Thursday, January 31, 2013

A review of "Animal Room"

Confessions of a Film Junkie: A review of “Animal Room”
By: Brian Cotnoir

     Just because you recreate one scene from a movie, it does not give you the right as a film maker to call it a “modernization”.  This was a major problem with a lot of films that were made in the 1990’s.  Some of the most popular films written in the 1990’s were due to the laziness of Hollywood writers who would take old stories and plays and set them in present day to make the films story more relevant to the audience.  So stories like “Dangerous Liaisons” were modernized into films like “Cruel Intentions” and famous plays like “Romeo & Juliet” were set in more modern times for a younger and trendier audience to follow. However, I am quite insulted and thoroughly disappointed in the film I chose to review this week because it had the audacity to claim it was a modernization of one of my All-Time favorite films—A Clockwork Orange—when in all actuality it has very little in common with the film.  
     The film I am talking about is “Animal Room”. A film that boasts on its movie posters “Echoing Alarms of Clockwork Orange”.  That’s a pretty bold and outrageous claim for a virtually unknown film to make, and in my opinion, after having sat through this piece of crap, that claim does not live up to the same standard of filmmaking and prestige of Stanley Kubrick’s “Clockwork Orange”.  So let’s not waste any more time and let’s divulge into this Clockwork Bastard called “Animal Room”.                      
So the film starts off really trying to milk in on the “grunge fad” that was popular in the early-to-mid 1990’s and shows members of the disenfranchised youth wandering the streets aimlessly without cause or purpose.  The leader of the group of rabble rousers is named Doug Van Housen (played by actor Matthew Lillard).  If I haven’t lost you on this film already by just dropping Lillard’s name, then don’t worry I’ll give you more reasons for why you should want to give up on this film and avoid it entirely.  Since Doug and his friends are so destructive and disruptive they are sent to a new and controversial education project called “the Animal Room” to be “re-educated” in their schools basements.  One of the other students selected for the program is named Arnold “Arnie” Mosk (played by an awkward post- Adolescent Neil Patrick Harris).  Arnie is a recovering drug addict, and despite frantic pleas from his school councilor Arnie is sent to the “Animal Room”, where he is the number one target of torment and abuse suffered at the hands of Douglas Van Housen and his group of friends.  Arnie turns back to drugs as an attempt to avoid his tormentors, but Doug is persistent and will not rest until he has destroyed Arnie’s life (and the lives of everyone around him).                   
Awww, Adorably Awkward Neil Patrick Harris
Good thing he grew into his good looks, right?
The first thing that’s wrong with this film is the way this film was shot.  The quality of picture in the film is so poor that this film looks more like it was a “Straight to Sh!t-eo” movie instead of actual film with a budget that got a release.  That may sound like I’m nitpicking, but when your film features big actors like Neil Patrick Harris, Matthew Lillard, and Amanda Peet, you would expect a better quality camera to make this film.  Granted none of these stars were as big as they are now when the film was made, but still you would think that this film would have tried to be a lot better.                               
You Were Shaggy in "Scooby-Doo", There's no way I'm
finding you to be the least bit intimidating, Matthew Lillard
Well now this certainly does look kind of awkward
   I cannot buy Matthew Lillard in the role of the bully, let alone a bully with psychopathic tendencies.  Lillard’s character dresses like some sort of Goth Reject, and he as an actor is just more of distraction to his role than anything.  Once you’ve seen him in other films like “SLC Punk” or “Scooby-Doo”, it really hard to take him seriously as anything, but a fun loving goofball.  I don’t believe that Matthew Lillard is a terrible actor I only believe that he takes too many terrible roles.  Also Lillard isn’t really all that reminiscent of Malcolm McDowell’s portrayal of Alex DeLarge.  Yes, he plays a sociopath who doesn’t know right from wrong, and enjoys hurting other people, and orchestrates a home invasion/gang rape with a group of his friends, but those are really more of coincidences then a modernization.  It’s like saying Alex DeLarge is a modernization of Norman Bates from “Psycho”. Both characters do share some similarities, but they are not the same people and have distinctive differences.
         Another reason why I believe that this film is not a modernization is because in “A Clockwork Orange” the entire film was told from the perspective of one person in narration form, the Anti-Hero, Alex DeLarge.  “Animal House” has no narration and is told from the perspectives of Doug, Arnie, and Arnie’s best friend.  That’s too many perspectives for just one film that’s claiming to be the modernization of an already well known film.                                                          Also, the so-called “Animal Room” is rarely shown or referenced in the film.  At the very beginning of the film the teachers are up in arms about how “controversial and dangerous” this new education technique is, but they rarely show the students in the Animal Room.  Occasionally we get a shot of the students sitting around in the Animal Room looking bored, while a projection of a man in a black coat and sunglasses plays on the wall, but it has very little to do with the Ludivico Technique.  None of the kids are strapped in a chair or being forced against their will to watch this projection.  They just get up freely and move on and carry on with their own business for the most part instead of watching the man projected n the wall.  The sound is so poor in the film, that I couldn’t even here what the man projected on the screen was saying, so therefore the Animal Room is totally ineffective.                       
Sorry guys, not even You Could Stop this movie from Sucking
This film was a great disappointment to watch.  It’s grainy, it’s confusing, it’s really all over the place and has no real central focus, and it is just embarrassing that this film had the balls to compare itself to a film as great as “A Clockwork Orange”.  The only good things about the film that I feel are worth mentioning it that the Punk Rock Legends “The Misfts” does make their first ever cameo appearance in this film and also, once you see the parts in the film where Neil Patrick Harris’s character takes drugs, then you’ll understand why studios would later cast him in the “Harold & Kumar” films, other than that there are no reasons whatsoever for why you should ever want to watch the 1995 film “Animal Room”.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

