Saturday, November 6, 2010

This blog is no more, because...


Now all you have to do is go to www.paracinema.net for all the great online content you've come to know and love. We're bringing our football and portable CD player!!! A great time will be had by all. Come see us at our new home!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

"Blahblahblah Whale Watching Massacre"


It's actually Reykjavik Whale Watching Massacre. I've just been pronouncing it wrong, so I typed it the way I say it out loud. I came across the trailer the other day on Twitch. I was super intrigued and wanted to share.

It's an Icelandic film, so I mean, that's cool. There is also a lot of blood spitting in the trailer. I'm a fan of mouth blood. Actually, there seems to be quite a bit of blood and gore in general. I'm OK with that, I just hope it isn't super over the top and bordering on goofy. Twitch and imdb have a September release date in Iceland. I look forward to it hitting the states.




Matt was obviously taken with the trailer and badass poster as well.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Walter Cronkite vs. Master Control Program



1916 - 2009
Rest in peace Mr. Cronkite.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

If you happen to be in LA this August...

Our good pal Jason Cuadrado has an epically amazing short that is going to appear in the HollyShorts Film Festival August 8-13. The film is called Monstrous Nature and here is a synopsis:
Angela (Camillia Sanes) has been kidnapped from her church and dragged into the middle of the woods. She wakes up handcuffed to Paul (Gary Perez) who wants her help to free him from his violent, murderous nature. But it's not prayer he needs from Angela... As the night goes on and the full moon rises, it becomes dangerous clear that Angela will have to choose between her faith and her life. Can she survive long enough to deliver him from the beast inside him?

Here is my official blah blah blahing on this film:
Monstrous Nature is the perfect example of how powerful a short film can be. Clocking in at 15 minutes, MN depicts the internal struggles of an obviously disturbed man. This is a classic premise that proves to be powerful in its simplicity. Writer/director Jason Cuadrado effortlessly creates an atmosphere that is filled with foreboding and thick with dread.

The lean 2 person cast delivers expertly written dialogue that is ripe with emotion. Creating multidimensional characters that viewers actually care for is not an easy feat. It’s an even more difficult task to accomplish in a mere 15 minutes.

MN is, at its heart, a character driven story. What separates it from the pack is the perfectly executed supernatural element. The practical effects are on par with a much larger budget film. MN knows its strengths and uses them wisely. Cuadrado has effectively created a tight 15 minutes of film that will leave the viewer wanting more.


This short seriously blew my mind! Jason Cuadrado is a director to watch. He is insanely talented and one of our biggest cheerleaders. If you are in the LA area I highly recommend checking this out! I will be sure to post any new festival dates as I find out about them. You can find out more about Monstrous Nature here and check out screening info here .

Dance Dance Revolution

Oh man, this trailer is dope. I just posted the teaser for Raging Phoenix a little while ago, and while that was a pretty cool glimpse at what the movie will be like, this trailer really shows you the amount of potential to be found when mixing Martial Arts and hip-hop. Check out the new trailer after these words...



First off, did you see that guy using "the worm" to fend off foes?! The fighting styles look so cool, and the mix of dancing and fighting have a very Drunken Boxing look to them. I love Drunken Boxing. This trailer has me extremely excited to see Raging Phoenix, and has also inspired me to finally buy that breakdance instructional video I've always wanted...

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Raging Phoenix

Oh the joy and the happiness found in me bones when I ran into the teaser for Raging Phoenix (Du Suay Doo), the newest film staring Thai Martial Arts super sensation, JeeJa Yanin. JeeJa made a huge splash onto the Martial Arts scene with her 2008 debut film, Chocolate. If you read my review of Chocolate, then you will already know that I loved that film, and even more, loved JeeJa Yanin as a young autistic girl on a path of sassy destruction. So, it should be easy to figure that I am wicked excited for a new film from her, and after seeing this newly released teaser for Director Rashane Limtrakul’s Raging Phoenix, I am even more pumped.

