MAMA would have been decent with more scares & an audience that didn’t suck!

January 26, 2013 at 11:20 am

MAMA would have been decent if there was less MAMA, more scares & an audience that didn't suck!

MORE STORY LINES IN THE THEATER THAN ON THE SCREEN

Not a great way to kick off my 2013 movie year.  A movie that was just okay was brought down even further by an audience full of idiots.  I expected more from a matinee show.

I’m a regular at the theater close to my work place.  Whenever I can catch a movie before a shift I do so.  (Even if I have to go alone which is usually this case.)  On this particular occasion, I had a friend join me.  On the way to the theater, I bragged about the merits of matinee movies.  There are usually tons of empty seats which results in a much quieter experience.

I was proven wrong the second we entered the theater.  It was every true horror fans worst nightmare.  A dozen young teens who were sitting together.  I should have known we were doomed but even then I was optimistic at that point.  We sat down as far away from the rowdy group as we could.  Minutes later an even worse group of teenage girls sat a few rows behind us.  We knew both groups were going to talk throughout the movie and that’s EXACTLY how that sh*t went down!

Keep in mind the following tales happened while the movie was playing.  You’ll gain a better understanding of how frustrating it was.  I’ll try to keep these events in chronological order.  But first, as is customary in my reviews, here is the trailer for MAMA:

Looks pretty good doesn’t it?  I thought so too.  Before I get to my little tales, I’d like to mention that we absolutely CRUSHED them all at Cineplex Timeplay.

THE TALE OF THE CELL PHONE

We were already annoyed by the constant chatter that plagued the previews.  It seemed like everyone in that theater hadn’t seen each other in years and HAD to catch up.  Either that or they were already nervous because of the creepy Evil Dead trailer.  Two kids screamed & it wasn’t even the gruesome red band trailer!

That’s when it hit me.  What were all these kids doing in the theater on a Friday afternoon in the first place?  They seemed a bit young for a horror movie even if it was PG-13.

When the previews ended everyone actually settled down…  Until a cell phone belonging to one of the girls behind us started ringing.  If you guessed her ring tone was Justin Bieber’s ‘As long as you love me’…

Welcome to our nightmare.

THE TALE OF THE REPETITIVE IDIOT

Mama is about two young girls who lose their parents and find themselves in a cabin inhabited by a ghost they call Mama.  In my opinion, it’s an awesome concept.  Tons of possibilities.  The girls they cast to play the roles (both young and old) are adorable.  That was the point but one of the girls behind us really thought they were cute.  The following quotes were spoken at full volume:

“Look at how cute they are”

“How cute are they?”

“Man these two girls are cute.”

“I can’t get over how cute they are.”

“How cute are they?”

I would lose my mind if I had a friend repeat the same thing 12 times in the middle of a movie.  “You’ve established the kids are cute.  We all agree.  Now just be quiet and formulate a new thought.  That’s how society works!”

MAMA would have been decent with more scares & an audience that didn't suck! | MAMA Review 2013

THE TALE OF THE SISSY

The endless talking continued as the movie established Mama and the main characters.  There are various scares that any seasoned horror fan could spot that still made these kids scream at the top of their lungs.

“Rookies.”

That’s when I noticed one of the kids in front of us was sitting on the floor with his back to the scream.  He was one of the main kids that never shut up.  His friends laughed at his comments but none of them realized that he was probably terrified and couldn’t watch.  Some kids that young don’t have fun at horror movies.  They get nervous and the only defense they have is talking and laughing.  It’s a mask you have to shed if you have any hope of enjoying good horror films.

Mama has it’s moments but that kid would have peed his pants if we were watching a movie like Sinister.  Bughuul is 58 million times more terrifying than Mama.

Speaking of Mama, here’s a picture of her just to remind you that were still watching (or trying to watch) a movie.

