Project Shanks Monday Night Movie: The Green Inferno (2013)

By John Baggett
PSDC Pop Culture Guru

Project Shanks Monday Night Movie: The Green Inferno (2013)

Rating: *** (out of 5)

There is a trend in every subgenre of horror films – make one great one (or a handful of them), let the imitators roll in until the fad dies, and then the tribute films can roll in years later to possibly start the cycle over. We’ve seen it in slasher films, vampire films, and, as of late, zombie films. The zombie trend is particularly painful for a lot of horror fans because that was where we went for something truly gory and disturbing. Now we have teenage zombie rom coms. Thanks for ruining that, “The Walking Dead.” [Read more…]

Project Shanks Monday Night Movie: The Late Shift (1996)

By John Baggett
PSDC Pop Culture Guru

Project Shanks Monday Night Movie: The Late Shift (1996)

Rating: **** (out of 5)

Every now and then I look back at some of the films that shaped my adolescence and realize I’m not normal. Case in point, one of my favorite films from my mid-teenage years was an HBO TV movie about the war between David Letterman and Jay Leno for The Tonight Show, which is something that impressed all the ladies, let me tell you. And since we are now entering a Letterman and Leno free late night TV era, let’s jump in the way back machine and take a look at the 1996 film, The Late Shift. [Read more…]

Project Shanks Monday Night Movie: Chef (2014)

By John Baggett
PSDC Pop Culture Guru

Project Shanks Monday Night Movie: Chef (2014)

Rating: **** 1/2 (out of 5)

The Monday Night Movie is back after a long, mostly unplanned hiatus, but things have calmed down in life for me to get back to this column. And since it is Labor Day, I could have totally done something on the nose, like review Jason Reitman’s film Labor Day, but that would be totes obvious, as the kids might say. (Don’t worry. I hate me for that sentence too.) And because I also can’t think of any Labor Day themed horror movies (because doing a Google search was out of the question), I am doing what I usually do every week – picking something completely at random! This week I am taking a look at the 2014 comedy from writer/director/actor Jon Favreau, Chef. [Read more…]

Project Shanks Monday Night Movie: Would You Rather (2013)

By John Baggett
PSDC Pop Culture Guru

Project Shanks Monday Night Movie: Would You Rather (2012)

Rating: ***1/2 (out of 5)

We’ve all played the game, Would You Rather, where you are given two awful situations to pick from, usually saying that you can’t pass or say “neither.” For example, would you rather smash your thumb with a hammer at full strength or slice your peephole with a large papercut? (Well, the obvious answer is the hammer. I write about movies online. How much strength do I actually have?) [Read more…]

Project Shanks Monday Night Movie: Eyes Wide Shut (1999)

By John Baggett
PSDC Pop Culture Guru

Project Shanks Monday Night Movie: Eyes Wide Shut (1999)

Rating: ***** (out of 5)

This review spoils the entire movie, but this movie is 16 years old.

On March 1, 1999 legendary filmmaker held a screening for his fourteenth feature film, Eyes Wide Shut, for its stars Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman, along with executives at Warner Bros. Kubrick had declared it the best film he ever made, the result of an over 400 day production, requiring some key roles to be recast and holding Cruise and Kidman in London for the entirety of the shoot. Six days after the screening, Kubrick died of a heart attack at the age of 70. [Read more…]

Project Shanks Monday Night Movie: Bound (1996)

By John Baggett
PSDC Pop Culture Guru

Project Shanks Monday Night Movie: Bound (1996)

Well, folks, we wrap up Pride Month this week. I handled it like I handle so many other things in this life – poorly and at the last minute. My plan to review 30 films for this month failed. In my defense it was an incredibly busy month for me, so the plan became pretty impossible. Had I started maybe in mid May I could have pulled it off. So what I’m going to do is squeeze in one more film for tomorrow and then as my schedule permits I’m going to continue the Project Pride series and committing to cover at least two LGBT related films a month. Sound good? (Doesn’t matter how you answer, I’m doing it anyway.)

