Sorority Row (2009)

I Don’t Have Time to Play “Catch Me, Rape Me”

Today’s movie is one I had seen a trailer for on some DVD that I watched recently and I says to myself, “I wanna see thems.” But I wasn’t talking about the movie. I was talking about Jamie Chung’s tits. The movie looked like a typical slasher film that I would normally be reviewing in October, but I would have forgotten this movie existed by then, so it had to happen now. Let’s see how it went, in my review of Sorority Row, written by Josh Stolberg and Peter Goldfinger, directed by Stewart Hendler, and starring Briana Evigan, Leah Pipes, Audrina Patridge, Matt O’Leary, Jamie Chung, Margo Harshman, Rumer Willis, Carrie Fisher, Julian Morris, Caroline D’Amore, Matt Lanter, and Deja Kreutzberg.

In the sorority house of Theta Pi, Megan (Audrina Patridge) – with the help of her sorority sisters Cassidy (Briana Evigan), Jessica (Leah Pipes), Claire (Jamie Chung), Chugs (Margo Harshman), and Ellie (Rumer Willis) – decides to play a prank on her ex-boyfriend, Garrett (Matt O’Leary), after finding out he cheated on her. The prank they decide to pull is to have Jessica give Garrett roofies to give to Megan. He gives them to her and she starts convulsing and appears to die. But they weren’t really roofies and she’s not really dead. To keep the joke going, the girls take Garrett and the “body” of Megan out to a deserted steel mill to dump the body. Not yet willing to give up on the joke, they put her “body” on the ground and act like they’re deciding to dump the body after cutting it up into pieces, further driving Garrett into despair. They split up to look for things to cut the body up. Unfortunately for them, Garrett finds a tire iron first and plunges it into Megan’s chest. So now she’s ACTUALLY dead. Now the idea of hiding her actual body and going about their lives sounds a little sweeter. The entire group of them agrees to dump the body except for Cassidy, but the bitch Jessica decides to wrap the body in Cassidy’s coat and dump her in it, so if Cassidy tells the police, she’ll be a suspect still. The group continue on to graduation (with Cassidy stepping away from the group for the most part). But, at graduation, they think they see Megan walking around, causing Ellie to scream and faint on stage as Cassidy’s boyfriend, valedictorian Andy (Julian Morris), makes a speech. Megan’s sister, Maggie (Caroline D’Amore), introduces herself to the group later. The group is relieved … until they get a text of a picture of the bloody tire iron in a gloved hand. Insert the remaining story of “I Know What You Did Last Summer” and call that a movie.

This is not a great movie. It’s basically the same story we’ve seen many times before with the tiniest bit of a twist at the end. The worst part of the movie, to me, was the subject matter: sorority girls. The greater majority of what I’ve seen about sorority girls comes from movies and they are always portrayed as either drunk, slutty, stupid, bitchy, or all of the above. This movie is all about those girls. I’m already annoyed from the start. Then you’d think that I’d be happy to see them all get killed, but I wasn’t. I’ve already seen I Know What You Did Last Summer. You just took that movie and slapped it into a sorority with a bunch of people I would never want to spend any time with while fully clothed. Almost everything said by these people seems as if it was written by really old people with a checklist of “The things those goddamned youngsters that won’t stay off my lawn would talk about.” They talk about updating their Facebook status constantly, and their second biggest concern (behind the person trying to kill them) was the location of their cell phones, and their cell phones were the same ones that 90 year old people who are afraid of staying up with technology buy! Sorority girls don’t use flip phones! Every single one of them is on an iPhone, and that’s a fact! While I was watching this movie, I picked up my iPhone and posted on Facebook that I … Oh shit … Either way, these bitches were annoying. I was happy that the sluttiest, alcoholic one was the first of the girls to die, but I still had to sit through a movie with the rest of the bitches. It was also 40 minutes into the movie before you saw a pair of boobs! How are you going to set a horror movie in a sorority house overflowing with super hot chicks and not show boobs? They showed about 3 pairs back to back, but none from the stars of the movie. I’m not particularly interested in seeing the boobs of the only vaguely attractive extras, especially if one of them quips about her “perfect tits” when they were par at best. The entire story of this movie was stupid. I predicted who the killer was going to be the very first time I saw him. Throughout the entire movie, the girls keep speculating that the killer is most likely Garrett, but we all know it’s not going to be, especially after he dies. Then we kind of think that it might be Megan, not actually dead, but very actually pissed. It’s not her either. They tried to pick someone you wouldn’t expect it to be, but I did. The only person in this movie that I would NEVER have thought would be the killer would’ve been Garrett. It would’ve been really shocking if the girls tried so hard to lead the audience into thinking it was him but (knowing that we would expect the unexpected) it would shock me if it actually was. It also really confused me that one of the girls tried to defend Garrett, saying that he was “harmless”. Apparently you forgot that the reason someone is hunting you is because he plunged a tire iron into someone’s chest. Then, being that the killer was not Megan, the entire motivation of the killer goes out the window. The actual motivation of the killer is retarded and does not make sense. It actually being Megan would have made total sense, and even Garrett would’ve made sense, but been too predictable. But we kind of figure out it’s not Megan because she kills outside of the group too often. If it was Megan, and it was a revenge film, then she would have no reason to kill anyone else unless they got in her way of killing one of them, not some random girl in the shower that has nothing to do with it. Killing the girl in the shower made sense with the motivations of who the killer actually was, but his motivations were stupid from the start, so it cancels that out. All of these stupid story elements could be forgiven if the action and the kills were cool and/or scary. They weren’t. The killer killed with a tire iron with some sharp things on it, which is an obvious choice. But the kills were basically just stabbings and throwings of the tire iron. And the movie was filmed with an intent for style, which turned out to just make things too dark and blurry to actually be able to figure out what was happening at times. When the killer is revealed, one of the girls looks down to see something in his pocket that gives him away. It gives him away to the people in the scene, but not to me because I have no idea what it was they saw! It looked like a couple of tent poles or something.

