Archive for » September, 2008 «

Tuesday, September 30th, 2008 | Author: Casey Criswell

Adding to my BGH Episode blogs comes the season premiere of NBC’s “Chuck”!

It’s season premiere time again, this week bringing the brand spanking new season of NBC’s “Chuck” starring Zachary Levi, Yvonne Strahovski, and Adam Baldwin!

Head over to Bloody Good Horror for the full review!

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Monday, September 29th, 2008 | Author: Casey Criswell

This episode we round out our staff picks month with Jon’s pick of “The Brood”, listen to a massive pile of voicemails and ponder the latest bizarre batch of Google searches.

Jump over to BGH to listen!

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Sunday, September 28th, 2008 | Author: Casey Criswell


Over the last couple of years I’ve wrestled back and forth with the idea on what it takes to be a writer and whether or not I am one. Next thing I know, it’s the majority of what I do in the off hours after I clock out of the day job every day. Between writing movie reviews, trying to be a fiction writer, running two podcasts and everything else… there’s a shit ton of writing being done at the Criswell house!

Thankfully, I still love every minute of it.

This epiphany has led me to decide to change the scope of Cinema Fromage a little bit. I’ll still be posting the reviews and updates, etc. etc. I’m going to add some more posts that revolve around my writing life as well. Some of you may care, many probably won’t, but I’m going to try it anyways! Many of you know that most of my movie reviews are re-posted in full over at Bloody Good Horror; I just wanted to provide something more than just copies of the reviews! Seeing as I suppose my work load is enough to actually warrant calling myself a writer as well and most writers have their own personal blog to wax ecstatic over their work, I may as well too!

Me too! Me too!

So, same old Cinema Fromage. Just more stuff on the life of a ‘writer’. Don’t worry, it’ll play in with one of the projects too!

So what’s in the works for now?

On the fiction side of the fence, there is one short that is out for submission right now. This is more of a drabble and won’t warrant much excitement. In fact, it’s been posted here before. The story is called ‘Again’, feel free to search it if you’re feeling saucy. I also have a short that should be coming out around Halloween time. This short is called “Deep Lies the Murky Floor” and will be part of a new web magazine called “The Clock Struck 12″. This is a mag that I’m helping some on putting together and will be in the vein of “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark” for the youngins! We have a good hand full of stories lined up and the illustrators are busy busy so be watching for details in the near future.

In addition to this, I have a 35 page novelette that is in the editing stages called “Mother of Two”. “MoT” tells the story of a domestic dispute gone very very wrong, and I’m rather proud of it! Editing should be done soon and then off to beta readers. After that, it’ll be sent out to any sucker I think I can trick into buying it! Also in the works is another short entitled “Environmental Hazards” which details dangers in the work place. That one’s not quite finished yet.

For the movie set, my biggest project of the moment is a full on vanity project and involves this site right here. “Cinema Fromage: My Life as a Genre Junkie” is going to be an offline archive of the last three years of reviews here at the site! So far we’re looking at 204 reviews and nearly 500 pages! That’s not all though! Just re-packaging my reviews from the site would be sort of boring so I’m going to take it one step forward. Also included will be a bit of a memoir on the history of Cinema Fromage and how it came to be; that is to say a memoir on how I became such a horror movie nerd! As I said, this is primarily a project to make me feel good about myself sitting on the bookshelf, but I will make it available here as well. If this is something you think you might be interested in, be sure to leave some comments saying so! Motivation is always a good thing!

In the mean time, keep your eyes peeled on Bloody Good Horror as we’ve got some big things in the works. The site truly feels like we’re on the verge of going big and it’s a pretty exciting time to be around. The reviews will still be coming out weekly as well as the DVD column every week. Also in the works are some bigger feature articles on horror icons such as Christopher Lee and other from yours truly, as well as a challenge for October!

So stay tuned folks, should be a fun trip. The first three years here have been great; the next three years look like they’re shaping up to be even greater.

If you want a regular update to what’s going on as well as my random brain droppings, be sure to follow me on Twitter!

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Sunday, September 28th, 2008 | Author: Casey Criswell


Pulse 2

Carrying on after the events of the original “Pulse” in 2006, our story shifts focus to another family affected by the digital ghosts invading the world. Michelle wakes to find her apartment covered in ash and her daughter missing. Setting forth to try and locate her daughter she visits her Aunt and Uncle only to find out that there is something severely wrong with her Uncle. Michelle’s ex-husband Stephen fights his way back to the city to locate his daughter during the onslaught of undead digital demons. What is real and what is of the ‘ghost world’ as this family tries to sort out what’s what in this continuation of the WiFi apocalypse!

