In Director/Writer Jim Mickle and Actor/Writer Nick Damici’s tale of Vampire apocalypse, America is a lost nation.
When an epidemic of vampirism strikes, humans find themselves on the run from vicious, feral beasts. Cities are tombs and survivors cling together in rural pockets, fearful of nightfall. When his family is slaughtered, young Martin (Gossip Girl’s Connor Paolo) is taken under the wing of a grizzled, wayward hunter simply known as “Mister” (In the Cut’s Nick Damici) whose new prey are the undead.
The vampire stalker takes Martin on a journey through the locked-down towns of America’s heartland, searching for a better place while taking down any bloodsuckers that cross their path. Along the way they recruit fellow travelers, including a nun (Kelly McGillis) who is caught in a crisis of faith when her followers turn into ravenous beasts. This ragtag family unit cautiously moves north, avoiding major thoroughfares that have been seized by The Brethren, a fundamentalist militia headed by Jebedia Loven (Tony award-winning actor Michael Cerveris) that interprets the plague as the Lord’s work.
Stake Land also stars horror movie icon Danielle Harris (Hatchet II) and was produced by indie horror producer-writer-director Larry Fessenden (The Last Winter).
After the jump, check out the trailer for this graphic horror film that has won several awards including Midnight Madness Audience Award: 2010 Toronto International Film Festival and was the Official Selection of the Lincoln Center Scary Movie Series 2010.
Continue reading Movie News: Stake Land- A Road Movie With Fans
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Dean Winchester (Jensen Ackles) got ‘vamped’ and his brother Sam Winchester (Jared Padalecki) stood by and allowed it to happen.
That has got to be the creepiest thing I’ve ever seen on Supernatural. But, it’s also the first time in a long while that an episode of this hit action series has put me on the edge of my seat. I liked that!
Yes, I like the kind of brotherly interaction that Supernatural started out with. I really don’t want to see them at odds with each other for the rest of the run of the series like they have been since season 3. Yet I have to admit I really like season 6 so far and S6.05 Live Free or Twi-Hard was the kind of thrill ride I like in an action series. I liked Dean’s struggle not to succumb to becoming a monster and to hold onto his humanity. His scenes with Lisa and Ben were heartbreaking and Jensen Ackles hit it out of the ball park again with yet another variation on Dean’s life as a hunter.
In all of the recent interviews done with Jared Padalecki and the writers about the new direction for Sam Winchester in season six of Supernatural, they all talked about how he has abandoned his quest for living a normal life and has embraced the ways of being a hunter. They talked about Sam having a harder edge to him and being more like first season Dean Winchester I.e. kill the monster first and ask questions later. I like how Jared Padalecki has approached playing this new incarnation of Sam Winchester. He has infused the character with an interesting sort of emotional detachment. He has also made some changes to Sam’s body language to a certain degree. Whereas, to me Sam used to have some uncertainty and hesitation in him, now he approaches a hunt with the assurance of a cat stalking its prey. In S6.05 Live Free or Twi-Hard, the writers showed us that Sam is really nothing like he’s ever been before and even more like a great cat on the hunt. It was chilling to watch him just stand there with this look of mild curiosity on his face as he let his brother become bait for a trap to catch the alpha Vampire.
Grandpa Samuel Campbell (Mitch Pileggi) is seriously starting to get on my nerves as a character. The whole ‘the Campbell’s are the best thing in hunterdom since sliced bread’ attitude is grating. Not to mention that there seems to be a concerted effort by the writers to denigrate John Winchester’s contributions to his son’s skills as hunters. I want Dean to give Samuel a good ‘don’t be talking trash about my dad’ slap down like he does everyone else because Samuel deserves to be reminded that John Winchester was a hunter too and good one.
S6.05 Live Free or Twi-Hard was fun ride that, like I said, kept me on the edge of my seat and it made me remember why I loved watching this show in the first place. Tomorrow’s episode, S6.06 You Can’t Handle the Truth looks like it’s going to be a rocking one too. Sneak Peak look at it after the jump.
Continue reading Television: Thoughts on Supernatural S6.05 Live Free or Twi-Hard & A Sneak Peek Look at S6.06 You Can’t Handle the Truth
AVAILABLE ON DVD AS OF AUGUST 27TH, 2010
The CW Network hit series, The Vampire Diaries had it’s season 2 premiere, The Return, on Thursday September 9th at 8PM EST. According to the next day press release, the series is still going strong with the VAMPIRE DIARIES delivering its best ‘Women 18-34 Ratings ‘ since February 2009 and held onto virtually all of its audience from explosive season one finale, Founder’s Day. The Vampire Diaries also retained a large chunk of its massive series premiere audience from last year, keeping about 87% of its year ago adults 18-34 (1.9/6) and 90% of its year ago women 18-34 (2.8/9) delivery.
