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(This is NOT an official poster. It's just a place holder that I made for the review.)

“Frankie Go Boom”
a review by Darby O’Gill

Last week I got to attend a cast and crew screening of the upcoming indie film, Frankie Go Boom, and are you all in for a treat! This is a Secret Stash exclusive! After checking with writer/director Jordan Roberts and the producers, I’m pleased to announce that this is officially the first review of Frankie Go Boom anywhere! Remember you read it here first! I’ve always wanted to say that, and now it’s actually true! Okay, let’s get this show on the road. Now, when I went into this movie I had absolutely zero expectations. I had no idea what it was about, and having not seen a trailer… There isn’t one yet, by the way. Yeah, I told you, you were the first to know! I really didn’t know what to expect, and I’ve got to say I was pleasantly surprised. The one thing I did know going in, was the cast. I’ve always enjoyed Lizzy Caplan on the big and small screen, but I became a huge fan of Chris O’Dowd’s a few years ago after seeing The Boat That Rocked/Pirate Radio. That alone got me into the theatre, and I’m guessing that’s why I didn’t even bother to ask what the movie was about before seeing it that night. But lucky for you, your old friend Darby took some notes, and is ready to give you the 4-1-1.

Frankie Go Boom is about two brothers, the youngest Frankie (Charlie Hunnam) who is continuously being tortured and humiliated throughout his life by his older brother, Bruce (Chris O’Dowd), all the while being caught on tape as the subject matter of Bruce’s “movies.” I use the air quotes because Bruce’s movies are nothing more than glorified home videos of his constant mistreatment and torment of poor Frankie. From Super 8 cameras to HD cellphones, the advancements of modern home video equipment over the years don’t really seem to be helping Frank deter Bruce from making anymore of his movies anytime soon. And as I’m sure you can all guess by now, it was only a matter of time before one of Bruce’s “movies” found its way to the internet. Fortunately for Frankie, only a few million people got to see Bruce’s latest little opus which captured one of the worst days of Frank’s adult life, his wedding day. After that, Frank decides to do the only logical thing, he gets himself a trailer and moves out to the middle of Death Valley, miles away from society, and more importantly his family. Of course he realizes that it’s only a matter of time before they pull him back in, which is why he leaves notes to himself reminding him just how awful they can be. What’s that they say about all best laid plans? Sure enough, Frank gets lured back home, and it’s while he’s attending Bruce’s AA graduation that he runs into… Well actually she runs into him. Never the less, Frankie meets Lassie (Lizzy Caplin), who is not a dog by the way. Lassie just happens to be her name. It’s not clear if it’s in reference to the Scottish term for young lady, or the famous Border Collie, but I kind of love the fact that they don’t even address it. I think it’s hilarious that there’s not even one attempt to explain why her name is Lassie.

I think this is where I’m going to stop the play-by-play story breakdown. I don’t really want to give too much more away, and trust me this is only the tip of the iceberg, but I will however give you just one last little nugget. Mostly because I know it’s already floating around out there on the old interwebs, but also because it has to be said, Ron Perlman gives a show-stopping performance in this movie! He plays Bruce’s former prison roommate Phil, or as he/she is now known, Phyllis. I’ve gotta tell ya, seeing Ron Perlman in drag is not something you can actually prepare yourself for, especially when Mr. Perlman is sitting right next to you! I’m not kidding! Sitting right to my right, Hellboy himself, Mr. Ron Perlman! Trust me, after you see the movie you’ll understand just how weird of a life experience that was for me.
Let’s just say that someone finally makes Scott Bakula look like an attractive woman. Oh, boy.


I’ve got to say, I really enjoyed this movie! I’ve been trying to think of a movie I could compare it to, that might help you get a better idea of the film’s overall tone, but it’s really hard because the movie is unique unto itself. It’s very much an independent movie, but it has this underlying mainstream appeal that I think will ultimately help it find a bigger audience once it comes out. But, if I had to compare it to something, I would have to say Clay Pigeons, which was one of my favorite movies from the late 90’s indie film movement. It stars Vince Vaughn, Joaquin Phoenix, and Janeane Garofalo. If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend NetFlixing it. As for Frankie Go Boom, the humor and pace of the movie is dead-on, and there’s a nice grittiness to it that seems to really set it apart from other movies being released these days. If you’re planning on attending this year’s South by Southwest (SXSW) Festival, I highly recommend seeking this one out! I have a feeling it’s going to be the talk of the festival. I for one will gladly be seeing it again, and I think it’s safe to say that I already have a favorite movie on my list for 2012. I’m really hoping that when Frankie Go Boom comes out, that it will go BOOM in a really big way!