The original “Pulse” had issues. An American remake of a Japanese scare fest, the movie left most people wondering where the scary stuff was in this take. Now two years later, those same viewers are standing about scratching their heads wondering who exactly wanted a sequel to the original. “Pulse 2” arrives direct to video which is no surprise. What is a surprise is that it’s actually better than the original.

The one element keeping “Pulse 2” from the trash bin is that Director Joel Soisson has some definite camera skills in setting up some great shots and the story actually makes more sense. He also works hard to show us both worlds, that of us lowly humans and that of the digital dead as well. Where “Pulse” was muddled and confusing, “Pulse 2” is slightly muddled, but it’s intentional. Keeping us guessing as to who’s dead and who’s alive throughout the movie, it makes for a nice guessing game. There is some good gore at play as well. While few and far between, when the ghosts set to work and make a mess, they make it well despite the fact that it is CGI. When Stephen’s girlfriend Marta lures in the unsuspecting village mailman, the effect of Marta’s dying body is well crafted and well shot. The scenes with Michelle’s Uncle Phil were cringe worthy as well as he gets ‘MacGuyver’ with the family cat and using it to keep himself alive and to disguise himself from the phantoms haunting his home.

Our big name star for “Pulse 2” is Jamie Bamber of “Battle Star Galactica” fame. Bamber starts out the film being over the top and heavily over dramatic. Watching him turn on the concern over his daughter Justine is laughable at the best of times. As the movie moves on however, you can see where Bamber becomes more comfortable in the role as his delivery becomes more natural and fitting. It’s an interesting transition to watch as he goes from unbelievable to mostly believable over the course of an hour and a half. Georgina Rylance who plays ex-wife Michelle does a passable job though she doesn’t have much to work with. Her role calling for a depressed single mother leaves her mostly emotionless and spacey; she pulls this off but the character is pretty much part of the scenery. Botti Bliss who has had many television roles does a convincing job of the bitchy girlfriend/other woman and looks nice while doing it.

It’s not saying much that “Pulse 2” is a better movie than “Pulse”; the first movie was truly horrible. Regardless, “Pulse 2” goes a long way towards trying to flesh out the story and make it more cohesive. There are some interesting developments here, some confusing plot holes as well. The IMDb page provides nothing but confusion as they talk of a third sequel even though there are no entries for it in the IMDb. Some of the scenes contained within “Pulse 2” are obviously included to act as connectors between the two features; without the third movie being out as of yet, these provide nothing but confusion and frustration.

By all means, don’t blow the fifteen dollars buying this at the store next Tuesday but give it some consideration for your Netflix queue. It’s a definite improvement and if the third movie ever comes to light, it may combine to save the franchise from being forgotten.

5 Jamie Bamber looks funny with hair out of 10

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Saturday, September 27th, 2008 | Author: Casey Criswell


Mulberry Street

A deadly infection attacks Manhattan, borne by the upon the backs of mutant rats hidden away in the depths of the subway tunnels. As the victims are bit, they begin to transform into monstrous rat-like mutants. A group of apartment house tenants living in the lower class area of the island are forced to band together to protect their homes.

“Mulberry Street”, shot in 2006 and an entrant in the 2007 After Dark Film Fest looks to be a unique scare from the basic plot surmise. Mutant rats and a plague gone wild, both elements that we haven’t seen in the theaters for some time. As we dig into the many layers contained within the movie, we unfortunately discover that it’s not quite as unique as they would leave you to believe. In it’s simplest form, “Mulberry Street” is your basic zombie attack formula with rats substituting for the undead.

The strong point of “Mulberry Street” is the character development. The movie opens on Clutch, the bonafied good guy of the Mulberry St. apartment complex. Down to earth, he stops to share a kind word or a helping hand to everybody he meets. As he gets home and begins to clean up from his morning jog, he checks his answering machine to hear his daughter is coming home from the army. In this quick five minute montage, Director Jim Mickle manages to fully paint this character and leave him fully developed in an economical amount of time. We know he’s going to be to one to go back and help somebody when the shit hits the fan, we know he’s going to be the tough guy, we know he’s going to sacrifice everything to save his daughter. His daughter Casey is developed in much the same way. We see her in the train station as she concentrates on the scars she received in her service to the country; we know by this that she is our tragic hero wanting nothing but the comforts of home after a traumatic tour of duty only to have it ripped away from her. In this department, “Mulberry Street” excels. The problems arise in the pacing and plot as it advances on.

The biggest problem with “Mulberry Street” is that we’ve seen it all before. This has every element of the zombie apocalypse, only with different set dressing. We have the slow outward expansion as we see person after person infected. We have the cluster of people trapped inside a lonely and forlorn domicile as the fend off the waves of mutant attackers. We have the hero and his solitary fight across a war torn city sacrificing himself to save someone he hardly knows. All of the zombie tropes are in attendance. Couple this with a crawling pace and the movie becomes a bit of a chore to get through towards the end of the second act.

