Evan Astrowsky

Evan Astrowsky

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Mini's First Time Review


Unbearable
In life, there are perpetual ups and downs. Example: After playing Lex Luthor with enough menacing glee to sustain a franchise let alone one film, Kevin Spacey goes and puts his hard earned time and money into producing Mini's First Time. At its Tribeca Film Fest premiere, it was obvious this film was going to get picked up (look at that cast!), but there were few other films less worthy of distribution.

Book-ended by a infuriatingly obvious graduation speech, the film kicks off with Mini (Nikki Reed) explaining how she needs to be a hooker, because modern, rich life is too damn easy. Her trick this evening just happens to be Martin (Alec Baldwin), her stepfather, who somehow doesn't notice the voice of his stepdaughter and agrees to turn off the lights for the entirety of the night. When confronted, Martin is apprehensive, but Mini sees opportunity in this equation. She quickly makes Martin a sex slave and devises a plan to get Diane (Carrie-Anne Moss), her mom sent to the looney bin, allowing for her and Martin to not have to hide their affair. Well, things go bad: Diane dies from an overdose, their neighbor (Jeff Goldblum) gets suspicious, and Detective Garson (Luke Wilson, for some reason) starts snooping around. Soon, Martin and Mini start questioning each other's motives.

Continue reading: Mini's First Time Review

Cabin Fever Review


Excellent
There once was a time in movie history when party-hardy kids would head into the woods and get their heads bashed in by some masked psycho. Ah, the good old days. Writer/director Eli Roth remembers that time fondly with his no-apologies, balls-to-the-wall, blood-splattering thriller that recalls a time when Leatherface massacred in Texas and Jason spooked Camp Crystal Lake.

Cabin Fever doesn't just look like -- or mock -- those late '70s/early '80s horror thrillers; it actually is one. Roth takes his source material and deftly adds layers, with the result being something eerily familiar and yet altogether original.

Continue reading: Cabin Fever Review

Dead In The Water Review


OK
It's really tempting the Hollywood fates to title your indie film Dead in the Water, and judging from the fact that I'd never heard of this movie before it's DVD release, I'd say it was a bad move.

Three teens take an ill-fated boat trip in a story that somehow feels awfully familiar (think A Simple Plan meets The Talented Mr. Ripley), which is what happens when you get three guys and a girl on a boat off the coast of Rio. Dominique Swain plays the femme fatale (has she ever been anything else?) who tempts not only her boyfriend, but his best friend and the Brazilian son of a business partner to her dad. The swordfight turns ugly when boyfriend (Scott Bairstow) tosses the Brazilian (Sebastian DeVicente) into the ocean with nothing but a life preserver. To teach him a lesson, the boyfriend zooms off out of sight... but when they return to pick him up, he's gone -- apparently drowned.

Continue reading: Dead In The Water Review

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