New Netflix Streaming Releases for the Week of 9/16/14

The usual hodgepodge on streaming Netflix

Rage

Action/Adventure: Rage

Anime: Deadman Wonderland

High Noon

Classic: Breakfast at Tiffany’s, High Noon

Comedy: Dennis Miller: America 180, Filth, Jay and Silent Bob’s Super Groovy Cartoon Movie

Documentary: The Galapagos Affair: Satan Came to Eden, Project Wild Thing, Who is Dayani Cristal?, The Final Member

Drama: Days of Thunder, Scents and Sensibility, Deadly Code, A Single Man, Cinemanovels

Faith: Grace Unplugged, Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration

Family: Amazon Jack, Justin and the Knights of Valor

Stardust

Fantasy & Science Fiction: Dragonfyre, Stardust

Foreign: Hate Story, Yamla Pagla Deewanna 2

Television: About a Boy, The Adventures of Figaro Pho, Personal: Grant & Calvin Hill, Wak Fu, and new episodes of Foyle’s War and Crash & Bernstein

Thriller: The Moment

Outpost III – Rise of the Spetsnaz

Outpost III: Rise of the Spetsnaz is not on Netflix – I just couldn’t resist it on sale.

Outpost 3

Outpost III: Rise of the Spetsnaz (2013) – Not Rated

In this third installment of the hit Nazi Zombie action horror movie, Outpost: Rise Of The Spetsnaz, we discover the horrifying origins of these supernatural soldiers and see them in ferocious gladiatorial battle against the most ruthless and notorious of all military special forces: the Russian Spetsnaz.”

I admit I have a bias towards liking Nazis for villains. They were all the rage when I was growing up. The Odessa File (1974) adapted Frederick Forsyth’s novel of Nazi war criminals on the run. Marathon Man (1976) covered much the same territory. The Boys from Brazil (1978) adapted Ira Levin’s potboiler and let Gregory Peck take a rare villainous turn.

Supernatural angles just made the movies even better. The low-budget Shock Waves (1977) starred Peter Cushing and John Carradine along with underwater Nazi zombies. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) had Indiana Jones and the Nazis after the Ark of the Covenant. The Keep (1983) is a fantastically atmospheric, albeit tragically flawed, movie disavowed by director Michael Mann. It featured an ancient demon as well as Nazis. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) had the titular character racing the Nazis again, this time to find the Holy Grail.

Outpost (2007) was a horror B-movie gem, one of those diamonds in the rough that I am always looking for but seldom find. Part of what made Outpost so good was Ray Stevenson as the mercenary leader but a large part was also the novelty of the premise. The monsters were neither zombies nor ghosts and the mercenaries had to figure things out along the way just as the audience did.

The story was by Kieran Parker, Steve Barker, and Rae Brunton. The screenplay was by Rae Brunton and Steve Barker was the director. I only mention this because Rae Brunton and Steve Barker also wrote the sequel which Steve also directed. Strangely, they appeared to have no clue about what made the first one work so well. Sadly, Outpost Black Sun (2012) was a big dud.

This brings us, finally, to Outpost III: Rise of the Spetsnaz. This one is written again by Rae Brunton and directed by Kieran Parker, a co-writer of the first movie. It is neither incoheent nor dull as Black Sun was but it is still hard to recommend.

Outpost III tells some of the backstory involved in the titular Outpost. It takes place during World War II and features a handful of Russian Special Forces (Spetsnaz) fighting behind enemy lines before being captured and experimented on. Part of the problem with Outpost III is that the creatures encountered are not the same type of creature as in the two previous movies (to their credit, there is an explanation for this).

The real problem is that the film is a seemingly endless succession of squad of Russians plow through Nazis – captured – handful of Russians plow through Nazis – three Russians plow through Nazi creatures – two Russians plow through Nazi creaures… There is occasional exposition, albeit none that makes sense. The film is one extended fight scene with various parameters.

Outpost III is not bad but I can only recommend it for die hard fans of the franchise.

