, and Lars van Riesen

The subject of this movie review is Red Tails, a 2012 war film and historical drama produced by Lucasfilm and released by 20th Century Fox. Starring Terrence Howard and Cuba Gooding, Jr., Red Tails is a fictionalized portrayal of the Tuskegee Airmen, a group of African-American servicemen who served in the United States Air Force (USAAF) during World War II. George Lucas financed Red Tails (both production and distributions costs) and also directed re-shoots for the film.

Red Tails is set in Italy, 1944. The 332d Fighter Group of young African-American (called “Negroes”) USAAF pilots have already made it through recruitment and training in the Tuskegee training program. They have endured racism, and, now that they are in Europe, are still facing segregation from their white counterparts. In fact, they have not flown a single combat mission, but instead conduct strafing runs against German targets and also fly coastal patrols. Even their planes are secondhand, worn out Curtiss P-40 Warhawk aircraft.

Back in Washington, Colonel A.J. Bullard (Terrence Howard) is fighting the white bureaucracy to get his black flyers treated as equals. Meanwhile, in Italy, Major Emanuel Stance (Cuba Gooding, Jr.) is keeping his bored men in fighting shape. Opportunity comes when Bullard is asked to have his fighter pilots act as bomber escorts for the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress bombers. There is an unacceptably high casualty rate among bomber crews mainly because of the actions of their current escorts. Bullard accepts and also manages to get new planes, North American P-51 Mustangs, for the 332d. With the tails of their aircraft painted bright red, these African-American flyers become known as the “Red Tails.” Now, can they prove themselves to the doubters?

Apparently, the critical consensus on Red Tails is that the film has “one-dimensional characters, corny dialogue, and heaps of clichés.” With the exception of Platoon and a few others, war movies are inherently clichéd. As for the corny dialogue, which is another staple of war films (old and new), that is true, but it is so infrequent that it stands out when someone does utter something trite or contrived.

As for the characters, they are anything but one-dimensional. They are fairly complicated, especially in terms of their motivations, external and internal conflicts, hopes, dreams, and fears. The screenplay is a bit light on the characters’ past, but the most important thing that the audience needs to know about the characters’ past is known. What is that? Well, that is the fact that they are black and that bigots and racists have been trying to hold them back and hurt them all their lives. “Nuff said.

Red Tails isn’t as heavy and dramatic as a war movie like Saving Private Ryan; in fact, sometimes, Red Tails’ drama is a little soft, like a sentimental television movie. Red Tails’ most potent drama comes from the aviation sequences, especially the aerial battles. When the Tuskegee airmen are in the air, the film soars. The scenes of aerial combat are exciting and skillfully executed, but what else would we expect from Lucasfilm, the people who gave us the soaring spacecraft in the Star Wars films.

Some viewers may be put off that Red Tails is a dramatic retelling of a real group of men and their exploits during World War II. Red Tails is more historical fiction than history, but it is still a truly exceptional film. I am just happy that someone made a film to acknowledge the contribution black servicemen made during World War II, because African-American are generally absent when Hollywood visits World War II. I bet many of those same people complaining about Red Tails’ historical inaccuracies never previously gave a thought to the absence of Black men in WWII films.

George Lucas’ 93 million dollar investment in this project is not at all wasted. It is a lovely gift to African-American history and film, and it is a damn good film, also. By the time Red Tails’ end credits faded away, I still could have watched another two hours just like it.

8 of 10

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


Sunday, April 22, 2012

Kevin Hart Shameless in Shameless "Soul Plane"

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 85 (of 2004) by Leroy Douresseaux

Soul Plane (2004)
Running time: 86 minutes (1 hour, 26 minutes)
MPAA – R for strong sexual content, language and some drug use
DIRECTOR: Jessy Terrero
WRITERS: Bo Zenga and Chuck Wilson
PRODUCERS: David Scott Rubin and Jessy Terrero
EDITOR: Michael R. Miller
COMPOSERS: Christopher Lennertz and RZA


Starring: Tom Arnold, Kevin Hart, Method Man, Snoop Dogg, K.D. Aubert, Godfrey, Brian Hooks, D.L. Hughley, Arielle Kebbel, Mo’Nique, Ryan Pinkston, Missi Pyle, Sofia Vergara, Gary Anthony Williams, Karl Malone, Li’l John, and John Witherspoon

The subject of this movie review is Soul Plane, a 2004 jiggaboo comedy. Kevin Hart stars as a young man who starts his own Black-centric airline, and the story focuses on the maiden voyage of the sole plane in his non-existent fleet.

That white writers (usually from upper middle class backgrounds) wrote sketch comedy making fun of black culture used to piss me off. Why the hell couldn’t Hollywood just hire black writers, I rhetorically asked, to write about blacks since white film and TV executives felt that only whites could write about whites. Well, if the best that black writers and filmmakers can do is Soul Plane, never let a nigga touch another sheet of paper.