MAMA would have been decent with more scares & an audience that didn't suck! | MAMA Review 2013

THE TALE OF THE SHHH WAR

The greatest irony of the afternoon came about an hour into the movie.  The young kids began to annoy Team Bieber behind us.  I couldn’t get over it.  The girls behind us who wouldn’t shut up were telling the kids in front of us to shut up…

How could they be so oblivious?  They were just as bad!  Holy crap I wish I would have said something.  I mentioned it quietly to my friend and we both agreed that these kids would have given us lip and we wouldn’t have gotten anywhere.  He was quick to point out that they would have annihilated me if I had gone by myself.

What the girls didn’t realize was how close they came to being on the losing end of a Popcorn battle.  The Sissy was leading the charge.  He literally crawled to each of his friends pointing out the girls who shushed them.  I really wish they realized how scared he was.  He was willing to do whatever it took to distract his friends.

Ironically, it was Team Bieber that pointed out the reason why these kids were in the theater in the first place.

“These kids shouldn’t even be here.  They just bought tickets to Monsters Inc. 3D and snuck in.”

Funny how she was complaining at full volume…  Princess Bieber needed to shut up.

THE TALE OF THE FAILED PICKUP ATTEMPT

Even though we were constantly distracted, I actually liked the story.  It’s an interesting ‘Mowgli’ type of story.  It wasn’t very scary but it was clever at times.  It’s just a shame that people wouldn’t stop talking.  Was it time to leave the theater and complain?  People were shushing and yelling at each other to shut up to no avail.

My friend and I were completely annoyed by everyone in that theater. Team Bieber was especially annoying but there were a few boys who were interested in every single word they said.  At one point, a teenage boy turned on his cell phone and flashed the light at the girls (and by extension… me.)  I turned around at the exact moment the boy waved at them.

“Hey…  How you girls doing?”

Are you kidding me!?  You’re going to try and pick them up in the middle of a movie!? It wasn’t long before his own friends were telling him to shut up.  Eventually the girls shot him down that he gave up.  He had no chance.

Things calmed down slightly towards the end of the movie.  That’s when I realized, I didn’t really like Mama all that much.

THE TALE OF THE ACTUAL MOVIE

Ohhhhhh right… The movie…

MAMA would have been decent with more scares & an audience that didn't suck! | MAMA Review 2013

Mama was steadily building towards an ending I was pretty interested in.  We finally got a glimpse of Mama’s face and it was creepy but then we saw the ghost again and again.  Almost too much.  By the time we reached the finale, Mama was no longer creepy.  She became another character in the movie and I think that really took away from the atmosphere they worked so hard to create.

Overall, the movie was just okay.  I was expecting a lot more scares but it still has a few moments here and there.  Most of the good moments were ruined by kids who weren’t taught theater etiquette.  It’s sad.

Speaking of sad, I loved the ending of the movie because it went where most movies don’t.  Putting children in harms way is tricky so it was nice to see a risk for a change.  When it’s done right it can be incredibly tense.  Mama just missed but I applaud the attempt to avoid a typical happy ending.  By far my biggest complaint is Mama’s CG.  It’s okay for most of the movie but the finale is pretty bad.  (Also, they should have give Jaime Lannister more to do.)

If you’re curious to see Mama, I would wait for a rental opportunity in a few months.  As for the annoying kids…  They never stopped.  Someone was always talking.  My message for parents is simple.  When you send your kid to a movie and they come home with a ticket for Monsters Inc. 3D, ask them what it was about–  Wait a minute…  They probably already saw it!  They could have answered any questions.  Their plan was full proof!

Worst movie audience of all time?  Sorry Paranormal Activity 2, we have a new champion.

FUN FACT: Did you know Mama was based on a short film?  Curious to see it?  Here it is with an intro from producer Guillermo Del Toro:

Click here for more reviews.

Star Wars Episode VII: J.J Abrams Round Up

January 25, 2013 at 8:10 am

Star Wars Episode VII: J.J Abrams Round Up

This is the second part in my Star Wars Episode VII Round Up Series.  It’s still hard to believe that a brand new Star Wars movie is on the way.  When Disney first made the announcement, I did what any Star Wars geek would do.  I searched online for every tidbit of information I could find.

