Monday, February 15, 2010

Rolling Thunder (1977)

It is such a great feeling when you finally see a movie that you have been waiting to see for years pays off when you see it. ROLLING THUNDER is that kind of movie. Quentin Tarantino who is one of my favorite directors working today loves this movie so for years I have tried to track it down but the thing is it's not on DVD. After years of waiting I became convinced that the movie was just going to become that sort of film that's really cool and if you missed out you just plain missed out. Well my friends I finally got to see the movie I only dreamed about seeing. No it didn't finally get released on DVD which I hope someday it will? A friend of mine who apparently wanted to see it more than I did ,went ahead a bought a bootleg DVD version of it. I was almost afraid to watch it because I didn't want to jinx the idea that ROLLING THUNDER is the coolest movie that I'll never see. Did the movie and my watching experience play out 100% like I thought it would? No, but man this movie is cool!

Major Charles Rane comes back from the war and is given a number of gifts from his hometown because he is a war hero. Some greedy thugs decide that they want to steal a number of silver dollars from him. In the process they also manage to kill his wife and son and destroy his hand. The Major wants revenge so he enlists the help of his war buddy Johnny to meet the thugs in a final showdown.
This history of this movie hails it as a 70's gritty exploitation B-movie which very well may be true but in my opinion it has the heart and soul of an A list movie. That maybe why it's a cult classic?
I urge people to see it, so I'm not going to give much away. The things I love most about ROLLING THUNDER are the interesting characters and how the movie builds up to the moments of revenge. When it gets to the final showdown you know without a shadow of doubt that Major Charles Rane and his war buddy Johnny are going to show these low life greedy thugs just exactly who they are dealing with. At all costs please see this movie! Enjoy!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Wolfman (2010)

These kind of reviews are the hardest when you have mixed feelings of the movie you just watched. Was THE WOLFMAN the movie I saw last night the film I was expecting to see since it's production began in I believe 2007? I'm leaning toward no. Did I hate the movie I saw last night? Only in regards to that the movie seemed to have a lot of stuff cut out of it. I'm not talking about gore or anything like that, I am talking about that it just seems a lot of content was trimmed down, way down. This could have been the result of a studio taking to much control and the fact the film started with one director and ended with another. The short version of that story is the first director left due to “budget” reasons so the studio hired someone else but this director didn't quite have the same vision of what the first director intended the film to be. You can learn more about this on the Internet I'm sure, the bottom line is that THE WOLFMAN film was a end result of too many cooks in the kitchen. I should give Universal Pictures the benefit of doubt but I won't, they are to blame on this one.

Since the 90's Hollywood has been revamping the Movie Monsters and so far only a few times has it worked. DRACULA (92) directed by Francis Ford Coppola worked for me but FRANKENSTEIN (94) directed by Kenneth Branagh was a disaster. I have not seen WOLF(94) but I've heard that I really don't need to. In 1999 THE MUMMY was a good fun Universal Movie Monster adventure but the squeals ended that ride real quick. Then the ultimate was set to be unleashed with VAN HELSING (04) but what we got was with this film was a director who was like a kid with A.D.D in a candy store. In 2007 we were to get THE WOLFMAN but conflicts got in the way and the end result was what came out last night. THE WOLFMAN indeed has some problems but I really like it for the fact that it's scary and yes bloody. It is light years away from VAN HELSING and thats a great thing.

Lawrence returns home after receiving a letter that his brother is missing. When he gets home it is discovered that his brother was slain by some beast believed to be a bear. Some locals are convinced that the wild beast was a bear but some believe that the attack was done by something else, something like a wolf man. During a night of trying to hunt and kill whatever killed his brother Lawrence gets bitten by the beast itself. Thus begins the dark transformation of Lawrence but what will drive him to the point of insanity first, his estranged relationship with his father, or the curse of the Lycan?

As weak of a film THE WOLFMAN is I will say it does deliver on what a fan would want, gore, blood,atmosphere, and great looking werewolf wolf man. If your a die hard fan take in a afternoon theater matinée and skip the full price. Enjoy!