 

Superheroes – The Tick Returns!

Every year on September 11th, I take the day off and watch superhero movies and eat pizza. I usually post a tribute here to my dear departed friend, Patrick Grady. He always loved superhero movies but died before some of the best ones (The Dark Knight, Iron Man, The Avengers) came out. The last thing he was able to eat was my beloved father-in-law’s pizza hence my commemoration of him with pizza (also a nod to Poppa, whose name was indeed John, but whose pizza was vastly superior to that chain but I digress) and superhero movies.

Arrow

Patrick would have been thrilled with the current state of superhero movies over the past few years. This year marks a major shift to television. The success of Arrow has spawned The Flash, Gotham, and Constantine so, at least for a small period of time, there will be four DC comics television series and one Marvel (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.). Marvel also has/had plans to develop Agent Carter.

The Tick

The big news to me though is that Amazon is bringing back The Tick! Writer Ben Edlund is on board as is Patrick Warburton (who simply is The Tick). No word yet on Arthur, Captain Liberty, or Bat-Manuel. Amazon is ordering a pilot and, as usual, will invite folks to vote on whether to fund this series. The original series is currently on Netflix and is only nine episodes long so why aren’t you watching it.

Captain America Winter Soldier

My plan for today is to watch Captain America, The Avengers (currently on Netflix), and Captain America: Winter Soldier which just came out on Tuesday. It was a good comic book year with X-Men: Days of Future Past, The (not so) Amazing Spider-Man 2, Captain America: Winter Soldier, and The Guardians of the Galaxy but, for my money, Winter Soldier was the best of the lot.

The Blood Glacier Machine

Blood Glacier and The Machine are currently available on instant Netflix.

Blood Glacier

 

Blood Glacier (2014) – Not rated

After a glacier in the Alps leaks a mysterious red liquid, a group of scientists must defend themselves against hordes of biological monstrosities.”

The most egregious fault with Blood Glacier, and there are a lot of them, is that the dubbing is ridiculously poor. It was as though they grabbed some random people off the street and had them read a previously unseen script. This is mostly a problem because it makes Blood Glacier seem much worse than it is.

Blood Glacier is still a mess, a hodgepodge of environmental ideas and a rather liberal theft of John Carpenter’s The Thing. These things would normally cause me to dismiss this film but Blood Glacier does have some things going for it.

The natural setting is handled well though it seems as though the glacier would have melted much earlier given how warm it seems in various scenes. The practical effects are well-handled and very nice to see in this CGI age (not that there isn’t CGI here as well).

Overall Blood Glacier is just a misfire.

The Machine

 

The Machine (2013) – Not rated

During a cold war, Britain’s Ministry of Defence steals the first-ever self-aware cyborg and trains it to become a brutal fighting machine.”

Ah, at last. The Machine is one of those gems you search for and find after watching dozens of drecky, lesser efforts. The title is apt if a bit too non-descript. Caradog W. James wrote, directed, and executive produced this low-budget science fiction thriller that once again posits the dangers of artificial intelligence.

Caity Lotz carries the film as both a bright young scientist and the weapon she creates. If her name sounds familiar, it is because she currently plays Black Canary on Arrow. Toby Stephens is just fine as the head scientist, Vincent (and can currently be seen as Captain Flint on Black Sails). Denis Lawson is a suitably menacing bureaucrat in charge of the super soldier program.

The setting is mostly restricted to a single, rather plain, base. The movie is not particularly flashy and the action sequences are rather pedestrian. The script is quite good as is the story behind it and, at a bare hour and a half, the movie never overstays its welcome.

I highly recommend The Machine for any lovers of intelligent science fiction.

DragonCon 2014 – Dressing Up

We spent three and a half days at DragonCon and only went to one panel (Filk and Cookies). We spent the majority of our time just watching all the wonderful Cosplayers. Here was some of our cosplay:

Cosplay 1

 

Our dear friend Renee was a steampunk Miss Frizzle from Magic School Bus. My youngest daughter was a stormtrooper 50s housewife. My wonder wife was 1950s housewife Darth Vader.

