Sunday, October 19, 2014

Horror Movie Marathon (18 / 19 october) with the following movies: Animal (2014), Dark House (2014), Dead Snow 2 (2014) and Hatchet 3(2013)

Today when browsing a movie database site I felt like watching a horror movie or actually multiple ones. It's been a while I indulged myself like this so it was about time. I watched the following films:

- Animal (2014), 
- Dark House (2014), 
- Dead Snow 2 and 
- Hatchet 3 (2013). 

I will not do elaborate reviews on these unless later in time I will feel like it. But to be honest the movies I have picked here are pretty straightforward so it will be easy to describe what I thought of them.

First off:

Animal (2014)

No doubt if you see the cover you know it's a monster movie. And to be fair for the most of it's duration it's a pretty effective one. But and this is a major but, it takes itself far too seriously. And while it does work in the tense and action full scenes it fails to do so in the quiet ones. The dramatic tension that the director is going for backfires on him and only distracts. Actually it slows down this otherwise fast paced creature feature. I thought the creature was nicely done and actually quite scary portrayed. But like many of these kinds of monster flicks it's the characters that will annoy you with their illogical actions. Overall it is worth your time but be aware it will drag in parts.

Then after a long break and nap (hey I am only human and needed to catch some sleep) I watched:

Dark House (2014)

For this movie I had higher expectations because of director  Victor Salva (Jeepers Creepers) and actor Tobin Bell (Saw) involved. And the film does start well. Plus it does try to do something unique only it gets worse as it goes on and in the end you feel a lot was missing or lacking like it was omitted or not made yet because they needed to rush the production. Deep down in this very average directed film there is one magnificent one buried but failed to materialize because lack of love from the director. Normally Victor Salva is a master of building up tension and atmosphere but here it simply is not there. And it hurts this film big time especially when everything else is not even remotely scary while it obviously was intended to be. Give this one a miss, a time waster!

Now I was craving less serious and a more satisfying flick and did not take long for me to pick:

Dead Snow 2: Red versus Dead
(aka Død snø 2)

Knowing very well what the first was about I was expecting more of the same and wouldn't dare of thinking they would manage to improve on the original. But they did. There is more referring to pop culture and older zombie movies which had me laughing a lot of times. Above that this film does not shy away from being brutal, gross and outrageous. It basically makes the main character Martin and the zombies so much more menacing. However it's far from perfect and at times there are some scenes with characters that have no function at all and feel like a waste of time. Still don't let that get in the way of enjoying yourself. Because Dead Snow 2 makes good on zombie action.

After another break much shorter this time. I was actually craving a more atmospheric and truly scary one but knew this late I would not be able to be able to watch a slower one without getting bored or falling asleep so I went for a more fast paced and action type horror and decided to watch:

Hatchet 3 (2013)

What can I say about this title. It is very much in the line of Hatchet 2 only even more over the top  and ridiculous gory. You will see things happening to people that is physically impossible. Characters act more stupid and stubborn in previous entries plus main character Danielle Harris from Hatchet 2 suddenly has a change of heart into destroying Victor Crowley as she is now reluctant to end him. This makes no sense at all. Because right at the start of this movie we see her kicking major butt which is very contradictory. And we get to witness a female blogger / journalist and Danielle Harris' character screaming at each other like crazy half of the movie. However despite this I found myself enjoying this entry thoroughly although certain kills had me astonished and scratching my head. It was just too much. While the film is amusing the humour was much lesser than it was in the original and that does hurt this third entry considerably. Still it is far more effective than most similar gory slashers and I actually would not mind another sequel if they would go back to the roots of the original. 

All in all I would say that this movie marathon has brought me a lot of fun but none of the films in this one have been really scary. And I really want to see a couple of really scary ones soon.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Chinese 'mistress' is stripped naked and beaten senseless

A Chinese woman named Lin Yao Li (38) who slept with another woman's husband got stripped naked and beaten senseless by four other women. Apparently this is not the first or the last time for this to occur because there seems to be an acceptance that the woman is deserving to receive this kind of punishment and humiliation. Since she has caused a man to cheat on his spouse or partner.

Now while i certainly can understand the emotion and the anger that is caused by a partner cheating. It does not make it acceptable that someone gets humiliated or beaten up like this. What kind of justice is this? Shouldn't the husband who actually cheated on the partner be held accountable? Sure the woman has a little part to play but this is simply despicable and barbaric. Maybe even worse than cheating.  Because I can think of a scenario where this man might not even have told this woman he was married letting her believe it was all fine. This woman could be completely innocent and a victim herself. And even if she did know it still is not something you do. There are other ways you can and have to deal with these matters. Like separation or divorce. Or a having a good conversation. And why would these woman target her and not the husband, not that beating him up would be correct either? But he is the one who committed adultery. Obviously he is the one with the problem. Beating up this woman is not going to change his ways. He will just go to another woman. Taking the law in your own hands while very understandable is not right and should not be allowed.

