It's amazing how we now have two interpretations of the same material… MoreIt's amazing how we now have two interpretations of the same material and can look back at how phenomenal the TV show and awful the movie still are. BtVS the film covers the same material as the show about a popular, superficial cheerleader who is chosen to defend the world against vampires. But its attempts at tongue in cheek humour are way too forced. The vampires' make up and costumes are cringe-worthy bad. Even the sound is terrible as some scenes have a noticeable echo in the dialogue despite the characters being in a car with the windows rolled up. No actor seems connected to the material. It was clearly a paycheck for Donald Sutherland and Luke Perry where Kristy Swanson and her co-stars seem happy that they're in a movie. The themes of an ordinary girl changing under extraordinary circumstances or the metaphor of the vampires as symbolic of teenage anxieties are there but left unexplored. There is nothing good about the BtVS film and anyone curious about it should stay far away less it taint their perception of the TV series.
When a horror movie review website gets involved in making horror… MoreWhen a horror movie review website gets involved in making horror movies, you can be pretty sure the pressure is high. I mean, if you're going to critique movies, you better show you know how to make a good one. And VHS (barely) validates Bloody Disgusting's idea of what makes a good horror movie. It's a found footage anthology with a framed narrative that focuses on a group of misfits who are contracted to break into a house and recover one tape amid a whole bunch of them. To find the right tape, they end up watching a bunch of them, and the results are not so great.
None of the stories tie into any overarching theme or villain. The directors of the short seemed to have free range to do what they want so long as it's found footage. What saves the film is that the segments are conceptually creative. The technical prowess in spite of found footage's limitations is also fascinating. Overly shaky cams, deliberate colour degradation (to mimic a VHS tape), and a lot of disbelief suspension detract the film from being the sum of its parts, but it's a mildly entertaining attempt to keep the found footage style alive.
The detective plot is as good as the formula can be. It's complex and… MoreThe detective plot is as good as the formula can be. It's complex and engaging. It depicts a world that is unforgiving, violent, and cruel to its characters. Despair is a common theme in almost all noir. A Walk Among the Tombstones looks okay and the subject matter is intense, but Scott Frank fails to communicate this intensity through the visuals. But what works are the incredible sound design and the villains. Gun shots are intensely loud and you hear everything from the cannon firing, the chamber discharging, and the casing falling to the ground in crystal clarity. A low hum during the night sequences adds an ominous mood to these scenes despite being too highly lit. The silences are unsettling. On top of this, the film has two of the cruelest, most depraved villains in years.
For the most part, this film focuses on developing its plot a lot more than its action scenes, but Liam Neeson is perfectly cast to play this role. Few things in contemporary movies are more fun than hearing him threaten the bad guys over the phone. While it may be a slightly more complex character compared to the other action heroes, A Walk Among the Tombstones delivers.
Whatever The Raid lacks in story, it makes up for with the coolest… MoreWhatever The Raid lacks in story, it makes up for with the coolest fight scenes I have ever seen. A SWAT team in Jakarta raids an apartment that is run by a drug lord. This drug lord rents out apartments to criminals, so when the SWAT team enters, a massacre awaits. We follow Rama, an officer who just works there but whose brother happens to be one of the drug lord's henchmen.
Writer, director, editor, and choreographer Garreth Evans could be the next best action film director. He has surrounded himself with actors/stuntmen who know what they're doing. He frames the action in many long takes so you can follow it and be blown away by the incredible martial arts on display.
Most films like this do not need a story to work if the action is good, but at least The Raid provides more than a series of plot points to tie the action together. It develops its characters enough so we care about their survival. There are unexpected plot twists that keep the story from being too predictable. it adds a miniscule romantic element for the ladies, lol And last but not least, Mike Shinoda's music score could not have been better utilized. The Raid: Redemption is the best action film of its year.
The reality is that it's a polarizing film. Those that turned it off… MoreThe reality is that it's a polarizing film. Those that turned it off halfway through are completely justified in doing so. It's not for everyone, even those with good movie taste. So when I say that Under the Skin is a virtually flawless film, a masterpiece of sci-fi, horror, and filmmaking in general, this is an opinion I know that not everyone will share. The shooting style adds uniqueness, realism, and depth to the scenario and I thought it was astoundingly brilliant. The music is eerie. The imagery is haunting. I love this movie because it reminds me of the days when Hollywood made unconventional blockbusters. It shows a side of Scarlett that we have never seen before (and I'm not talking about her being full nude, I'm talking about her performance). This is a film that has a lot of emotion while not exactly expressing it. It feels raw. And it takes chances.
I was fascinated from the opening frame. Yes, it's a weird movie. But it's one of those weird movies I will revisit over the years. And yet, I can't recommend this film to everyone. Even for the most open minded of audiences, the film can be off putting. I just don't consider that a bad thing.