The result was my Star Wars Episode VII Story Round Up.  Over 25 fantastic articles and videos from around the web.  Those articles are packed with story speculation, screenplay news, casting rumors and short lists for directors.  Which brings us to today’s round up.  J.J Abrams is officially directing Star Wars Episode VII!

XTRA | The Number 1 Reason Why J.J Abrams is Perfect For Star Wars

He was at the top of many wish lists to take the helm.  I think it’s a perfect fit even though he’s already directed two Star Trek movies.  The Master Franchise Builder has a new project and it’s the biggest of them all.  Bringing Star Wars back to the big screen.

Once again, I scoured the web looking for analysis and breakdowns once the news broke.  Here are some of the best I came across:

‘Star Wars: Episode 7′ and J.J. Abrams: 10 Reasons Why We Think This is a Good Thing | Screen Crush

Editorial: What Does J.J. Abrams Directing ‘Star Wars Episode VII’ Tell Us About The Movie? | /Film

J.J. Abrams to Direct ‘Star Wars’: the Best Twitter Reactions | The Hollywood Reporter

Is J.J. Abrams The Right Guy For Star Wars: Episode VII? | Cinema Blend

Hollywood’s new empire builder: J.J. Abrams | Variety

14 ways of looking at J.J. Abrams’ ‘Star Wars’ | EW

Can J.J. Abrams handle both Star Wars and Star Trek? | The National Post

J.J Abrams Directing Star Wars Episode 7 | Screen Rant

6 Ways J.J. Abrams Can Crossover ‘Star Wars’ and ‘Star Trek’ | Screen Crush

10 funny tweets about J.J. Abrams directing ‘Star Wars’ | CNET

J.J. Abrams directing ‘Star Wars’: Many voices cry out in reaction | Hero Complex

Why JJ Abrams is the right choice for ‘Star Wars: Episode VII’ | HIT FIX

Why J.J. Abrams Is a Bad Choice for Star Wars | Grantland

Why J.J. Abrams Is A Bad Choice To Direct Star Wars Episode VII | Think Progress

Do you think Star Wars is in good hands?

The Number 1 Reason Why J.J Abrams is Perfect for Star Wars Episode VII

January 25, 2013 at 8:05 am

The Number 1 Reason Why J.J Abrams is Perfect for Star Wars Episode VII

PLUS THE NUMBER 1 REASON WHY MAY NOT BE

Star Wars Episode VII Story Round Up

Months ago, J.J Abrams admitted that he was approached to direct Star Wars Episode VII and ‘apparently’ turned it down.

“I have some original stuff I am working on next,” said Abrams (EW)

Well, either he was lying or LucasFilm head Kathleen Kennedy is very persistent.

I’m a huge fan of J.J Abrams work. His movies and television series are among the best I’ve seen in the last decade. Super 8, Mission Impossible 3, Lost, Fringe, Star Trek… It’s pretty hard to find another director out there with so many high profile projects. (Joss Whedon comes to mind as another.)

His past work may have earned him the coveted Star Wars gig but that’s not why I’m excited. To me, the number 1 reason he’s perfect for the job is because he’s a fan like us. There’s a reason why Kathleen Kennedy didn’t give up.

J.J ABRAMS IS A MASSIVE STAR WARS FAN

“As a kid I was always a fan of special effects,” Abrams said. “Watching movies I was constantly trying to figure out how they did it, whatever the effect was. Star Wars was the first movie that blew my mind in that way; it didn’t matter how they did any of it because it was all so overwhelmingly and entirely great. It was funny and romantic and scary and compelling and the visual effects just served the characters and story. It galvanized for me; not for what was exciting about how movies were made, but rather for what movies were capable of.” (EW)

Every Star Wars fan has an opinion on the original trilogy vs the prequels.  Some people liked the new films while others thought George Lucas ruined everything.  Personally, I enjoyed Episode 1 & 3 just fine.  They were Star Wars movies after all.  Still, hardcore fans of the original series were let down by characters like Jar Jar Binks.

