Archive for » February, 2007 «

Tuesday, February 27th, 2007 | Author: Casey Criswell

Eat Your Heart Out

Jeffery ( is a lonely man who wants nothing more than a girl to call his own. Missing the affectations of a loved one and stuck alone in his dead mothers house he turns to the local streetwalkers union for companionship. One day he meets Pandora (Melissa Bacelar), an exotic and mysterious lady of the night who catches his attention, and his heart. There’s just one catch however. Pandora has a secret. She’s a zombie. Or a cannibal. We’re not quite sure which.

Good low budget indie fare is hard to come by. While Eat Your Heart Out is not necessarily a ‘good’ movie per se, there is still enough to enjoy here to make this a worthy hour and a half spent. Pandora is a man eating hooker in the most literal sense of the phrase. This basic plot premise is entertaining in itself but when you mix in some decent low budget gore effects and throw some overly cheesy humor on top it all mixes together to make an entertaining whole. Watching Bacelar masticate men is cringe worthy in the ‘ooo that’s good gore’ sense making the gore effects a true high light of the film. Writing and plot are both stand outs as well as we get a unique story of lonely Jeffrey and his love for undead hookers.

There are problems however. Out side of the performances from Dillon and Bacelar, the acting in Eat Your Heart Out is akin to a high school production in its wooden delivery. While sub par in most sense the actors do give it their all making the quality rise to a hammy b-movie level. Dillion and Bacelar work well together however and considering they are the main plot focus for the flick, it all works out in the end.

Horror fanatics will find much to enjoy about this one. Blood, guts, hookers, and zombies…what’s not to love? Zombie purists will be disappointed mind you, as this zombie’s a bit of a babe and not…rotten in the least bit. Quite the opposite really.

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Sunday, February 25th, 2007 | Author: Jeff Gabbard

I have been a life long fan of the martial arts and have practiced various styles off and on for almost 20 years. Starting with this review I will take a look at martial arts themed books, games, TV shows, and movies.

To start things off let’s take a look at a blast from the past, Joe Hyam’s
Zen in the Martial Arts

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The martial arts world has changed a great deal since this book was first published in 1979. Before Tae Bo, Steven Seagal, (BTW, Seagal like Elvis is best when skinny) and Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) there was a small book about how studying the martial arts and Zen could transform your life. This is not a book to learn martial arts techniques or even a great deal about Zen. But it serves as a nice introduction to both.

The book’s small size and easy to read chapters make it a very accessible, quick read. Each chapter covers a traditional Zen idea that is then explained through the author’s training and experiences with the powerhouses of the Martial Arts world in the 1970s. Guys like Ed Parker, Bruce Lee, and Bong Soo Han teach Hyam classic Zen concepts like how to “Empty your cup”, “Conquer Haste”, and “Extend your Ki”. Most of these teachings have stood the test of time well, though just having someone tell me how to “un-think pain” is not going to be enough to keep me from shrieking like a 6 year old little girl when the dentist starts drilling into my un-anesthetized tooth.

At it’s best, the book still serves as an example that even in this day of combat based fighting, there is more to the martial arts than simply beating the crap out of someone. The martial arts can indeed by a way to grow as a person, achieve a “sense of self” and a level of spiritual tranquility. But the next time you’re at the dentist, don’t skimp on the Novocain.

4 Kung Fu fighters out of 5
Visit me at www.myspace.com/laotzu42

Upcoming book reviews will cover the young adult fiction series called
The Five Ancestors
by Jeff Stone.

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American Shaolin by Matthew Polly following the true life adventures of a Midwestern kid’s two years at the Shaolin temple.
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Requiem for an Assassin, the latest John Rain “neck-crank” extravaganza, by Barry Eisler.

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Category: Books, Cinema Chop Socky  | Comments off
Sunday, February 18th, 2007 | Author: Casey Criswell

I’ve dropped a few hints here and there of a podcast in the works. Hopefully, I’ve got something brewing here that will be a tad different the ordinary realm of podcasts. This has been dividing my reviews attention quite a bit as of late as its a fairly big undertaking. So I figured what the hell and decided to post a bit of a teaser of what’s in the works. Below you’ll find the first scene of the upcoming Cinema Fromage podcast, Midnight Muenster. Do keep in mind this is the first draft and things are subject to change.

So here it is, the first look at Cinema Fromage’s Midnight Muenster: Radioactive Swarm from Planet 7!

