Views & Reviews From Writer Steve Miller
Formerly Reviews and Stuff at Rotten Tomatoes, 2005 - 2009.

Currently Showing at Cinema Steve

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Here's a fun action flick built around time travel!

This review originally ran on Watching the Detectives. I'm re-presenting it, because when I wrote it, the film was an indie production is search of a distributor. It has since been picked up by Maxim Media, and it will hit stores on August 21 on their Brain Damage Films label. It's a good film, worth your time and attention. (And they even had the good sense to use quote me on the DVD cover. :) )

Time Again (2011)
Starring: Angela Rachelle, Tara Smoker, John T. Woods, Scott F. Evans, and Gigi Perreau
Director: Ray Karwel
Rating: Seven of Ten Stars

After he loses a set of magical coins that allows the possessor to travel in time and alter events is lost in a local diner, a power mad gangster (Evans) goes on a murderous rampage in the establishment, killing or maiming who were present. Six months later, her sister, Marlo (Smoker), is still dealing with the guilt of having traded shifts with her and thus avoided getting killed, when the gangster catches up with her. He is still looking for his magical coins, and he believes she has them. But as she is trying to escape, she encounters a mysterious old woman (Perreau) who actually DOES have the coins. She gives them to Marlo, thus giving the girl the chance to save her sister and everyone else in the diner by changing the past.

I love time travel stories, so it is a given that I liked "Time Again" a great deal; it basically takes a real crappy bunch of filmmakers to make a time travel movie I don't like.

Fortunately, first-time director Ray Karwel and the cast in his film are far from crappy.

The story moves at a quick pace and is lots of fun with its repeating time loops--each one a little different as Marlo tries to undo events that seem destined to happen, and each one getting increasingly fun to watch as she takes advantage of knowledge gained during one trip to effect events in the other.

The acting is also better than one finds in many films made at this budget level. It's about as good as what you find in the 1980s films from Crown International or Andy Sidaris, which means it's mostly solid if a little stagy at times, but nowhere near as brain-achingly amateurish as what seems to have become the norm in the low-budget films these days. But that's not too surprising given that Karwel's leads are all experienced actors, most with a dozen more films or television appearances under their belts. Angela Rachelle and Scott F. Evans are particularly strong in their parts, and I will have to keep an eye out for other films they're in.

Karwel also has mostly firm control over all the technical aspects of the film. He understands how to place a camera to make a fight scene seem like people are actually throwing punches instead of playing Cops & Robbers in the backyard, and the film's CGI muzzle-flashes and gunshot wounds are generally well done as well. There are only a couple of times where the film's low budget shines clearly through in the sense that close-ups or off-camera events are used in order to cover effects that would be too expensive or complicated to pull off. But, in my book, that also puts Karwel in a different class than many of his peers, as they would have attempted the effect anyway to the detriment of the over all picture.

I also have to admire the post-production efforts that went into the picture, as there isn't a single instance where I can mount my standard gripes about lack of color correction, bad use of sound, or inappropriate use of soundtrack music.

All in all, this is a fun, swift-moving action flick that makes great use of its time travel story elements and its talented cast. Karwel and everyone else involved with this film are names and faces to watch for in the future.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


When I was a little kid, a favorite record of my friends and I was Boney M's "Night Flight to Venus."

One of my favorite songs of it was "Rasputin". Just for the heck of it, here are some versions. Feel free to dance around and sing like an idiot if you want to feel like a bunch of 11 year olds in 1979.

Let's kick things off with the original.

Here's a hard-rock cover from Turias.

And no collection of videos would be complete without a cover played on ukeles. It's almost authentically Russian, no? Ukuleles are a poor man's balalaika, I'm told!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Of the Artist Formerly Known as Snoop Dogg

I just read that rap artist Snoop Dogg is no longer. Where he once stood, is now reggae artist Snoop Lion!

I think Snoop Lion has indeed devoted himself to a high(er) calling than rap. And here's a video in his honor:

Sunday, August 5, 2012

A murderous bastard is burning in hell today

I am quite angry and worked up at the moment, so here's a straight-up rant. If you disagree with any of it, you can fuck off. I don't usually take that stance, but in this case... there's no room for debate or disagreement. Feel free to post a reply, I will make it public if it's not spam, but I won't even make a half-hearted attempt to engage in debate or "see another point of view."

It this case, there isn't one.

A psychopath went on a shooting rampage at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin today, Sunday, August 5. You can read an early report by clicking here.

It's too early to say exactly what prompted this should-have-been-aborted bastard to do what he did, but I fully expect assholes like Alex Jones and Harry Reid and Rachel Maddow to do their level best to shift blame from the murderer to people who had nothing to do with the killings.

What I hadn't expected was to see people I consider far more intelligent than those three stooges combined to start doing the same pretty much immediately on Facebook with witty comments like, "Republican rhetoric that will give tacit approval to this behavior in 4...3...2..."

For the like-minded fucks out there, here's what REPUBLICAN Nikki Haley posted to her Facebook feed: "It's very sad to see something like this happen to a peaceful place of worship. Our prayers and condolences go out to the families of the innocent victims and the family of the heroic officer in this senseless tragedy."

And here's a tidbit for the truly ignorant fucks: Nikki Haley's parents are practicing Sikhs.

I've not had dealings with Sikhs that have never been anything but pleasant. Sikhs I've met both here and overseas have been some of the nicest, kindest people I've known. What happened today was an act of pure, unvarnished evil.

It pisses me off that people would use it for partisan cheap shots. I'm not a Republican, but I get mistaken for one often enough, so I'm pissed off on their behalf. And that's adding to the fact that I'm pissed off that more innocent lives have been claimed by some son of bitch who should have done us all a favor and just eaten a bowl full of crushed glass when he was in 5th grade.

Assholes with keyboards and internet access need to either condemn the killer or celebrate the fact that he is being fucked in every orifice by Spined Devils in Hell.

Don't fucking detract from what he's done because you want to show your friends what a partisan ass-kisser you are. Save your partisan bullshit until it's at least known what the murderous fuck used as an excuse for his sorry existence and the fact that he had to destroy lives on his way to Hell.

Updates will follow tomorrow, after the sheriff's press conference. But, frankly, I'm less interested in the "why" as I am in the fact that it happened in the first place.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Uninformed people piss me off.

All of those out there who like to trot out that lame slogan "In Genesis is was Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve" are showing that they should keep their ignorant mouths shut.

Everyone knows that in Genesis, it was Phil Collins, Mike Rutherford, and Tony Banks.