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Archive for the ‘Suspense Thriller’ Category:

Director Kevin Macdonald BLACK SEA Interview

Director Kevin Macdonald went to extraordinary lengths to create the submarine thriller, BLACK SEA, starring Jude Law.   Kevin goes into amazing detail about how he brought this underwater adventure to the screen. Black Sea opens in US theaters January 23, 2015.

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The Movie Interview EXCLUSIVE: Nicolas Cage talks The Frozen Ground

Nic Cage talks with Leo Quinones about going to ‘dark places’ to research the roles he plays.  The Frozen Ground is true story about a serial killer(John Cusack) & the sole witness who barely escaped his deadly grasp.  Plus, Nic talks about ‘Man of Steel’ & wearing the famed Superman costume. Follow Leo Quinones on Twitter @MovieInterview & Instagram at TheMovieInterview

The Frozen Ground interview with Nic Cage from Leo Quinones on Vimeo.

The Thing Movie Review

I can barely remember John Carpenter’s 1982 version of, “The Thing,”  which is the exact reason why it’s being remade in 2011.  This time, the studio is going after young customers.  It’s no secret:  Teenage males drive box office sales!  “The Thing” is tailor-made for a new generation ready for a good scare.   All the usual suspects are here.

Close your eyes & you’ll hear the high-pitched squealing from, “Alien.”  There’s a ton of “Alien” here.  Remember, the company man who only wants to contain & monetize the specimen at all costs, even human life?   What’s most obvious is seeing Kate Lloyd, (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) take on the female heroine persona ala Sigourney Weaver’s Ripley. It’s all there right down to the flame thrower.

So if you take away the baggage of seeing  the other two versions of, “The Thing,” as  if they never existed, odds are you’d have a heckuva good time at the movies.  Again, that’s for first timers.  As for me, there’s nothing new to report here.  I’ve seen this movie already.  “The Thing” is rated R for bloody, Sci-Fi images.

If you’re sequestered in the frozen tundra of Antarctica & don’t get out because of the blistering wind chill factor, might I suggest downloading The Film Freak iPhone App.  It’s the movie app that saves you money on movies. Search Film Freak

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The Debt Movie Review

I love movies where Nazis are brought to justice.  In 1966, three Mossad secret agents, Rachel Singer (Jessica Chastain) Stephan Gold (Marton Csokas) and David Peretz (Sam Worthington) went undercover to East Berlin to hunt down & capture a Nazi war criminal, alive!  The target, Doktor Bernhardt, (Jesper Christensen).  During his tenure under the Third Reich, Bernhardt was a monster armed with a scalpel, an experimental butcher & the mission was to bring him back to stand trail in disgrace of his accusers.

That was the mission, but now it’s over 30 years later, Tel Aviv 1997.  The agents have long since retired, but are called together.  The veteran trio, Rachel (Helen Mirren), Stephan (Tom Wilkinson) & David (Ciarin Hinds) swore to a secret that’s been buried for three generations.  The mission had gone horribly wrong.

“The Debt,” is a very clever suspense thriller that jogs back and forth between 1960’s Germany & the late 90’s.  I like how the agents prepared & trained for their mission.  It gives you a real sense of danger & how these operatives might have actually carried out such a plan. Young Rachel’s (Chastain) role in the mission was by far the toughest & most horrific on her psyche.  You can see onscreen, whatever happened back in Berlin was carried on by Helen Mirren’s mannerisms in her performance. The emotional baggage is right there.  NO SPOILERS HERE. You’ll have to go see it for yourself.

“The Debt” is a solid movie with clever suspense.  Rated R

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Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark

Who better to haunt a house than Guillermo del Toro?  He’s a masterful filmmaker & knows the beats of suspense and horror usually from the perspective of a little girl. Such is the worst case scenario in “Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark.”  Sally (Bailee Madison, Just Go With It) is uprooted from her life on the west coast with her mother. Now she’s headed back East to live with her father Alex, (Guy Pearce) & his girlfriend, Kim (Katie Holmes.) The kicker:  They’re living in a wicked old house with secret passages & danger at every corner.