And to be totally honest, there is a distinct ulterior motive here folks. We want to know what you think! The script continues to reach completion and the cast is slowly starting to come together. Feel free to comment below, send us an email at cinemafromage@gmail.com, or even hit out our Myspace!

Hope you enjoy!

SCENE 1: SURFACE OF PLANET 7

NARRATOR
Life on other planets? Anything is
possible in the year 2525. In the
spirit of manifest destiny the
human race ever grows its reach in
search of the unknown in the
furthest reaches of space. All in
the name of science. Join us as we
watch one such case as the crew of
the SS Intrepid ventures forth into
the unknown in…
Radioactive Swarm from Planet 7

The surface of planet 7. Queue sounds of bubbling goo and
hissing gas. The crew is exploring the surface in search of
specimens to take back to earth for further study.

more…

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Sunday, February 18th, 2007 | Author: Casey Criswell

Tenacious D: The Pick of Destiny

In their big screen debut Jack Black and Kyle Gas attempt to bring in new fans and reignite old ones as well. The problem here however is that for the die hard fans of the original HBO series has seen it all before and those that know the dynamic duo only from their first studio album a few years back really have no clue what to expect. Rehashing many of the same jokes from the TV series there is little new here. For the fans however it’s still a fun reprisal that should keep them laughing throughout. There are a few new songs that crop up here and Kyle has hair. The bottom line: This is Tenacious D as we’ve always known and loved them. Hopefully their next foray will bring us new tales of the greatest band in the world.

Unknown

Packed with an all star cast including Jeremy Sisto, Barry Pepper, Greg Kinnear, Joe Pantiliano, and Jim Caviezel Unknown comes across as a less in your face attempt at Resevoir Dogs. When Jim Caviezel awakes on the floor, he spies several bloodied and tied down companions. With no recollection to how they came to this situation, or even what their own names are, the victims soon band together to try and figure out who is who eventually breaking down into distrust and accusations as each captives memories return piece by piece. Not a masterpiece by any means Unknown still manages to be a fun little mystery thriller that keeps the viewer guessing and on it’s toes throughout. The plot setup is fairly unique giving us an interesting tale with a few surprises here and there as the mystery unfolds.

Casino Royale.

Bond is back and this time he’s…blond?

Re-launching the long standing series once again Casino Royale introduces us to the latest, and dare I say greatest Bond Daniel Craig. Sure there are some purists out there that didn’t care for it but for me the return to a grittier, violent, and action oriented Bond was just what the franchise needed. With its jaw dropping Parkour opening sequence the tone is set for the rest of the flick. What may be off putting for some is the stripped down character. With few gizmos and gadgetry we get a Bond that is less the worldly play boy and more of a hardened killing machine and this is what makes Casino Royale such fun to watch. To put it bluntly this Bond kicks ass and takes names although one has to wonder how such a bad ass would let himself fall so hard for a bird. This is not your fathers James Bond. This is a whole new story arc for the franchise. For myself not being a fan of the Brosnan era and a little overtired of all the over the top gadgetry and super spy clichés, Daniel Craig has managed to make me consider myself a fan once again and look forward to his next installment.

Blade: Trinity

Sure this has been around for a bit but if you can manage to ignore the second entry of the trilogy, Blade: Trinity makes for a nice end cap for the luke warm trilogy. Adding Ryan Reynolds and Jessica Biel to the lineup we get a fresh face on the action front. Wait, Ryan Reynolds as an action star? Hard to believe yes, but fear not he’s here more for the one liners than for the buff action man role. Jessica Biel fleshes out the side plot of Whistler as well as improving the scenery over all. Throw in Parker Posey as one of the main villains of the film and we get a dark and quirky bad guy who’s cute to boot. The Dracula turn for the plot was a bit much and makes the film seem overly cheesy as a result however the fight scenes and overall mythos remain in tact making this a fun pop corn muncher that doesn’t require too much of a thought process.

Be Cool

In this sequel to 1995′s Get Shorty, John Travolta returns as ex-mafioso turned movie maven Chili Palmer. This time around Chili grows tired of the movie biz and turns his sites on the music world as he discovers the underused talent of Linda Moon (Christina Milian). If you were a fan of the original Chili Palmer opus then you’ll be happy to know that Be Cool is more of the same. With a star packed cast including Uma Thurman, the Rock, Vince Vaughn, Harvey Keitel, Cedric The Entertainer, Andre 3000 and loads of others the talent behind this one is a given and their performances deliver as planned. The jokes are plentiful yet for the most part fail to rise to the level of side splitting hilarity. Still, Be Cool packs plenty of chuckles and the plot surrounding this cast is solid enough to make for an enjoyable watch. The highlight here is the WWE’s The Rock as Vince Vaughn’s gay body guard. When presenting his audition monologue prepared from the cheerleader epic Bring it On the hilarity peaks for this one.