A review of "Hunger"

Confessions of a Film Junkie: A review of “Hunger”
By: Brian Cotnoir

"Hunger" Alt. DVD Cover.
This film is definitely different, and I can think of a few ethical questions you could use to have an interesting dinner time conversation. The biggest questions’ this film brings up is “How long could you survive without food?” and “What would you be willing to do to survive”?    
“Hunger” was released in 2009 and tells the story of a scientist who kidnaps and imprisons 5 strangers in a cave with little light, no food, and only a couple hundred gallons of clean drinking water.  His motives for why he is doing this are not clear, but the group finds out that they are not the first group to go through this little “social experiment” and they begin to work frantically to do everything they can to survive.        
"Hunger" DVD Cover on Netflix
     First thing I should do is specify that if you want to search for this film you want to 2009 film recommended by Fangoria.  I only say this because there’s about a half-dozen films called (The) Hunger and I didn’t want people to get confused in their search.  Now, since that is all cleared up let me talk about the film.                                          
The film definitely has a good story idea.  It’s kind of like “Saw”, and it does make you think about how long you would last if you were put in that scenario.  Very early on the film is really dark and has very little lighting, and all you can really do is hear people’s voices as they wander through the caves.  It’s a really spooky effect and adds a lot of dramatic tension.  Also, I like the part where the victims all try to figure out why they were chosen for the experiment.  They don’t ever really establish a solid or set reason for why they were selected, but I think the film was trying to focus more on flushing out some character development and character relationship building.                                           
Doesn't She Look Lovely?
     The Person in Charge of this experiment is shown throughout the film, but he never speaks, and I viewed this as both a good and bad thing.  By not speaking at any point in the film it makes his character more mysterious and interesting.  My mind began wondering about this character’s background and what was his motivation for committing this sadistic experiment.  Unfortunately, we find out very little about him as a person, and his motivation is hardly touched upon.  Even when the film shows the events that led him to conduct this starvation experiment, I feel like it was a bit of a cop-out exposition that didn’t really make much sense.  I don’t think the event in his life that drove him to do this experiment was strong enough to the point where I could look at the film’s plot say, “Yes that is something that would motivate me to do the same”.      
For low-budget film it was fairly enjoyable, but it did leave you with a lot of unanswered questions.  I think as long as you keep your expectations for this film pretty low then you shouldn’t be too disappointed.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

A review of "Night of the Hunter"

Confessions of a Film Junkie: A review of “The Night of the Hunter”
By: Brian Cotnoir