Deadgirl is fucked up, at least conceptually. In terms of execution,… MoreDeadgirl is fucked up, at least conceptually. In terms of execution, it doesn't really take any chances. Two horny, beer loving, but less than alpha-male friends find a girl in an abandoned hospital who seems like she can't be killed. In other words, she's a zombie, but they don't know it. JT, one of the boys, decides this girl is the perfect version of a sex toy, and pretty much spends all his time having some depraved but naughty fun.
Rickie is bent on impressing his childhood crush, who is dating one of the boys who bullies him. He doesn't agree with JT, but is soon caught in between.
There's a lot of opportunity here for a movie that could probably tackle interesting issues like women as objects of desire, sexual attraction, teen isolation. Nope. It does none of those. It goes for the gore, but then forgets to go all the way with its concept.
Thus, you're left with a film that is predictable and lifeless. It ends up being just another ordinary zombie film, which is a shame because it's trying to be everything else but that.
Similar to what Moon did for Sam Rockwell, Locke primarily exists to… MoreSimilar to what Moon did for Sam Rockwell, Locke primarily exists to prove Tom Hardy is fully capable of carrying a feature film on his own. And it's his best performance yet (yes, even better than Bane).
Written and directed by Steven Knight (Eastern Promises), the film follows Ivan on the biggest night of his career. He's about to complete a multi-million dollar deal. His wife and sons are expecting him home to watch the big soccer match. But an unexpected phone call takes him away from all this, and we watch his life crumble as he drives to his new destination.
The film is a character study that suggests Locke's decisions in the film can be directly traced back to his experiences growing up. It explores the life he had, has, and will probably have moving past the end credits. It is 85 minutes, told in real time, and takes place in the interior of Ivan's car. You could say we are....locked....in a single perspective.
I can definitely see Locke failing to connect with a lot of people. But I can also see it being a highly engrossing experience for those willing to engage themselves in the story.
[Rec] 4: Apocalypse exists as an obligatory conclusion to the series.… More[Rec] 4: Apocalypse exists as an obligatory conclusion to the series. The film takes place on a ship where scientists have been working on a cure for the virus through testing lab monkeys. Little do they know that they have the only hope for a cure in Medeiros, who has possessed Angela.
The kills celebrate gore in Grand Guignol fashion. If you enjoyed Clara wielding a chainsaw, wait till you see what Angela does with a boat motor. It's the movie equivalent of a Left 4 Dead session.
Like the previous installment, this is not [Rec]. I get that director Jaume Balaguero wants to try something different. But he's just going through the motions. You never get a sense of claustrophobia even though the ship is stranded in the middle of nowhere. You pretty much know who will die and who will make it out. All the characters seem lifted straight out of other movies. And the final scene is so stupid it will have you rolling your eyes. If you like formulaic action thrillers, you'll enjoy [Rec] 4. If you want more [Rec] 1 or 2, this is not for you.
[Rec] 3: Genesis will appeal more to fans of grindhouse horror more so… More[Rec] 3: Genesis will appeal more to fans of grindhouse horror more so than fans of the first two [Rec] films.
The reason for this is because director Paco Plaza has completely changed the tone. He eschews the found footage style 30 minutes in for the more traditional aesthetic. Where its predecessors relied on atmosphere, this one relies on gore. Where the first two films built fear and suspense, [Rec] 3 offers B-movie action, humour, and romance. It does tie in with the previous two, but it also introduces completely new characters.
I liked the main wedding couple, Koldo and Clara. I cheered when Clara gets fed up with her wedding party guests attacking her as zombies and whips out the chainsaw in her dress. I love how Koldo frantically searches for Clara dressed as a knight in shining armor (the metal protects him from bites).
It certainly has its moments as mindless bloody fun. But for a franchise that was so legitimately scary, this feels like a step back, as its really a [Rec] film in name only.
[Rec] 2 is awesome! It picks up literally right after [Rec] left off.… More[Rec] 2 is awesome! It picks up literally right after [Rec] left off. The focus is on a SWAT team going into the apartment to help an official get what he needs to end the quarantine, as well as rescue any survivors. The original [Rec] left us with the notion that the virus was started because of occult practices. In [Rec] 2, that idea is played on in great detail.
The action feels bigger as well. Instead of one camera, each SWAT member is equipped with a camera on their helmet, and the action cuts in between them. This is a brilliant decision, because it allows the film to feel bigger while keeping the concept the same.
Loose ends from the first are tied up as well. We find out what happened to the journalist from the first film, and we get to see the origin of Medeiros' powers.
[Rec] 2 is the sequel that does justice to [Rec] while taking the series in a whole new direction. No small feat, since I consider [Rec] to be one of the best horror films ever made! [Rec] 2 is filled with suspense, and some of the scariest scenes I've seen in a long time.