XTRA | The People vs George Lucas vs Me

J.J Abrams adores Star Wars.  It’s like they hired one of us to direct the film. I don’t think we have to worry about all of our major complaints.  He’s probably thinking the same thing.  It’s a fascinating development.  Can you imagine growing up with Star Wars and one day being able to direct an episode of the saga!?  Only one human being on the planet can make that claim and he also happens to be one of the most creative and imaginative directors working today.  With Abrams at the helm, we can all rest assured that he has the franchises best interest at heart.  Perhaps this is going to be the return to Empire Strikes Back?

It’s too early to speculate on tone but I’m stoked.  J.J Abrams is a remarkable director who comes from the school of Steven Spielberg.  A Star Wars geek is directing the new Star Wars movie!

The Rundown Ep. 25 | A Tribute To J.J Abrams | 2011 Super 8 Coverage

THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM

…  This is awkward…

Star Trek…  The other franchise.  Long have fans argued the merits of both legendary series.  You can’t argue that they’ve never been united like this.  I’m a fan of both franchises but can someone honestly take on both?  One way or another we will get an answer to that question.  My prediction?  He’ll be just fine.

Some people will view his involvement with Star Trek as a negative and I understand that.  It’s probably the number 1 reason why he shouldn’t direct Star Wars Episode VII.  He’s made one amazing space film already with the promising sequel, Star Trek Into Darkness on the way.  I think that’s why he originally turned down the job.

“Well, I’m just a fan of Star Wars. As a kid, Star Wars was much more my thing than Star Trek was. If you look at the last three Star Wars films and what technology allowed them to do, they covered so much terrain in terms of design, locations, characters, aliens, ships — so much of the spectacle has been done and it seems like every aspect has been covered, whether it’s geography or design of culture or weather system or character or ship type. Everything has been tapped in those movies. The challenge of doing Star Trek — despite the fact that it existed before Star Wars — is that we are clearly in the shadow of what George Lucas has done.” (Hero Complex)

In my opinion, he knocked Star Trek out of the park and that wasn’t even his ‘thing’ growing up!?  Outstanding.

Just listening to the amount of thought he puts into his work is encouraging enough.  I’m sure talking about Star Wars will light him up even more.  This is great news.

Bring on the next big Star Wars Episode VII reveal!

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XTRA | Star Wars Episode VII Story Round Up

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Countdown: The Best of J.J Abrams

January 25, 2013 at 8:00 am

The Best of J.J Abrams | 14 Awesome Projects J.J Abrams has been involved in

STAR WARS EPISODE VII!?

It’s hard to argue that J.J Abrams is one of the most successful producers on the planet.  Especially when it comes to television series.  He’s been a part of so many incredible projects.  When it comes to filmmaking, he’s achieved even greater success having been a part of several HUGE franchises.

He’s about to add the biggest franchise to that list when he takes on Star Wars Episode VII.  Questions have already begun to float around the internet.  Can he handle both Star Trek & Star Wars?

XTRA | The Number 1 Reason Why J.J Abrams is Perfect for Star Wars Episode VII

Given his track record, I think he’s more than earned a shot at the Mouse House that George Lucas built.  Now that he is officially directing Episode 7, I thought it would be great to look back on my favorite projects he’s been a part of.  There are many.  I had to focus on the projects I’ve actually seen so series like Felicity are absent from my list.  Regardless, there was plenty more to choose from while scanning his IMDB page.

With Star Trek Into Darkness around the corner and Star Wars Episode VII on the horizon, the best is yet to come.

14. REVOLUTION

TV Series (Producer)

I tried to get into this series when it premiered in 2012 but I just couldn’t.  It made this list purely on the ambition that fuels each episode.

13. JOY RIDE

Producer

This was a movie I rented long ago with some friends and really enjoyed it.  I had no idea he was a producer.

12. ARMAGEDDON

Co-Writer

I may be wrong but this appears to be J.J Abrams first foray into space! Many people dislike the film & Michael Bay but I’m a fan.  Armageddon is an epic action story co-written by J.J Abrams.  It’s one of those movies you spot scanning the TV guide and before you know it, you watched the whole thing.  Especially if it’s a Sunday and you have nothing else to do.  Explosions.  Space.  Brainless entertainment.

