And Soon The Darkness / Operation Endgame / Monsters

Critic views of films starring the women of Smartasses, Asian movies, and some DVDs you may have overlooked.

And Soon The Darkness / Operation Endgame / Monsters | DVD Reviews – SA Magazine

And Soon The Darkness (2010) 3/5 Stars

“All in all, this is one of those films that is consistently okay. Never great, sometimes bad, and a huge bag of lost creative opportunities.”

And Soon The Darkness - DVD Reviews | Smartasses MagazineAnd Soon The Darkness DVD Review – Odette Annable, Amber Heard, Karl Urban. Two American friends, Ellie (Annable) and Stephanie (Heard), head out on a cycling trip through Argentina. But when Ellie vanishes, Stephanie’s panic and desperation grows as darkness falls. Virtually alone in a foreign land, she wonders whether either of them will make it home alive in this remake of the 1970 British classic. Similar but not as good as Touristas.

Unfortunately, the set-up for this one takes an agonizing amount of time, and the pay-off is iffy at best. Heard, Yustman and Karl Urban (Star Trek) do okay with a very thin amount of material to work with, and the supporting cast is pretty mediocre. With that said, there are points where Ellie is actually completely unlikable, and being that this is ‘just’ a harmless movie (as opposed to a real abduction) one almost feels a sense that Yustman’s character is getting what she deserves, and one finds themselves unconsciously rooting for the unseen bad guys a bit.

Frankly, I chalk this up to poor casting. After The Unborn and Cloverfield, it was difficult to believe Yustman as the worldly, over gregarious slut, and Heard felt equally as miscast as the doe-eyed innocent. If it had been me, I’d have flip-flopped em. But what do I know?

The setting is creepy, and tends to hold water just because you know it should be creepy. I felt as though they dropped the ball on just how creepy they could have portrayed it, and I also feel this nuance will fall gravely short on any individual who is not familiar with the countless, real life horror stories of people that have been lost forever in strange, South American countries. On a good note, Destination Truth fans will enjoy how the film made use of an old abandoned Argentinian town which was featured in one of their paranormal investigations.

There are also moments where the viewer has to suspend reality a bit. Argentina is a rather large country. You find out later that the story isn’t even restricted to just Argentina. However, the speed at which Stephanie actually locates Ellie… well let’s just say it’d be pretty far fetched even if the film took place in Rhode Island.

All in all, this is one of those films that is consistently okay. Never great, sometimes bad, and a huge bag of lost creative opportunities. The film itself is worth two and a half stars, the other half star is for Odette’s butt in a bikini… which is worth the rental alone.

DVD Features: Region 1 Note: Deleted Scenes Commentary featuring Director Marcos Efron, Editor Todd Miller and Director Of Photography Gabriel Beristain Director’s Video Diary featuring behind the scenes footage from the set of And Soon The Darkness Widescreen – 2.39 Audio: Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo – English Dolby Digital 5.1 – English Subtitles – English, Spanish. – CD Universe

Blu-ray Disc Features: Note: Deleted scenes Commentary featuring director Marcos Efron, editor Todd Miller and director of photography Gabriel Beristain Director’s video diary featuring behind the scenes footage form the set of And Soon the Darkness Widescreen – 2.39 Audio: Subtitles – French, Spanish. – CD Universe

Click here to view the Trailer. – Derk Steele: Staff Editor




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Operation: Endgame (2010) 1/5 Stars

“A dark comedy. Perhaps so dark, you can’t even see it?”

Operation: Endgame - DVD Reviews | Smartasses MagazineOperation: Endgame DVD Review – Joe Anderson, Rob Corddry, Ellen Barkin, Odette Annable, Maggie Q, Zach Galifianakis, Adam Scott, Brandon T. Jackson, Emilie de Ravin, Ving Rhames, Bob Odenkirk, Jeffrey Tambor. Without question, one of the most… unique movies you’ll ever see. A dark comedy. Perhaps so dark, you can’t even see it? I think there was a plot, but frankly I’m just not sure if I loved it… or hated it. No, actually, I know I hated it. But the cast is amazing. Well, the cast is amazing, the story sucks. At least I think it sucks. But I think they all play their roles very well… except if you are like me, you’ll be a bit lost as to exactly what they were playing. I think I would have liked more character background, or maybe I wouldn’t have. Actually, there’s only two things I know for sure- Maggie and Odette looked great… doing… whatever it was they were doing.

DVD Features: Region 1 Note: Behind the scenes of Operation: Endgame Alternate opening Alternate ending Widescreen – 2.39 Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1 – English Subtitles – Spanish. – CD Universe

Blu-ray Disc Features: Note: Behind the scenes of Operation: Endgame Alternate opening Alternate ending Widescreen – 2.39 Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1 – English PCM Stereo – English Subtitles – English, Spanish. – CD Universe

Click here to view the Trailer. – Derk Steele: Staff Editor

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Monsters (2010) 4.5/5 Stars

“This was way more than a sci-fi/monster movie… although it has that too.”

Monsters - DVD Reviews | Smartasses MagazineMonsters DVD Review – Whitney Able, Scoot McNairy. Monsters is a captivating movie and one I highly recommend. When I first saw the trailers, I thought it looked like a cross between Cloverfield and District 9 both of which I highly enjoyed (especially D9). I read the reviews about how small the budget was, all shots are on location and the only ‘actors’ in the entire movie are the two leads and the special effects were created with off the shelf software by the director in his bedroom on his computer.

Those facts alone are impressive, but not the reason to watch the movie. This was way more than a sci-fi/monster movie… although it has that too. The chemistry between the two actors was fantastic and I learned that they were dating before the filming and are now married, but their interaction and the background stories to each character adds a nice depth to all the unbelievable events in the movie.

The premise of the story and the trailer still don’t give you the full impact of what the movie achieves but check it out and see for yourself.

DVD Features: Region 1 Note: Disc 1: Commentary with Gareth Edwards, Scoot McNairy and Whitney Able Deleted and extended scenes HDNet: A Look At Monsters Disc 2: Behind the scenes of Monsters The edit Visual effects Interview with Gareth Edwards Interview with Scoot McNairy and Whitney Able New York Comic Con discussion with Gareth Edwards Special Edition Widescreen – 2.35 Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1 – English Subtitles – Spanish. – CD Universe

Blu-ray Disc Features: Note: Commentary with Gareth Edwards, Scoot McNairy and Whitney Able Deleted and Extended Scenes HDNet: A Look at Monsters Behind the Scenes of Monsters The Edit Visual Effects Interview with Gareth Edwards Interview with Scoot McNairy and Whitney Able New York Comic Con Discussion with Gareth Edwards Widescreen – 2.35 Audio: DTS HD Master Audio – English Subtitles – English, Spanish. – CD Universe

Click here to view the Trailer. – Bob: Staff Editor

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