Little Miss Sunshine

Little Miss Sunshine has had loads of Oscar buzz as of late which is impressive for this little indie that many may not have heard of. Steve Carell is a gay professor down on his luck and hating life. After his failed suicide attempt he is forced to move in with his sister so that he can be watched over. When the family’s overly average daughter Olive is suddenly accepted into the Little Miss Sunshine pageant in Rodondo Beach, the cash strapped family must pile into the worn down VW Bus to make the trip. Joining Uncle Frank on his journey is brother in law Richard (Greg Kinnear) the failed motivational program author, Frank’s sister Sheryl (Toni Collette) the overstressed matriarch of the family, Grandpa (Alan Arkin) Richard’s foul mouthed and perverse heroin addict father, and Dwayne (Paul Dano) Frank’s Nietzsche obsesses nephew who has taken a vow of silence until he achieves his goal of being accepted into the Air Force Academy. Throw all of these quirky characters into a cramped road trip filled with mistakes, mishaps, and blunders and you have a black comedy that will make you laugh out loud, cringe in embarrassment, and sympathize with the most unlikely of characters all at the same time. Keep in mind that this isn’t slapstick comedy going in and all should be entertained throughout. Leaning more towards the arty angle as far as humor goes, this one may be a little too quirky for some yet remains a sweet family portrayal by the end.

Category: Cheese Doodles, DVD, Movies  | Comments off
Friday, February 16th, 2007 | Author: Casey Criswell

Hay, remember me?

It’s been one of those weeks, but it’s slowly starting to settle into a regular rhythm. So, what’s going on out there on that weird wide web? Let’s take a look…

How about some Grindhouse news?

There’s a new trailer available

As well as a new picture of the lovely Sheri Moon from hubby Rob’s Grindhouse trailer ‘Werewolf Women of the SS’


(should anybody want to get me a bday present? a birthday-gram from Nazi Ms. Moon above would be the shiz-nit!)

The Horror Blog continues to churn out the love with this week’s Round Table: Name your favorite Euro Horror

Ghost Rider rockets to theaters this weekend, and I still don’t give a shit! To quote our own Dave Kocher: “I’d rather pay $9 to get kicked in the junk”

Fear not, I’ve been neglecting the folks over at Blog Critics as well this week, but that is soon to be rectified as well. Stay tuned (hopefully this weekend) for another Random Roundup as we take a look at Casion Royale, Tenacious D and the Pick of Destiny, Unknown and maybe some more!

These people continue to kick ass:
Final Girl
Fatally Yours
Amanada By Night
Mondo Schlocko
Bookgasm

I’ll continue to pimp the CF Myspace page. On myspace? Add us! We’re lonely :( And hey, we’ll actually talk to ya too!

Through the magic of Myspace, I’ve also come to learn that my all time favorite comic book author Warren Ellis shares the same birthday as my own. That makes me feel warm & fuzzy.

Well there you have it folks, a rather random brain dump to get myself back on track. Do enjoy, watch this space for further upates as well, I’ve got some review cooking, I promise.

As a bit of a tease, I post this logo once again:

Midnight Muenster? Podcast? Cinema Fromage? Why yes, there is a Cinema Fromage podcast in the works. Hopefully, it’ll be a bit different that most podcasts. So stay tuned for more info. What’s it gonna be about? Well, I can’t tell you that. That’ll spoil the fun. I can give you a hint though. Curious? Comment it up or send us an email. We still won’t tell ya what it is, but hey, I like emails!

So, have a happy folks!

P.S. Here’s another picture of Sheri Moon cause…yah…

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Saturday, February 10th, 2007 | Author: Casey Criswell

Population 436

Steve Kady (Jeremy Sisto) is a Chicago based census taker. Noticing that the town of Rockwell Falls has reported a population of 436 for the last 100 years, Kady heads to the small country town to verify the count. The quaint village seems homey and friendly upon his arrival but as he begins to go door to door he soon learns that there is more going on in Rockwell Falls than meets the eye.

more…

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Friday, February 09th, 2007 | Author: Casey Criswell

Alrighty folks here’s another short for ya. Let me preface this by saying: This isn’t for kids. If you have some kind of attachment to Charlie Brown and a twisted revisioning of this wholsome character might break you, might want to skip this one. But, if you’re a bit twisted such as myself and get a good laugh out of something so wholesome being perverted into something…more, then settle in, you should enjoy this.