Cosplay 2

 

Here my wife is lumpy space princess (I was middle-aged Finn – there were a lot of Finns) and my very pregnant daughter was Melisandre from Game of Thrones when she was pregnant with the shadow monster.

Cosplay 3

 

Finally, a candid shot of my daughter as pregnant Daenerys. That was a very long day. I should be back to regular movie blogging tomorrow.

New Netflix Streaming Releases for the Week of 9/9/14

A pretty random assortment this week – I missed Robert Redford’s solo in All is Lost so I hope to catch that shortly.

All is Lost

Action/Adventure: All is Lost

Anime: Digimon Fusion

Roman Holiday

Classic: Roman Holiday, True Grit (1969)

Comedy: Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, Le Week-End

Documentary: Honor Diaries, I Am Divine, Citizen Koch, I Am, Yangsi

Drama: Kid Cannabis, Refuge, Your Sister’s Sister, The Auction, Getting Go: The Go Doc Project

Family: Big Top Pee-Wee, Hey Arnold! The Movie

Fantasy & Science Fiction: Parts Per Billion

Foreign: Horses of God

Rigor Mortis

Horror: Rigor Mortis

Television: Agnes Varda: From Here to There, The Blacklist, Power Rangers Super Megaforce and new episodes of Ben 10, Last Tango in Halifax, The League, and Trailer Park Boys

Thriller: Twisted (2004), Whitewash

DragonCon Shopping – Posters and Pop

The first two times we went to the dealers building, I just window shopped and bought a few items for friends and family. On Monday morning, on our way out of town, we hit the dealers building for some lightning shopping. Having only a little over an hour, I shamelessly abandoned my wife, friend, and child, to find some loot.

Vincent Price posters

 

I picked up some 11″x17″ Vincent Price posters for the wall. These will join my 11×17 Theater of Blood and my full-size original The Last Man on Earth poster (Thanks as always, Maya!).

Universal Frankenstein

 

I also picked up a couple Universal Frankenstein posters.

Mummy poster

 

Then I rounded it out with Hammer’s The Mummy poster and one of the first Lovecraft adaptations, The Dunwich Horror. The Haunted Palace (see Vincent Price above) is advertised as an Edgar Allan Poe picture but is actually based on a Lovecraft story with a Poe poem tacked on to the beginning and end.

Pennywise

 

Finally, since my wife and friends bought me a ton of Funko Pop! figures for my birthday, I couldn’t resist this one of Pennywise from Stephen King’s IT. Even the cuteness looks creepy.

P.S. They all float down here…..

FREE September Movies at The Carolina

Carolina Cinemas

 

Every Tuesday at 8 p.m., the Asheville Film Society puts on a FREE movie at the Carolina in theater 6. Membership is not necessary to attend. Arrive early as they have gotten very crowded.

9/2 Counsellor at Law (1933, William Wyler)

9/9 Every Day’s A Holiday (1965, James Hill)

9/16 The Last Days of Disco (1998, Whit Stillman)

9/23 Love Me Tonight (1932, Rouben Mamoulian)

9/30 Help! (1965, Richard Lester)

Thursday Horror Picture Show

 

Every Thursday night at 8, Ken Hanke & Justin Souther put on a FREE horror movie. This used to be in the cinema lounge but has become so popular that it has been moved to theater 6.

The Neanderthal Man

9/4 The Neanderthal Man (1953, E.A. DuPont)

9/11 *September’s horror has not yet been posted but go anyway!

