Category: MasterChugs Theater

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MasterChugs Theater: ‘In A World’

Voiceover is an integral part of the sale when it comes to commercials, movie trailers and television show announcements, and the more memorable the better. But did you ever notice that most of these announcements are made by men? In A World… evokes this notion with its title, a phrase made famous by the late, great voiceover artist Don LaFontaine. Continue reading

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MasterChugs Theater: ‘Cuban Fury’

Having made his name working alongside his pal Simon Pegg (mostly in projects directed by Edgar Wright), Nick Frost finally gets his own starring vehicle with Cuban Fury, a romantic comedy about a middle-aged English sad sack who takes up salsa dancing to win a woman’s heart.

Frost is a likable lead and an easy rooting interest, but his affability isn’t enough to give this silly-sweet feature the edge and dimension that would make it a memorable contribution to the subgenre epitomized by The Full Monty — comedies in which middle-aged, unassuming Brits discover their inner showman.

It’s good, just not Pegg-Frost-Wright good. Continue reading

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MasterChugs Theater: ‘Stitches’

Stick with me on this.

You might’ve noticed that we’ve been keen these past few weeks on running stories about clowns and how demonic they’ve been. We can’t help it, these type of stories fall into our modus operandi. Also, clowns are kind of creepy. So when I decide to take a peek at a movie involving a clown, I automatically get a little hesitant.

Stitches is an Irish horror comedy that I didn’t know what to expect from going in. I just knew it had a killer clown in it. All things considered, I went in with very low expectations. Luckily, I came out pleasantly surprised, because despite some pacing issues, Stitches turned out to be a pretty entertaining throwback to the cheesy slashers from a bygone era. Continue reading

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MasterChugs Theater: ‘Cheap Thrills’

If you desperately needed money, what would you be willing to do in order to get your hands on a lot of it quickly?

Living to its title, Cheap Thrills poses a version of this question, setting up a game in which a pair of wealthy sadists offer two hungry guys wads of cash in exchange for escalating acts of humiliation and violence. Provocative but not so extreme as to keep it out of mainstream theaters, the film has commercial potential and should also connect with arthouse admirers of such cruel auteurs as Lars von Trier and Michael Haneke. It’s definitely not for everyone, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a good movie. Continue reading

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MasterChugs Theater: ‘Rigor Mortis’

In the 1980s, Hong Kong cinema came up with its own version of a comic monster movie. It was no Ghostbusters, but Mr. Vampire, mixing traditional Chinese folk tales of hopping vampires with action and humor, proved successful, spawning numerous sequels.

Ostensibly in homage, Rigor Mortis stars Chin Siu-Ho — who played one of the main characters in Mr. Vampire — as a defeated, despairing horror film actor, also named Chin Siu-Ho, who moves into a crumbling apartment complex with suicide on his agenda. But this relentlessly creepy film takes its horror straight and contains little comedy. Continue reading

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MasterChugs Theater: ‘Bad Johnson’

Just consider the premise of Bad Johnson: a compulsive womanizer ruins one too many relationships, and briefly wishes he could be free of his anatomical troublemaker. Next thing you know, his penis has detached itself. It’s taken human form and is running around the city with all the uncontrolled id one might anticipate.

Now imagine what can go wrong with a film like that. And woof, there are many things. So, to fight that, you cast hilarious comedian Nick Thune in a very key role in the movie. That should make sure things are a-ok, right?

Ehhhhhhhhh … Continue reading

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MasterChugs Theater: ‘A Band Called Death’

Ask the average person on the street to name the city that saw its walls shake with the birth of punk music and odds are they won’t answer “Detroit.” Ask them to name the band who first mashed the raw and the melodic together to create punk music before the term even existed, and they most assuredly won’t say “Death.” And we won’t even bother asking if anyone knew that the forefathers of punk were African American.

But thanks to the new revelatory and inspiring documentary A Band Called Death, the truth behind the band’s nearly simultaneous birth and death may yet find them their proper place in music history. Continue reading

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MasterChugs Theater: ‘Blue Ruin’

A vagrant doesn’t seem like someone you should fear at all. Unkempt hair, dirty clothes, a Duck Dynasty-esque beard, a look of tiredness in the face, none of these are traits that typically sound off alarms in a person’s brain. And yet, Dwight, the protagonist of Blue Ruin displays all of these traits … and he should be feared. Why?

Because he has revenge on his mind, and his revenge won’t go undone. Continue reading

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MasterChugs Theater: ‘I Know That Voice’

As long as I can remember, I’ve always been fascinated by voice acting. Still watching cartoons as an adult, I love going to IMDB to look up who voices characters on things I watch. Because of this fascination, when I heard that John DiMaggio (voice of Futurama’s Bender among hundreds of other things) was making a documentary about the world of voice acting called I Know That Voice, I was immediately on board.

What’s interesting about I Know That Voice is that, consistently, every single person interviewed agrees that voice acting is not about coming up with silly voices, it’s about acting. Coming up with voices is part of the job, but being able to emote, and play a character in that voice is where the true talent lies in voice acting. Continue reading