Movie Review: Resident Evil

I have never understood why Hollywood is apparently incapable of delivering a truly great movie based on a popular video game franchise.  Perhaps this is because studios tend to deviate extensively from the source material and ultimately churn out films that hardly represent their pixelated counterparts.  Most of these games that serve as inspiration for said films include all the necessary elements that make movies enjoyable -- unique characters, ceaseless action and intriguing storylines that wholly envelope the player into its universe.  When Resident Evil lurched into theaters in early 2002, it was hardly the first of its kind.  By this time, several other video games had witnessed their own big-screen adaptations, and Resident Evil was all geared up to follow the same kind of success as some of its predecessors.  But would the movie go on to achieve a satisfyingly haunting atmosphere similar to the one found in Silent Hill, or would it be doomed to drown in a river of cheese alongside Super Mario Bros.?

Movie Review: Twilight

It's difficult to denounce the allure of vampires, those mythological bloodsuckers of folklore whose various tales of legend remain just as immortal as the creatures themselves.  Stephenie Meyer discovered this when a dream involving a human teenage girl and her night-stalking boyfriend influenced her to put pen to paper in 2003 despite never having written creatively before.  Three months later, a simple illusion evolved into a full-length novel entitled Twilight, and faster than you can illegally download the latest Jonas Brothers CD, three more books followed and won the hearts and minds of adolescent girls the world over.  Considering the box office successes of the Harry Potter and The Lord Of the Rings franchises, big screen adaptations of The Twilight Saga were a no-brainer...

Movie Review: Kick-Ass

"How come no one's ever tried to be a superhero?"  This is the question that plagues the mind of one comic book obsessed high school dweebie in Kick-Ass, the exhilarating big screen adaptation of the graphic novel by Mark Millar.  The inquiry serves as a promising theme for the film and addresses the notion that one doesn't necessarily have to be bitten by a radioactive spider or own a mansion full of high-tech gadgets to win over the admiration of his fellow citizens.  Director Matthew Vaughn (helmer of the underrated British gangster thriller Layer Cake) has a lot of fun with the source material and remains mostly faithful to it throughout the movie, including all of the brutal violence and coarse language that has recently twisted up the panties of numerous film critics all over the country.  By now you're probably wondering, does Kick-Ass in fact kick ass?  Well, let me ask you this -- does Powered Toast Man fly backwards?

Video Game Review: A Nightmare on Elm Street (NES)

I have a deep, passionate love for horror games.  Fifteen years ago, when other kids were out renting and buying Mario and Zelda games, I was always playing games like Castlevania and Splatterhouse 3.  My infatuation with killing zombies, aliens and demons probably borders on the deranged.  Even though it is not technically a horror game, the NES game A Nightmare On Elm Street is one of the games that started up my early pixelated bloodlust.

 

Movie Review: Maximum Overdrive

Stephen King stands as one of the most acclaimed authors of all time.  As an American literary icon, many of his books have been adapted for both the big and small screens over the last thirty years, several of which quickly established themselves as instant classics (Misery, The Shining, Stand By Me) and some that missed the mark entirely (Dreamcatcher, The Mist, Secret Window).  Mr. King has never experienced much difficulty scoring sought-after directors to helm the film versions of his novels, but after spending over a decade witnessing some of his greatest stories being brought to life by such artistic minds as Brian De Palma, John Carpenter and Stanley Kubrick, the anxious writer eagerly embraced the director's chair for the first (and subsequently last) time ever in his career to bring us the infamous 1986 action-horror debacle Maximum Overdrive, a clumsily-made mess that accomplished little other than revitalizing the career of Rock and Roll Hall of Famers AC/DC...

Movie Review: Hell Comes to Frogtown

If there is one thing that last week's review of the spiritless time-waster Wrong Side Of Town taught us, it's that professional wrestlers are generally better off sticking to what brought them to the dance and shying away from the glitz and glamor of Hollywood.  Exceptions to this rule occasionally present themselves, though, as the gallant disposition and natural charisma that a handful of these dexterous grapplers possess demands the kind of exposure that the world of wrestling usually repels.  It's hard to know what to expect going into a movie like Wrong Side Of Town, especially with all of the trickery that went into its advertising campaign ("Featuring WWE Champion Dave Batista"... for ten minutes), but with a film like Hell Comes to Frogtown, you know what you're getting yourself into simply by reading the description on the back of the box -- WWE Hall of Famer "Rowdy" Roddy Piper battles giant mutant frog creatures in a post-apocalyptic wasteland... how could this possibly disappoint?

Movie Review: Wrong Side Of Town

The flamboyant world of professional wrestling often acts as a springboard to launch its performers into the slightly-more reputable universe of Hollywood's movie industry.  For better or for worse, an incalculable amount of these warriors of the "squared circle" have seeped their way into feature-length films, from Hulk Hogan's portrayal of Thunderlips in Rocky III to Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson's latest performance as a hockey-playing pixie in last January's critically-ostracized Tooth Fairy...

10 Favorite Arnold Schwarzenegger Movie Roles

Two decades before becoming the "Governator" of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Austria's own man of steel, stomped into Hollywood and immediately caught the attention of moviegoers the world over.  Whether he was traveling through time to assassinate (or save) the world's savior against the inevitable machine-driven apocalypse or substitute teaching a bunch of snot-nosed brats, audiences everywhere went crazy for Schwarzenegger's on-screen antics, quickly evolving him into the prototypical action hero that defined a generation.  This list counts down my personal favorite "Ah-nold" characters from his twenty-plus years in the film industry... and please, keep in mind that this article is being judged on the performances and not necessarily the quality of the movie itself...

20 Most Anticipated Movies Of 2010

The unemployment rate steadily increases!  Powerful earthquakes ravage the planet on a semi-weekly basis!  Carlos Mencia continues to find work!  Our world seems to be on the brink of crumbling into oblivion... but at least we have our movies!  Hollywood looks to provide us all with some much-needed distraction from our perpetual hardships this year, so strap yourself in and get a preview of upcoming releases with this film enthusiast's personal 20 Most Anticipated Movies of 2010!

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