WEEKEND BOX OFFICE ESTIMATES JULY 29-31

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Complete estimates are in for the weekend box office

(Remember, clicking the highlighted links brings you to the reviews here at The Movie Madhouse!)

1. “Jason Bourne” $60 Million

2. “Star Trek Beyond” $24 Million

3. “Bad Moms” $23.4 Million

4. “The Secret Life Of Pets” $18.2 Million

5. “Lights Out” $10.8 Million

6. “Ice Age: Collision Course” $10.5 Million

7. “Ghostbusters” $9.8 Million

8. “Nerve” $9 Million

9. “Finding Dory” $4.2 Million

10. “The Legend Of Tarzan” $2.4 Million

 

source: Box Office Mojo

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HORROR YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED: IN THE DEEP (2016)

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IN THE DEEP (2016)

(Remember, clicking the highlighted links brings you to other reviews and articles here at The Movie Madhouse!)

Sisters Lisa (singer Mandy Moore) and Kate (Claire Holt) are on vacation in Mexico and decide to go on a boating excursion where they will spend time suspended underwater in a shark cage observing the local great white population. An equipment malfunction occurs during their dive and now the sisters are stranded 47 meters down and running out of oxygen. Worse still, the massive sharks they came to swim amongst surround them, making rescue or escape almost impossible. Will help arrive in time?…or will the sisters become the next meal for the hungry predators.

Originally titled 47 Meters Down, this is a fun and tense action/thriller from director Johannes Roberts (The Other Side Of The Door) which he co-wrote with Ernest Riera. Sure, there is suspension of disbelief and we could have used a bit more shark action, but Roberts keeps the flick moving fast at 87 minutes and the action of one kind or another is almost constant. There is some nice tension in the atmosphere and we get some engaging and suspenseful set-pieces throughout. It’s all very well staged and the underwater photography avoids being murky, so we never loose track of what is going on. Roberts’ sharks obviously pop up at the most inconvenient times and that adds to the fun and the filmmaker even has the audacity to play with our emotions a bit in the tense last act. And as there are sharks, there is some blood, but the bloodletting is sparse, so when it does come, it has impact and is surprisingly gruesome. The film can be predictable at times, though even when it does, it’s still works to an entertaining degree, as some of the familiar elements are what we came expecting to see from a shark movie anyway.

The cast is small with the focus mostly on Moore and Holt while they spend their terrifying ordeal in the shark cage. Both ladies do well in creating likable and sympathetic characters for us to become endeared to. One of the reasons the film works as well as it does is we like these two girls and want to see them rescued. Matthew Modine plays the tour ship’s captain, but is mostly heard on the radio communicating with his trapped customers and is fine in a role which didn’t really need a name actor.

Simply, this was a fun little movie for a night on the couch. There is some nice suspense and tension, likable characters and when we do get some bloodletting, it is effective and surprisingly gruesome. It can be predictable and we are asked to suspend belief more than once, but the film still entertains and doesn’t try to be any more than it is. A fun underwater thriller with enough bite to keep our interest. More of a straight up action flick than the recent shark drama The Shallows (which ironically wore the title In The Deep before it’s release) which will obviously draw comparisons.

-MonsterZero NJ

3 great whites who want Moore (sorry, had to!).

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BARE BONES: DARLING and GHOST WORLD

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DARLING (2015)

Strange flick tells the story of Darling, (Jug Face’s Lauren Ashley Carter) a pretty young woman who takes on the job of being the caretaker of an old Manhattan apartment that is allegedly haunted. As Darling spends more and more time there, we start to find out that Darling has just as much of a past as the house…and thus start to question who is more haunted, the apartment or it’s caretaker.

Written and directed by Michael Keating this is an unnerving film told in six chapters and with minimal characters, focusing mostly on Darling. It has more of an offbeat narrative and evokes flicks like Eraserhead with it’s stark black and white photography, somber mood and split second flashes of disturbing imagery. It has some brutally violent moments and an ending you can see coming but works well anyway. When all is said and done, it is an unnerving little movie made so by both it’s story and it’s style of storytelling. Also stars Brian Morvant as a man who Darling meets and brings home and Sean Young as the owner “Madame”.

-MonsterZero NJ

3 star rating

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GHOST WORLD (2001)

Quirky offbeat comedy tells of two friends (Thora Birch and Scarlett Johansson) who walk to the beat of their own drums, but need to find their direction after they graduate high school. Rebellious Enid (Birch) seems to be content to let things remain the same, despite being unhappy at home, while Becky (Johansson) decides they should move into their own place and get jobs. Becky’s forward motion starts them growing apart and Enid’s quest to amuse herself leads her to befriending a strange and lonely older man (Steve Buscemi).