When Nashawn Wade (Kevin Hart) wins a $100 million settlement for negligence from an airline, he decides to start his own airline: NWA. Lest you confuse yourself, this NWA is not that N.W.A.; for the sake of this movie the acronym stands for “Nashawn Wade Airline.” In flight meals can be anything from Cristal and filet mignon to Colt .45 and Popeye’s fried chicken. The airline’s one plane is purple and rolls on dubs, and the stewardesses are big booty ho’s in Daisy Dukes. When his cousin (badly played by rapper Method Man) hires an ex-con (Snoop Dogg) to fly the plane, you know there’s going to be trouble and hilarity ensues.

Soul Plane is a poorly made collection of stereotypes, blaxtiploitation, riffs on hip hop culture, deplorable acting, and feeble musical tracks. Except for a few moments, the film is painfully unfunny. In fact, 9.5 of every ten minutes of this film is not funny, although the few good scenes are both shocking, painfully embarrassing, and outrageously hilarious – kind of like Scary Movie 3, but with way fewer yucks. Frankly, it’s more saddening than bad.

The cast is either extraordinarily untalented or just misused. Kevin Hart is a Sambo version of Chris Tucker, and his performance is like a frantic and desperate crackhead trying to be funny. Mo’Nique isn’t in the movie enough, and Tom Arnold (practically the lone salvation of this film) may have his name at the front of the credits, but this is (quite unfortunately) not his film.

1 of 10

Monday, August 1, 2011

Lucasfilm Announces "Red Tails" for January 12 2012

(Leslie Odom Jr, Michael B. Jordan, Nate Parker, Kevin Phillips, David Oyelowo and Elijah Kelley portray some of the heroic Tuskegee Airmen in a scene from Lucasfilm's epic action film Red Tails, in theaters January 20, 2012 - Photo: Business Wire)

Lucasfilm’s Red Tails Will Take Flight on January 20, 2012

Twentieth Century Fox to Release Epic Action Story Inspired by the Heroic Tuskegee Airmen

SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--A high-flying action epic inspired by the heroic exploits of the first all African-American aerial combat unit, the Lucasfilm Ltd. production of Red Tails will launch on January 20, 2012, released by Twentieth Century Fox. Produced by Rick McCallum and Charles Floyd Johnson, the gripping WWII actioner is directed by Anthony Hemingway (“Treme,” “The Wire,” “Battlestar Galactica”).

“I am humbled and honored to direct the story of the Tuskegee Airmen – heroes who have paved the way so others could have the opportunity to pursue their dreams,” said Hemingway. “To be selected by George Lucas and Rick to direct this film was more than my wildest dreams come true. It’s been a blessing to work with them, along with the amazingly talented artists at Industrial Light & Magic. I’ve grown a lot on many levels from this experience. As director, I had the fortune to work with a highly skilled crew from the Czech Republic, U.K. and the U.S., along with a remarkably talented group of actors. The resonant beauty, strength and dedication of our heroes is reflected in the powerful ensemble cast.”

Red Tails stars Oscar® winner Cuba Gooding Jr. (Jerry Maguire), Oscar nominee Terrence Howard (Crash), Emmy® winner Bryan Cranston (“Breaking Bad”), Nate Parker (The Secret Life of Bees, The Great Debaters), David Oyelowo (The Last King of Scotland, Rise of the Planet of the Apes), Tristan Wilds (“90210”), Grammy® Award winner Cliff Smith aka Method Man (“The Wire”), Kevin Phillips (Pride), Rick Otto (“The Wire”), Lee Tergesen (Monster), Andre Royo (“Heroes”), Grammy-Award winner Ne-Yo (Stomp the Yard), Elijah Kelley (Hairspray), Marcus T. Paulk (Take the Lead), Leslie Odom Jr. (“Grey’s Anatomy”), Michael B. Jordan (“Friday Night Lights,” Chronicle) and Daniela Ruah (“NCIS”).

“I've wanted to do this film for a great many years,” said George Lucas, executive producer of Red Tails. “So it is especially gratifying to see it all come together. It has been a real pleasure to work with Anthony and the extraordinary cast on a project that we all passionately believe in. The Tuskegee Airmen were such superb pilots that it was essential for us to create visual effects that would live up to their heroism and put audiences in the cockpit with them. They were only in their early 20s when they performed these amazing feats,” Lucas added. “They became the best of the best—the top guns. It is an honor to bring to the screen a story inspired by their heroics.”

1944. As the war in Europe continues to take its toll on Allied forces, the Pentagon brass has no recourse but to consider unorthodox options – including the untried and untested African-American pilots of the experimental Tuskegee training program. Just as the young Tuskegee men are on the brink of being shut down and shipped back home, they are given the ultimate chance to show their courage. Against all the odds, with something to prove and everything to lose, these intrepid young airmen take to the skies to fight for their country – and the fate of the free world.

