Tuesday Terrors: We Review Batman: The Dark Knight Rises (Mania.com)
By:Tim Janson Date: Tuesday, December 11, 2012 Source: Mania.com
This week in Tuesday Terrors we’ve got reviews of The Dark Knight Rises, Wrong Turn 5: Bloodlines, and The Apparition. Lots of news and trailers to check out this week!
Stephen King’s Under the Dome coming to CBS. CBS will bringing the Stephen King Adaptation to its lineup in 2013. Brian K. Vaughan (Lost, Y: The Last Man) adapted the massive story for the screen. The story tells of a small town in Maine which is cut off from the rest of the world by an invisible dome. With air, food and patience dwindling, societal norms within this town begins to break down.
Official Trailer for Rec 4. Here is the teaser trailer for Rec 4: Apocalypse
First Trailer for Black Rock. Kate Bosworth, Lake Bell and Kate Aselton star as three childhood friends set aside their personal issues and reunite for a girls' weekend on a remote island off the coast of Maine. One wrong move turns their weekend getaway into a deadly fight for survival.
Remake for The Town that Dreaded Sundown coming. Nothing official or concrete but MGM is taking pitches from writers for a remake of the 1976 film. Charles B. Pierce directed the original tale which was set against the backdrop of Texarkana where its residents were terrorized by the "Phantom Killer" during the late '40s. The murderer wore a white hood over his head and the film is loosely based on a true story, so it's perfect fodder for the Hollywood remake train.
Ethan Hawke and Lena Headey to star in The Purge. The Purge is set in an America wracked by crime and overcrowded prisons. Every year, the government sanctions a 24-hour period during which any and all criminal activity -- including murder -- is legal. When an intruder breaks into the gated community where James Sandin (Hawke) lives, he sets off a sequence of events that threatens to tear Sandin's family apart as they try to survive the night without turning into the monsters from which they hide.
No Lost Boys 4. How did I miss #3? At any rate, if any of you were waiting on the next Lost Boys sequel it sounds like its been permanently shelved. Warner Brothers shut down Warner Premiere, their division which produced the sequels and star Corey Feldman recently confirmed the decision. Said Feldman recently, “"People love it. People want to see more of it. Jamison Newlander and I are always down to get back into bed. But that being said, it's Warner Bros. that drives that boat. It is a Warner Bros. film, it's a Warner Bros. franchise. Without Warner Bros. behind it, there are no more Frog Brothers. The Bros. Warner need to get back into bed with The Bros. Frog. Then we can all have a great big movie orgy. Until then, we are all left as homeless Frogs."
David Morell’s The Totem in production. David Morell, best known as the writer of “First Blood” that introduced the world to John Rambo, is having another one of his books adapted into a film. he Totem is a horror thriller about a Wyoming ranch town called Potter's Field, where a virus is unleashed and spreads through bites by infected people. Police chief Nathan Slaughter is thrown into a vortex tunnel of terror trying to unveil why animals become savage, children become insane and the entire town turns into a frenzy of violence.
Trailer for Storage 24. Magnet Releasing has dropped the trailer for the UK monster film Storage 24. London is in chaos. A military cargo plane has crashed leaving its highly classified contents strewn across the city. Completely unaware London is in lockdown, Charlie (Noel Clarke) and Shelley(Antonia Campbell-Hughes), accompanied by best friends Mark (Colin O’Donoghue) and Nikki (Laura Haddock), are at Storage 24 dividing up their possessions after a recent break-up. Suddenly, the power goes off. Trapped in a dark maze of endless corridors, a mystery predator is hunting them one by one. In a place designed to keep things in, how do you get out?
Trailer for When your Flesh Screams! Here’s a trailer for a new Argentine horror film. The story concerns Martina, a biology student, who after moving from her hometown to complete her studies, decides to undertake an excursion to the outskirts of the city in search of rare and exotic specimens for research. Not finding the specimen after a long search, she decides to rest by the roadside. At that time, her new psychotic neighbors propose to take her to the woods where they claim is the specimen that she seeks. Martina accepts the crossing naturally, but on the way the thugs kidnap her, determined to cause all sorts of sinister and gruesome acts, both physical and psychological. The story takes an unexpected turn when Martina decides to release her pent- up anger.
Trailer for new found footage film The Jungle. The Jungle is an exploration deep into the dense rainforests of Indonesia to film and tag the elusive the endangered and elusive Javan Leopard leads to a journey of terror. On their search for a reported alpha-male leopard, spotted wandering outside of its normal territory, reportedly terrorizing local settlements, a team of conservationists discover a new species, a horrifying “apex predator” that has no fear of humans.
New Trailer for Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3D. Lionsgate just released a new trailer for Texas Chainsaw 3D…you’re welcome!