Ghost World is based on Daniel Clowes graphic novel and as directed by Crumb director Terry Zwigoff, is a charming and sometimes funny study of two offbeat young girls at a crucial point in their lives. Birch and Johansson are good and work well together, thought the film focuses more on the cynical Enid and her sarcastic view of those around her. Buscemi is charming as the nerdy and shy Seymour and succeeds in making the character sympathetic and likable when he could have been very creepy. Zwigoff takes us on a strange journey as these characters find their own paths through their interaction with each other and while some may not like the ambiguous end, it does fit the tone of the film. Not for everyone, but for those who enjoy the offbeat and different, Ghost World is an entertaining little movie.

-MonsterZero NJ

3 star rating

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CULT CLASSIC CUTIES: MELINDA CLARKE as JULIE in RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD 3!

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Cult Classic Cuties are characters from some of our favorite cult classics and midnight movies who captured our hearts and/or actresses who got our attention, but sadly never returned to these type of flicks, or whose sexy stars shined only briefly not quite achieving scream queen status. And this installment’s cutie is…

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MELINDA CLARKE as JULIE in RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD 3 (1993)!

Return of the Living Dead is an 80s cult classic that spawned a franchise of sequels. It’s second sequel, Return of the Living Dead 3, took some elements of the first film and went in it’s own direction and is now considered a bit of a cult classic in it’s own right. ROTLD3 unfolds with a Romeo and Juliette-esque story of army brat, Curt (J. Trevor Edmond) who uses father’s secret army experiments with the dead, to revive his tragically killed girlfriend, Julie (Melinda Clarke)…and thus a Cult Classic Cutie was born!…as Julie/ Melinda Clarke is renown as one of the sexiest zombies ever committed to film…and her title has yet to be challenged.
After her portrayal as the sexy zombie, Julie, Melinda Clarke (billed in the zombie sequel as Mindy Clarke) went on to have a prolific and ongoing career in both film and television, which started pre-ROTLD3 on the classic TV soap Days Of Our Lives. Since then she has worked steadily, including appearing in such genre related fare as Firefly, Xena, Charmed and more recently on Vampire Diaries and Gotham. As far as horror films go, the closest she’s come to returning to the genre is appearing in the 1997 feature film adaptation of the dark comic book Spawn, as the villainous Jessica Priest. And the horror genre misses her to this day.

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(click on the poster for a full review)

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Rebel Julie in a more peaceful moment from ROTLD3

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Spying on BF Curt’s military dad, Julie witnesses a horrific experiment go awry!

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Beautiful even in death…but for Julie, death is only the beginning.

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She’s baaaaack!…and hungry for brains!

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Appetite for brains? Piercings made from metal and glass? Yup!…We’d still date her.

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Despite being quite the busy actress, the fact that ROTLD3 remains Melinda Clarke’s one true horror film appearance and one in which she made quite an impression, she certainly earns the title Cult Classic Cutie!

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Still a beauty over 20 years after taking the horror world by sexy, brain-eating storm!

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Be sure to check out our Cult Classic Cuties (click right here on the link) section to see more crush worthy ladies from cult films and midnight movies!

-MonsterZero NJ

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TOMB OF NOSTALGIA: HUMONGOUS (1982)

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HUMONGOUS (1982)

(Remember, clicking the highlighted links brings you to other reviews and articles here at The Movie Madhouse!)

Flick opens in 1946 where we witness the brutal rape of Ida Parsons (Shea Garner) at a Labor Day party at her family’s secluded island house. We then cut to 1982 where Ida is stuff of urban legend, a reclusive women alone on the island with only a pack of wild dogs to keep her company. A group of seafaring young party go-ers find out the hard way that this is not quite true. When an accident shipwrecks them on Ida’s island, they find that the woman is actually dead, but her massive and hungry offspring (Garry Robbins) now presides there and he is tired of his diet of dog meat and ready to change-up his cuisine.

Humongous is a disappointing horror from Paul Lynch, the director of the classic Prom Night. Despite coming up with a premise ripe for 80s B-movie horror, writer William Gray’s script wastes it with very little actual action till the last act. The only kill that lives up to it’s bloody promise is that of Ida’s rapist (Page Fletcher), in the beginning, who is killed by Ida and her dogs. The rest of the kills are either very quick and simple, or occur offscreen. Apparently there is an uncut version floating around out there, but the U.S. version has very little gore and that is the one being reviewed here. Even so, the story element of cannibalism is only hinted at quickly and the film would still be fairly dull even with added violence. It takes a long time for this horror to really get going, as it is and it’s not until the last moments when we finally get some action and chases to liven things up and even that doesn’t satisfy. As for our hungry monstrosity, Ida’s son is kept in the dark and seen very little till the last few moments, so we never really get much of an impression of his threat or menace. He isn’t really memorable as a villain, save for his size and deformity, which isn’t seen till the very end. At least there is a little action during the climactic confrontation and Lynch does make good use of the spooky island locations for a bit of atmosphere.

