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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Out Now with Aaron and Abe: Episode 24 – Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark



This week’s episode of Out Now with Aaron and Abe probably will not require the lights to be on, as it is not very scary; much like the main feature of the week – Don’t be Afraid of the Dark, the new haunted house thriller from producer Guillermo del Toro.  Joining Aaron and Abe in their discussion of the film is friend of the show Adam Gentry, who did not actually see the film, but more or less happened to luck into this week’s episode and participate in the discussion anyway.  Along with the feature review, the other regular segments of the show are present as well, which includes box office talk, a discussion of a few movie trailers (Immortals and Straw Dogs), a retro review discussion – which is very Guillermo del Tor centric, games, and some other fun stuff.

Of course, in addition to this episode, there are many more episodes to be found on iTunes, as well as on the hosted site, The HHWLOD Podcast Network, and still at outnow.podomatic.com for mainly the newest episodes and some exclusives.  One can also learn more at the official Facebook page for Out Now, facebook.com/outnowpodcast (“like” it), which features updates from Aaron and Abe’s personal blogs, other random posts, and some photo albums.  Finally, feel free to e-mail the show at outnowpodcast@gmail.com with any sort of feedback or add an iTunes review. 
 
So now, if you’ve got an hour to kill…

Saturday, August 27, 2011

‘Our Idiot Brother’ Is A Pretty Nice Guy


Our Idiot Brother: 3 ½ out of 5
Ned:  I like to think that if you put your trust out there; if you really give people the benefit of the doubt, see their best intentions, people will rise to the occasion.
In Our Idiot Brother, Paul Rudd is able to do something few actors can in the opening minutes of the film.  He makes us instantly like him.  His character’s hippy-ish, Dude-like persona is non-grating and adorable, despite the fact that his character, Ned, makes some poor choices.  It is just too bad he has to deal with three nearly-shrewish sisters.  Ned’s siblings tend to make him a punching bag of sorts in a film that is not quite biting, but is certainly meaner in spirit than it is in actually watching it.  The film does manage to be quite funny and features a great cast, but its incredibly laid back attitude and willingness to rest all of charm on Rudd’s shoulders makes the film a bit uneven.  Our Idiot Brother has a very 70s way of keeping its meandering story watchable, even when its fairly trite wrap-up comes into play.

‘Colombiana’ Is Sexy, Violent, And Average


Colombiana = 3 out of 5
Cataleya:  My parents were murdered when I was 9, in front of me. 
Colombiana is the latest action/thriller from French producer Luc Besson.  For those unfamiliar, Besson was the director responsible for wonderful action films such as Leon (The Professional) and La Femme Nakita, but has since been known for producing a slew of slick and simple action films such as The Transporter series and Taken.  As usual, it seems as if Besson simply had an idea during a meal and wrote it down on a napkin, only to have one of his French protégé’s develop a whole film around it.  Colombiana does not win many points for originality, but it does manage to be a serviceable action film with the great presence of Zoe Saldana in the lead role.  After serving as strong female characters in films like Avatar and The Losers, Saldana now has the chance to headline an action film of her own and she manages to be the one element that keeps this film’s head above water.

Friday, August 26, 2011

You Can Keep Your Eyes Open, ‘The Dark’ Isn’t Very Scary


Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark = 2 out of 5
Harris:  This house is not safe for a child.
The haunted house horror sub-genre has seen resurgence lately; with films like Paranormal Activity and Insidious providing fresh and clever takes on material that has been done quite a bit in the past.  Hell, even last week’s Fright Night, a vampire film, managed to provide a house of horrors for its characters.  Don’t be Afraid of the Dark is a new horror film produced and co-written by the horror/creature-obsessed filmmaker Guillermo Del Toro.  His idea was to remake the original made for TV film of the same name, as it terrified him as a child.  With plenty of options at his disposal; a talented cast, a great setting, Del Toro’s own eye for creature design, and a malicious cold open, it would seem that this film has everything set to provide for a spooky story.  Unfortunately, even with a solid bag of tricks, the magicians at work didn’t make their illusions at all spectacular.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Out Now with Aaron and Abe: Episode 23 – Fright Night



This week’s episode of Out Now with Aaron and Abe takes a look at the new release –Fright Night, the remake of the 1985 horror/comedy of the same name.  Joining Aaron and Abe is friend of the show Mark Hobin, who provides his own (well stated) two cents about the film.  As usual, the group discusses a couple movie trailers (The Thing and Paranormal Activity 3), followed by the main review, a look at the box office results, and some retro reviews.  There is also a game, but before that, Aaron touches on some of what he was able to see at Disney’s D23 Expo, which took place during the past weekend and featured some looks at new Avengers and Pixar-related stuff. 