The performances of the actors in this movie pretty much required only one thing: hotness. The main cast mostly pulls that off, but everyone else is just okay. Briana Evigan was hot. Leah Pipes was hot and a ultra-irritating bitch. Jamie Chung was the hottest. Margo Harshman was hot, but she threw me off by being a way over the top slut and drunk. Rumer Willis was okay, but her chin is too big for my tastes. She was probably the best actress as it pertains to this movie. Audrina Patridge was hot, but barely in the movie. Caroline D’Amore was hot enough. I’m not mentioning their performances because none of them really impressive. Carrie Fisher was in this too, which makes me sad that she doesn’t pick better projects. But I love Carrie Fisher forever and always. Also, fuck you for killing her, movie. Matt O’Leary spazzed out as Garrett pretty well too.

Sorority Row is dumb. It’s filmed poorly, it’s story is poorly written and predictable, the killings aren’t interesting, and the couple of hot girls in the movie don’t get their tits out. There’s really no reason to see this. If you want to get the whole experience of the film, watch the first 20 minutes. You’ll see (and be annoyed by) the girls in the film, see the reason the killer is after them, and (if you’re like me) figure out the rest of the story when you see one character. Sure, you’ll miss the boobs, but you’re not missing much. Skip this film unless you want to make fun of something. Sorority Row gets “It’s not my fault that you’re gay” out of “Ewww, she looks horrible!”

Hey, peeps. Why not rate and comment on this as a favor to good ole Robert, eh? And tell your friends! Let’s make me famous!

Frailty (2002)

Killing People is Wrong, Destroying Demons is Good

Today’s movie comes as another review request, this time from my friend Ryan.  The movie did not escape my radar, but I never got visual confirmation on it.  That is an overly complicated way to say that I knew about it, but never saw it.  And to even say I knew about it perhaps goes too far.  I had seen the DVD on the shelves at stores, knew who was in it, vaguely knew it was horror, and that about covers it.  And I do greatly appreciate it when these requests make me watch a movie I hadn’t already seen, even if that movie is horrible.  Is this movie horrible?  Let’s find out in my review of Frailty, written by Brent Hanley, directed by and starring Bill Paxton, and starring Matt O’Leary, Jeremy Sumpter, Matthew McConaughey, Levi Kreis, Powers Boothe, Luke Askew, and Missy Crider.

We start off the story in a police office in Dallax, Texas.  Agent Wesley Doyle (Powers Boothe) enters his office to talk to a man, who introduces himself as Fenton Meiks (Matthew McConaughey).  Fenton tells Doyle that a rash of serial killings known as the “God’s Hand” killings are being committed by his brother, Adam (Levi Kreis).  Asked to explain, Meiks jumps into flashback.  When Adam (Jeremy Sumpter) and Fenton (Matt O’Leary) were kids, they lived a pretty normal life with their unnamed dad, Dad (Bill Paxton).  Normal, until Dad wakes up one night, stares at his bowling trophy, and decides he’s gotten a message from God.  This message is that he needs to start destroying demons, and he’ll be sent three magical weapons and a list that he’ll use to do so.  These demons will look like normal people, but they’re demons.  There is no other explanation for this than divine intervention.  Let’s kill some people!  …I mean destroy demons.  Adam is totally on board with Dad, but Fenton would rather be a stick in the mud.  Dad assures Fenton that their sins will be revealed to the family when he lays his hands on the demons.  God sends Dad the weapons in the form of a magical lead pipe to knock out the demons, magical gardening gloves so their sins aren’t revealed before justice time, and an axe with ‘Otis’ carved into the handle.  As Dad starts getting into the destruction of demons, Adam feels that he too can see the sins of the demons with Dad lays his hands on them, but Fenton sees nothing beyond his father murdering people with an axe.  Generally speaking, this doesn’t work out well for Fenton, but he must figure out what to do about Dad.