The cast are mostly unknowns and are rather bland, save for the interesting addition of hottie Joy Boushel, who horror fans will remember as Tawny, the girl Jeff Goldblum’s transforming Seth Brundle wins for a night in an arm wrestling contest in Cronenberg’s The Fly. Janet Julian is a cute and adequate heroine as Sandy, but never really captures out attention like a good final girl should. The rest are rather forgettable character and acting-wise.

Overall, this is a dull flick with barely any of the gore it’s premise would imply, at least in the American version viewed. There are long stretches between the action and even when that comes, it’s nothing to get excited over. The cast are all as unimpressive as the kills and only worth noting for the inclusion of Brundle-fly sex object Joy Boushel. It only comes alive in the last few moments, but by them it’s too little too late. A forgettable 80s slasher.

-MonsterZero NJ

2 slightly chewed femurs.

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SAN DIEGO COMIC-CON TRAILER ROUND-UP!

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New trailers for Kong: Skull Island, Justice League, Wonder Woman, Suicide Squad, Dr. Strange and Adam Wingard’s Blair Witch  from San Diego Comic Con 2016!

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KONG: SKULL ISLAND

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Sources: Facebook and Youtube

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WEEKEND BOX OFFICE ESTIMATES JULY 22-24

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Complete estimates are in for the weekend box office

(Remember, clicking the highlighted links brings you to the reviews here at The Movie Madhouse!)

1. “Star Trek Beyond” $59.6 Million

2. “The Secret Life Of Pets” $29 Million

3. “Ghostbusters” $21.6 Million

4. “Lights Out” $21.6

5. “Ice Age: Collision Course” $21 Million

6. “Finding Dory” $7.2 Million

7. “The Legend Of Tarzan” $6.4 Million

8. “Mike And Dave Need Wedding Dates” $4.4 Million

9. “Hillary’s America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party” $3.7 Million

 

10. “The Infiltrator” $3.2

 

 

source: Box Office Mojo

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REVIEW: STAR TREK BEYOND (2016)

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STAR TREK BEYOND (2016)

(Remember, clicking the highlighted links brings you to other reviews and articles here at The Movie Madhouse!)

Flick picks up almost three years into the Enterprise’s five year exploration mission, which puts them cleverly “beyond” the first three years/seasons of the original show and thus into new story territory. This third installment of J.J. Abrams’ reboot series is now directed by Justin Lin and tells of a devastating attack on the Enterprise while on a rescue mission in uncharted space. An alien warlord named Krall (Idris Elba) wants not only an ancient device stored on the ship, but the crew itself to drain their life-forces. With their precious ship destroyed and now stranded and hunted on an alien world, Kirk (Chris Pine), Spock (Zachary Quinto) and McCoy (Karl Urban) must figure out a way to rescue the crew, stop Krall’s diabolical plan and get home to friendlier space.

Justin Lin doesn’t quite bring the dramatic intensity Abrams did to his Trek films and his action scenes may not resonate as strongly, but with Simon Pegg and Doug Jung’s script in hand, he does give the series a lighter and more fun touch than the more dour Star Trek Into Darkness. The film also feels the most like a Star Trek episode which works for and against it, but mostly for. Giving the flick a less epic feel than the previous two, does reduce the spectacle aspect of the proceedings and the action is more close quarters fisticuffs than battling starships until the last act confrontation at a gigantic space station. Massive sets are replaced by alien landscapes and caves, but much like the 60s series and even the Next Generation series, these are settings our characters often found themselves in. This does give way to some really nice character interaction, as the FX take a back seat, with new character, alien refugee Jaylah (Sofia Boutella) fitting in nicely when paired with members of the prime crew. In true Star Trek tradition, the first two thirds of the film follow along as the crew does what they do best, use their wits to figure out how to survive and save the day. Then we get some of the spectacle we’ve come to expect from this reboot series, in the finale. In comparison, not quite the action packed popcorn flick the first Abrams Trek was, yet also doesn’t take itself nearly as seriously as Into Darkness, which is refreshing. There are some really nice Trek moments, too, including a nice tribute to the late Leonard Nimoy’s Spock Prime and a shot quietly celebrating the original Trek crew for this year’s 50th anniversary, that will surely moisten the eye of even the hardest-hearted Trekkie. The film also earns extra points for dedicating the film to both Nimoy and Anton “Chekov” Yelchin, who was tragically killed just a few weeks ago. A real touch of class…which is what Star Trek was always all about. On a production level the film looks great, Lin has a good visual eye and the FX are spectacular, especially during the cranked-up and fun finale.

