Tuesday, September 19, 2017

The Animated Addict: "How to Train Your Dragon 2" (2014)


Before there was Pixar producing phenomenal computer animated movies, there was Dreamworks.

"How to Train Y our Dragon 2" isn't a bad movie.  It's not what I would consider one of Dreamwork's better pieces, but it's not a bad movie.

I really enjoyed the first one, but couldn't quite focus on this installment in the series.

The visuals are fantastic.  I really liked how they actually put thought into how the characters would look as they aged.  They look the age they're supposed to be.  Also the environmental design is amazing.  Great lighting and shading, and wonderful texturing.  A visually beautiful film.

The camera work helps to enhance the look.  A great blend of standard steady shots, with swooping angles and movements.

The voice acting was also pretty good, too.  The voices matched the personalities of the characters perfectly.  I also really liked the characters as well.  They were interesting and unique from each other- with each character having their own "moment" to shine as well.

Unfortunately, the story wasn't as engaging for me as the first film.  I liked the addition to Hiccup's backstory regarding his mother- but the rest of it was pretty much just a repeat of the original story.  It made it hard to focus on what was happening.  I even found myself comtemplating what sort of thoughts a cheesy poof might have in its bag.

In fact, I found the short film "Dawn of the Dragon Racers" in the special features more interesting story-wise.

"How to Train Your Dragon 2" would be good for a single viewing- but sad to say, not much more than that.  I'm going to have to put it in "The Bad".

Friday, September 15, 2017

Jamie Lee Curtis returns to Halloween

The Halloween franchise is a strange universe indeed, having been retconned and reimagined several times in its 39-year history.

Well, today big news hit about another huge twist in the franchise -- Jamie Lee Curtis will return in the next Halloween film . . . and she's playing Laurie Strode!!

Monday, September 11, 2017

Mike S's Top Five War Movies That Deserve a Remake


With the recent release of "Dunkirk", we've seen that war movies still have a place in cinema and that people WILL watch them.

With that in mind, here are my top five war movies that I'd like to see a remake of:

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Why It is so good

By now, many, many people have seen the big-screen adaptation of Stephen King's It. To the tune of $117 million -- the largest opening for a horror movie ever.

There are a lot of reasons for It's success (see what I did there?). It's arguably King's best-known work, and most liked. So that plays a big part. And the movie was well marketed by Warner Bros. and New Line Cinema.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Mike S versus Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016)


Normally, I'd write something witty at the start of a review, and a quick synopsis of the plot.  Today however, I'm going to skip that and get to the meat of my review of 2016's "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them".

I really love the Harry Potter books (I read "The Deathly Hallows" in one sitting), and really enjoyed the movies.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Second Chances: Mulholland Drive (2001)


Sometimes we come across a movie we felt something the first time we watch, but on second viewing a few years later, we find that our opinion changes.  Movies we didn't like sometimes get a second chance to impress us.

Often, they don't... but sometimes, they do.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Life Vs. Alien: Covenant - The Alien Showdown

There were two big alien-themed releases this year. One was the latest chapter in a much-revered franchise, the other a start-studded, science-based work of original sci-fi.

On this episode, Jason, Shawn, Amy and special guest Nathan Bosa tackle Life and Alien: Covenant, and determine which is best.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Weekly Roundup: The Punisher teaser, Justice League "unwatchable" and that Obi-Wan Kenobi movie

Alright, the weekend is upon us and everyone's focused on some well-deserved R and R, and probably a liquor drink or six. But before we let you go -- at least until the next episode drops on Sunday -- we've got a few news items for your eye and ear holes.

First up, how about that teaser for Netflix and Marvel's The Punisher that debuted at the tail end of The Defenders?

Thursday, August 17, 2017

It's an alien showdown!

A new episode was recorded in The Basement this eve, one that pits opinions against two big alien-themed releases from earlier this year.

In one corner, the Ryan Reynolds/Jake Gyllenhaal/Rebecca Ferguson flick Life. In the other, the Alien/Prometheus prequel/sequel Alien: Covenant.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Jason versus Lake Bodom

In the summer of 1960, four teenagers were brutally murdered on the shores of Finland's Lake Bodom. The killer was never caught. True story.

Now we've got a creepy as fuck Finnish horror flick that uses these murders as a springboard for an off-the-walls horror flick that deserves to be ranked among the best of the genre.

Animated Godzilla flick streaming to Netflix

Shawn and Mike S have given me the gears for years about not being a fan of animation. Shawn loves the animated DC movies, and by now all of you should be familiar with Mike S's Animated Addict columns here in The Basement.

Me? I have a hard time getting emotionally engaged in a story that's presented as a cartoon. Loved 'em as a kid, but not so much in the last 25 years or so. Cartoons leave me cold.