Not really sure as to what the story may actually be about, Raging Phoenix has a blend of hip hop music, hip hop dancing, and a romance between JeeJa’s character and her co-star Patrick Tang. Sounds so terrible, yet so fucking great! I will bank that this film will be much better than that one movie with Jet Li and Ashanti…but then again, walking in on your Nana while she’s taking a dump is better than that piece of crap film. Wiping (get it) away that visual and moving on, those are elements that haven’t gone all to well in previous films, and it sounds just plain terrible on paper, but on film, it looks like it could be pretty fun and semi different from your average Martial Arts film…namely one from Thailand. All right, enough of my yappin’ already, here is the teaser…



See that dude spinning around on his hands?! I thought it was Eddy from Tekken for a second there! You can see the hip-hop influence in some of the brief fighting moments, and they look great. Not sure, how far the hip-hop will go outside of maybe influencing the fighting style, I am kinda hoping it is like Breakin’ 2 Electric Boogaloo meets Chocolate, but that may be a wet dream never realized outside of my own slumber. No real romance to be found, but it is just a teaser for a movie that has the Chocolate hype behind it, so keeping with the fighting elements is probably just a marketing thing. Either way, JeeJa is dope, so isn’t this teaser, and I cannot wait for Raging Phoenix to make its way into my DVD player. It is set to be released in Thailand on August 12th of this year, so hopefully with the popularity of Chocolate; Raging Phoenix is on the fast track to a stateside release.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Thanks For the Ride Lady!

As a director, Stuart Gordon is still relevant and has transcended many a horror director of his generation by not being afraid to color outside the lines of conventional fright films. However, Gordon never strays too far, always keeping the horror within an earshot in various ways. Be it the violence of King of the Ants, the depravity of Edmond, or the story of a man Stuck inside a woman’s car windshield after a hit and run automobile accident.

2007’s Stuck is a Stuart Gordon vehicle (see what I just did there?!) with a plot that in one way is as simple as that, a man stuck in a windshield and left to die. However, as it turns out, Stuck is also a deeply layered character study that goes beyond your average black comedy.

Loosely based off of an insane, yet very true story, Stuck follows two main characters; Tom (Stephen Rea), who has recently run into some very tough times in his life. Tom has been evicted from his apartment just before an interview at a job placement agency, that due to an unfortunate computer error is botched and leaves Tom with no chance of getting a job. This series of events results in Tom being homeless and sleeping on a park bench. Then there’s ghetto superstar Brandi (Mena Suvari), who works as a nursing home aide and is being considered for a huge promotion at her job. Brandi celebrates this good news by going out to da club and getting cocked with here “bad news bear” boy toy/drug dealer, Rashid (Russell Hornsby), who feeds her ecstasy throughout the night.

On her way home to meet with Rashid for some of that good lovin‘, a wasted Brandi swerves all over the road as she is blasted and on her cell phone not paying any attention to the road. This is when Brandi and Tom first meet, unfortunately for Tom, it’s because she hits him with her car head on, resulting in Tom being lodged head first in the windshield. Over the limit, and not sure what to do about it, Brandi drives home and parks her new human enhanced hybrid in the garage, leaving Tom to die as she tries to figure out what to do about the situation. Instead of resolving the problem, Brandi takes some more “E” and sticks with her original plan of getting some of that Rashid action, only to wake up the next morning to find Tom still alive in her windshield. Afraid to ruin her possible new promotion (and essentially her life) because of drunk driving, Brandi leaves Tom to die while she tries to devise a plan to get rid of the evidence, thus keeping her out of trouble. All the while, Tom tries to hold on to dear life and survive this tragic ordeal any way he can, as he is once again in a situation that he cannot control.

I’ll start by saying that Stuck is a very black comedy, that while being a horrible situation, is a situation that is open to some humor. Outside of a few scenes and a funny opening at the old folks home set to some tight hip hop music, I wouldn’t consider Stuck’s humor to be very in your face as the comedy elements are “mostly” naturalistic and more about the naivety and lack of compassion from Brandi’s character. Once scene has Tom reaching for and honking the car horn, Brandi desperately tries to stop him and in an evil turn, knocks him out with a 2x4. My favorite line in the film happens soon after that, when Brandi gets in the car and looks Tom dead in the eyes and says, “Why are you doing this to me?” That line made me chuckle quite a bit. Only thing that would have been better, is if Brandy in her best Arnold impression told Tom to "Stick around."