Literally, before Sally has a chance to sneak a single episode of ‘Celebrity Rehab,’ the creepy-crawlies begin to wreak havoc.  She starts hearing whispering voices and things start moving on their own. I’d have bailed. But kids are curious & Sally seeks out the voices in the darkest bottom of a 200 year old hidden basement.  Yeah, let’s be friends she thinks.

Of course, adults are always the last ones to know or believe.  So Sally gets in deeper & deeper with the creatures while the grown ups think she’s just a kiddo nutball.  I liked the building suspense and tension.  There’s also a couple of genuine, jump-out-of-your-seat moments.   I was at a midnight show & people were having a good time screaming, then laughing at themselves for screaming.

Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark is rate R, but I don’t really know why.  There’s blood, but not super bloody.  There’s no bad language and no nudity.  In fact, Katie Holmes’ character wears a full on bra to bed under her silk nightie.  If that doesn’t take you out of a movie, nothing will.

Fans of the scare won’t be able to resist Don’t be Afraid of the Dark.  I thought it was a pretty good movie.  Thankfully, the filmmakers only provided us with 2D.  I feel like I should thank someone for not hitting me over the head with the 3D mallet!

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Leo, What Should I Go See?

NEW WEEKLY VIDEO FEATURE: “Leo, What Should I Go See?”  I hope you dig it. Q

Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark


Our Idiot Brother

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Fright Night 3D Movie Review

When it comes to breaking down a movie like,  “Fright Night,” the last thing anyone needs is an intellectual film critic know-it-all.   Horror purists will balk at the idea of this remake or re-visioning of “Fright Night.” Who even cares!?!  First & foremost, this vampire movie plays by the bloodsucker rulebook.  Unlike the undead in “Twilight,” who walk triumphantly in the the blistering sun, the filmmakers paid attention to the Do’s & Don’ts of the genre.  I appreciate the crosses, garlic, holy water, wooden stakes & finding the hidden masters’ lair.

What’s cool about “Fright Night” is its sexiness.  Jerry (Colin Farrell) is hands down the horniest vampire.  His female take downs are legendary! Strippers, MiLFs & high school hotties. Jerry’s favorite blood type is O….M.G.  Farrell is perfect for the role with his eyes always peering, cautiously sniffing scents & scratching things during his scenes.   On the other hand, Charlie (Anton Yelchin) is the clumsy & pasty kid tasked with doing away with a very tactical, 400 year old vampire.

The acting is solid.  The cast also includes Toni Collette & a good performance from David Tennant, who plays a Las Vegas based occult-heavy magician, Peter Vincent.  Ramin Djawadi’s musical score was just excellent.  It just added a terrific layer of tension.  Also, there’s the 3D factor. I have to say, this time around, the 3D plays really well.  I hope you don’t mind having 3D blood spurting into your face.

The Vampire movie genre is alive and well.  All I can say is, “Fright Night” was the bloodsucking torpedo that sank the USS Twilight for ‘2011’s Coolest Vampire Flick.’  Sorry Twi-hards.

“Fright Night” is Rated R for bloody violence & F Bombs.

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30 Minutes Or Less Movie Review

Jesse Eisenberg is Nick.   A guy who hates his job, his boss & probably his life.   What does he do for a living?  He delivers pizzas like a NASCAR Ninja in just 30 Minutes or Less.   Nick’s last delivery is gonna be a doozy.  Two second rate losers (Danny McBride & Nick Swardson) hatch a plan to make quick money.  Instead of robbing a bank themselves, they’ll strap a homemade bomb on a stranger & make him do it.

As you’ve seen in the trailer, once the bomb has been planted on Nick, he seeks help from his best friend Chet (Aziz Ansari).  Armed with only knowledge of 80’s action flicks, these two idiots rob the local bank to the tune of 100,00 bucks.