However, that might be about to change.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

A new clip from indie horror The Ice Cream Truck

I vaguely remember being excited whenever the ice cream truck rolled through our neighbourhood when I was boy. Looking back, it's a nostalgic moment from my youth, and almost unheard of in this day and age.

Which kinda makes sense, because as an adult, there's something unsettling about the canned, cheery music and a grown man luring children to his vehicle with the promise of tasty treats.

Monday, August 14, 2017

The Animated Addict: "Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders" (2016)


Mike S back with another animated review!  This time, in honor of the late, great Adam West, I'm going to be discussing DC's 2016 release, "Batman: The Return of the Caped Crusaders"!

When DC relaunched their comics under the banner of "The New 52", they produced a few series that weren't part of the new continuity.  One of them was "Batman '66"- which was based on the old 1960's Batman TV series starring Adam West (as Batman/Bruce Wayne), and Burt Ward (as Robin/Dick Grayson).  If you get the chance- check out a few of the issues, they're quite fun and really encapsulated the spirit of the show.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Jason versus Annabelle: Creation

We all know there are a lot of bad horror movies out there that make some serious bank. Horror fans love the genre, and will pretty much go and see anything because they're starved for new content, inadvertently creating hits.

But sometimes . . . just sometimes . . . a sequel to a crap horror movie can exceed the original in every way. Or, as has been the case recently, a prequel.

Friday, August 11, 2017

The Drunken Review: King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

Jay here. It's Friday night. I've had a glass of red wine, three Rum and Cokes and a bunch of beer . . . and I just watched King Arthur: Legend of the Sword. How does all this come together? Stick with me!

First off, I'm convinced lamestream film critics and the general movie audiences are a bunch of idiots.  How did Guy Ritchie's take on the King Arthur legend only gross $140 million worldwide and run a deficit. That's just stupid to me!

An evil Elmo is on the loose in Puppet Killer

OK, it's not THE Elmo every child from the 90s adored, but the "loveable" Sesame Street character is the first thing I thought of when I watched the trailer for the upcoming horror flick Puppet Killer.

And hey, if you can't kill Elmo, you might as well have him whack a bunch of people in an indie horror movie!

Produced by former Basement guest and constant Scream Queen Jessica Cameron, Puppet Killer is about a group of six friends stalked by a killer who's obsessed with horror movie icons during Christmas vacation.


Thursday, August 10, 2017

Tracey Birdsall talks Rogue Warrior: Robot Fighter

We've entertained the beautiful and talented Tracey Birdsall twice before in The Basement. First with a print interview here on the site, and later on the podcast/radio show. She's been a great interview both times.

As we reported last week, her new flick Rogue Warrior: Robot Fighter hits VOD next week. So it was only fitting that we'd have her back once more to share a some further details about this sci-fi flick.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Godzilla actor dead at 88

Before CGI revolutionized special effects, there was the era of the Man in Suit. That's right, many times when there was a monster on the screen, it was played by a guy wearing a costume.

Hands down the most famous Man-in-Suit monster is Godzilla. And on Monday, the guy who played him in 12 films -- from the original Godzilla in 1954 to Godzilla Vs. Gigan in 1972 -- passed away.

Haruo Nakajima died at age 88.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Mike S's Top Five Canadian Shows That Deserve a Reboot or Movie

I am a Canadian.  As a Canadian, I am well aware of the Canadian Broadcast Corporation (CBC).  As a Canadian, I am also aware of the many great Television shows produced for the CBC over the years.

Which brings me to this list.  These are the top five Canadian Television shows I think deserve a reboot or a movie!

Will Karl Urban return for Judge Dredd TV show?

The fact the 2012 big-screen Judge Dredd reboot, appropriately enough called Dredd, didn't take off is a damn shame. Damn. Shame. It remains one of the best comic-book movies ever made, and a damn fine sci-fi/action flick. Damn. Fine.

Fortunately, the film has developed a cult following. This is largely due, I would assume, to Karl Urban's spot on portrayal of Judge Dredd. And all the cool action.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Zygote and the return of Amy Wickenheiser

The Basement is two bastards and a bastardette once more as everyone's favourite female Spider-Man fan -- Amy Wickenheiser -- returns to the studio!

What's Amy been up to and what does she have to say? Stick with us!

Friday, August 4, 2017

Tracey Birdsall and Rogue Warrior come home

There are few cooler things for Shawn, Amy and I than seeing something we've endorsed, or someone we've interviewed, succeed. That was the case with Matt Sconce and his flick Altar, and it turns out that's also the story with Tracey Birdsall and her flick Rogue Warrior: Robot Fighter.