This sounds like I hated this movie a lot which is really not the case. While many elements were derivitive of other movies, they did a fine job with what they had. The characters were believable and endearing, the action was handle nicely when it did appear and there was some good gore and makeup effects. In this day and age it just felt like a ‘been there done that’ situation. The rat people were nicely done. There was varying degrees of mutation that was well done without CGI effects. Latex and kayro syrup played well as we saw the ratlike creatures brought to life. While the creatures out in the open of Manhattan weren’t much to be scare of, once they entered the confines of the Mulberry Street tenement they became quite frightening indeed. As a matter of fact, if they would have concentrated the majority of the movie on the deadly mutants as the crawled through the walls and crawlspaces of the apartment like their four legged counterparts, this movie would have been all the better for it. In act three, as the creatures broke through the locked doors and began to sweep through the dark hallways of the building, the horror became palpable and well done. Otherwise, it was kind of boring.

“Mulberry Street” is a decent movie, especially given its indie nature and budget. The problem arises when you buy into the hype that it is something new and original. If you can get past this misnomer you’ll be in for a decent scare; otherwise it’s just zombie movie x without the zombies.

6 mutant rats out of 10

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Wednesday, September 24th, 2008 | Author: Casey Criswell

Special Guests William Hainline and Greg Schmidt join us in the studio for a look at indie darling “Dead & Breakfast” and our Junior Correspondent returns to review “Igor” with Colleen!

Click here to download now or click here to Subscribe with Itunes!

Voice Mail: 206-339-9459
Store: Cinema Fromage’s Gouda Deals

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Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008 | Author: Casey Criswell


The Mousetrap

Charlie Dixon, Sarah’s ex from the past is fleeing town with his wife Michelle. Now known to be connect to the Connors, they’ve been advised to make themselves scarce. Upon a routine stop for gas and soda, Cromartie arrives at the desert gas station and absconds with Michelle leaving Charlie stranded as he watch his wife disappear into the distance. Not knowing what else to do, Charlie contacts Sarah and pleads for her help.

Full Review at BGH…

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Monday, September 22nd, 2008 | Author: Casey Criswell

Quite possibly the funniest skit I’ve seen on SNL in a long long time! George and Lenny, the lost chapter from ‘Of Mice and Men’ starring SNL’s newest featured player, Bobby Moynihan.

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Monday, September 22nd, 2008 | Author: Casey Criswell

This week we review Casey’s staff pick of “Something Wicked This Way Comes”. We discuss the marked differences between this and the children’s films of today, Schnaars’ hangover, and why everyone is hating on me for my pick from last week of “Postal”.

Jump over to Bloody Good Horror to listen!

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Friday, September 19th, 2008 | Author: Casey Criswell


Summer TromaDance Film Festival in The MidWest
Totally Free

Tromadance Founder Lloyd Kaufman and The B Movie Celebration announced the creation of a new expanded summer version of the Tromadance Film Festival in Franklin, Indiana, at this year’s American Film Market last November.

This announcement included details on the transformation of the Tromadance Film Festival into a fully immersive film experience that now includes a larger screening schedule as well as more panel discussions and in-depth
workshops covering a variety of topics pertinent to young filmmakers.

Summer TromaDance takes place during the B Movie Celebration September 26th-28th in Franklin Indiana.

About TromaDance

TromaDance is the first film festival wholeheartedly devoted to filmmakers and fans. Unlike every other film festival, TromaDance does not charge filmmakers to submit their films. Entrance to all screenings is free and
open to the public. Also, there are no VIP reservations or preferential treatment regarding films, panels, or parties of any kind given. The organizers of TromaDance believe films are meant to be seen, especially when it comes to new filmmakers.

Art — in all its forms — is for the people!

TromaDance features a range of films made independently, usually without big stars, big money and far removed from the Hollywood studio system. The
official selections of TromaDance have been made with nothing more than passion, courage, integrity, and raw talent.

For The People and By The People

Everyone at TromaDance is treated as an equal. The elite and the celebrated are treated no better or worse than the experimental filmmaker or the random moviegoer off the street. Admittance to all screenings, panels, parties, and events is strictly on a first come, first served basis. If
there are any VIPs at TromaDance, they are the filmmakers whose blood, sweat, and hard work are on the screen.

TromaDance is an opportunity for everyone who’s ever picked up a camera to have their work seen without the compromises required by elitist cartel interference. TromaDance is proud to be the first and only film festival of the people, for the people, and by the people.

TromaDance is being held at The Juke Box Live and The Franklin Public Library

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