     I actually find it quite difficult to express how I feel about this film.  Even though this film is a Classic, I must admit I did not like it the first time I saw it, and then I watched it a second time and my opinion about it didn’t change much, but as I thought about the film more as the days passed, I started to realize that I actually did sort of like it.  With that being said, I think this is probably one of the harder reviews I have ever written, because as of this exact moment, I still don’t know whether or not I thought it was a good film.
       The film is based off of a novel of the same name and is about the Reverend Harry Powell (who is played by Hollywood Legend Robert Mitchum).  The Reverend travels through the Ohio River Valley during the Great Depression, and he pretty much lures poor, lonely, unsuspecting women into marriage before killing and robbing them.  The Reverend is eventually caught and arrested--for Grand Theft Auto; NOT MURDER) and is sentenced to 30 Days in Prison.  While in prison he shares a cell with a thief and murderer named Ben Harper. Harper is awaiting death row, and the Reverend finds out that Harper stole more than $10,000 dollars and hid it somewhere that only he and his two young children know where it’s hidden.  So shortly after Ben Harper is executed, the Reverend is set free and sets off to find Harper’s widow and children, in hopes that he can steal the money for himself, but Ben Harper’s son, John, has his suspicions about the Good Reverend, and has to find a way to protect the promise he made to his father to protect the money and his little sister.                                             
Amazing Cinematography!
So let me first discuss the things I liked about this film.  The film has some really great cinematography.  It’s a film noir so the combination of great camera angles and the correct lighting makes for some really cool shots in the film.  I also really like the two child actors in the film especially the actor who played John Harper, because I admire his commitment to the role and how innocent, strong, and loyal he appears throughout this film.  While everyone else is blinded by the charm and charisma of the Reverend Harry Powell, John remains cautious and sees right through the Reverend’s scheme.  This is definitely one of the better child roles I’ve seen in a film.          
Lillian Gish Plays one Bad A$$ B!tch
Another great acting performance in the film came from another Hollywood legend, actress Lillian Gish.  Gish’s character appears towards the end of the film.  She plays a character named Mrs. Cooper who rescues and protects the two children from the Reverend.  She is just a 100% bad ass in the film, who does things her way and does her best to help the less fortunate.                                                  

The Good Reverend contemplates his options

    Now, Robert Mitchum may be the biggest star in this film, but his character is just your typical movie bad guy, who hides behind the mask of sanity in public and goes full on psycho the second he gets behind a closed door.  There was just nothing surprising or mysterious about his character.  Every time he enters a scene they play that same musical score that lets you know Robert Mitchum’s on screen and he’s the baddy.  I’m surprised the films music producer just didn’t play a siren blaring “BAD GUY! BAD GUY!” every time he walked on screen because his music was so obnoxious that it was pretty hard for the audience to not realize that Robert Mitchum’s character was bad.      
Spoutin` Exposition in the Name of the Lord!
Another thing that I didn’t like about this film/Robert Mitchum’s character was the pacing of the film.  It appears that in an effort to cut down the films run-time and condense a good chunk of the novels plot into the film, much of Robert Mitchum’s dialogue is him spewing out exposition in the form of a soliloquy.  I hate when a films character tries to explain the plot through expositional dialogue.  In my opinion it is a sign of poor writing and I find it to be an annoying and distracting part of any film.   I also didn’t like the character of Mrs. Spoon.  Mrs. Spoon is the boss of Ben Harper’s wife and she’s constantly budding into the widow’s personal life and tells her a month after her husband is executed that she needs to re-marry soon because she is incapable of raising two young children on her own.  She is just a pestilent and judgmental bitch, who needs to mind her own damn business.   
       So after all this I wish I could tell you whether or not I like this film, but I don’t think I can.  I think you should just watch the film yourself and decide on your own whether or not you like “The Night of the Hunter”.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

The 5 SCARIEST Moments in Children's Movies that you probably never realized were too Scary for Kids

Confessions of a Film Junkie: The Five Scariest Moments in Children’s Movies That You Probably Never Realized were too Scary for Kids
By: Brian Cotnoir

     Kids growing up in the late 80s early 90s had a huge advantage when it came to TV shows compared to other generations. We were a generation that liked to be scared and we had awesome TV shows like Nickelodeon’s “Are You Afraid of the Dark?” and Cartoon Networks “Courage the Cowardly Dog” that were meant to creep out kids, but were still not too scary to the point where you would be up all night having nightmares. Unfortunately children’s films and the late 80s and early 90s didn’t all always fall the same formulas as television shows. In fact there are some films that were made for kids that were just downright terrifying. So for this week’s review I’m counting down the five scariest moments in children’s movies that you probably never realized were too scary for kids.