Not that Tracey, who like the movie's director, Neil Johnson, hasn't been in the business for years. But we learned today that their movie Rogue Warrior: Robot Fighter -- which we discussed with them on the show last season -- has had a successful theatrical run and is heading home via VOD.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

The return of Amy Wickenheiser

Jason and Shawn have been back at it for more than a month now, but one key player in their podcast game has been missing...

Amy Wickenheiser!

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Halloween star joins Joe Dante's Camp Cold Brook

Paranormal reality shows still seem to be all the rage these days, despite the genre peaking with Paranormal State almost a decade ago, and that show's demise now years behind us.

However, it's still an interesting premise for a horror film. I mean, TV crew explores alleged creepy incident, alleged creepy incident turns out to be real, cue the screaming.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Mike S's Top Four Graphic Novels to Adapt!


We live in an age where comic books are a major source of television and cinematic entertainment.

In light of this, I would like to submit my "Top Four List of Graphic Novels to Adapt"  For this list, I'm going to focus on stand-alone stories that have no connections to mainstream comic book series (ie- no Batman story arc, no Marvel "What If?" stories, etc).

David Fincher's Mindhunter TV series gets a promo

No one, but no one, handles the topic of serial killers quite like David Fincher. The man made his mark on the subject with 1995's Se7en, and then took it to new heights of cinematic greatness with Zodiac a decade ago.

Now he's taken John Douglas's fantastic true-crime book, Mindhunter, and brought it to the small screen via Netflix, who Shawn and I have pimped so much lately we should be getting royalties.

Monday, July 31, 2017

The Animated Addict: Moana (2016)


Mike S back with another installment of "The Animated Addict"!  This time, I discuss Disney's 2016 release, "Moana"- starring Auli'i Cravalho as Moana, and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson as the demi-god Maui.

In the distant past, the demi-god Maui stole the heart of the Island Mother Te Fiti.  This unleashes a plague upon the Earth- one that slowly spreads and devours all life it comes in contact with.

Moana, the daughter of a Polynesian chief has felt the call of the ocean from a young age.  She soon discovers that the ocean itself has chosen her to return Te Fiti's heart- with the help of Maui.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Jason versus Beware the Slenderman

Beware the Slenderman is a doc I've wanted to watch since it was first announced a year and a half ago.

I'd become fascinated with this bit of Internet-created folklore, partly because of how pervasive Slenderman has become in our culture, and partly because my then four-year-old son and his friends talked abut him like I'd talked about the Boogeyman.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Retro Review: Passenger 57

Ah, the early 90s. A time when Hollywood action movies were going through Die Hard Syndrome.

What is Die Hard Syndrome? Well, let me tell you! The Bruce Willis action flick was such a big hit that Hollywood producers, directors and actors were out to duplicate it in whatever way, shape or form they could think of. We had Die Hard on a Boat (Under Siege), Die Hard on a Bus (Speed) and, as is the case with Passenger 57, Die Hard on a Plane.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Canadian horror doc to hit Sitges Film Festival

Believe it or not, Basementites, us igloo-dwelling, syrup-sucking iceholes have a long and proud history of making horror films. Really good horror films. Horror films like Black Christmas, Scanners, My Bloody Valentine and The Changeling.

My buddy and Billy Trigger co-star Deke Richards co-directed a nifty sounding documentary called Tax Shelter Terrors, which explores how Canada's tax-shelter system gave birth to a whole genre-film industry here in the True North Strong and Free between 1974 and 1982.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

It trailer provides summertime chills

It's 34 C outside right now, which in U.S. terms is something like 80 F. It's F-ing hot out! But despite the dry heat, the new trailer for It managed to provide me with more than a few chills.

For one, hearing some creepy kid say "you'll float too" over and over and over and over and over again is, well, creepy. Plus, I'm very familiar with Stephen King's source material, having recently re-read It in anticipation of this adaptation hitting screens. And the book, folks, is . . . creepy.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Daniel Craig back as Bond

Remember yesterday, when we confirmed for you Basementites that another James Bond movie was on its way in 2019? But we weren't sure if the latest Bond, Daniel Craig, would be in it?

Well, yeah. He will be.

Mike S versus Where the Wild Things Are (2009)


I think it would be hard to find a person who HASN'T either heard of, or read Maurice Sendak's book, "Where the Wild Things Are".

I know I have very fond memories of reading it.  In fact, it was one of my favorite books growing up.

It had whimsy, humour, a character every child could relate to, and satisfied my need to run wild with my imagination without having to worry about rules.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Bond, James Bond returns in 2019

Not a lot is known about the next instalment in the long-running James Bond franchise, but we do know one thing -- when we get to see it!

Save the date, people, as James Bond returns to theatres on Nov. 8, 2019!

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Altar and the return of Matt Sconce

Jason and Shawn are back in The Basement, and they've brought one of their favourite interviewees with them -- writer/director Matt Sconce!

