Thursday, February 28, 2013

A review of "Sand Sharks"

Confessions of a Film Junkie: A review of “Sand Sharks”
By: Brian Cotnoir

     We have reached the end of “Corin Nemec Appreciation Month” here on Confessions with a Film Junkie.  I hope you all have a new found admiration for the acting talents of Mr. Corin Nemec.  We will close out the month with a review of “Sand Sharks”—in my opinion Corin Nemec’s Best Movie role.     
“Sand Sharks” is the story of a of a man named Jimmy Green(burg)—played by his awesomeness Corin Nemec—as he returns to the Island town of White Sands, where he grew up, in hopes of becoming a success.  Many people in White Sands look down on Jimmy because they think he’s a lazy slacker who thinks up of crazy ideas that usually end up causing a lot of damage and money.  Jimmy makes a plea to the Mayor of White Sands (who coincidentally happens to be his father) to let him host a Spring Break bash in White Sands.  Jimmy’s father is greatly impressed with all the thought, details, and marketing ideas his son has come up with and he grants Jimmy the permits to host his Spring Break bash.  However an earthquake happens underneath the island and it releases an ancient prehistoric predator; the sand shark.  The sand sharks have special gills that allow them to absorb the water from beach sand so they can survive and they can navigate through the beaches like a hot knife going through butter.  The sand sharks pose a deadly risk to anyone who steps foot on the beach, but are they enough to get Jimmy to give up on his plan to throw the biggest Spring Break party ever???             
Hey How Awesome is Corin Nemec, right?
I don’t know what is up with the recent trend of people creating “Jaws” spoofs, but all this film really is, is a PG-13 version of “Piranha”.  I could totally see this film on something like TBS or SyFy channel during the summer.  As a film, it is extremely corny, but nonetheless a harmless film to watch.  There’s no nudity in the film, the CG sand sharks are really lame, the violence isn’t to over the top and the acting ranges from mediocre to good.  Corin Nemec’s character is hands down the most entertaining character in the film.  There’s this running joke in the film where he tries to impersonate his father, but he can’t, so he quotes the things his father says by talking like Sean Connery or Liam Neeson, and there’s even a point where he acknowledges in the film that he was impersonating another celebrities voice, because he doesn’t know how to impersonate his own father.                                   
"Insert Caption" Contest Here!
    The only other major star in this film is Brooke Hogan—daughter of Professional Wrestling Legend, “Hulk Hogan”.  Let me just say that if you thought Brooke Hogan’s singing was bad, she’s even worst as an actress.  Throughout the whole film she just sounds so bored and so unenthused.  The only other actor in the film that is worst than Brooke Hogan is Robert Pike Daniel who plays the old, drunken sea man, Angus McSorely.  He’s basically just trying to be like Robert Shaw’s character from “Jaws” only he is way over-the-top and terrible. 
    My final feelings on the film “Sand Sharks” is this. If you’re the parent of a child between the ages of 11-14 and they want a “scary” movie to watch, then this is ideal for them.  It’s not too violent, it’s not too vulgar, and it should provide them with a few laughs.  Anyone outside that age group I feel will not like this film.     

Thursday, February 21, 2013

A review of "Drop Zone"

Confessions of a Film Junkie: A review of “Drop Zone”
By: Brian Cotnoir

Okay, so this film focuses more on Wesley Snipes then it does on Corin Nemec, but he still plays an important supporting character in the film so it counts.  The film “Drop Zone” tells the story about a U.S. Marshall named Peter Nessip and his brother Terry, played by Malcolm Jamal-Warner, who are given the task of transferring an important prisoner named Earl Leedy to a maximum security prison.  Unfortunately, a group of terrorists, led by Gary Busey, get a hold of the plan and decide to hi-jack the plane that was transferring Leedy and they escape by jumping out of the commercial airplane at 30,000 feet, killing many people in the process, including U.S. Marshall Terry Nessip.  Peter is greatly upset by his brother’s death, but is made even more upset when agents blame him and his brother for the deaths.  Now Nessip sets out to find the terrorists (who many believe died in the attack), clear his name, and avenge his brother’s death.  In order to do this Nessip seeks help from a bunch of rag-tag sky divers (played by Yancy Butler, Corin Nemec, and others) to help understand the terrorists escape plot better and to hopefully uncover some clues in the attack.                        
    Where do I begin with this film?  First of all, in the story Wesley Snipes is turned away by the sky divers initially because he is not a sky diver, and that doesn’t make any sense whatsoever.  The way sky divers in this film are portrayed as this secretive almost Masonic group of people who don’t take kindly to outsiders.  Also, there is this stupid running plot device in the film that there are Rival Sky Diving teams.  They act like they’re like rival sports teams or street gangs in this film, but I’m just not buying it.  Seriously, there are scenes in the film that show sky divers sabotaging each other’s gear.  Sky diving is dangerous enough, so it’s absolutely ludicrous that one sky diver would want to hurt or endanger the life of another sky diver.  
Funniest Scene in the Film!