But for the purposes of this review, I’m just gonna ask you one question. Do you know these Wachowskis? [Read more…]

Project Shanks Monday Night Movie: Edge of Seventeen (1998)

By John Baggett
PSDC Pop Culture Guru

Project Shanks Monday Night Movie Pride Month Edition: Edge of Seventeen

Rating: **** (out of 5)

Growing up is hard, which is why the coming of age film is so important to cinema. Films like The Breakfast Club, The Perks of Being a Wallflower (I know it’s a book), and the upcoming Dope help teenage audiences find characters to identify with and older audiences a fond look back on what it was like to grow up. So in this edition of my Pride Month articles I’m taking on a film that deals with the pains of growing up and realizing you’re gay, the 1998 comedy Edge of Seventeen. [Read more…]

Project Shanks Monday Night Movie: A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge (1985)

By John Baggett
PSDC Pop Culture Guru

Project Shanks Monday Night Movie: A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge

Rating: **** (out of 5)

Okay, before I get into this week’s review I have to acknowledge a couple of things. The first is that June is Pride Month. The second is that I had planned to do something special for this month, by doing 30 reviews of LGBT related cinema. I even went so far as asking my LGBT friends for movie selections, compiling a list of well over thirty films. And as you can see, now that it’s eight days into the month I have done nothing. Why? Because I’m a terrible, no good, very bad person who asked for all of this help and before I could even start I screamed, “Oh, fuck! Homework!” and then I passed out on the couch in the fetal position. Sorry, LGBT friends and allies, but I did the exact same thing three years ago declaring twice I was going to read all of the A Song of Ice and Fire novels before season three of Game of Thrones, but in my defense those books are really heavy. [Read more…]

Project Shanks Monday Night Movie: Zombeavers (2014)

By John Baggett
PSDC Pop Culture Guru

Rating: **** (out of 5)

Happy Memorial Day, everyone. Now, when I planned this week’s column I thought maybe I could do some sort of list of great military films in honor of the ones that gave their lives for our country. I also thought about just reviewing a classic American film. Or something about families and cookouts. Then I thought, “To hell with that! Let’s do Zombeavers!” [Read more…]

PSDC Movie Review: The Human Centipede III: Final Sequence

By John Baggett
PSDC Pop Culture Guru

Rating: ** (out of 5)

*sigh*

Okay, let’s do this.

In 2009, Dutch writer/director/possible sociopath Tom Six made a splash with his The Human Centipede: First Sequence, a darkly comic body horror film in which a mad scientist (Dieter Laser) sews three people together so they share a single digestive track. The film was pretty tongue-in-cheek (no pun intended) and was not even remotely as gross and disgusting as one might expect. Other than a couple of surgical shots and that feeding scene the film is honestly not what people think it is and was actually a pretty enjoyable film. Seriously. The film became a pop culture phenomenon, even its own South Park parody. [Read more…]

Project Shanks Monday Night Movie: The Voices (2015)

By John Baggett
PSDC Pop Culture Guru

So, this week I am back to my suggestions from friends and this week I chose a movie that has been repeatedly recommended to me by my friend Anne Payne. This week I’m picking the horror-tinged black comedy, The Voices.

In the film we follow Jerry (Ryan Reynolds), a perpetually cheery worker in the shipping department of a bathtub factory. His boss asks him since he is the new guy in department and is asked to be part of the planning committee for the office party. When he’s reluctant, Jerry is told the cute British chick from accounting, Fiona (Gemma Arterton – Hansel & Gretel Witch Hunters) will be there, so naturally Jerry accepts. [Read more…]

Project Shanks Monday Night Movie: Four Rooms (1995)

By John Baggett
PSDC Pop Culture Guru

Project Shanks Monday Night Movie: Four Rooms (1995)

Rating: *** (out of 5)

I have always been a film fan but I really came into a new level obsession in the mid-90s when the rise of the independent film was pretty much at its peak. Directors like Jim Jarmusch, Kevin Smith, the Coen Brothers, Richard Linklater, and Atom Egoyan entered my world. Now some of them had been making movies for years but I was just a kid. I was stepping into a whole new world. [Read more…]