Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Phil sees POLTERGEIST at the AMC Showplace Manteca 16-May 25, 2015

I love horror movies. I love them immensely. I have seen countless horror films, raging from the Universal classics to the glut of remakes. Now you may have noticed, Hollywood has been cranking out a series of horror remakes, re-imagines and reboots. This trend started back in 2003 with the remake of THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE, which was a very good remake that I enjoyed. However, lately I've had the painful responsibility of watching really crappy remakes as of late. This brings me to the latest in this uninspiring cycle of crap. Ladies and gentlemen, boils and ghouls, I present to you my review of 20th Century Fox's remake of POLTERGEIST.

The film's official synopsis: Legendary filmmaker Sam Raimi and director Gil Kenan reimagine and contemporize the classic tale about a family whose suburban home is invaded by angry spirits. When the terrifying apparitions escalate their attacks and take the youngest daughter, the family must come together to rescue her.

While the synopsis sounds interesting and horrifying, Fox forgot to mention that it sucked and wasn't scary at all.

This is just another sad example that Hollywood has completely and utterly run out of original ideas. Being a serious horror fanatic, this makes me absolutely furious! While their have been other remakes, reimagines, and reboots in other genres, none has been beaten to death than the horror genre. Time and time again, year after year, we have been subdued to watching a pathetic parade of classic horror films being given the Hollywood make-over. But how bad was this film? Let me give a list of reasons why it sucked so damn bad.

1) The film moved way too fast. Unlike the classic Tobe Hooper directed/Steven Spielberg produced 1982 film, director Gil Kenan and screenwriter David Lindsay-Abaire totally botched this film by rushing the story and paying no mind to us the audience. We have to be invested in the characters, we have to sympathize with them, we want to feel for them and be scared when they are. But you can't do that when your film is flying at 100 miles per hour because you're hoping that we wouldn't noticed that the script wasn't finished in time before production started.

2) What made the original so great and terrifying was that is was just that. It got under your skin, it terrified you, it made you think twice about purchasing a home that was built on a cemetery. The scary trees, the freaking clown doll that wants to kill you, peeling your face off in the mirror, the demonic spirit that wants your daughter, all these ingredients made the original a classic. The remake had none of these whatsoever. I just sat there thinking that when the hell is this going to get scary.

3) There was no character development. Who are these people? Why should we care about them? Do I even have to like them? The answer  to these questions is a resounding no. I didn't know them and, to be honest, I didn't want to. I could care a less about any of them.

4) The directing didn't look or feel smooth or fluid, rather it felt confusing and just all over the place. Granted this is only the third film that Kenan had directed, but I feel like he might have bitten off more than he could chew here. Maybe this a paid job and not something he really wanted to make?

5) Did I mention it wasn't scary? Oh I did? Ok moving on then.

6)  All the good stuff was in the trailer. In fact, the trailer made the film look scary, which I claim as false advertisment. But what I did find scary was that horror icon and my hero Sam Raimi and his company Ghost House produced this piece of crap! Why Sam why?!? You made the original EVIL DEAD trilogy! You gave us the awesome SPIDER-MAN trilogy! You made DRAG ME TO HELL! But why did you help make this one?!? I need answers man! I can't live like this!! WHY?!?!?

Sorry about that. Got a little carried there. But I'm OK now, really. But I digress...

POLTERGIEST is a worthless, unoriginal, uninspiring, total waste of my hard earn cash remake of a film. This film gave me diarrhea. I felt stupid by the end credits. It doesn't deserve your time and attention. This film hurt me so bad that I'm not even going to rate it. It sucked people. Don't see this movie. Stick to the original and you'll be a lot better off.

POLTERGEIST is currently playing in both 2-D and 3-D in theaters nationwide, including at the AMC Showplace Manteca 16. To view showtimes, visit their website at

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the show!  

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Phil sees THE AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON at the AMC Showplace Manteca 16-May 16, 2015

Since the release of IRON MAN in 2008, Marvel Studios has been releasing blockbuster after blockbuster in their shared cinematic universe like clockwork. Their "First Phase" of films led to the 2012 runway hit THE AVENGERS that united their superheroes in one film. Comic book fans and film buffs came out in droves to witness history in the making. After my initial review of it I thought to myself, "Boy, I can't wait to see how they top this!" Fast forward to this past weekend and I am sitting with my family to witness the next chapter of Earth's Mightiest Heroes. Thus, here I am reviewing THE AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON.

The film's official synopsis: When Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.) tries to jumpstart a dormant peacekeeping program, things go awry and Earth's Mightiest Heroes, including Iron Man, Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), the Incredible Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), are put to the ultimate test as the fate of the planet hangs in the balance. As the villainous Ultron (James Spader) emerges, it is up to the Avengers to stop him from enacting his terrible plans, and soon uneasy alliances and unexpected action pave the way for a global adventure.

Also appearing in the film are newbies Elizabeth Olsen (Scarlet Witch),  Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Quicksilver), and MCU regulars Don Cheadle (James Rhodes aka War Machine), Cobie Smulders (Maria Hill), Anthony Mackie (Sam Wilson aka Falcon), Paul Bettany (Jarvis/Vision), and Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury).

Once again writer/director Joss Whedon (THE AVENGERS, FIREFLY, BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER) pulls out all the stops with this, his best film to date. Unlike its predecessor, Whedon abandons his traditional style of filmmaking and takes it to the next level. The look is far more cinematic, flowing and grander. It reminds me of the old style of Hollywood filmmaking, much like John Ford or Billy Wilder; taking something simple (like the old west or, in this case, superheroes) and having it reflect the filmmaker himself: his personality, eccentricities, and vision. The first film Whedon was criticized that the look and his directing style was more towards looking like a television episode rather a movie, Here, he silences his critics and creates a cinematic work of art that reflects his vision in its purist form. Dare I say that Joss Whedon has taken his first steps of becoming an auteur.

Also worth noting that not only his directing, Whedon's script bring to light more of the charaters backgrounds and what makes them tick. From Captain America's longing for his lost love Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell making a brief cameo) to Black Widow's brainwashing and training to become a lethal assassin, we the audience is given a very special treat: character development, which something rarely seen in sequels. The last time we saw this kind of crafted screenwriting was in CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLIDER. Whedon proves that, without a shadow of a doubt, he has the capability to produce some amazing and outstanding films.

The cast is reunited to combat a deadly foe, and who else could've pulled of Ultron beside James Spader? No one, that's who! Spader (who is phenomenal on the hit television show Blacklist) portrays one of the most iconic villains in the Marvel Comics Universe and is just one of the most intelligent, evil beings that has ever graced the silver screen. The rest of the cast does a fantastic job once again and newcomers Olsen and Taylor-Johnson give it all and then some. 

Overall THE AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON is one of Marvel's biggest and most ambitious film yet and it pays off in spades! This is one summer blockbuster that really deserves to be seen on the big screen! So beat the heat and check out this outstanding chapter in the Marvel Cinematic Universe! 5 out of 5 stars!! Highly recommended!!

THE AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON is currently playing in both 2-D and 3-D in theaters nationwide, including at the AMC Showplace Manteca 16. To view showtimes, visit their website at

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the show!