Tag Archive | "68 Kill"

A Trip Down Memory Lane: Icon Vs. Icon’s Top Films of 2017

A Trip Down Memory Lane: Icon Vs. Icon’s Top Films of 2017

Hey, check it out, another “Top Films Of 2017” list! As I’m sure you’re sick of reading these, I decided to change things up a bit. First, “Get Out” is not on this list! I love “Get Out”, everyone does. I’ve been talking about this film since February and I’m sick of talking about it! It’s fantastic, great social commentary, and I can’t wait to see what Jordan Peele does next. Second, I did not get to see every film I wanted to this year. I’m a College Student completing my Teaching Certification, I wish I had more time to catch every film I wanted to. A few movies I wish I had seen before compiling this list are “My Friend Dahmer, “The Shape of Water”, “The Lure”, “The Greatest Showman”, “Raw”, and “Tragedy Girls”. So, with all of that out of the way, please enjoy my “Top 5 Films Of 2017”.

‘John Wick: Chapter 2’

A sequel to the greatest action film of the past decade? I’m in! John Wick 2 takes all of the excitement of the first film and turns it up to 11. This time around the hunter has become the hunted. Wick, unwillingly returns to the seedy assassin underworld only to discover he’s being hunted by the top agents within the local area. I love the fact that we’re exploring the lore of this series. It would’ve been so easy to just do a complete retread of the first film, and just put Wick on another revenge mission. Instead, we dive deeper into the world and discover how it truly works. John Wick: Chapter 2 is definitely my favorite action film of the year!

‘Kong: Skull Island’

This is a film I’m seeing constantly looked over in “Best Of” lists. I just don’t get it, we’ve received two great films in this new “Kaiju Franchise” and both of them have been overlooked. What is really great about this film is that it’s a war film disguised as a “King Kong” movie. You’ve got all the beats of the old Vietnam films right down to the Crazy General in Samuel Jackson. Don’t forget the incredible colors and visuals. As I stated in my full review, this movie was as colorful as “Suicide Squad” should have been. If you want a great “Kong” film without the usual, “woman and ape fall in love” storyline, this is for you.

‘IT’

This and “Get Out” were the two most talked about horror films of the year; rightfully so. While this King adaptation takes many liberties with it’s source material, it still created a world that I wanted to know more about. The town of Derry, and it’s history are fascinating. The kids reminded me of the friends I had when growing up. Skarsgård’s performance of “Pennywise” was both enticing and chilling. I know a lot of people harped on the constant use of CGI, however, it wasn’t enough to distract me from a great film. Definitely looking forward to the follow up.

‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’

Listen, I’m gonna be straight up, unless a Star Wars movie is really bad then there’s a good chance that I’m going to love it. It’s a series that I hold near and dear to my heart. As for this entry, it’s torn the fan base completely apart. I, for one, enjoy the new direction the series is going. Without getting into spoilers, this entry changed things in a way that will make the future of the series that much more interesting. I enjoy seeing the old characters again, and I love the new characters being introduced and elaborated upon. As we’ve discussed here at Icon Vs Icon, try to remember that this is a kid’s movie. All of the Star Wars films were made for kids. Everything in every Star Wars film was put there to sell toys. It just so happens that there is a great story underneath. Try not to take things too seriously, these films were always campy.

‘The Devil’s Candy’

Anyone who follows Icon Vs Icon knows my absolute love with this movie. It’s dark, hard-hitting, and it’s use of music is fantastic. Heavy metal is a driving force for this film, and it’s use should be held right up there with the use of music in “Baby Driver”. Now, if anyone has made a huge comeback it’s Ethan Emery. From “Cheap Thrills” to this, things are looking incredibly bright for this fantastic actor. The movie itself has the ability to make me cringe without the use of over the top gore and there’s plenty of “Woah, they went there” moments. It’s not a film for everyone, but if you’re a horror fan, this is the film I recommend to you.

2017’s Honorable Mentions:

• ‘Baby Driver’
• ’68 Kill’
• ‘Get Out’
• ‘A Dark Song’
• ‘The LEGO Batman Movie’
• ‘Spider-Man Homecoming’

About The Writer: 
Dylan Lyles – Staff Writer
The Phenomenal Dylan Lyles is an obsessive fan of cinema, pro wrestling, horror, vinyl, and comic books. Bursting from the womb in 1992, Dylan’s surrounded himself with all things geek culture. Earliest memories include Wrestlemania 11, ‘The Death of Superman,’ and Jason popping out of the water. You may see him sharing his opinion on just about everything on the internet or maybe even working the MonsterMania Con on the east coast. You love him and he loves you!
Twitter: @thedylanlyles

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I Would Do Anything For Love: A Review of Trent Haaga’s “68 Kill”

I Would Do Anything For Love: A Review of Trent Haaga’s “68 Kill”

We’ve all been there before; “happily” in a relationship with someone that we couldn’t imagine being with in our wildest dreams. The other person seems to be completely out of your league and you’re willing to do anything in the world to please them. You justifiably believe that you’re “in love”, and you get put down every second of every day. You’re this person’s puppy dog. You’ll do anything this person asks and once in a while she, or he, will throw you a bone. Well what happens when that person takes things a little too far and asks you to do the unthinkable? Well, when this concept is in the hands of Trent Haaga, hilarity and excellence ensues.

