Welcome to the movies at PS News.
Each week, PS News’s film critic Victor Rebikoff will highlight the latest offerings from the silver screen and share his expert commentary for our information and guidance.
Happily N’Ever After 2 – Snow White
Director: Michael Bay, Rated G, 75 Minutes
DVD release July 2009
The DVD sequel to Happily N’Ever After (the CGI animated movie made in 2006) returns with the Seven Dwarfs, Rumpelstiltskin, and the hysterically funny characters Mambo (voiced by Jim Sullivan) and Munk (voiced by Kirk Thornton).
Just like the original, Happily N’ever After 2 follows everyone’s beloved fairy tales turned upside down in a funny, fast-paced adventure that the entire family should enjoy.
With all of the favourite characters back for more fun in Steven Gordon’s rendition of Happily N’ever After 2, it becomes a delight to watch his twist on the re-telling of the Snow White fairy tale (with the main character voiced by Helen Niedwick).
Besides the wonderful animation, there are plenty of hilarious and recognisable characters from popular fairy tales as well as some positive messages that a lot of young girls would appreciate.
All in all, Sony’s direct to DVD animated release is a fun movie to own.
VIC'S VERDICT: 4 Rubber Stamps
Screamers – The Hunting
Director: Sheldon Wilson, Rated MA, 95 Minutes
DVD release July 2009
This sequel is quite different to the original Screamers released in 1995 under the direction of Christian Duguay.
Duguay’s sci-fi hit movie included an interesting script, an intelligent story about the creation of the ‘screamers’ (a blade-wielding, self-replicating race of killing devices designed to hunt down and destroy all enemy life forms) and a decent cast headed by Peter Weller (Robocop).
In contrast, Sheldon Wilson’s direction of Screamers-The Hunting hassome interesting visuals, a somewhat unbelievable story line and plenty of gore – much more than is warranted.
In response to a distress signal, a spaceship carrying a young crew are heading to the planet Sirius 6B to seek out any survivors and bring them back home.
Complicating their rescue efforts is the sudden emergence of a super meteor storm that is expected to wipe out all life on the planet – giving the rescuers exactly six days to complete their mission.
With the exception of legendary actor Lance Henriksen (Alien) whose role and presence is sadly limited, the performance of the rest of the cast is mediocre and somewhat superficial.
Some aspects of this sequel also appeared to imitate certain scenes from the Alien series, with Gina Holden (as Lt Victoria Bronte) doing her best to imitate the lead character of Ripley in Alien.
Despite some gory scenes, this is not a bad DVD to get.
The special effects, particularly of the ‘screamers’ and their human transformation seen later in the movie, are rather good as well as being creepy and quite convincing.
VIC'S VERDICT: 3 Rubber Stamps
My Bloody Valentine
Director: Patrick Lussier, Rated MA, 101 Minutes
DVD release July 2009
While the concept of adding 3-D to the horror genre is hardly new, as demonstrated in the original version of ‘House of Wax’ which premiered some 50 years ago, director Patrick Lussier's movie based on the original 1981 slasher picture is the most accomplished example to date.
The 3-D effects come fast and furious, rendered with a technical skill and humor that gives this somewhat rigid slasher movie an inherent entertainment value of its own.
The DVD begins with a visual prologue which shows how ten years ago, coal miner Harry Warden (Richard John Walters) murdered his fellow miners after an accident in order to preserve the dwindling air.
Tom Hanniger (Jensen Ackles of TV's Supernatural), an inexperienced coal miner caused the accident that trapped five men, with the only survivor being Harry – waking up a year after his coma, on Valentine's Day, and going on a killing spree before being shot by the local sheriff (Tom Atkins).
Ten years later, Tom returns on Valentine's Day and, still haunted by the deaths, finds himself caught up in the town’s tensions.
His old girlfriend Sarah (Jaime King from The Spirit), is now married to Axel (Kerr Smith, Roadkill), his former friend and the town's new sheriff - all three of whom were involved in escaping from Harry on that fatal day 10 years ago.
After years of peace, something from the town’s dark past has returned, wearing a miner's mask and armed with a pick axe. It is an unstoppable killer, seeking his final revenge.
The 3D experience was amazing to watch, made the scenes appear lifelike and made one feel part of the actual movie.
The three lead characters, Jensen Ackles, Jaime King and Kerr Smith provide some depth to their roles, but the real acting kudos belong to veteran character actors Kevin Tighe and Tom Atkins.
Overall, this is not the kind of movie that is going to appeal to everyone, but for people who liked Halloween or Scream, andthose wanting a good 3D experience My Bloody Valentine is a DVD for your collection.
VIC'S VERDICT: 3 ½ Rubber Stamps