If you missed the season one premiere or all of the first season of The Vampire Diaries on The CW Network and want to catch up on this intriguing series, then now’s your chance because The Vampire Diaries: The Complete First Season is now out on DVD.
The Vampire Diaries season one premiered on The CW Network on September 10, 2009 as the new lead in series for the Thursday night line up, which included veteran hit series Supernatural. The Vampire Diaries, which was based on the L.J. Smith novels of the same name, is set in the small town of Mystic Falls. There, teenager Elena Gilbert (Nina Dobrev) and her younger brother, Jeremy (Steven R. McQueen), struggle to come to terms with the recent death of their parents. While Jeremy heads on a downward slide of drug use to run away from the grief, Elena attempts to remain a perfect straight-A student but has trouble hiding her grief from the world. When the mysterious Stefan Salvatore (Paul Wesley) becomes a new student at her high school, Elena finds herself draw to him not knowing that both he and his older brother Damon (Ian Somerhalder) share the dark secret of Vampirism.
Continue reading On DVD: The Vampire Diaries- The Complete First Season Is Well Worth Owning
Every so often, you need a little low-budget, B-movie fun. The Librarian: Curse of the Judas Chalice [TNT, Sunday, 8/7C] provides exactly that. This time, Flynn Carson’s [Noah Wyle] New Orleans vacation is interrupted in unique style as it comes to light that the Judas Chalice – the chalice made from the silver of the thirty coins paid to Judas Iscariot for Christ’s betrayal – has come to light. Obviously, The Library would like to add it to their private collection.
Curse of the Judas Chalice continues to mine the Indiana Jones format to good effect. The movie opens with Carson bidding on a vase from the early Ming Dynasty [circa 1411] and having to destroy it to obtain the real treasure inside. There follows swordplay – and a throw pillow is involved – all of which leads to Carson’s girlfriend breaking up with him.
From there, a serious meltdown and a strange dream lead our hero to take a vacation in New Orleans – where he encounters a statue and a woman that were in said dream. Mix in a former KGB agent and Russian government official named Kubicek [Dirkan Tulaine], who has a lead on the chalice; a decrepit history professor named Professor Lazlo [Bruce Davison], and a legend that suggests that the Judas Chalice can resurrect vampires and you’ve got a potent mix for adventure. Once Carson encounters the woman from his dream, Simone [Stana Katic], singing in a club, the action comes fast and furious.
Curse of the Judas Chalice is a bit of a comeback for the franchise. As with the Indiana Jones films, the second chapter wasn’t quite right [and Gabrielle Anwar was no Sonja Walger – whom we see in the opening credits here for some reason]. Where the second Librarian movie was too silly, Curse is just silly enough. The idea of resurrecting vampires combines well with revelations that make sense of Judson’s [Bob Newhart] appearance in New Orleans to give the series an extra layer of the epic.
Jonathan Frakes keeps things light and breezy and Marco Schnabel’s script is witty and slightly deranged. Add in genial performances and solid effects and the result is an entertaining bit of froth that will provide a cheery couple of hours – which is exactly what it sets out to do.
Final Grade: B
Twilight is beautiful to look at, with its sweeping vistas, picturesque small town streets and almost inhumanly beautiful cast. It’s well filmed, though there are far too many close-ups and tight two-shots for my taste. The editing is flawlessly; Catherine Hardwicke does a perfectly fine job of eliciting performances from the cast – and the casting is as close to perfect as humanly possible [though Edward really should be a redhead if you want a precise translation from the novel which, yes, I read in anticipation of the movie].
Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart work well as Edward Cullen and Isabella “Bella” Swan. Their chemistry is almost overwhelming in those close-ups and two-shots. Billy Burke is spot on as Bella’s police chief dad, Charlie, and Sarah Clarke is as effective as her mother, Renee Dwyer. Both the school kids and Edward’s family are equally appropriate – though Ashley Greene’s Alice is a small scale revelation.
So why doesn’t Twilight work?
Well, there are far too many moments that might work for fans, but there are as many that will be a source of humor to people who come in to the film cold. Plus there are moments where the film is perhaps too faithful to the books. The lingering looks that Edward and Bella exchange over the course of Twilight could amount to nothing more than two adolescents mooning over each other [“You’re so pretty,” or “You smell so good”]. It comes down to the script isn’t really structured well. There’s too much of the so-close-you-see-the-valleys-in-their-pores close-ups, and the use of a narrator is more than occasionally intrusive [the movie rule being “show – don’t tell”].
If you’re a student of film, you can certainly appreciate how well the film is made. Technically, it’s pretty damn close to perfect – from casting through final edit. If only the the story wasn’t so thin. All that angst and mooning might work in a Harlequin Romance, but in a moving picture [emphasis on “moving”], it simply doesn’t cut it – and not even the brawl between Edward and the evil James [Cam Gigandet] can save it.
Final Grade: C-