Two familiar faces are scene stealers with limited screen time. First, the hitman (Michael Peña). Very funny.  Also, from TV’s “Rules of Engagement,” is Bianca Kajlich who plays a local stripper. While dancing on Danny McBride, Bianca goes full blown topless. No special digital effects or enhancements. Man, the one time I want 3D & it’s not even there.

The idea of these two numb nuts getting away with this high profile robbery in Grand Rapids, Michigan is certainly a stretch. You’ll just have to go with it.  It’s a straight up rated R stoner comedy.  If you dug “Pineapple Express,” this is your movie.

There’s nothing worse than having a bomb strapped to your chest.  Can you imagine!?!  On the other hand, there’s nothing better than the Film Freak iPhone – iPad App. It’s the movie app that saves you money on movies. Just search Film Freak

I’m not a credible bank robber, but life is fun. Follow me on Twitter @leoquinones

Final Destination 5 Movie Review

There’s an old saying, ‘Give the people what they want.’  And what they want is yet another dose of ” Final Destination.”  The popular film series flies in the face of everything.  It just doesn’t care. It’s all about scary premonitions & Death’s Design.  The TV spots have given away so much. What the audience wants to see, disturbing as it may seem, is beautiful people getting maimed, twisted & crunched in the most incredulous deaths imaginable.

Instead of being shocked & horrified, the crowd just laughs & cheers!  This time around, a bridge collapses & all but eight people on board escape with their lives.  Well, if you’ve seen the trailer, Creepy Coroner guys says, “Death doesn’t like to be cheated.”  One by one the survivors get picked off in a way sinister manner.  Death’s scenarios have been well documented in every TV spot. There’s the Lasik Eye Exam, the gymnast & the sensual Asian massage parlor & more!

When it comes to Final Destination 5, you best not over think it.  I saw it with a sold out crowd & they ate it up.  They were straight up laughing as the actors delivered their ‘serious’ lines.  Every time someone gets taken out, you can hear the ‘Ohhhhhhh-turn-into-sheer-laughs.’

I must admit, Final Destination 5 was super fun.  It’s rated R for extreme violence, but less nudity than Final Destination 4.  What’s up with that?  Personally speaking, I thought Final 3’s topless girl slow-cooking in the tanning bed death was a high point in the series.

The 3D thing is so played out…in the first 5 minutes!  3D opening credits show slow motion with things coming at you all through shattered glass. Yawn.  A hammer. A prosthetic arm. A skull. A tire. A Metal Rod. Yawn. A brick.  By the start of the movie, the 3D is totally on your nerves.  Save 4-5 bucks by seeing Final 5 in 2D.

The Film Freak iPhone App is where it’s at in movies.  It’s the movie app that saves you money on movies.

If I ever have a premontion about Death’s Design, you best follow me on Twitter @leoquinones.  Cuz, when I get that eerie vision, I will certainly Tweet about it & quite possibly save your life.

Thank me later,



Super 8 Movie Review

“Super 8” is a simple love story.  There’s a 14 year old kid, Joe Lamb (Joel Courtney) who’s head-over-heels for Alice. (Elle Fanning)  Their puppy love is just about ready to take flight.  Oh yeah,  there’s a snag.  There’s a sinister creature threatening the residents of the blue-collar town of Lillian, Ohio.

Set your WayBack Machine to 1976.  By now you’ve heard the film focuses on a group of kids making a movie with their Super 8 Camera.  The usual suspects are present & accounted for.  Government Cover Up?  Check.  70’s Soundtrack hits? Check.  Ford Pinto in the foreground? Check.  The look of the film is perfect, especially on a skimpy$50 million dollar budget.

The kid actors are the ones who should get all the credit.  Director J.J. Abrams & his Ment0r Steven Spielberg know how to get the best performance for their cast.  I also love the rudimentary film making jargin.  These kids are under intense pressure and are cranking out amazing performances.  The movie does build very well throughout.  There are twists that I can’t tell you about. NO SPOILERS HERE.  Super 8 is a really good popcorn movie, but does lack surprise.  I’ll give it 3 1/2 stars out of five.

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