#5 – The clown scene from “Poltergeist”

You know? For Kids!
I listed this scene at the bottom of the list for a number of reasons. Probably the biggest reason why it’s at the bottom is because “Poltergeist” was intentionally made to be a scary movie. Now you’re probably saying to yourself; “If it was intentionally made to be scary than why is it on your list?” The reason why I included the clown scene from “Poltergeist” on this list is because when the film was originally released in 1982 it was marketed as a PG movie for kids. At this time there was no such thing as a PG-13 rating so many younger children saw this movie and it scared the crap scared out of them. Because of films such as “Poltergeist” and “Gremlins” we now have the PG-13 rating for theaters. This film is not only scary for kids but it’s also scary for some adults as well. The clown scene isn’t the only scary part in the film come to think of it the whole film is pretty creepy. I just chose the clown scene because it’s the scene that most people remember as being them most terrifying. This famous scene was later parodied in the film “Scary Movie 2” and you know what I stilled jumped at that clown scene even though they were making fun of it because it was legitimately scary.

#4- The Wildebeest Stampede/The Death of Mufasa from the “Lion King”

My Thoughts exactly, Simba.
“The Lion King” is one of Disney’s most successful animated films. This was actually the first movie I ever saw in theaters as a young child and I can remember the scene where Scar has the hyenas cause the wildebeest stampede and chased through the valley and just being absolutely terrified as a child. The second I heard the score from the wildebeest stampede I remember sitting in my chair in the theater and pulling my knees up to my chest in fear. That music combined with the awesome animation of hundreds of wildebeest charging towards the young Simba just made for one awesomely scary moment in film. To add to the scariness of the scene you had Simba’s father, Mufasa, going after him, and risking his own life to save his son, only to be betrayed and killed by his own brother. This wasn’t the first time Disney killed one of its characters in a film but it is definitely one of the most iconic and memorable deaths in Disney history. You may think I’m being a little bit biased sense this is just something that personally scared me as a kid but I’m dead serious go see this movie in theaters if you have the opportunity and you will see the combination of the stereo plus the giant projected animations make for one awesome but scary moment in film.

#3- “The Brave Little Toaster”

This is another one of those films that was just constantly on television throughout my childhood. The story about a toaster and his friends seeking out their master was meant to be a fun children’s animated film but there were still a lot of scary scenes in the film. There’s one scene early on in the film that shows an air conditioner, who is voiced by the late Phil Hartman, having a psychotic break down and blows himself up. There’s another scene where it shows an appliance parts salesman taking apart some of the appliance is so he can sell their parts and it’s really creepy. But the most iconic scary moment from this film has to be the dream that the Brave Little Toaster has where he catches fire and he is chased by a evil clown dressed like a fire man.  I don’t know of many children’s films that make multiple references to suicide, murder, and dismemberment.  That’s a lot of tragic and graphics stuff to feature in a kids film. However “The Brave Little Toaster” does still remain one of my all-time favorite children’s movies.

#2- “The Dark Crystal”

WTF, Mr. Henson???
     I can’t even begin to tell you how much this movie scared the crap out of me as a child. I was so freaked out after the first time I saw this film that I to sleep with my closet light on till I was in the fifth grade. Today I still shudder a little bit when I think about this film. In fact when two of my closest friends found out how afraid I was of this film as a child they actually held me down and went “A Clockwork Orange” on my ass and forced me to watch it despite my frantic pleas that I did not want to see it. This is the first feature film created by master puppeteer Jim Henson who also created beloved childhood televisions shows such as Sesame Street and the Muppets. That being said the “Dark Crystal” was certainly not a sunny, happy trip down to Sesame Street; “The Dark Crystal” was dark it was edgy and it featured some of the most freaky and creative puppets I have ever seen. I think the scene that scared me the most is the kid was the death of the Emperor and then the battle that followed with of the General and Chamberlin. Then the part where Chamberlin is exiled was also very scary because I think as a kid I thought the Skesis had torn him to shreds and killed him. I am no longer afraid of this film but I still say it was probably the scariest movie I ever saw as a kid.

