DVD Review – McCanick (2013)

David Morse and the late Cory Monteith both star in the dark crime drama McCanick. The story focuses on a shitty day in the lives of narcotic detectives. Morse plays the leading role of Eugene McCanick, the cop with the dark past which comes back to haunt him when his partner is killed covering for McCanick.

A face from McCanick’s past reappears in the form Simon Weeks (‘Glee‘ actor Cory Monteith) and this is where the film gets dark and unfortunately dull.

It’s taken me all week to figure out a positive way to review this movie, it’s clearly a clinic for David Morse – 90% of his career he always seems to be the asshole bad guy who either is stalking and/ or killing nosy neighbours.

McCanick is the second feature length film from director Josh C. Waller (Raze), who can deliver a dark and disturbing tale, but I couldn’t help but continually find myself switching off during the flick. I tried to focus, honestly!

The biggest deal coming out of this film is the fact that it was the last acting gig released from ‘Glee‘ star Cory Monteith, just check the trivia pages.

1/5

DVD Review – Sake-Bomb (2013)

Sake-Bomb follows the journey of Naoto (Gaku Hamada), a factory worker on the brink of a big promotion. His mentor insists that he takes a leave of absence and tie up any loose ends before he commits the rest of his life towards crafting sake.

Naoto decides to fly to America in search of a missing loved one; his first stop is with his family from across the pond. His cousin Sebastian (Eugene Kim) thinks of himself as a minor internet celebrity. On his website his persona ‘FOB (Fresh off the Boat) Mother Fucker’ destroys Asian stereotypes through a series of online videos.

Sebastian is going through some relationship troubles of his own and when reunited with his naive cousin they find themselves on a road trip across the country where they find out that they aren’t all that different.

Sake-Bomb is a fresh exciting mixture of a fish out of water and the classic American road movie. The style is of a Japanese indie movie set amongst a San Francisco backdrop. The filmmakers throw together plenty of current trends like geeky cosplayers, poking fun at race awareness; Don’t Y’all Look-a-like?

Some parts of the movie are very well played and some of the characters in the latter half of the film are a little cringeworthy. The leading actors knock it out the park; this is Eugene Kim’s film 100%, Gaku Hamada is a great wing man, but it’s Kim who steals the film and captures our imagination. He has great on screen energy with most of the cast, whether he’s teaching life lessons to Naoto or is winding the ticket of his ex-girlfriend’s roommates. We get a little more depth from him when he is paired with Twilight actress Marlene Barnes who is a indie comic book writer who sofa surfs across the state pushing her books.

The UK release of the DVD features two Q&A sessions with director Junya Sakino, taking place at the Raindance Film Festival and the Terracotta Far East Film Festival. We’re also treated to trailers and a short film on the infamous porno Yellow Curry On White Rice as well trailers from the Third Window Films back catalogue.

3/5

DVD Review – Devil’s Tower (2014)

Devil’s Tower tells the story of Sarah (Roxanne Pallett), a young woman who is made homeless after a fight with her mother. The council gives her a flat in some rather ominous tenement block filled with squatters, thugs and a top floor that one shouldn’t tread upon.

A power cut strikes on the first night in her home which leads to the death of her next door neighbour’s husband. This could have been treated as a horrible accident, if it wasn’t for the previous murder/ suicide pact that happened the week before to the previous occupants of Sarah’s flat… (ooooh!). If that wasn’t bad enough she also befriends a squatter (Jason Mewes) who breaks into her flat! The American born hobo is known as Sid and they attempt to have a normal friendship, but when going to her neighbour’s party, the night turns into a bloodbath.

The buxom Roxanne Pallett stars in this low budget ‘gore-ror’ film alongside Kevin Smith’s sidekick Jason Mewes for a what seems to be the most fucked up after school special you’ll see in a long time. The supernatural presence in the film, this creature watching over them all just took me straight back to the days of watching ‘The Demon Headmaster‘ on BBC One! Although a third of the cast weren’t Page 3 models in white t-shirts drenched in blood.

The short running time of this film could be its saviour; it’s only on for 1 hour and 20 minutes which helps since the film comes with minimal acting. It isn’t until the last twenty minutes where the film stops focusing on several couples attempting to bonk in the one bedroom in an empty building and the partygoers go apeshit and become bloodthirsty, rage-filled monsters straight out of a Danny Boyle film.

On a positive note this film is a little independent achievement, they seemed to have gotten away with a lot for a film with little to no-budget.

2/5

EP 105 – Lord of the Flies (1990)

WE’VE GOT TO GO BACK TO THE ISLAND JACK!! Sorry, had a moment there. Tonight Stoo and Andy are discussing Harry Hook’s Lord of the Flies – you know, that film we all had to watch in English class, back in high school? Aye, that one!

Edinburgh International Film Festival 2016 – Yoga Hosers (2016)

Set in in a small convenience store in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, Yoga Hosers tells the story of two teenage clerks called Colleen! Colleen C (Lily-Rose Melody Depp) and Colleen M (Harley Quinn Smith) are best friends, when given a chance, they abandon their post in Colleen C’s fathers store and get up to hijinks; y’know, have a jam session in the stock room covering Anthrax songs etc. Their little minds are blown when they are invited to a senior house party by two classmates!

After managing to piss off Colleen C’s step-mother they find themselves behind the counter of the Eh-to-Zed on a Friday night missing their house party. They have a sudden brainstorm and decide, if they can’t come to the party, the party can come to the Eh-to-Zed! Eh!

That’s the basic premise of the plot from the girls perspective, what’s going on in the real world is that there is a string of mystery murders around Winnipeg, bodies found torn to shreds. These murders have caught of the attention of French-Canadian oddity Guy Lapointe. After publishing the story behind him and the ‘Manitoba Man-i-tee’ he questions the Colleens about the latest mystery murder victim who shopped Eh-To-Zed prior to his murder.

I don’t want to give away all the hooks, but the trailer does reveal the Colleens wielding hockey sticks battering little sausage people dressed as Nazis. My opinion on the film is largely positive, but I’ve followed Smiths career since Clerks II and I’m fanboy – so my opinion must be biased, right? It would be interesting I was able to watch this and have no association to Smiths world, I would easily write it off as something completely foreign and bizarre.

The acting in the film can be described in the girls on words; Basic. No-one should be going into this expecting Oscar award worthy performances, it’s aimed for kids, so comparing this with the shows parents are subjected to on Disney Channel or Nickelodeon – we’re not worried about sweeping performances, although Ralph Garman steals it, you’ll know him when you see him. I did love the insta’ character profile and the multicoloured transitions between scenes it gave me flash backs to the video game themes used in Scott Pilgrim vs. The World.

The tagline on the poster is A Movie for Kids from the Director of ‘Clerks’ and ‘Tusk.’ Kevin Smith explains that it’s aimed at Tweens. I think it’s the kind of film that their parents probably won’t want their to watch; poop jokes, swearing, flipping the bird (so much birds being flipped!) and the little sausage Nazi people! This could earn the film an edge in pop culture, kids passing around the bootleg VHS during their science class or nowadays dropboxing in it their hangouts (what am I typing!).

I highly recommend this film to Smiths podcast listeners (obviously 99% will be screaming at Smith to take their money), but the film is lacquered in references to Smiths podcasts, several notable cameo appearances and Hollywood Babble-On in particular listeners will be richly rewarded third act of the film.

Overall the film does have some warts on it, but this film is a riot for fans of Kevin Smith and his weird weed filtered world.

4/5

[Reviewed originally as part of 70th Edinburgh International Film Festival]