Of course, in addition to this episode, there are many more episodes to be found on iTunes, as well as on the hosted site, The HHWLOD Podcast Network, and still at outnow.podomatic.com for mainly the newest episodes and some exclusives.  One can also learn more at the official Facebook page for Out Now, facebook.com/outnowpodcast (“like” it), which features updates from Aaron and Abe’s personal blogs, other random posts, and some photo albums.  Finally, feel free to e-mail the show at outnowpodcast@gmail.com with any sort of feedback or add an iTunes review.  

So now, if you’ve got an hour to kill…

Saturday, August 20, 2011

‘Conan’: It’s Like Watching A LARP Match, But Gorier!


Conan The Barbarian: 2 out of 5
Conan:  I live.  I love.  I slay.  I am content.
Conan the Barbarian gives the viewer everything that they would be expecting…if they did not have their expectations very high.  The movie has plenty of macho ridiculousness and is filled to the brim with violence and CG blood and gore.  It is not a good movie by any means, but I did laugh a lot.  Once you see your lead character literally born on the battlefield, delivered via C-section by your father’s own sword, there are few things to do but have a good laugh at the whole thing.  Really, the only question I have to ask is why did this movie need to carry on for nearly two hours?  I guess it was to ensure the delivery of all the “aaaarrrrggghhhs” in the movie.  An “aaaarrrrrggghhh” that isn’t long enough isn’t worth delivering.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Go Forth And Have The ‘Fright Night’ Of Your Life


Fright Night = 4 out of 5
Ed:  Yeah, he’s a vampire.
Charley:  That’s a terrible vampire name.  Jerry?
I am happy when my optimism is met with pleasing results.  The idea of remaking the 1985 vampire horror/comedy Fright Night seemed like fairly solid idea in my eyes.  There’s a structure to that story that could easily serve as a template for a modern update.  I can’t say that I was initially sold on the trailer, as I thought the original’s tone may have been lost in the shuffle; however the buzz that was building and the panel I saw at San Diego Comic Con kept me hopeful.  Now having seen it, I can easily say this new take on Fright Night was one of the more enjoyable films I have seen this summer in terms of having a fun, R-rated time at the movies, with both thrills and laughs being spread around.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Out Now with Aaron and Abe – Episode 22: 30 Minutes or Less

This week’s episode of Out Now with Aaron and Abe has a nice way of shaking things up, as Aaron and Abe bring on friends Leah Ducey and Susan Moua to have the ultimate battle of the sexes…Ok, so that doesn’t happen, but the group does discuss the new action-comedy 30 Minutes or Less.  Along with that discussion, the guys and gals also get into their top 5 favorite movies of the year so far.  The regular segments of the show are present as well, including our “know everybody” portion, trailer talk (A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas 3D and The Sitter), box office results and predictions, and the retro reviews.

Of course, in addition to this episode, there are many more episodes to be found on iTunes, as well as on the hosted site, The HHWLOD Podcast Network, and still at outnow.podomatic.com for mainly the newest episodes (and some exclusives).  One can also learn more at the official Facebook page for Out Now, facebook.com/outnowpodcast (“like” it and you have a chance to win a contest), which features updates from Aaron and Abe’s personal blogs, other random posts, and some photo albums, including logo concept designs!  Finally, feel free to e-mail the show at outnowpodcast@gmail.com with any sort of feedback or submit a review on iTunes. 

So now, if you’ve got an hour to kill…

Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Franchise Returns With This ‘Final Destination’


Final Destination 5:  3 out of 5
Molly:  Who dies while getting a massage?
Much like many horror movie franchises that carry on to have a ridiculous number of sequels, the Final Destination series seemed to have passed the point of parody at this point; or at least so I thought.  While I have been indifferent to the series that I refer to as Death’s Mouse Trap, as it tries its hardest to fit into the world of Rube Goldberg, I have to admit that I was surprised as to how much I appreciated this fourth sequel in the series.  While still over the top in how elaborate the deaths in the film are presented, the film actually handles its tone with a level of seriousness that I could get behind, while reveling in some of its dark humor.  Adding to that are some fresh ideas that help distinguish this film from its predecessors, not to mention its ingenious ending.  While I am not suggesting everyone needs to race out and see it, Final Destination 5 should certainly please fans of the series and fans of mindless horror alike.