Of course, with a situation involving a man trapped in a windshield, there are some gruesome moments in Stuck. The initial car accident is pretty awesome looking with how its shot and is kinda frightening when it happens. Though a little on the fake side with the windshield glass breaking into big shards instead of spider webbing like a windshield does in real life. Nevertheless, it’s still very cool looking, incorrect or not. Another scene has Tom trying to reach a cell phone left in the car by Brandi, but a broken windshield wiper is jammed into the side of his abdomen causing him great pain. Tom (with very little leverage) tries to lift his body and dislodge the wiper blade, and while you don’t actually see it in his skin because of his clothing, its still a painful scene to watch. One other scene that was very cool and somewhat gruesome is one that I wont go into details about, because it’s spoiler city. I’ll just say that it proves that the pen truly is mightier than the sword…you’ll know what I’m talking about if you see the film. Same goes for the justified, ironic, and very entertaining ending that had me wearing a shit eating grin and loving every minute of Stucks finale.

I can safely say that I really enjoyed Stuck for its humorous moments, and its horrific scenes, but the thing I like most about the film is the characters of Tom and Brandi, and how there lives are on opposite ends of the spectrum.

Brandi’s life is going perfectly, she’s young and full of life, she is doing great at work with the possibility of a promotion and she even has landed the man of “her” dreams in Rashid. Her life is on the up rise and only looking to get better, that is until her chance meeting with Tom. Tom on the other hand is as low as it gets, he’s old and worn out, he’s jobless, homeless, and defeated. It would seem that Tom’s life couldn’t get any worse, that is until he literally runs into Brandi. Now Brandi’s life can only get worse, while Tom’s can only get better…unless he dies that is. The two characters are complete opposites in their respected times in life, but in their encounter, everything changes and goes in a different direction for each of them. I really liked this aspect of Stuck and found it to be very smart on Gordon’s (who wrote it) part to have the characters be so contrasting.

Tom’s character is even more developed, intricate, and metaphoric than in his comparison to Brandi. The metaphor is as simple as a man whose life has gone to complete shit; he is so down in the dumps and has almost completely given up on life. He is figuratively stuck in a bad situation that he can’t get himself out of and then literally stuck when trapped in the cars windshield. This of course gives the character another arc, where no matter how bad everything has gone for this man, he still want’s to live, and he will fight as hard as he can to survive his biggest road block in life. This would seem to be a (very harsh) turning point in Tom’s life, where he tries to find the strength to make it through this impossible ordeal, as opposed to just giving up as he had done before when faced with a tough challenge.

I guess you could make a similar case for Brandi’s character that had everything going right for her, but now everything is spinning out of her control as her life is crumbling before her very own eyes. She finds out that Rashid isn’t all that faithful to her (in what is another very funny scene); her career is in jeopardy, along with possibly her freedom if she is found to have committed such a crime. She too is stuck in a situation that she cannot control, and has no idea how to deal with it all. In addition, as with Tom, this is Brandi’s life altering turning point, where she is trying to fight to keep her world from going down the proverbial toilet.

Pretty brilliant character development if you ask me.

So, with a film that for me works as a solid black comedy, I found it to be a nice surprise to have such a well developed set of characters that pushed Stuck up a few notches in the “I like this movie” category. And I did very much enjoy the film and pretty much love most of what Stuart Gordon has done all throughout his career as he is doing some solid films, and I anticipate anything he works on (AND I CANNOT WAIT FOR HOUSE OF RE-ANIMATOR!). I can feel confident in suggesting Stuck to any fan of Gordon’s work, to any fan of good black comedies, and to anyone that likes complex characters, development, and depth in their films.
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