Saturday, October 20, 2012

Movie Review: Smiley

I did it for the lulz. I did it for the lulz. I did it for the lulz... Damn, it doesn't work when you do it to yourself! Maybe I should have tried Beetlejuice, or Bloody Mary, or maybe Lovett. Oh well, in either case, that's my reaction after watching the new film, Smiley.

Hey Rocky, how's Cher doing?
You see, Smiley is supposed to be this urban legend killing machine who shows up and kills people when in an online chat you type "I did it for the lulz" three times. Looking like a homicidal version of the kid from Mask, Smiley suddenly pops up behind the unsuspecting victim and drives his knife into the poor sap. Cool premise, right?

Unfortunately, despite the decent effort by lead actress Caitlin Gerard, and a relatively cool idea, Smiley fails to work. Why? For one, half the film is cast using people who have found their "fame" on YouTube. Second, in trying to be hip, the film relies on a lot of "Internet lingo" for most of its jokes, which greatly reduces their effect for those who aren't in with that scene. Third, after about a half an hour, you start finding that you really don't give a crap about these characters and after about 45 minutes, you find yourself just wishing Smiley would kill them all off already.

You sure did.
I get what writers Glasgow Phillips and Michael J. Gallagher (who also directed) were trying to do with the film. Sort of trying to make a statement about the nihilistic view of today's Internet-hardened teens and how all of the hate that's shared and spread on the web can somehow mutate into a cyber-serial killer, but at the end of the day, poor execution, a one-note story and unlikable characters ultimately ruined an otherwise original idea. I give Smiley ** out of *****.
Check out the trailer for Smiley below:

New Documentary on Stephen King's Pet Sematary Being Made

I think most horror fans may agree that the film, Pet Sematary, is still one of the most successful adaptations of one of Stephen King's novels ever. Directed by Mary Lambert and released in 1989, this film arguably captures the essence of King's work pretty accurately (the fact that King wrote the screenplay and actually demanded the film to be shot in Maine certainly helped) and to this day remains an effective and enjoyable piece of cinema.

I don't know about you, but that scene where Zelda runs across the room still haunts me! Or when Fred Gwynne's character Jud says, "Sometimes dead is bettah." Or when little Gage says menacingly, "Now I want to play with youuuuuu...." There are so many memorable scenes in this film!

And now, thanks to John Campopiano and Justin White, a full-blown documentary is being made about the film. John and Justin have somehow wrangled almost everybody involved with making the film for on camera interviews. Check out this list!

I don't know about you, but I can't wait to see this. If you want to learn more about the film or follow its progress, I encourage you to check out the documentary's official Facebook page.

In the words of wise old Jud Crandall, "The soil of a man's heart is stonier, Louis. A man grows what he can, and tends it. 'Cause what you buy, is what you own. And what you own...always comes home to you."

Friday, October 19, 2012

Audiobook Review: Ex-Heroes by Peter Clines

The world is changing fast. Some people have developed special abilities that turn them into superheroes almost overnight. But all in all, that's not too bad, right? These new heroes are helping to fight crime and generally, they're making the world a safer place. Unfortunately, there are other changes also taking place.

Continue reading my review of Ex-Heroes over at my book review blog, Words From the Vein, by clicking HERE.

Book Review: The Five by Robert McCammon

I've been a huge fan of Robert McCammon's work for a long, long time, so when his novel The Five was released back in May of 2011, I was quick to order it. I also quickly devoured it, savoring every chapter, every word. It's been a while since I finished it, and I'm finally getting around to reviewing it, so Mr. McCammon, I apologize for the delay.

Let me start by saying The Five is unlike any other story written by Mr. McCammon. This novel is largely grounded in reality, with a slight supernatural angle, if it can even be called that. The events that occur are eye-opening, world-shattering, and oddly-enough at times, touching.

Continue reading my review of The Five over at my book blog, Words From the Vein, by clicking HERE.