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May 21, 2010

Movie Review: Kick-Ass (2010)

Director: Matthew Vaughn

Stars: Aaron Johnson, Chloe Moretz, Nicolas Cage and Christopher Mintz-Plasse

Buy the Kick-Ass Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Combo

When I first saw the trailer for Kick-Ass, I was amped up and ready to go. I was ready for a funny and even cute little action flick. I never would have expected to connect with a movie on so many levels. Yeah, connect. It's not often that I get this kind of pleasant surprise. I remember watching Click, the Adam Sandler film about the magical remote control, and realizing that even though it was marketed as a goofy comedy, it was really a lesson in missing out on the little things. Kick-Ass isn't just a comic book movie. It's a story about a nerd standing up for himself, a single dad and his daughter, and a kid who will do anything for his father's approval. This is real life in a very cool package.

May 18, 2010

Cinematic Hell: Tentacles (1977)

by Hal Astell

Director: Oliver Hellman

Stars: John Huston, Shelley Winters and Bo Hopkins

Buy Tentacles on DVD

Tentacles, a low budget rip off of Jaws, made two years later with a giant octopus replacing the shark, appears to be about as Hollywood as you can get from moment one. The MGM lion roars, then Samuel Z Arkoff of American International presents John Huston, Shelley Winters and Bo Hopkins with a special appearance by Henry Fonda, all major names in 1977. Sure, we haven't heard of the director, Oliver Hellman, but there are always new directors in Hollywood, right? Well, this isn't Hollywood in the slightest, this is an Italian monster movie. Oliver Hellman is a pseudonym for Ovidio Assonitis, which sounds like a reason to stock up on anti-inflammatory cream but is really a hidden hint that this isn't what it seems, a terrible hint to be sure but the next one's even worse. In an attempt to tell us the secret to the film before we've even seen it we're forced to watch the opening credits unfold over a full sixty second shot of a taxi radio.