#1- The Jack-ass transformation from “Pinocchio”

Alright so this one isn’t from the late 80s or early 90s but it is a children’s film and it is a terrifying scene that is often overlooked. This scene is so scary that I’ve even seen people in documentaries about horror movies reference as one of the iconic horror moments in early films. I know what some of you are already thinking; “Dude, it’s a freaking Disney film! How can anything Disney film be scary?”. For the most part Pinocchio is a harmless kid story about a puppet that just years to be a real boy but the scene where Pinocchio is taken by Honest John and Gideon to Pleasure Island leads up to the scariest moment in children’s film.  On Pleasure Island Pinocchio and the other boys indulge in many vices such as drinking, smoking, gambling, and vandalism, but Pleasure Island has a dark and terrifying secret.  The man who runs the island (a man who is simply known as “The Coachmen”) lures young boys there so they can be transformed into donkey’s to be sold to Salt Mines and Circuses. Once the young boys are turned into donkeys there is no way for them to turn back. 
You, son, are screwed!
There are a number of reasons why this scene is terrifying. 1.) Not all the boys completely transform.  Some of them still have the ability to speak to humans, but all that means is that the Coachmen can’t sell them to the mines, and it still doesn’t stop him from locking them up in a pen, and whenever any of the boys beg him to change them back he strikes them with a whip. 2.) It’s scary to see these boys transform into donkeys and cry for their mothers to come and save them.  Nothing quite says you’re in trouble like crying out for your mother. 3.) And I would say the most often overlooked reason as to why this is so terrifying is that the bad guy wins.  Pinocchio is only boy on Pleasure Island who manages to escape the Coachmen’s evil clutches, but the other boys are not as fortunate.  We never get any scenes of Pinocchio going back to the Island to rescue the other boys, or the boys transforming back into humans, or the Coachmen’s heinous secret being uncovered,.  His actions go unpunished, and we are left to believe that all those poor boys are doomed to spend the rest of their lives as donkeys performing hard-manual labor.  This scene still sends a cold shiver through my body every time I see it.  It was scary when I was a kid and it’s still scary as an adult.


     So I had two other choices that I could have put on this list, but I decided not to include them in the Top 5 solely because they were T.V. movies and were never released in Theatres, but still I feel they deserve an honorable mention to because they were movies that were marketed towards children and they were scary.

Honorable Mention #1- Danny Phantom: “The Ultimate Enemy”

Poor Danny
     “The Ultimate Enemy” was a TV movie (though some claim it was a two-part episode) made for the Nickelodeon Show “Danny Phantom”. In the “Ultimate Enemy”, Danny learns that in the future he becomes the most powerful ghost in the world and destroys the Ghost Zone and the Human world.  With the aid of a Time-Travel ghost named “Clockwork” (voiced by the late David Carradine) Danny is able to travel into the future and finds out from his arch-enemy Vlad Masters (aka Plasmius) that his family and best friends were killed in a freak explosion.  Vlad takes in the orphan Danny because he believes he is the only one who can understand him now and help him. Danny blames himself and his ghost powers for not being able to rescue his friends and family and asks Vlad to remove his ghost half so that he can no longer feel any more emotional pain and guilt.  Vlad tries to separate Danny’s two-halves with a pair of experimental ghost gauntlets, but something goes horribly wrong and Danny’s ghost-half fuses with Vlad’s ghost-half to create a super ghost.  The part’s that most terrifying is when Danny asks future Vlad: “What ever happened to my human side?”, we then see human Danny cowering in the corner with the new ghost-hybrid Danny’s shadow maliciously hovering over him, to which Vlad replies “Some things are best left unsaid”; implying that Danny’s new ghost side killed human Danny.  It’s actually a pretty intense scene, and it came from a Nickelodeon cartoon, which was pretty unexpected.

Honorable Mention #2- “Cry Baby Lane”

It does exist.
     I swear I’m one of the few people in the world that actually remember this movie. This was a low-budget made for TV Halloween movie made by Nickelodeon in 2000, and it was only aired once because many parents called and claimed that it was far too scary for young children.  The film does show and talk about certain things that you wouldn’t typically associate with a children’s movie or Nickelodeon.  Most of the story revolves around an urban legend about a farmer whose wife gave birth to conjoined twins and he kept them hidden in an attic until the day they died at a very young, and how he had the twins separated and buried the “Good One” in the cemetery and how he buried the “Evil One” off an old dirt road called “Cry Baby Lane”, and how one day two brothers summon the evil twins spirit and he begins to possess the residents of the town.  Things like summoning dead spirits, demonic possessions, and being buried alive was quite unexpected for a Nickelodeon TV movie. The film was assumed lost until 2011 when a copy of it re-emerged and it was shown on Nickelodeon for the first time in 10 years at Midnight around Halloween!  When I found this out, I gathered as many of my friends as I could and we all watched it on TV and they all agreed that it wasn’t “Super Scary”, but for a kids movie it was “very creepy”.  I hope that Nickelodeon releases this film on DVD soon or continues to air it around Halloween because it was a good movie, and I was one of those kids who got scared the first—and at the time—the only time they ever aired it on TV.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