Trent Haaga is one of my all-time favorite “creative people” in terms of the film world. I say creative people because he’s done it all. He’s written some of the craziest, yet fantastic, films in the genre world, such as Cheap Thrills and Deadgirl. He took a horror icon to another level when he took over the title role in Killjoy 2. And, I’ll never quite forget the first time I saw him in Terror Firmer as the lovable, Jerry. If you can’t tell, I’m a fan. From his horror work to his game work, and even his Lifetime films, I always tend to enjoy Haaga’s creative mind and what he brings to the table. As soon as I found out that he was hopping into the director’s chair a second time, firstly being with his former Troma pal Will Keenan for Chop, I was ecstatic. I can definitely say, I was not disappointed.

The film stars Matthew Gray Gubler (Criminal Minds) as Chip, a lovable everyman who just wants to make an honest living and provide a decent life for his gorgeous girlfriend, Liza, played by AnnaLynne McCord. Right off the bat Haaga shows us the dynamic of the relationship. Chip is head over heels in love with this girl who honestly cares very little for anyone but herself. Honestly, I know I’m looking deep into what many may consider a “grindhouse” flick but I related more to Chip than any other character in the past few years. I was in a relationship like this for almost 5 years. I saw myself in Chip and that’s when I knew I was 100% along for the ride.

While Chip does his best to make an honestly living, the majority of the money made to sustain their living situation comes from Liza. She supplements their income with a sugar daddy, who makes the mistake of revealing to her the amount of money he really has. Liza presents Chip with the brilliant idea of taking the cash and running away, together forever. While hesitant at first, Chip agrees to go along with the plan as long as no one gets hurt. What happens next is a whirlwind of blood, death, and laughs!

68 Kill’s strength lies in the fact that it refuses to stay tied down. While many would agree that overall there is a dark comedic tone, there’s also a genuinely fantastic mashup of horror, action, and even a bit of 70’s exploitation thrown in. The movie is unlike anything you’ve ever seen before and I attribute that to Haaga’s experience with Troma and beyond. He pulls aspects of almost everything he’s worked on and applies it here. I haven’t had the chance to read the original novel by Bryan Smith, but I can only assume it was done justice by the film. My only criticism with the film is that I wish it had been about 15-20 minutes longer. There is a portion in the middle of the film that takes place at a motel. Without giving too much away, I wish this was explored a little bit further.

Let’s talk cast! Matthew Gray Gubler and AnnaLynne McCord have fantastic chemistry as leading “less than dynamic” duo. Gubler is phenomenal as Chip. He didn’t allow Chip to become pathetic, a task that is easier said than done. McCord is fantastic too as she gave her character just enough of a bitchy edge to make us dislike her without being annoyed. Rounding out the main cast would be the excellent Alisha Boe as Violet. Avoiding spoilers, Violet stumbles upon the couple as they’re breaking in to steal the money. She another dimension to the journey that Chip is on, and that’s what this film is all about, the journey.

Honestly, that’s all I can get into while avoiding spoilers. When the film hits Bluray/DVD I would love to give a more in depth review discussing plot points and such. IFC Midnight is killing it in the independent distribution game. Earlier this year they put out one of my favorite films, The Devil’s Candy and this is right up there with that. This is a serious contender for one of my top 5 films of the year. Trent Haaga continues to impress me with his contributions to the world of “genre film”. From the outside this film looks like another movie trying to cash in on the horror audience’s nostalgic need for “grindhouse films”. On the inside, this is a touching movie about a guy trying to truly find himself in the madness that is happening around him. But don’t get me wrong, the kills are excellent!

68 Kill comes to iTunes, Amazon Video, and all other VOD outlets on 8/4/17. It is also available on cable On Demand (XFINITY; Spectrum or your local carrier) and in select theaters in NYC and L.A.

About The Writer: 
Dylan Lyles Staff Writer
The Phenomenal Dylan Lyles is an obsessive fan of cinema, pro wrestling, horror, vinyl, and comic books. Bursting from the womb in 1992, Dylan’s surrounded himself with all things geek culture. Earliest memories include Wrestlemania 11, ‘The Death of Superman,’ and Jason popping out of the water. You may see him sharing his opinion on just about everything on the internet or maybe even working the MonsterMania Con on the east coast. You love him and he loves you!
Twitter: @thedylanlyles

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