I caught an interesting couple of movies on DVD this weekend.
Based on the first book in the popular series by Dean Koontz, this movie features Anton Yelchin (Star Trek's Sulu and the voice of Clumsy Smurf) as everybody's favorite fry cook. Odd has the power to see (but not hear) the dead. He can also see bodaches -- eerie, dark, smoke-like creatures from another reality who appear whenever something violent is about to happen; the more bodaches, the greater the body count. Bodaches are infesting the California town of Pico Mundo. Something terrible is about to happen and Odd must figure out how to prevent the slaughter.
Also featuring Addison Timlin (Californication and Zero Hour) as Odd's girlfriend Stormy Llewellyn. (When they were children, a gypsy fortune-telling machine had told them that they belong together forever.) Willem Dafoe is Wyatt Porter, Pico Mundo's chief of police and a close friend of Odd. Patton Oswalt plays writer Ozzie Boone and Schuler Hensley is Fungus Bob, the man who draws Bodaches to him like flies. Look closely and you might also spy 50 Cent and Arnold Vosloo in the film.
Written and directed by Stephen Sommers (The Mummy, Van Helsing, G. I. Joe: The Rise of the Cobra),the film follows Koontz's novel fairly closely, although Odd is a bit flashier with a spatula over the grill than I remember from the book. All in all, a pretty interesting flick.
A completely different type of thriller. The follow-up to Machete, finds the title character tasked by the American president to stop a threat to the country. This is another grindhouse film by Robert Rodriguez, so there's plenty of violence, sex, and absurdity. Machete, of course, is the great Danny Trejo, who was born for this role. The villain is Mel Gibson, who has rigged a failsafe device to his heart; if his heart stops beating, the missiles will launch. Sofia Vegara is Desdemona, a killer brothel owner who has guns implanted in strategic places in her underwear. Someone called "Carlos Estevez" (who looks a lot like Charlie Sheen) plays a slightly whacked-out president of the United States. The movie is a lot of fun and is loaded with well-known names: Amber Heard, Michelle Rodigues, Lady Gaga, Antonio Banderos, Cuba Gooding, Jr., Vanessa Hudgens, Alexa Vega (who now goes by Alexa Penavega since marrying New Dimension idol Carlos Pena), Tom Savini, William Sadler, Elon Musk (as himself), Jessica Alba, Cheech Marin.
The body count is impressive, the seriousness is nonexistent, and the film ends with a preview of the (probably never-to-be filmed) Machete in Space.
The movies made for a fun weekend.