A review of "White" (The Melody of the Curse)

Confessions of a Film Junkie: A review of “White (The Melody of the Curse”
By: Brian Cotnoir

     Oh South Korea, you never fail to please me when it comes to films in the Horror Genre.  What is it about your Horror films that just blow American Horror films out of the water?  Is it the shear originality of many of your films?  Is it your ability to incorporate tales from your own culture into your films? I think it has something to do with company that distributes your films, CJ Entertainment.  So far I have not seen one bad film that has the CJ Entertainment name attached to it.  
Pink Dolls performing "White" On Stage
“White” or (“The Melody of the Curse”) tells the story of a Korean All-Girl Pop group called Pink Dolls.  Pink Dolls have fallen on tough times and are finding it more and more difficult to make it in the music business.  The bands leader is a girl named Eun-Ju, and is she is constantly being disrespected by the other Pink Dolls because she is older than them, and they all believe that all Eun-Ju is just a washed-up back dancer and is foolish for even thinking she can make it as a pop-star.  One day while exploring through their record companies new studio, Eun-Ju finds an old video that contains an unknown girl group performing a song called “White”.  The record company thinks that “White” is the perfect song for Pink Dolls to cover since there are no records of it ever charting on the Pop Charts, and nobody seems to recognize the band performing the song.  The band covers the song and they become a smash hit, but their success comes at a price.  All of a sudden a number of serious and deadly accidents begin to claim members of the Pink Dolls.  Eun-Ju begins to suspect that it might be the original song writer of “White” seeking revenge on the band for stealing her song and taking credit, or just maybe they’re just something deadly and supernatural about the songs melody that may have claimed the lives of other Pop Groups who tried to cover the song.   

“White” is honestly one of the best Horror films I have ever seen.  It has a good story, creative visuals, it’s mysterious, and has enough twists and turns in its plot to keep you on the edge of your seat and guessing what’s going to happen next.  It’s like “The Ring” meets “Suicide Club” on steroids!  It’s just a great film.  Also I like how the only song on the films soundtrack is “White”.  I just think that adds to the creepiness and mysteriousness of the film.  Bravo, CJ Entertainment, you have once again made me very happy with one of 
your films.

Be careful that you don't fall victim to this songs spell

Thursday, January 3, 2013

5 Signs of a Bad Movie

Confessions of a Film Junkie: 5 Signs of a Bad Movie
By: Brian Cotnoir

     As a person who considers them self to be an expert on bad films, I have sat through and analyzed enough films that I can diagnose within an average of 30-40 minutes whether or not a film is going to be good or bad.  What do I look for—more specifically—to decide whether or not a film is going to be bad is a series of trends, actions, or clich├ęs that I personally can’t stand to see in a film.  What is it that makes a bad film bad?  Is it the actors?  Is it the director?  Is it the script or the film company?  Well I have compiled a list of 5 reasons that I personally believe are a sign of a bad movie.

#5- Over Dependence on Computer-Generated Images (CGI)

"Didn't all that CGI make this film that much more awesome?"
The Film Junkie sarcastically asked, his audience.
     Don’t get me wrong, CGI can be a good thing in a film, and has been used successfully in many films, but there is a certain point when watching a film where I can’t help, but feel like the film’s creators just gave up on it all together and said to themselves, ‘we don’t need to worry about the quality of our film because we have these awesome CGI effects’.  A film that depends too much on CGI, is very likely doomed to fail.  Just because you can afford the CGI with your films budget doesn’t mean that you should put all your eggs in one basket and hope that everything works out in your favor.  Look at films like “Metropolis”, “The Wizard of Oz”, “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory” (1971); Can you honestly say that those films would have been better if they had CGI instead of building all those massive and amazing sets.  What about “Jaws” would the film have been more terrifying if the shark would have been computer animated instead?  Personally, I’m more impressed by a hand built set, than I am with a set that is mostly CGI.  CGI is great in small doses, I just don’t like seeing it being forced down our throats and told to think it’s great. 

#4- Over Usage of Pop Culture References in the Film.