Aaron and His Mom Get Wrapped Up in ‘Anaconda’

Gary: There's something down there.
Paul Sarone: I know.
Gary: No, I really MEAN it.
Paul Sarone: I really mean it, too.
[Note:  This is in no way a traditional episode of “Out Now with Aaron and Abe” and won’t even go to iTunes.  I guess that makes it an exclusive to my blog and at the Out Now Podomatic site, so enjoy.]

My mom and I are back with another recorded conversation concerning a random horror movie.  Previously, I recorded the mega-popular Human Centipede episode with her, as I felt that movie was far beyond my reach in terms of supplying an appropriate review by regular means.  As that conversation proved to be incredibly well received (far beyond what either myself or my mother could have comprehended) and because we had such a good time talking about it, I decided to take it upon myself to do something similar.  Judging by how much fun it proved to be again, I only hope to continue having these fun conversations with my mom, who was equally excited about participating.

Friday, August 12, 2011

’30 Minutes Or Less’ Wasn’t Quite A Speedy Delivery


30 Minutes Or Less:  2 ½ out of 5
Chet:  Put your hands up and get on the ground.
Nick:  Wait, how can they put their hands up and get on the ground.
Chet:  Good point.
Maybe I should have been eating pizza while watching the movie.  For a breezy “action-comedy” that only lasts 83 minutes, I really don’t think there should have been as much down time as there was.  30 Minutes or Less has the kind of high concept premise that seemed good for a fun flick.  It is a simple enough story and has enough talent within the cast to have made for a solid summer comedy.  Unfortunately, the film is kind of all over the place in terms of its tone and the performances.  There are some very funny parts and there are also some exciting parts, but unfortunately, there are also slow parts and weak parts.  In a summer that has had a lot of solid R-rated comedies, 30 Minutes or Less lands in a decidedly “meh” sort of realm, as it is quite late in its delivery.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Out Now with Aaron and Abe - Episode 21: Rise of the Planet of the Apes


“I love you Dr. Zaius”.  Alright, this week’s episode features Aaron, Abe, and special guest Alan Aguilera (back again, two weeks in a row) for another Triple A episode, as the group discusses Rise of the Planet of the Apes.  The latest entry in the Planet of the Apes franchise, which serves as a restart to the series continuity and stars James Franco as the lead human character and Andy Serkis as the lead non-human (motion-capture work for Caesar).  Along with the main review of the film, as usual, several segments surround this area, as the gang gets to know each other with some random film questions and discusses some new trailers (In Time and Contagion).  Additionally, following the review, as per usual, there is box office talk and predictions, a retro review segment, and the return of some old games.

Of course, in addition to this episode, there are many more episodes to be found on iTunes, as well as on the hosted site, The HHWLOD Podcast Network, and still at outnow.podomatic.com for mainly the newest episodes.  One can also learn more at the official Facebook page for Out Now, facebook.com/outnowpodcast (“like” it), which features updates from Aaron and Abe’s personal blogs, other random posts, and some photo albums, including logo concept designs!  Finally, feel free to e-mail the show at outnowpodcast@gmail.com with any sort of feedback or submit a review on iTunes.  So now, if you’ve got an hour to kill…

Monday, August 8, 2011

‘Bellflower’ Ignites Apocalyptic Indie Romance

Belllflower:  3 out of 5
Woodrow:  Alright here we go…wait, what if it blows up or something?
Aiden:  Then we’re gonna be on fire.
Woodrow:  Ok.
It is interesting to take in an indie film such as this.  On the one hand, it is a dream for lovelorn mechanical engineers, as the film is a love story or sorts and was literally made with homemade cameras and revolves around a car customized and built for this film.  On the other hand, it takes a lot of the goodwill setup very well in the first half and descends into bleakness that may put off a lot of people.  It is admirable to see all of the work from first time filmmaker Evan Glodell that went into this picture, but the massive tonal shifts and experimental filmmaking are sure to alienate some viewers.  Regardless, one thing is for sure – the car they built for this film is pretty freaking awesome.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Reynolds And Bateman ‘Change-Up’ During One Big Freaky Friday