The cast once again bring these classic characters to life, but not without their own individual touches and the script from Simon “Scotty” Pegg and Doug Jung does it’s best to give each character healthy interaction and scenes for them to shine. It was nice to see Anton Yelchin get a generous amount of screen time with what is sadly his last performance as Pavel Chekov and Pine, Quinto, Urban, Saldana, Cho and Pegg all have their classic character interpretations locked in. As for the newcomers, Sofia Boutella is feisty and energetic as Jaylah, a survivor of Krall’s villainy whose “home” plays an integral part in our heroes’ plans to defeat the despotic bad guy. As Krall, we have a strong villain in Idris Elba, though we could have used some more time getting to know him a little better as his motivation aren’t really clear till the last act reveal…a reveal sadly seen coming almost from the beginning. If the script has a big flaw, it’s in failing to keep it’s big surprise from being obvious early in the second act.

Overall, this was a fun movie. Though in some ways the weakest of the three, due to Lin simply not being as strong a director as Abrams, especially on the last two films. He moves things fast enough but sometimes a bit more dramatic intensity was called for. Still, it is lighter and more fun than the last installment, though it being the most Star Trek of the three, might also alien-ate (had too) some of the non-Trek crowd that supported the last two flicks. For Trek fans it’s more like an episode than a movie and the most nostalgic because of that, especially when you add some really nice touches harkening back to it’s TV forefathers. Not a great flick, but a fun installment that earns extra points for it’s loving tributes to a legendary actor and his character, not to mention, a young talent taken from us far too soon…and if Star Trek is about anything, it’s about heart…and this film has plenty of that.

-MonsterZero NJ

3 and 1/2 starships.

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BARE BONES: WELCOME TO ME

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WELCOME TO ME (2014)

Comedy/drama finds emotionally and mentally troubled Alice Klieg off her meds and obsessed with TV, namely Oprah. When she wins $86 Million in the lottery, she pays a down on his luck producer (James Marsden) to let her have her own TV talk show…one that stars Alice, is about Alice and the only guest being Alice.

Kristen Wiig is a brilliant actress and comedian and the only reason this flick is as watchable as it is, is because of her performance. The concept from Eliot Laurence’s script, as directed by Shira Piven, is interesting but the film never really takes full advantage of it’s premise. We follow Alice as she reflects back on incidents in her life, such as having make-up stolen out of her bag as a teen and cooking her own concoctions such as meatloaf cake with sweet potato icing…all in front of a live audience. Predictably, she becomes a cult hit until the whole thing starts to backfire as all those she blames for her problems in life take issue with her finger pointing. The filmmakers roll out these mundane and ludicrous set pieces, as Alice goes from one tangent to another, but miss the opportunity to really provide some satire and commentary on today’s society and it’s obsession with the lives of others. It also only weakly touches on the current trend of seeing ourselves as some kind of celebrities with our posts on social media, as if everyone cares what we’re thinking, watching or eating (says the guy with the movie blog. LOL!). It really misses a golden opportunity to skewer the notion that through reality TV and social media, we all have become celebrities in our own minds and can’t wait to share our most droll thoughts with millions of others. Instead we just get yet another indie flick about yet another self absorbed person learning some life lessons about being less selfish and thinking a little more about those around them. It’s a shame, Wiig is up to the task but not given material worthy of her talents or the story’s premise. Also stars Wes Bently, Linda Cardellini, Tim Robbins, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Joan Cusack.

-MonsterZero NJ

2 and 1-2 star rating

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“ASH VS. EVIL DEAD” SEASON 2 GETS A FULL TRAILER and “GODZILLA RESURGENCE” GETS A NEW ONE!

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New trailers for Ash vs Evil Dead season 2 and Godzilla Resurgence!

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Starz’s Ash vs. Evil Dead series (click HERE for our season 1 review!) is set to return this fall for a second season. The adventures of Ash, Pablo and sexy Kelly will continue on 10/2/16! For now, here’s a full NSFW trailer sampling some of the bloody fun!

 

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Toho Studios has released an all new trailer for their upcoming Godzilla reboot! Check out the latest chaos and carnage as the Big G returns to Japan in Godzilla Resurgence! Flick opens in Japan 7/29/2016!

Sources: Facebook and Youtube

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