     Also the idea that most sky divers are only “in it for the money” is crazy.  No one in their right mind is going to pay good money for a sky diver (or team of sky divers) to rescue a person or pull off a heist.  Gary Busey’s team pulls of their heists by parachuting on to high security buildings, which is stupid.  Who the hell is not going to notice a group of parachutists landing on top of a government building?  That has to be one of the slowest ways to possibly escape. Once you deploy your parachute you’re just coasting a long for a while until you can safely land.  Not to mention using parachutes is not a stealthy way to escape, it’s just a giant call to attention. You could assemble a whole SWAT team and get them on site in the time it takes this group to pull off a heist.                
     Besides that, you would think that in a film where Gary Busey plays the bad guy he would be the most over the top actor in the film, but he’s actually not.  In fact, Gary Busey is very calm and tame in this movie even during the action sequences.  For example in the plane hi-jacking scene he is intimidating, but not over the top.  Even in the scenes where he’s sky diving he just goes about it like it’s a routine; almost like he does it every day.              

Gary Busey Looks like he does this sort of thing every week

     The most over the top characters in this film are played by actors Michael Jeter and Yancy Butler.  Jeter, plays this computer-wizard Earl Leedy, who the terrorists kidnap during the hi-jacking to help out with their evil plan.  Throughout the film Jeter is whiny, pathetic and he complains about everything and I would have been much happier of his character would have accidentally died during the initial escape.  Michael Jeter’s is just one of those actors I could never stand because he’s so obnoxious and annoying in every film I’ve seen him in!  
     Actress Yancy Butler who plays the woman who helps Wesley Snipes understand sky diving is also over the top in this film.  She doesn’t trust anyone or like anyone for absolutely no reason.  Her character comes off as that girl whose boyfriend cheated on her while she was away at college so she decided that she could never trust men again and became a lesbian by choice for a few years—at least that was the vibe I got for her portrayal.
     Corin Nemec plays a slow, but well meaning air plane mechanic, who dreams of being on Yancy Butler’s skydiving team.  His character is actually very likeable.   Nemec is actually one of the few actors in this film—Besides Snipes & Busey—that actually give a competent performance in this film. 

Tell Me Corin Nemec's Going to be Okay!

     The scenes in “Drop Zones” range from bad to laughably bad.  It your typical 1990’s Action flick with poorly written characters, the most absurd plot, and stock footage of people doing dangerous stunts.  This film is to sky diving what “Twister” was to Storm Chasing; they just made it look more important than it actually is.  If you’re into sky diving you’d probably like it, but other than that I would just say that this is just a bad action film.  

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

A 2-4-1 Special of Horror Films Starring Corin Nemec PART I

Confessions of a Film Junkie: A 2-4-1 Special of Corin Nemec in Horror Films
By: Brian Cotnoir

     I found it a little strange to see that in a span of one year Corin Nemec was featured in four films where he either played a Serial Killer or psychopath.  He played the leading roles in films based on the crimes of two notorious American Serial Killers, Richard Speck and Ted Bundy.  He was also featured in the horror film “Boston Strangler: The Untold Story”, strangely enough acting alongside his good friend David Faustino who played Albert DeSalvo/The Boston Strangler.  Also Nemec was featured in another film in 2008 where played a psychopath. I just don’t understand why Nemec would be “type-casted” into those types of roles.  Anyone who has seen an episode of “Parker Lewis Can’t Lose” or other comedy works that Nemec has done, know that he is pretty funny guy.  I don’t understand why he would be casted or even want to be casted in a horror film; I mean he does so poorly in them.  Horror Comedy’s he’s great in because he’s usually the comedic relief, but in straight up horror films, he’s not just bad, he’s is absolutley awful!  So this week I will be reviewing two Horror Films that Corin Nemec has starred in; “Chicago Massacre: Richard Speck” (Non-fictional Horror) and “My Apocalypse” (Fictional Horror).