I mostly liked this movie.  Well, technically I guess I’d say I did like the movie, but I had story issues that are spoilers and I’ll get to later.  I found the story itself very intriguing.  As a religious person, you might expect I would find this movie upsetting because God is causing this guy to kill people.  As a rational person, you might expect I would find it upsetting because this nutjob with his Jesus crutch is killing people.  But, as me, I just found this to be a good, intriguing watch.  I did have a lot of the Jesus crutch reaction, but I’ll get into that when I spoil in the next paragraph.  There were a few parts that confused me about the movie, but they didn’t stop me from enjoying it.  When Paxton and Fenton go to kill Fenton’s first demon, the “demon” guy is very creepy and tries to attack them, but this is never explained at all.  As far as he knows, it’s just a guy and his kids with a flat tire.  Why was he attacking?  This part stuck in my brain as a problem a lot longer than it probably should have.  But, again, this didn’t take away from my enjoyment of the movie.

::SPOILER ALERT:: Let’s talk about what did take away from my enjoyment: the ending.  Throughout the entire movie, you’re never given any reason to believe that Paxton is anything but looney.  You’re being told the story in a flashback from someone that you believe is Fenton, the person who didn’t believe Dad and Adam.  In the end, it turns out that not only is the story being told by grown up Adam (McConaughey lying and saying he’s Fenton), but there is a greater possibility that God actually is leading them to kill people.  When Adam touches the hand of Powers Boothe, he sees that Boothe killed his own mother and that paralyzes Boothe into being unable to attack Adam.  Also, the people that let Adam in to see Agent Doyle inexplicably remembered nothing about Adam and even didn’t recognize him when they saw him again, and the surveillance footage had an imperfection that blocked his face.  I believed Paxton was a lunatic for the entire movie because my version of God wouldn’t tell someone to go kill things.  The way this movie ends seems to almost endorse the idea that some people may be doing the right thing to go out and kill for God.  The reason I’m torn about the ending is because they path they took was the one with the interesting twist, but the horrible message.  I’ll say it for this movie: “Just enjoy watching it, but don’t listen to your bowling trophy if it tells you to kill people.”  ::END SPOILERS::

It turns out McConaughey is a monkey!  HAHA!  Spoilers were NOT really over!  Okay, I’m just kidding.  Let’s talk acting.  McConaughey puts on a pretty solid performance here, and by that I mean he gets his shirt off by the second time you see him.  COME ON, DUDE!  Ah, who’m I kidding?  If I had sweet abs, I’d never wear a shirt either.  But he is fairly solid in this movie, but he’s also scarcely in it.  When he is, he’s pretty apprehensive and beaten down as you would expect Fenton to be after what you see him go through, and he changes persona in the very end.  When he’s not in the movie, he’s played by Matt O’Leary, who performs very well for the most part.  He’s the only one who doesn’t believe what’s going on is divinely inspired and he can’t get help because he loves his father but knows he has to do something and starts doubting religion because of it.  He pulls off the conflict very well.  Both versions of Adam are barely featured here.  Powers Boothe was alright.  No complaints.  Oh wait…  That dude was Curly Bill in Tombstone?  I’m going to up my response to his performance.  He was now the greatest actor ever.  Okay, he wasn’t even the greatest in this movie.  Bill Paxton stole the show, and why wouldn’t he?  He did direct the thing.  But he does crazy well, and he also does loveable well, so he did this part perfectly.  He was crazy, but he was also a good dad, so you can understand Fenton’s conflict.

There you go, Ryan.  Thanks and you’re welcome.  Thanks because I did like this movie.  Interesting story with a nice twist ending, although that same ending kind of kicked any positive message in the balls.  The performances were also very good.  And, of course, you’re welcome because I just typed over 1200 words for you.  Frailty is definitely worth a rental, though I don’t think it’s on Netflix streaming, and I doubt you’ll find it in a RedBox, but you should rent it at least.  I think it’d probably be a pretty cheap purchase by now, and I may do just that.  Altogether, I will give Frailty “We’re just fulfilling God’s will” out of “Sometimes truth defies reason”.

Hey, peeps. Why not rate and comment on this as a favor to good ole Robert, eh? And tell your friends! Let’s make me famous!