That said, it’s about damn time. I’ve ALWAYS said those little shits in C. Brown’s neighborhood needed a good asskicking!

Bring Me the Head of Charlie Brown

Bring Me the Head of Charlie Brown
Category: Movies, The Trailer Court of Doom  | Comments off
Wednesday, February 07th, 2007 | Author: Casey Criswell

Remember that old show that was around awhile ago? I think it was in its third season maybe? It had that little cutie above and a bunch of other people, I think maybe their plane crashed or something, they were Lost in a jungle or something?

Well, it’s finally back.

The true question though, does anybody reall give a shit? Season 1 slammed us with a truck load of mystery and suspense. Season 2 added on to it, heaping on more mystery with little to no answers, yet it was the same show we knew and loved in season 1. In season 3 they’ve managed to stretch the story lines to even more incomprehensible lengths, split the entire group up, and loaded on even more mystery. With no answers and constantly more questions they were beginning to slump some what in the viewer department as many began to feel that there was in fact no ending in mind; did the writers even know where this was all going?

There were a few nuggets here and there so far in season 3, but not enough to sustain the excitement from the previous two seasons. To complicate matters even further, they decided to take a mid season break less than half way through the season for nearly three months. With already waning interest, just how many people do they think well be back to watch the hijinks tonight?

For myself, continued viewing of this season is going to require a fairly packed episode tonight. I’d like some answers, I’d like some plot lines to at least look like they are going to be tied off at some point this season, I’d like Kate to…I’d like Kate!

So, consider this a reminder to tune in at the new time slot of 10PM tonight. As a 2 season long fan, I hope they can salvage themselves from the slump that is season 3. If they can’t grab our attention right off the bat however, this one may slide to the ‘shows to watch during the summer lull’ pile.

Tune in tomorrow to see if it passed the test ;)

Agree or disagree? The comments are down there folks!

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Let us know!

Category: TV  | Comments off
Monday, February 05th, 2007 | Author: Casey Criswell

Saw III

Well, Jigsaw’s not dead yet. This time around he kidnaps a depressed doctor to keep him alive. He doesn’t just want to stay alive for the hell of it however. He’s got one more test to run and he’d really like to stick around to the end of the show. New sidekick Amanda is still around doing the sidekick thing but this time she’s got some freedom to try her own song and dance. People get tortured, Jigsaw waxes philosophic, Amanda gets twitchy and we’re off and running down the same puzzle muddled path we were the first two times we ran this scenario.

more…

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Sunday, February 04th, 2007 | Author: Casey Criswell

It’s that time again! I’ve OD’d on crap so now it’s time to play catch-up.

Idiocracy

Mike Judge takes a stab at the populace as a whole this time around. A hilarious take on one of the world’s possible futures Luke Wilson, a completely average man, wakes after a failed military experiment to a future that is…dumb. And now he’s the smartest man on earth. Judge’s take on this possible outcome may hit too close to home for some. With jaded looks on commercialism, the dumbing down of America, WWE type fanaticism, and our love of violence we see a future America that is on the verge of extinction. With Wilson attempting to bring it back to a normal view of living there’s a lot that could be learned here for some folks. Not as good as Office Space, but still no slouch either.

Dead Mary

Lolita’s Dominique Swain is all grown up. (And boy howdy how she’s grown up!) Dead Mary is the tale of a group of 20-30 something’s getting together for an annual meet up. On one bored drunken night they decide to play the ‘Dead Mary’ game, the time honored tradition of standing in a dark bathroom staring into the mirror as you recite ‘Dead Mary’ three times over. While this concept was pretty well covered with the original Candy Man it’s been awhile and they’ve tweaked the concept enough to keep it fresh. Overall, this isn’t a bad flick. The start was a bit laggy but once they got rolling it was a pretty entertaining jumper throughout. There’s some good gore here and some good concepts of guessing who the bad guy is a la The Thing. The cast is solid enough for a group of new actors and there are even a couple of laughs as well. Swain is the standout of the cast, and that’s not just due to the fact she spends a large amount of time in a bikini. (It does help though.) Her acting strong, it looks like she’s going to survive all the controversy surrounding her early role in Lolita. I don’t know if you’d call it a comeback since I don’t know that she went anywhere, but she’s back now and looks like she’ll be a force to be reckoned with.