9/18

9/25

New Netflix Streaming Releases for September

Here are the usual suspects for the beginning of the month, i.e. catalog titles

Action/Adventure: 1492: Conquest of Paradise, Assassination, Bloodsport, Death Warrant, Escape from Alcatraz, Flight of the Intruder, The Ghost and the Darkness, Hard Rain, K-19: The Widowmaker, Sucker Punch (2008), Young Sherlock Holmes

Anime: Ghost in the Shell: Arise, Gurren Lagann

Will Penny

Classic: The Greatest Show on Earth, Will Penny

Comedy: The Addams Family, Boys and Girls, Crocodile Dundee, Duplex, Forces of Nature, Good Morning Vietnam, Grosse Pointe Blank, Guess Who, In & Out, Jerry Maguire, Mr. Mom, Multiplicity, Pleased to Meet Me, Saving Silverman, School of Rock, She’s the One, Small Apartments, Spaceballs, Summer Rental, Thou Shalt Laugh, Thou Shalt Laugh 2: The Deuce, Jim Jefferies: BARE

Documentary: Cesar’s Last Fast, Comedy Warriors: Healing Through Humor, Girl Rising, I Know That Voice, Mirage Men, Naked Ambition: An R-Rated Look at an X-Rated Industry, Pint-Sized Preachers, Step Into Liquid, The Unbelievers, Vanishing Pearls, We Always Lie to Strangers, Where the Trail Ends, A Year in Burgundy

Drama: All the Light in the Sky, The Best of Men, The Blue Lagoon, Brother’s Shadow, Chuck & Buck, The Elephant Man, Eve’s Bayou, Girlfight, The Grey Zone, Ice Castles (2010), Lords of Dogtown, Losing Isaiah, Note to Self, An Officer and a Gentleman, Ordinary People, Poetic Justice, A Price Above Rubies, Sling Blade, There Will Be Blood, Varsity Blues

Family: Anastasia, Cool Runnings, D3: The Mighty Ducks, Fairy Tale: A True Story, Ferngully: The Last Rainforest, Flubber, Hoodwinked, Hugo, The New Adventures of Pippi Longstocking, Old Yeller, Snow Day, Swiss Family Robinson, Space Warriors, 3 Ninjas: High Noon at Mega Mountain, 3 Ninjas: Kick Back, 3 Ninjas: Knuckle Up

Invasion of the Body Snatchers

Fantasy & Science Fiction: Invaders from Mars (1986), Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978), Love, The Machine, War of the Worlds: Goliath

Foreign: Fashion, Rowdy Rathore, The Protector 2

The Vampire Lovers

Horror: Anaconda, Antisocial, Audrey Rose, The Believers (1987), Count Yorga Vampire, Detention, Dread, Event Horizon, Fido, The Final, The Graves, The Hamiltons, The Horror Show, Kill Theory, The Lair of the White Worm, Monkey Shines, Penny Dreadful, The Reeds, The Return of Count Yorga, Unrest, Vampire in Brooklyn, The Vampire Lovers

Television: Alistair MacLean’s Air Force One is Down, American Experience: 1964, American Experience: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, An Animal #$*% My Vacation, The Assets, Chasing UFOs, Doomsday Preppers, Hinterland, Inside: Pepsico, Taboo, Zero Hour, and new episodes of Californication, Midsomer Murders, Once Upon a Time, Revenge, and Weird or What?

Thriller: Eye for an Eye, The Presidio, A Simple Plan

Regal Classic Film Series Does It Again! Scarface & GWTW!

Regal

 

I love Regal’s Classic Film Series. Hardly anyone attends at my theater so there are often only a half dozen or so patrons. While I missed all of the last set, the set before last I caught Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Godfather, and The Godfather II. Shows are at 2 p.m. on Sunday and 2 and 7 p.m. on Wednesday. Here is the latest set:

Scarface

9/7 & 9/10: Scarface (1983)

9/14 & 9/17: The Nutty Professor (1963)

Dr. Strangelove

9/21 & 9/24: Dr. Strangelove (1964)

Gone with the Wind

9/28 & 10/1: Gone with the Wind (1939) – They have not said times will be different for this one but it is four hours long.

10/5 & 10/8: M*A*S*H* (1970)

Regal Crown Club members who attend 3 films will get an extra 50 credits, all six will net you a 100 extra credits. Participating Regal Cinemas can be found here. I sure hope they do some horror movies for October. AARP members 50 and up get a senior discount on these tickets.