Phantasm II coming to blu-ray. Don Coscarelli's Phantasm II is getting a blu-ray release in March courtesy of The Shout Factory. More details on bonus features as they come available.
American Mary get U.S. Distribution. XLrator Media has picked up U.S. rights to the indie horror film American Mary, written and directed by Jen and Sylvia Soska (Dead Hooker in a Trunk). The film will be released under XLrator's Screamfest label in fall 2013.
American Mary follows the story of medical student Mary Mason (played by Katharine Isabelle of the Ginger Snaps franchise) as she grows increasingly broke and disenchanted with medical school and the surgeons she once admired. The allure of easy money and notoriety send Mary into the shady world of underground surgery and body modification.
Sinister DVD/Blu-Ray details announced. Summit Entertainment will release Sinister on DVD, Blu-ray and VOD February 19th. The Ethan Hawke supernatural thriller opened in October and grossed an estimated $47 million domestically.
Special Features include:
Audio commentary with director Scott Derrickson
Audio commentary with writers Scott Derrickson and C. Robert Cargill
"Living in a House of Death" featurette
"True Crime Authors" featurette
Deleted scenes with optional audio commentary with director Scott Derrickson
Get your Bad Meat in February. The film stars Dave Franco, Elisabeth Harnois, Jessica Parker-Kennedy, and Mark Pellegrino. Bad Meat, which premiered at London's Frightfest before screenings at Razor Reel in Belgium and Fancine in Spain, tells the story of a group of teenage delinquents who contract a deadly virus after being ordered to a remote camp for rehabilitation. Look for it on DVD in February.
The Dark Knight Rises Blu-Ray (Warner Bros.)
Our very own Kimberly McCall already covered The Dark Knight rises in a full review (read it here) last week but I could not let this one slip by without touching on it just a bit. Film franchises can be a little like sports franchises. Even one that is successful can often still be in need of a change. Spider-man didn’t appear to be broken but a re-boot did produce a film superior to the previous one. Does Batman need a re-boot? I’d tend to say no but filmmakers think movie fans are stupid, or at the very least have short-term memories. Do we need Batman’s origin told again? Again no but we’ll probably get it, like it or not.
The next Batman film is likely going to shoot for a middle ground between Christopher Nolan’s dark, gritty take and Joel Schumacher;s over-the-top bombast. Whichever direction they go, there’s going to be factions that don’t like it. Such is the fickleness of fans. I have not been a great fan of the Nolan films. They have been well-crafted with a great look but there’s something that I’ve never quite been able to put my finger on that is just…off with his trilogy. I’ve never liked them as much as I hoped I would or expected I would.
The Dark Knight Rises is no different. What did I like? Nearly all of the performances. Joseph Gordon-Levitt finally grew up in this film. He had an edge and a straight-forward charisma. Anne Hathaway, after provoking an “Ewww” from me when announced in the role of Catwoman took me by surprise with her depth. Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, and Morgan Freeman were all stellar as usual and what else would you expect from guys who have won or been nominated for multiple Oscar and Emmny Awards? Bane even grew on me despite his voice sounding laughably like a mad scientist from an old Looney Tunes cartoon.
What I didn’t like was Bale as Batman. One can certainly understand why he might want to be careful with the role seeing as how George Clooney and Val Kilmer are still trying to live down their turns as the Caped Crusader. But of all the characters in the film, Batman/Bruce Wayne seemed to be the one that had the least amount of passion. I know he’s trying to perhaps be understated but enough with the whispering growl. Look this isn’t about Bale or at least not all about Bale. Through four well-known actors playing the role in the modern films, not one has truly nailed it yet. At least not say how Christopher Reeve nailed Superman or Robert Downey, Jr. nailed Ironman.
At 165 minutes the film is probably 30 minutes too long. The sequences in the pit with Bruce trying to escape seemed like unnecessary padding, not to mention the abundance of scenes of cops roaming around the sewers. While The Dark Knight Rises might not send the franchise out on the highest note possible, it’s definitely not Batman and Robin.
Wrong Turn 5: Bloodlines Blu-Ray (20th Century Fox)
I know what you’re thinking…you didn’t know there was a Wrong Turn 4 let alone a Wrong Turn 5. Well truth be told this franchise took an…ahem…wrong turn after the second film in the series. Wrong Turn 4 was actually a prequel to the series and showed how the three mutant, inbred hillbillies began their cannibalistic rampage at a West Virginia sanatorium.
Wrong Turn 5: Bloodlines is a sequel to the prequel. It takes place sometime after the three cannibals leave the Sanatorium but before the first film. This is never actually stated but you can make the conclusion as the three have a kind of a keeper in the form of a wanted murderer named Maynard Odets played by Hellraiser star Doug Gradley. Odets takes the boys into his cabin and oversees their murderous actions, even chastising them for leaving a victim’s wallet behind.