     This one isn’t as obvious as some of the other reasons I’m going to list, and it’s one I never really thought of until about a year ago.  Let me put into this kind of perspective?  Remember the first time you saw the “Austin Powers” Films and thought they were hilarious???  Watch them again and tell me if you still find them to be funny.  Did you ever notice how many pop culture references Mike Myers squeezes into those films?  There’s a lot of them, and while Pop Culture references in a film are fine for the time of the film’s release you must admit that after a while they lose their charm and comedic effect.  For further evidence as to why Pop Culture references are bad for a film?  Click the link below and see if you can actually remember where this Pop Culture reference originated *Hint It was Beer commercial*

#3- Unnecessary/Random Nudity & Sex Scenes

     I have no problem with nudity or sex in a film, but for the love of God, please make it relevant to the plot.  One of the most annoying things I find while watching a film is when there is a random topless scene that has no relevance to the plot.  If you have to depend on a topless scene or a scenes with girl-on-girl to get people to watch your film then you have failed as a filmmaker.   I especially hate this when I’m watching horror films.  Why? Because I don’t know if I’m supposed to be terrified or aroused when I see a pretty blonde get butchered to death while she’s skinny dipping, and I’m sick and tired of these mixed messages from films.  We have a whole genre of films called “Pornography” to get our sex scenes and hardcore nudity from.  We don’t need more people in Hollywood making more films with unnecessary sex scenes. That’s why many films from the late 1960’s to early 1980’s tend to suck!

#2- It’s a God D@mn Re-Make!

One Of these things is not like the other,
One of these things just sucks so much!
I absolutely hate movie re-makes! I do not like seeing my favorite films ripped to pieces and sh!t back out and have it called an “improvement”.  When will Hollywood learn that you don’t mess with success?  If it isn’t broke then don’t try to f***king fix it! The ratio of crappy movie remakes to good movie remakes is about 1000: 1.  The only thing worse than this is when an American film studio takes a foreign film and films it in English in order to Americanize it.  I’m not sure if many people are aware of this, but most DVD’s have this feature called “subtitles” and they translate what the actors are saying into English!  Why are so many American’s hell bent on avoiding reading!  It’s not f**king difficult to read a few sentences written at the bottom of a screen! “Let the Right One In” didn’t need an American adaptation and “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” didn’t need one either.  Those films were awesome just the way they were.  Hollywood, you need to come up with your own original ideas instead of ripping off other films!

And the #1 Sign of a Bad Movie is...  

#1- If Lars Von Trier is associated with the film in anyway.

     I hate Lars Von Trier.  I hate him so much.  He is the absolute worst thing that has ever happened to cinema, and yet some people are stupid enough to call him a visionary and a brilliant filmmaker.  The truth is that Lars Von Trier is a horrible human, who does horrible things to his actors, in order to make his horrible movies.  Lars Von Trier does whatever he wants in his films without any rhyme or reason and he claims it’s all part of some poetic license.  Dogme 95 is basically what every 14-year-old with a video camera does when they make a film.  It isn’t a brilliant style of film making, it’s cheap and it’s lazy is what it really is!  Some of you may have read my review of his film “Antichrist”, so you already know how much I hate him.  I can accept when directors do things in their films that don’t make sense, but for the most part they can often list a reason as to why they added it to their film.  The things Lars Von Trier does in his films are pointless, inappropriate and have no relevance to anything in any of his films.  “Melancholia” was basically him proving to everyone that he can waste two hours of people’s lives without them realizing it.  The one thing that concerns me so much is number of big name stars who have been featured in his films.  Stars like Willem Defoe, Stellan Skasgaard, Kirsten Dunst, Kiefer Suntherland, and John Hurt are just few of the big name Hollywood stars who have appeared in Von Trier’s films.  How the hell does he get these stars?  Is he blackmailing them into appearing in his horrible or something? 
Charlotte Gainsbourg makes Kristen Stewart look over-emotional
Another awful thing that Lars Von Trier has done is use actress Charlotte Gainsbourg in his films.  Charlotte Gainsbourg is hands down the worst Actress I have ever seen and quite possibly the worst actress ever.  She makes Porn Actresses look like real stars.  I hate her, and think there should be international laws preventing her from ever appearing on film again.  As for You Mr. Von Trier; you are an awful human being.  Your films leave a sour taste in my mouth and cause my blood to boil over with rage.