The Change-Up:  3 out of 5
Mitch:  Dave and I both had big plans in mind when we were young.  Dave wanted to be an astronaut and I wanted to sell dolphins on the black market.
Studio Head:  Man, remember back in the 80s when all of those body-switching comedy movies were really popular?  We made tons of money then.  Do we have any ideas like that out there now?  Studio Plot Pitcher:  Well sir, there are some big, big comedies recently, which have all benefited from having an R-rating, as if we were back in another time or something.  What if we took the best of both worlds and made a crude, R-rated, body-switching comedy?  Studio Head:  …You know what I think?  I think you’re going to get a promotion!  Studio Plot Pitcher:  That’s nice to hear sir.  I had two actors in mind, who are both likable and funny.  Jason Bateman and Ryan Reynolds both have a knack for specific characters and are opposites of each other.  They could play two guys that “change-up” their personalities for an amount of time, before learning a lesson.  Studio Head:  Did you say “Change-Up”?  If you did, I think we just found our title!  Reynolds and Bateman huh?  Sounds good, even if the film does not take much intelligence to come up with, at least we have two solid leads that can deliver plenty of material for us to edit around.  Studio Plot Pitcher:  Agreed sir, I’ll make the calls, you write the checks.

Apes Will ‘Rise’, Caesar Will Lead


Rise of the Planet of the Apes:  4 out of 5
Will:  Hey, we’re not going home right now, but I will get you out of here.  You have to trust me.  Caesar, you have to trust me.
A world dominated by apes became the fascination of many back in 1968, when the original Planet of the Apes opened.  The sci-fi classic went on to spawn 4 sequels, two television series, and the 2001 re-imagining of the film, directed by Tim Burton.  Regardless of the mixed opinions concerning the most recent entry, 20th Century Fox seemed to not be able to get their stinking paws off of this franchise, as we now have another re-imagining/remake of sorts.  While having a lot in common with the fourth film in the original series, Conquest of the Planet of the Apes, Rise of the Planet of the Apes is a new origin story for the series, with a fresh take on establishing its timeline continuity.  It also happens to be a supremely entertaining film that combines great special effects work with a building tale of revolution.  While it may have some weaker elements involving the human side of things, this is a film that manages to keep its story and action compelling, serving as a smarter than average summer movie.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Planet of the Apes Recap: From Chimpan-A to Chimpan-Zee



Last year I managed to snag the entire Planet of the Apes collection on Blu-ray thanks to an Amazon Gold Box deal.  On August 5, the newest installment in the series, a reboot/prequel/remake – Rise of the Planet of the Apes (that’s a mouthful) arrives in theaters.  Obviously this became a good reason to gather some friends and revisit this cult classic franchise.  Having now done so, I have decided to weigh in with some brief thoughts about each installment.  While not all of the films are great, I do have an appreciation for the series as a whole and enjoy the themes and ideas presented in each one of them.  Regardless of some of the silliness associated with the series (which includes the Ape masks that I actually really love), it is one that I really quite enjoy.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Out Now with Aaron and Abe – Episode 20: Cowboys & Aliens and Attack the Block


This week’s episode of Out Now is coming at you this week with a double header, as Aaron, Abe, and special guest Alan Aguilera discuss two different genre mash-up films.  First up is Cowboys & Aliens, the new Jon Favreau directed Sci-Fi/Western starring James Bond and Indiana Jones.  The second review is for the future cult classic, Attack the Block, a British alien invasion film.  Before getting to the reviews, however, there is the matter of some of the regular segments, including “know your guest” and “trailer talk”.  Trailer talk consists of enthusiastic praise for what I can only describe as the upcoming naval comedy - Battleship along with some discussion of Disney’s John Carter.  While we do skip over games again this week, in favor of the second film review, the other usual segments are still around, including box office results and predictions, along with some retro reviews.

Of course, in addition to this episode, there are many more episodes to be found on iTunes, as well as on the hosted site, The HHWLOD Podcast Network, and still at outnow.podomatic.com for mainly the newest episodes.  One can also learn more at the official Facebook page for Out Now, facebook.com/outnowpodcast (“like” it), which features updates from Aaron and Abe’s personal blogs, other random posts, and some photo albums, including logo concept designs!  Finally, feel free to e-mail the show at outnowpodcast@gmail.com with any sort of feedback.  So now, if you’ve got an hour to kill…


 

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