Rating:


****I WILL POST A TRAILER AS SOON AS ONE IS MADE AVAILABLE****

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“Tangled”
a review by Darby O’Gill

Just when you thought Disney was all out of princesses, Rapunzel lets down her hair and pulls out another hit. Tangled marks the 50th installment of the Walt Disney Animated Classics series, and even though it might not be one of the best, it definitely doesn’t disappoint. I think it’s safe to say that Pixar and DreamWorks Animation have clearly stolen a lot of Disney’s animated thunder over the last few years, but why is that? It might just be a sign of the times, but I don’t think computer animation has anything to do with it. If I didn’t know better, I would have thought Tangled was a completely computer animated film, which it is sort of. They used both hand-drawn and CGI techniques to help bring Tangled to life. I don’t think the look really matters though, and when it comes down to it, it’s not the animation style that makes a great movie. It helps, but the story itself is what really brings an animated tale to life. Okay, well when you say it like that you do sound kind of stupid. What I mean to say is that the story is what connects to the audience and ultimately holds their interest. If you took one of the Toy Story movies and remade it word for word with the old school hand-drawn animation, I would be willing to bet it would still be one of the best animated movies of all time!

In Tangled, Rapunzel (Mandy Moore) was born with magical hair, and when she was just a baby, she was kidnapped by an old hermit lady who knew of her hair’s magical powers. She then locked Rapunzel away in a tower, raised her as her own, and for eighteen years told her of the dangers of the outside world, keeping her an unknowing prisoner. That is until the dangerous outside world came to her. When the outlaw Flynn Ryder (Zachary Levi) decides to use her nicely isolated tower as a hiding place to lay low after stealing a priceless item from the castle, he not only is shocked to find someone living there, but quickly finds himself being blackmailed into playing tour guide for Rapunzel’s first outing into the world.

The movie has some great moments and fantastic animation in it, but it also has musical numbers as well. The music is good, but it doesn’t have that unity that the other Disney animated classics of the 90’s use to have, like Aladdin and The Lion King. The songs in Tangled almost seem out of place at times, and even forced. I’m not a big fan of musicals, but I was a big fan of those older Disney films, so I’m not exactly sure what the difference is here. Not that it effects the enjoyment of movie, it’s just noticeable. The musical numbers don’t seem to flow with the storytelling here. In The Little Mermaid, you almost didn’t even realize the musical numbers were happening at times. Music aside, the humor in Tangled is really fun! Not too goofy, but it does have its moments. The storyline is clean for the most part, with the exception of a few holes, but overall Tangled is a nice addition to the Disney legacy.

Rating:


Two new CDs from La-La Land Records are heading your way!

First up is the expanded and remastered motion picture score to the 1997 Twentieth Century Fox feature film Alien: Resurrection, starring Sigourney Weaver, Winona Ryder and Ron Perlman, directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet. John Frizzell (Office Space, Legion, Whiteout) composes a thrilling symphony of pulse-pounding action music, featuring some of the finest cues ever composed for the legendary Alien franchise. Produced by Nick Redman, Michael Matessino, Didier C. Deutsch, and remastered by Mark Wilder and Naria Triana. This special expanded release features almost 75 minutes of previously unreleased material, including alternate takes. It also included is a remastered version of the original 1997 album presentation. The CD booklet features exclusive in-depth liner notes by Al Kaplan. This is a limited edition of 3,500 copies, so get them while they last.

Next up is the original score to the all-new feature-length 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment shocker Mirrors 2, starring Nick Stahl (Sin City, Terminator 3). Composer Frederik Wiedmann (The Hills Run Red, Return to House on Haunted Hill) launches the listener into a haunting musical soundscape, the perfect accompaniment to this much anticipated sequel to the hit horror/sci-fi film Mirrors. Produced by Frederik Wiedmann and MV Gerhard, and mastered by James Nelson, this presentation of music from Mirrors 2 is a spellbinding trip through twisted reflections of terror and suspense.