Chicago Massacre: Richard Speck (2007)

One of the easiest Sub-genre’s of Horror to get away with writing is the “Serial Killer Bio-pic”.  The story is already written for you all you have to do is pick a serial killer and condense their crimes and motives into 90 minutes. There are good serial killer films (ex. “Dear Mr. Gacy”) and there are bad serial killer films (ex. “Ed Gein: the Butcher of Plainfield”).  In regards to the film I’m reviewing this week—“Chicago Massacre: Richard Speck” it has got to be the worst serial killer biography/horror movie I have ever seen.  This is one of those times where I honestly don’t have at least one positive thing to say about this film it’s so bad.                          
The Real Richard Speck

    The story—as you may have already guessed from the title—is the true story about a career criminal named Richard Speck and the events of his life that led him to commit a gruesome massacre on a group of nursing students in a Chicago college dormitory in 1966.  The film is told from two perspectives; one being the perspective of the killer Richard Speck, played by actor Corin Nemec, and the other is told from the perspectives of one of the detectives trying to solve the murder.                 
Nemec, playing Serial Killer Richard Speck
This is just an awful film.  Corin Nemec is so over-the-top as the mass-murderer Richard Speck that he’s more laughable then terrifying.  He’s slow, he’s ugly, and he says the most moronic things.  Nemec tried way too hard for this role and it shows.  His speech is so slurred in some parts of the film that even when I turned the subtitles on they still read “Inaudible Dialogue”.  The dialogue is all very cliché to.  I found no original lines of dialogue that I could recite from memory.  I would describe Nemec’s character as the twin brother of Aaron Stampler from “Primal Fear” who didn’t get enough oxygen at birth and now he has the I.Q. of a sack of potatoes.  Nemec isn’t the only bad actor in this film.  As a matter of fact every actor in the films is horrible. All the drama and intensity of the film is sucked out by all these poor actors, and it makes you feel pissed off and confused instead of scared. Not one person in this film gave a competent performance.              
     The pacing of the film is terrible and just jumps all over the place.  I actually thought that there were a number of scenes in the film that just felt random and out of order, but after doing some research I found out that those scenes were actually supposed to be flashbacks.  There was no hint whatsoever that the film was transitioning to a flashback at any point, and these random flashbacks in the film only add to the confusion of the story, rather than help explain a motive or reasons why.  Also, I think that the Detective in this film solved this crime way too easily, and I do believe that it had everything to do with the pacing of the film.  The Detective just appeared to get one hint of a description and, bam, he knew who he was looking for and he just happened to catch him in the most convenient way possible.  For crying out loud Sherlock Holmes couldn’t pull an answer to a crime that quickly out of his a$$.  
    Something tells me that this is the one film that Corin Nemec purposely leaves off of his resume.  Just don’t even bother trying to watch this film, because if you do you’re only going to be confused, bored, and disappointed.  “Chicago Massacre: Richard Speck” is hands-down the Worst Serial Killer Horror movie I have ever seen, and probably one of the worst horror movies ever made.  It. Sucks.

My Apocalypse (2008)

