Life, directed by Daniel Espinosa, is the latest Alien-inspired survival horror film set in space. However, despite some graphic body-horror scares, Life’s antagonist, the incongruously named “Calvin,” lacks plausibility. Don’t get me wrong, there’s not much “science” behind Ridley Scott’s xenomorph alien either, but its rapid evolution is at least given some explanation. The species has a life-cycle similar to that of an insect. As such, viewers can anticipate the creature’s development. This is not the case with Calvin. While Life is chalk-full of effective, visually impressive scares, it’s structure is all too reminiscent of Alien. [Read more…]
By John Baggett
PSDC Pop Culture Guru
Project Shanks Monday Night Movie: Bubble Boy (2001)
Rating: **** (out of 5)
I know this column is being posted right before April 1, but I assure this is not some kind of April Fool’s Day prank. This week I had a request from my friend Mark Perez, the man who also suggested the band Bleachers to me, to give a film he loves a chance. A film that I, along with many people, ignored and other critics trashed. This week I am taking on the 2001 comedy…Bubble Boy. [Read more…]
By John Baggett
PSDC Pop Culture Guru
Rating: ***** (out of 5)
Warning: This review contains spoilers.
You know, I never really realized what a fan of Jake Gyllenhall I am. Looking back on his career. He’s been in more great films than bad. I mean, yes, Bubble Boy was an atrocity but most people forget that movie even exists, let alone that he was even in it, but he was a young hungry actor willing to take any role so he gets a pass on that one. Then there’s The Day After Tomorrow which was stupid but I’m not gonna be grudge him for doing a house movie, as in he did this movie to buy a really big house. [Read more…]
By David Demaret
PSDC Movie Man
I’m sure there are more than a few ladies out there, and probably a few guys as well, that saw the preview for Enemy and said to themselves, “You mean I get two Jake Gyllenhalls for the price of one? Score!” But wait, there’s more. For the price of just one ticket you get a brilliantly strange psycho-sexual head trip of a movie, as well.
Gyllenhaal essentially gives two separate, but equally terrific performances; one as a bookish history professor, the other as a shallow two-bit actor. They both have names in the movie, but for the purposes of this review let’s just refer to them as Jake One and Jake Two; the professor being Jake One and the actor being Jake Two. [Read more…]
By Rachel Porter Bullock
What to do with a random day off on a Tuesday? I took a nap, checked the drama that is Facebook, fed the cat, accidentally watched the last 30 minutes of “The View” (oh my God, does Whoopi look baaad!) and then briefly considered rearranging my sock drawer. However, considering rearranging my sock drawer would mean I would actually have to fold said socks, I decided to watch a movie instead.
Since I get every channel known to man, it shouldn’t have been that hard to pick a movie I hadn’t seen and wanted to see. But it was. I flipped thru every channel: Starz, HBO east, west, north, south, southeast, north by northwest, Cinamax, Momax, Reelz, Flix, Epix 1,2, & 3, well you get the picture. Nothing. If I hadn’t seen it, I didn’t wanna see it. None of those great, classic movies you wanna watch over and over, like Zombieland or Shaun of The Dead or Romy and Michelle or Bridges of Madison County or The Shining or Field of Dreams were to be found. So I found myself moving on up to the pay per view channels.
I settled on Prisoners starring Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal. Why? It looked better than Kiss Ass 2, which was playing on 17 channels, that’s why. The movie is described as “a desperate father takes the law into his own hands after police fail to find two kidnapped girls.” Now I’m not a huge fan of kids-in-danger movies in the first place, but by the time I’d been watching this one for 15 minutes or so, I was hitting the “pause” button (and not just because I needed to vacuum). It was intensuhhhh. My tummy was literally in knots. It’s very mysterious the way the girls disappear without a trace since we don’t get to see the actual kidnapping. After I vacuumed the living room, I unpaused, and got hooked. [Read more…]