Matt appeared on the show a year and a half ago and talked his then recently completed feature Altar. Now the horror flick has hit screens, and Jason and Shawn have seen it.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

About Marvel's The Defenders trailer

Much like The Avengers before it, it's been a long and purposeful road to The Defenders.

The execs at Marvel Studios have planned and plotted the upcoming Netflix series since long before Daredevil emerged on the scene two years ago, and followed it up with Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist.

You know, like Marvel did with Iron Man, Thor, Captain America etc and so on.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Cops, orcs and fairies . . . oh my! The Bright trailer

So, how about Alien Nation with orcs? End of Watch with fairies? That's pretty much what David Ayers new flick Bright looks like.

Only thing is, it looks better than I just made it sound.

Matt Sconce returns . . .

Jason and Shawn are back in the Basement studio tonight, and they're bringing one of their favourite interviewees with them!

In the spring of 2016, Jason, Shawn and Amy sat down with writer/director Matt Sconce to talk about his then recently completed feature film Altar, a found-footage horror flick.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The Snowman creates Halloween chills

When I think of snowmen, I don't typically think of scary. Even attempts to create evil killer snowmen movies (I'm talking about YOU, Jack Frost) have generated more chuckles than chills.

Then along comes this trailer for The Snowman, a new serial killer flick starring Michael Fassbender, and the whole killer snowman genre comes alive.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

The Baby Driver debate and RIP George A. Romero

Jason and Shawn are back! What!?! Already!?!

Well, we lie a little. Shawn's not back. He's taking a time out. But Jason is, and he's joined by The After Movie Diner host Jon Cross for a very special episode of We Came from the Basement. How special, you may ask?

Monday, July 17, 2017

New Blade Runner 2049 trailer reveals humanity's fate

Man, I had a lot of trouble coming up with a headline for this post. Partly because I'm out of practice, and partly because I didn't know what to say.

On the one had, I am really looking forward to seeing what Prisoners and The Arrival director Denis Villeneuve does with this follow up to the sci-fi classic. On the other hand, the whole project is a bit worrying, as Blade Runner didn't really need a sequel.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

RIP George A. Romero

He changed horror forever when he made the classic Night of the Living Dead back in 1968, and now the world has lost one of grandfathers of modern genre cinema. That's right, George A. Romero has died.

Word dropped earlier today that Romero, 77, passed away after a brief battle with lung cancer.

Wonder Woman and the Superhero Movie

Another summer where franchise fatigue has set in, and sequels that would have, at one time, been guaranteed hits, underperform. Yet the superhero movie continues to reign supreme.

Spider-Man: Homecoming has earned $176 million in eight days. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 $386 million to date, and Wonder Woman $375 million and climbing.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

John Fallon's Heretic gets a poster

Everyone who's been a fan of The Basement since the beginning knows we're good friends with filmmaker and Arrow in the Head founder John Fallon.

He's been on our show numerous times, we've partied with him, Shawn scored his debut feature film The Shelter, and I've written three -- count 'em three -- scripts for the man, which are in various stages of development.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

We record tonight . . .

Headlines don't get much more on the nose than that! But it's the truth -- Jason and Shawn are back in The Basement this eve to record another episode.

What's it all about, Charlie Brown?

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

The Dark Tower gets an intense new trailer

We're just weeks away from seeing the long-awaited adaptation/sequel of/to Stephen King's epic series The Dark Tower. Hope that made sense to y'all.

Much fuss has been made about how little publicity there's been for the flick, with Sony only releasing a trailer, a few posters, and some TV spots.

I find this approach a breath of fresh air, as back when I was a boy, movies got a trailer three months from release, a poster or two, and some TV and radio commercials. That's it.

The Animated Addict: The Transformers: The Movie (1986)


Mike S here (again) bringing you another animated movie review!  This time, I'm travelling back to 1986, when "The Transformers: The Movie" was released.

The Decepticons and Autobots have been waging war for years.  Just as things look bad for the Autobots, things get worse with the arrival of... Unicron- eater of planets.  It's up to the remaining Autobots to defeat Unicron and a new, improved Megatron!

Monday, July 10, 2017

Surprise Guest Review: Logan (2017)


Mike S sneaking into the Basement today to bring you a surprise guest review!  That's right!  Me.  Reviewing a movie!

Surprise, mother fuckers!

So- "Logan" has been a bit of a big deal this year in terms of comic book nerds and movie geeks.

But did it deserve all the hype surrounding it?

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Retro Review: Firestorm (1998)

Jason here. With dozens of forest fires burning within 200 klicks of our fair city, I thought it might be a good idea to revisit the Howie Long action flick Firestorm, because it's about a prison break that takes place during a forest fire.

See my train of thought here? This is a solid concept idea for an action thriller.

How was the watch, especially given how poorly received the movie was when released two decades ago?