     All right before I begin to talk about this film, here is some background:  The film was originally titled “Quality Time”, and it was filmed in 1997, but do to a lack of funding and a striving to have his artistic vision realized, the film’s director, Chris LaMont, did not release the film until 2008.  I can understand why the film’s director would want to hold off on releasing his own film, but still, eleven years is an ridiculously long time for a film to be released after it was finished filming.  
God, this was Awkward
The film is set in the future where the world has been destroyed by the melting of the polar ice caps, and it’s about a young sociopath killer named, Stewart Savage.  Stewart’s parents are well aware that their son has mental problems and is prone to acts of extreme violence, but they still let him live with them and make excuses for his sociopathic tendencies.  Stewart lives in a tiny apartment with his mother and father, but due to a lack of inhabitable surface on the planet and a lack of funds, Stewart’s family is forced to alternate sharing the apartment throughout the day with another family, the Eastman’s.  On the day of his father’s birthday, Stewart decides to hold his parents and the Eastman’s hostage in his apartment so they can play party games.  Now Stewart’s parents and the Eastman’s are all just Pons to the ever delusional Stewart’s plans for happiness and grandeur.                                           
     Well first of all, a comment for the film’s director: Mr. LaMont, waiting those years to receive the funding so you can have your CGI in your film, was not worth it.  The CGI in this film is just bad.  I’ve seen better CGI on the History Channel’s Modern Marvels.  The camera shots are so blurry and grainy, like it was filmed on a very poor quality of film.  There are scenes in the film where Stewart retreats into his mind and we get to see the world, from his delusional fantasies and the picture quality becomes fuzzier and it looks so bad.  Also, there are points in the film where the other character’s faces randomly become distorted.  I’m sure if the film was better made it would represent something like Stewart’s perception of his situation becoming distorted, but in reality it looks like a crappy effect and it looks really stupid.
The Film is so grainy and distorted!
I believe I heard that this film originally was a stage play that got adapted into a screen play, and I’d buy that.  The dialogue and the characters all look and sound like they belong on stage and not on camera.  One thing that confuses me though is the film is 80 minutes long and it was written by three people: That’s roughly 27 pages per writer!  I think making a film is a lot more difficult when you’re trying to combine the ideas of three writers as opposed to just one.  Hell, even two writers probably could have written a better script than this! 
     Lastly the acting.  It’s bad, it’s all bad, and I’m not sure if it has to do with the dialogue, or the character development, but yeah it’s all pretty awful.  One character, Victor Eastman, doesn’t say much and he spends most of the film just sitting against the wall and touching it.  I’m not sure if his character was supposed to be a mute or have “special needs”?  I don’t know what was his deal was.  To be perfectly honest the film could have gotten rid of him and I don’t think it would have affected the plot in any way.                                  
     As for Corin Nemec in this film, I can’t really blame him for being bad.  This was filmed 10 years before he took the role in “Chicago Massacre”, and I think he probably never saw this film.  I think if it was released a year or two after it was filmed, that some studios would have reconsidered casting him in a horror film, but I can’t blame him entirely for being bad in this film.  He’s okay, in the scenes where he has his delusions and acts like he’s back on a TV sitcom, but as a sociopath and murderer, I’m still not buying him.                          
     The best way I can describe this film is cheap.  Cheaply made, cheap sets, and character’s who aren’t really likeable or enjoyable.  My advice is to also avoid this film, not because just because it’s bad, but it’s really, really boring.  Corin Nemec, please stay away from horror films, and go back to making us laugh in quirky comedies.  You’re really good at that at least.        

Thursday, February 7, 2013

A review of "Killer Bud"

Confessions of a Film Junkie: A review of “Killer Bud”
By: Brian Cotnoir

     It’s February here on “Confessions of a Film Junkie” and you know what that means?  It’s “Corin Nemec Appreciation Month”!  Throughout the entire month of February I will be reviewing one film a week starring actor Corin Nemec.  Why did I choose an actor as obscure as Corin Nemec, you may ask?  Because it’s my D@mn blog and I say so, that’s why J .                       
The first film I’m reviewing this month is called “Killer Bud”.  The film revolves around Corin Nemec and David Faustino’s characters, Waylon & Buzz, as they to impress to girls enough to want to sleep with them.  Both Waylon & Buzz are twenty-something stoners who can’t keep a steady job and have no real signs of any ambitions for their futures.  Waylon claims that their ticket to easy street will come once they move to Amsterdam and become pot-growers.  Only problem is that they have no money (and neither of them have any idea where Amsterdam actually is).  One night at party Waylon & Buzz meet two beautiful ladies, and make a number of promises to the girls that they certainly cannot keep.  The boys end up getting trapped in a convenient store while going on an errand for the two ladies and are now willing to do just about anything to get back to the girls and prove their responsibility.  The film focuses on the wacky hi-jinks that Waylon & Buzz get into on their quest to escape from the mini-mart (and to get laid).              
Faustino & Nemec
     Where do I begin with this film?  First of all, there’s really nothing outstanding and ingenious about it.  It is your typical low-budget stoner comedy that was mass produced that out the late 1990’s-Early 2000’s.  It’s kind of like a cheaper version of “Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle”.  I will say that I find it hilarious to see Parker Lewis (Nemec) and Bud Bundy (Faustino) are in the same film together.  It’s just so funny to see two of the early 90’s biggest TV troublemakers in the same film playing each other’s sidekick.  This wasn’t the first time that Nemec & Faustino had worked with each other and the chemistry the two have as actors is very apparent throughout the film and it works out greatly in their favor.  Still this is a pretty generic film.  It’s the kind of film that you would probably stumble upon on Comedy Central at ten in the morning on a Sunday. There are dozens like it, so the perception of this film is to lie in the eye of the beholder. 
     I hope you’re all looking forward to the other reviews I have for Corin Nemec Appreciation Month, and don’t worry, not all of his films are terrible...just most of them!