As a group of kids are heading to Fairview, WV for a music festival, they nearly hit Odets as he is walking across the road. He attacks the group but the three men Billy, Gus, and Julian take him down as the cops arrived. The kids are arrested for having enough drugs to get the entire festival high and Odets is arrested for assault and the sheriff soon discovers he’s a wanted murderer. The film then turns into Assault on Precint 13 as the three cannibals begin attacking the small town police station, taking out the phones and power in an attempt to free Odets.
Wrong Turn 5 is sufficiently bloody. One hapless victim gets disemboweled and is forced fed her own intestines. Another is buried in the ground up to his neck and run over with a farming harvester. But other than some gory kills everything about the film is bad. Horrible performances by every actor other than by Bradley punctuate the film. The film looks like it was shot on an old studio back lot as characters run around the same corner throughout the film. And I know this is a small town but it’s not supposed to be a ghost town? Where the hell are all of the residents?
The Sheriff tries to reach one of her deputies who is too busy boinking a concertgoer but he’s never seen nor heard from again. The film is as lifeless as the set with only Bradley bringing the slightest bit of energy to the production.
The Apparition Blu-Ray (Warner Bros.)
Look hard. I defy you to find an original idea in The Apparition. I tried and came up empty. The fact is that almost every bit of this film is borrowed from other films such as ‘White Noise”, “Pulse”, “Paranormal Activity”, and a host of J-horror films, all of which did it better than this one.
In the opening, four students are attempting to recreate a séance experiment conducted decades earlier to contact the spirit world. However something goes wrong and one of the students is literally pulled through a wall and never seen again. Ben, one of the students involved, moves into a new house with his girlfriend Kelly. Not long after moving in they begin to experience several strange events including a neighbor’s dog dropping dead while staring up at some unseen presence in their laundry room, a strange mold that spreads throughout the house, doors opening, etc…Now all of these haunted house films all have to have the man in the house trying to rationalize the events but after finding the clothes in their bedroom closet shredded and knotted up by the unseen force, Ben blames it on an animal which just goes to show the depths of stupidity to which The Apparition sinks.
After Kelly discovers the tapes of the experiment she confronts Ben and throws him out of the house…for about 5 minutes when things go haywire in the house. Ben’s friend Patrick (Tom Felton of the Harry Potter series) arrives at their house to help explaining with a fair amount of scientific mumbo jumbo nonsense about tapping into the city’s power supply and playing the recordings in reverse to send the entity back to wherever it comes from.
There’s little sense to be made in the film and filling the room with a bunch of exotic looking electronic equipment hardly makes the events more believable. The tagline for the film states “Once you believe you die.” But there’s nothing in the film that plays on that statement. I mean if after a seeing monstrously large mold growing in their kitchen, security camera’s crushed and pulled off their mountings, and a house full of furniture tossed about like it was made out of paper, hasn’t convince them of something strange happening then what will? And if the entity can do all this damage why does it need to make them believe in its existence anyway?
In the end there’s little conflict as we never really see the entity other than in brief doppelganger versions of the characters and then ending only serves to make the preceding 75 minutes fairly pointless.
City of Dark Magic (Penguin Books) by Magnus Flyte
Magnus Flyte is a pseudonym for writers Meg Howrey and Christina Lynch. This quirky urban fantasy turns out to be filled with colorful characters and surprising twists. The main character is Sarah Weston, a Boston music student who receives a fabulous job offer. She is given the opportunity to go to Prague and work on cataloguing a music collection for a new museum.
But things start to go bad right from the beginning. Her mentor dies of apparent suicide but to Sarah it just doesn’t add up. Before she knows it she’s knee deep in trouble involving an American Senator and a deadly conspiracy, strange alchemical symbols that begin appearing, time travel, a prince named Max who she becomes romantically involved with. Max just happens to be searching for the legendary artifact from Greek Mythology, the Golden Fleece.
While Sarah is the main character she’s frankly not the most interesting one. City of Dark Magic overflows with interesting characters, sometimes to the point of abundance as some of their plot threads are left hanging and despite their vividness, some are left a bit underdeveloped. But what the book does have going for it is the fact that it really is a genre blend of fantasy, mystery, thriller, and romance. As eclectic as that might all sound it actually mixes together quite nicely although I’m hardly a fan of romantic novels.
An interesting book…lots going on and a quick read for someone looking for something fresh and different.
Tim Janson is a columnist and reviewer for Mania Entertainment. He writes Level Up, the weekly look at videogames and the horror dedicated column, Tuesday Terrors. Tim has written for Fangoria, Newsarama, City Slab Magazine, Twitch Film, and Cinefantastique. He is a member of the Horror Writers Association (HWA). Be sure to follow him on Facebook and Twitter.