11. ALCATRAZ

TV Series (Producer)

I liked Alcatraz and was disappointed when they cancelled it after a single season.  I think a big part of the problem was the lack of answers.  With Lost, J.J Abrams and co. got away with it.  People weren’t willing to wait this time and I’ll admit the show was a tad frustrating at times.  That doesn’t mean I wasn’t interested in the answers.

10. THE OFFICE – COCKTAILS

TV Episode (Director)

I’m obsessed with The Office.  I’m still coming to terms with Michael Scott’s departure and the upcoming series finale.  I had no idea J.J Abrams directed an episode back in 2007.  It’s no surprise it involved big character moments like Roy finding out Pam kissed Jim.

8. PERSON OF INTEREST

TV Series (Producer)

My wife and I loved the first season of this show.  It seemed like a simple tale at first following a villain of the week structure.  Slowly, we became fascinated by the characters.  I haven’t had a chance to catch up on season two yet but it’s on the list.

9. ALIAS

TV Series (Producer, writer)

Arguably the series that really put J.J Abrams on the map.  (Or at least nerd’s maps.)

7. MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: GHOST PROTOCOL

Producer

Brad Bird’s first live action movie was extremely entertaining and a worthy follow up to the third installment directed by J.J Abrams.

XTRA | Inside the edit: Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol Trailer

6. CLOVERFIELD

Producer

One of the first film’s to truly showcase J.J Abrams’ secretive approach.  The marketing campaign’s behind Cloverfield and later Super 8 were phenomenal.  I couldn’t wait to see these monster movies.

5. FRINGE

TV Series (Producer, writer)

I’m in the middle of Season 3 on DVD right now so don’t ruin anything!

4. MISSION IMPOSSIBLE 3

Director

One of my favorite opening scenes of all time.  Owen Davian vs Ethan Hunt.

3. STAR TREK

Director

I was never a big Star Trek fan growing up.  Yet, J.J Abrams created a Star Trek I loved and ignited my interest in the legacy that came before the reboot.

2. SUPER 8

Writer/Director

My favorite movie of 2011.  An astounding movie about young kids making movies together and the monster they discover in the process.  It’s exactly how I grew up…  Except there was no monster.

XTRA | Super 8 Unspoiled

1. LOST

TV Series (Producer, writer)

I didn’t see an episode of Lost until a few months before Season 5 premiered.  A friend of mine loaned me his DVDs and I absolutely crushed every disc like it was my job.  For weeks I would attempt to watch ONE episode but I couldn’t resist hitting play again.  Lost is one of my favorite television shows of all time.  It also changed the way we looked at scripted television forever.

Years after it’s finale, we are still hoping to find the next ‘Lost’ every Fall.

SPOILER WARNING: Don’t click play if you haven’t seen Lost.  It just happens to be my favorite promo for the show.

What’s your favorite J.J Abrams project?

Click here for more Movie Countdowns

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Eric’s Top 10 Films of 2012

January 23, 2013 at 7:55 am

Eric's Top 10 Movies of 2012

List by Eric Gamache

I’ve known Eric a long time and always look forward to his best of lists.  Most of the time our lists are very different but this year there were many we agreed on.  Over the years, he’s introduced me to countless classics I may have missed and I’ve grown to truly respect his taste in movies.

Here they are his favorites of 2012:

10. SKYFALL

9. ARGO

8. LOOPER

7. SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK

6. DJANGO UNCHAINED

5. THE MASTER

4. ZERO DARK THIRTY

3. LINCOLN

2. MOONRISE KINGDOM

1. AMOUR

XTRA | Four movies he missed: Anna Karinina, Cloud Atlas, Flight, The Impossible

XTRA | Check out Eric’s site here.

Check out my 9 part recap of 2012 including my favorites of the year here.

Click here for more Movie Countdowns

 

Eric's Top 10 Movies of 2012