The Poison Ivy series continues with the third installment where they decide to drop the installment number and leave it to the subtitle for the audience to identify it. The subtitle is “The New Seduction” and not only lives up to it by featuring multiple new seductions but also an entirely new cast, though this installment refers to the original Poison Ivy more than the previous sequel did.
In my review of the erotic thriller Poison Ivy I noted how it didn’t contain enough erotica as well as thriller. This sequel, which features another young woman (somewhat) responsible for tearing up a family and is unimaginatively titled Poison Ivy 2, makes up for the lack of erotica compared tot he first movie but throws out almost all of the thriller elements resulting in something which comes pretty close to softcore pornography.
The “erotic thriller” is a genre that flourished until somewhere in the 90s and then slowly slipped away into obscurity aside from some PG-13 teen stalker movies that occasionally pop up making no impression whatsoever. Erotic thrillers always balance on a fine line between being an actual thriller and venturing too much into (s)exploitation or in Poison Ivy’s case: venturing too little. These movies almost always revolve around a femme fatale who uses sex to get what she wants and such is also the case in Poison Ivy, but because the femme fatale in this case was played by Drew Barrymore when she was around 16/17 years old the end result is pretty tame.
I was around 6-8 years old when He-Man and the Masters Of The Universe was all the rage. I watched every episode of the cartoon series and played a lot with the accompanying “action figures” (because “dolls” are for girls right?). As with most hot properties there is at one point a studio that tries to make a movie about it, but sadly the 80s and 90s weren’t the best decades for existing properties to be transferred to the big screen. With the exception of 1978s Superman, 1989s Batman and 1990s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles almost all of the other movies that were released simply sucked. Howard The Duck, The Garbage Pail Kids Movie, The Punisher (a guilty pleasure of mine) and Captain America are just a few examples of movies that just showed us how little Hollywood understood the properties it was trying to bring to life on the big screen. To a certain level Masters of the Universe is no exception.
So somebody working for the movie division of the World Wrestling Entertainment (the ones responsible for those scripted show wrestling matches starring the likes of John Cena and The Rock) was looking for the perfect movie for one of their wrestlers, in this case one Dylan Postl whose stage name is “Hornswoggle”. Yes, I am aware that this sounds like a term used a Harry Potter book. Hornswoggle’s gimmick is that he’s not only a little person, but also dresses up as a leprechaun. I’m not kidding, do a Google Image search, it’s guaranteed you will have at least a chuckle. Sadly, the thing not giving you a chuckle is the project they deemed the most suitable for him: a new addition to the dormant mediocre Leprechaun franchise.
Last year we saw Clint Eastwood tackle the rise to fame of Franki Valli and The Four Seasons in the lukewarm received Jersey Boys. This year another group gets the biopic treatment in F. Gary Gray’s Straight Outta Compton which covers the rise and fall of N.W.A.; a notorious hip-hop group responsible for launching gangsta rap in the late 80s. The movie focuses mostly on three of the five members of the band: Eazy-E, Dr. Dre and Ice-Cube. Not a surprising choice as the real Dr. Dre, Ice-Cube and Eazy’s widow Tomica are responsible for producing Straight Outta Compton, but also because Dre, Cube and Easy were the guys who had the biggest careers after the demise of the group in the early 90s.
It has been 30 years since we have last seen Luke, Leia, Han and Chewbacca (Chewie to close ones) defeat the Galactic Empire in The Return Of The Jedi. Their stories had been told and George Lucas decided to focus on the origin of the Empire and Darth Vader in three prequels that weren’t received with much applause. Now that Disney has acquired the rights to Star Wars, they have chosen to breathe new life into the franchise by telling a story which picks up 30 years after the events of The Return Of The Jedi. In Star Wars: The Force Awakens a new threat arises: The First Order. It’s A military and political organization inspired by the principles of the Galactic Empire and is led on the ground by a masked man named Kylo Ren, much like Darth Vader did in the original trilogy. Kylo Ren seems like a new Darth Vader at first, but is more prone to violent outbursts unlike the always calm Vader. The First Order’s greatest threat are of course the rebels, which have some familiar faces among them, but before we meet up with them we are introduced to a whole band of new characters who are supposed to be this generation’s protagonists.
Quentin Tarantino is something unique in the movie world. He is a true author as he writes and directs his own projects. There are few like him and those who do tend to create movies that cater more to art-house crowds than the general movie going public. That isn’t the case with Tarantino who has the ability to create epic movies, full of rich dialogue and characters, without a basic three-chapter structure and great cinematography. The only time he disappointed me was with the mediocre Death Proof from which he redeemed himself with the brilliant Inglourious Basterds. As always I had my hopes up for the latest Tarantino: The Hateful Eight.
Gremlins 2 is a sequel you either hate or love. Upon its release it received mediocre reviews mostly hitting on the movie for the lack of an actual plot or it being nothing more than a “bigger is better” approach. While those comments might be partially true, Gremlins 2 is more than just a rehash of the previous movie with a bigger budget. Created by the same group of people responsible for the first movie, Gremlins 2 is a clever spoof of the original.
After more than 50 years the Bond series has proven it knows how to reinvent themselves every so now and then preventing it from becoming outdated. Mostly the choice for a new lead as James Bond signals the beginning of a new era. With Daniel Craig James Bond went from becoming a charming, smirking double agent to a more serious and gritty one. Casino Royale was to Die Another Day what Batman Begins was to Batman & Robin. It was the beginning of set of movies with little room for humor in the scripts and now with Spectre we have reached the moment the series once again needs a new approach and a new lead.