About Fox Filmed Entertainment
One of the world’s largest producers and distributors of motion pictures, Fox Filmed Entertainment produces, acquires and distributes motion pictures throughout the world. These motion pictures are produced or acquired by the following units of FFE: Twentieth Century Fox, Fox 2000 Pictures, Fox Searchlight Pictures, Twentieth Century Fox Animation and Fox International Productions. Twentieth Century Fox International is a unit of Fox Filmed Entertainment, a segment of Fox Entertainment Group.

About Lucasfilm Ltd.
Lucasfilm Ltd. is one of the world's leading film and entertainment companies. Founded by George Lucas in 1971, it is a privately held, fully integrated entertainment company. In addition to its motion-picture and television production operations, the company's global activities include Industrial Light & Magic and Skywalker Sound, serving the digital needs of the entertainment industry for visual effects and audio post-production; LucasArts, a leading developer and publisher of interactive entertainment software worldwide; Lucas Licensing, which manages the global merchandising activities for Lucasfilm's entertainment properties; and Lucasfilm Animation, which produces cutting-edge digital entertainment. Additionally, Lucas Online creates Internet-based content for Lucasfilm's entertainment properties and businesses. Lucasfilm Ltd. is headquartered in northern California.

Lucasfilm, the Lucasfilm logo, Red Tails and related properties are trademarks and/or copyrights, in the United States and other countries, of Lucasfilm Ltd. and/or its affiliates. TM & © 2011 Lucasfilm Ltd. All rights reserved. All other trademarks and trade names are properties of their respective owners.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Review: Video Game Adaptation, "Venom," is Surprisingly Scary Entertainment

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 12 (of 2006) by Leroy Douresseaux

Venom (2005)
Running time: 86 minutes (1 hour, 26 minutes)
MPAA – R for strong horror violence/gore, and language
DIRECTOR: Jim Gillespie
WRITERS: Flint Dille & John Zuur Platten and Brandon Boyce; from a story by Flint Dille & John Zuur Platten
PRODUCERS: Scott Faye, Karen Lauder, and Kevin Williamson
EDITOR: Paul Martin Smith

HORROR/THRILLER with elements of action

Starring: Agnes Bruckner, Jonathan Jackson, Laura Ramsey, D.J. Cotrona, Rick Cramer, Bijou Phillips, Meagan Good, Method Man, Pawel, Szajda, Davetta Sherwood, Stacey Travis, Marcus Lyle Brown (as Marcus Brown), James Pickens, Jr., and Deborah Duke

A mixed group of teenagers, led by Eden (Agnes Bruckner) and her boyfriend Eric (Jonathan Jackson), find themselves stalked by a mysterious madman who has a key chain that makes a tinkling sound whenever he’s near. They discover that the killer is a recently deceased man named Ray (Rick Cramer), and his corpse now possessed by evil voodoo spirits. Eden and her friends run to the only one who can help them, their friend CeCe (Meagan Good), whose late grandmother, Miss Emmie (Deborah Duke), was a mambo/voodoo priestess and also the reason these evil forces are loose. As the final showdown looms, six teenagers are trapped in Miss Emmie’s house while the monster that was Ray waits outside for them.

Venom is the latest horror film based upon a video game, except that the game in this instance, named “Backwater,” is still in development. Venom is actually sort of a prequel to the game and explains how the game’s featured villain, “Mr. Jangles,” (Ray in this movie), came to be (He’s called “Mr. Jangles” because of the sound his key chain makes when he walks). Venom is actually a throwback to the horror films of the 1980’s, especially such slasher films as the Friday the 13th and Halloween franchises, where a (damn near) supernatural killer stalks teenagers and dispatches them in violently gory and bloody scenes that feature sharp implements and tools piercing or repeatedly slashing young flesh.

Venom is neither bland nor lifeless, and while it may look like a modestly budgeted Sci-Fi original picture (where many obviously have ultra low budgets), it’s fun, and the villain is (mostly) pretty scary. The Louisiana film locations (in swamps and rural areas) add a dreary, fear-inducing, Southern gothic atmosphere. Rarely has a hot and muggy atmosphere seemed so chilling and foreboding. Yes, the writing isn’t very imaginative; virtually every scene is copied or based directly on other horror movies, and in that Venom doesn’t hide that it is hackneyed. The cast stepped out of Abercrombie and Fitch. But as far as horror movies go, this is a straight meat grinder – soft on laughs, but dirt cheap and blunt on blood and guts.

The violence is proudly, rather than shamelessly, gratuitous. I enjoyed this trudge through the mud and muck because Venom is also some of the creepiest Hollywood-style voodoo scares I’ve seen in a while. Venom is like the 25-cent “Little Debbie” brownie that satisfies the chocolate urge when gourmet just isn’t available, and I’d like this brownie. I’d watch Venom again.

6 of 10

Wednesday, January 18, 2006