Crank

This is a flick that after the initial trailers hit, I wasn’t expecting much. With promises of jumpy MTV like edits and random violence, it looked like a brainless action romp that was pretty much there just to sell tickets. What we got is a brainless action romp with some jumpy MTV edits…but it’s pretty damn good despite these facts. Jason Statham plays a freelance hit man who’s been poisoned by a synthetic drug that blocks adrenaline, eventually shutting down the heart. The only way to keep himself alive is to keep moving. What this gives us is a movie that once the action starts to roll…it doesn’t let up. There are some great fight scenes, action scenes, car chases, explosions; every thing you love about an action movie. It’s packed to the brim. To round it out, the scenes between the action sequences? Downright hilarious. Statham is perfectly suited to his Chev Chelios roll. Helping him out is Amy Smart who fits in well with her dingy blonde doper girlfriend roll. The standout to Crank however? Dwight Yoakam as Chev’s high balling massage loving Vegas bound doctor. With his straight man delivery to Statham’s panicked questioning, Yoakam brings the funny throughout the film. Topping it off, I wont’ give you details, but Crank has one of the best movie endings I’ve seen in a while. Good stuff.

An aside, rumors say Jason Statham may be in line to be the next Doctor Who. Still not sure how I feel about that.

The Marine

WOOO! SHIT BLOWS UP!

That’s pretty much the driving plot force behind The Marine. Starring the WWE’s John Cena this is nothing more than another attempt at cashing in on a WWE star’s current popularity. A plot riddled with holes, we see Robert Patrick stealing diamonds, kidnapping Cena’s wife at a chance gas station meeting, and generally being a bull headed bad guy. Cena being an ex-Marine fresh back from Iraq takes off after the diamond thieves to save his wife. Things blow up, people get beat up by many a signature wrestling move, etc. etc. There are glimpses of entertainment here. After all, there’s a lot of shit blowing up. When is that not entertaining? The good parts almost always come from Robert Patrick, but still they are few and far between. The plot stinks period and seeing how the mushy ‘he just got back from Iraq and now his wife is missing’ drama is the prevailing force, Cena just isn’t the man to pull it off. The action sequences are entertaining however and the effects are all over the top and fairly well done. Sorry John Cena, you’re just not Th Rock. Throw Cena in a sci fi actioner as ‘Grunt #2′ where he gets to beat some ass and spout some one liners? I’d watch that. He’s not a bad actor. He’s just not cut out for drama.

All Babes Want to Kill Me

A timeless kung fu tale that tells the story of a man with a strange condition, brought on by eating to many paint chips as a kid, that makes babes want him and want to kill him all at the same time? Sure why not! I stumbled across this one and seeing as I love King Pow probably more than I should, I figured it deserved a shot. This is a comedy completely out of left field; stupid humor for stupid humor’s sake. This does fail to live up to the levels of Kung Pow and that’s both a good thing and a bad thing depending on how you felt about that flick. Regardless, it’s a pretty entertaining oddity none the less. For me the laugh out loud moments weren’t that common but it still made me a crack a smile many times throughout. The stand out performance here was the fat gay brother, Ling Cho (John Schaffer). The few laugh out loud moments that I did have? They all came from this guy. Completely absurd, this still managed to be a fairly funny ride. Worth watching on the late night cable binges if you stumble across it. (Note: This is probably a stoner’s delight!)

The Departed

Fantastic film, plain and simple. This one doesn’t get a full review because everybody and their brother have already done so and I’m not going to be able to do it any more justice. Having avoided DiCaprio since his days romancing rich ladies on the Titanic, I hesitated on The Departed for a bit. Now that I’ve that I’ve seen it, DeCaprio is officially pardoned for his past transgressions. Jack is back to the Jack we all know and love, Damon is solid as well though I’ve never had an issue with his acting ability and Marky Mark continues to prove to the world that he can indeed act. The cast is outstanding in this one, and the story line is as well. It’s been awhile since a movie has made me yell out an F-Bomb in genuine surprise. Keep watching in the near future as I’ll be delving in to the upcoming Infernal Affairs Boxset that The Departed was remade from. If you haven’t gotten to see this one yet, it’s making the theatre rounds once again to help drum up interested just before the Oscar’s. Go see it. It’s money well spent.

So there you have it folks! Random thoughts from a movie junkie. Stay tuned next week for a review of Saw III and lord knows what else.

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