Which brings me to another element. When this beating occurred was there no one in the surroundings who could have interfered or stopped this. The guy or woman who filmed this event, could he or she not have said something to these woman. As far as I can tell from the video and the images there was no one who seemed to go against them. And that is quite frightening. Because how does an outsider now what this is about? Wasn't there anybody feeling at all this was wrong? We as people seem to forget that we need to rely on each other. Of course we live in a world where personal needs are given more importance to that of the many but it is still vital that we have to take care of each other otherwise humanity has no chance of surviving. One day it will be you who needs help. What will you do? Just walk by and let something bad happen? Or will you take action and interfere. Inaction is the greatest evil. A quote from the show The Strain that refers to the events in World War 2 and to something like this beating where no one even attempts do something. What point is there in living in a world where one focuses on hate instead of compassion? 

Please think about this. 


Youtube Marriage proposals suck!

 There I said it. Before you go all hating on me read what I have to say about this. I am not a cynical bastard that does not know romance when it would hit him. I am in fact a very romantic person. Most of what I do is follow my heart and my feelings no matter what the mind or other people say (I love you Mrs. Pineapple very much.) You can't get more romantic than that. So bare with me.

First of all I love the Internet. This majestic never ending source of information and entertainment is something truly magic and wonderful. But at the same time it has also brought us some really questionable trends that if you think about are quite sickening and destructive. Marriage proposals on youtube for example is such a trend. The first few times I saw it I must admit I was surprised and amazed how far some people would go to ask their partners to marry them. And yes it can be very beautiful to see all this joy and happiness. But then I see more of them popping up on Youtube. The one more epic and grander than the previous one. And the majority especially women are going wild for this. They want to be proposed in this fashion also. If husband to be does not comply then they will conclude that he probably does not love her enough and the marriage is already over before it started. I mean just think about it from a practical side for a minute. Someone now has to pay not only for the marriage and everything that comes with it. Now he or she also has to have a big budget to do a proposal. In this day and age where a lot of people don't have the security and the money how are they going to pay it all. And let us assume they do have the money does such a proposal guarantee a marriage to work? Of course not! In fact if a marriage would fail chances are the person who paid for everything might feel robbed on top of feeling hurt or damaged. 

But let us look at two examples of  such marriage proposals. 

Chances are that a lot of you went all soft and emotional and are wishing that one day you will meet a man or woman who does the same for you. And I won't deny. These proposals do seem very romantic.

But now look at this compilation of failed proposals.

Ouch. Ok, I think the first one in this compilation is fake. But honestly that reaction does point out a problem that a lot of you aren't considering. Let me address the following.

Why is an act that should be personal and intimate made public and now even filmed and put on youtube? What is this need to share this with the world? Sure it is nice to have a remembrance of this and great to show your kids or grandkids or anyone who has an interest. Provided you are still married after and it won't be painful. But ok if the people involved don't mind this that is their decision. 

Then there is the ego. This must be a way to show the world how awesome someone is for doing all of this. I thought most people would see through this. But to my astonishment most people don't. They now all want this charade and facade since they truly believe it is all real and sincere. 

What about peer pressure though ? Putting someone on the spot they might give you an answer since a lot of eyes are directed at you and one might not give you the answer they want to give because of that. In my eyes this is rather conniving and evil. I think some people who make it big and go public do it exactly for this reason. Hoping this way to force a response because for whatever reason the partner hasn't so far. And what if the partner says no. You can see in the video that is heartbreaking and Earth shattering. How is one going to recover from that. Not that I have a lot of sympathy for people who do this. Because how can you be surprised by how your partner will react? You should know before hand what your partner wants and feels about these things. If someone is very private and shy then don't go public. If someone has expressed not wanting to marry for whatever reason then that is something you should respect and accept. I am thinking all these romantic novels and movies have warped people's reality sense in such a way that they think they can actually force people into basically going against their personal wishes. 

I know a lot of you still are going to say I look at this far too negatively or seriously. No, I am not. I am being critical. I also feel the need to express my love whenever I can. But I do think that some acts and events should be kept private and intimate. You simply can't have an intimate moment in public. Just because you now have the option to film intimate moments and publish them means that you should. I mean just look on Youtube how some of marriage proposals aren't that different from each other. Here you were thinking that you were being unique and poof that dream has vaporized because another person beat you to it. 

People, try to keep it as close to who you are. If that means you need to be extravagant then go for it. But I think for most goes that you should keep it real and personal. Let it all come from the heart then no matter what you do it will be felt and appreciated.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Mini reviews

In this article I will be doing short reviews of titles I have been meaning to write in more detail about but haven't gotten around to it because of mostly personal events coming in between. If I will still feel the need I will write more elaborately eventually.

Beautiful Creatures (2013)

genre: fantasy, romance

This film surprised me. I was expecting Twilight shenanigans or even worse therefore I was happy to actually enjoying myself watching it. It had some real brilliant moments that made you look forward of what was coming. In large part because of Emma Thompson and Jeremy Irons. Certainly worth the watch.

Krabat (2008)

genre: fantasy

An older fantasy movie based on a children's book that can be quite dark. There is a lot of good to be found but there was something off about the story. I could tell that a lot from the book was left out because the film jumps from event to event skipping days, months, years even. And I can't but help feel that a lot of the beauty that is in the book was in those details. Still Krabat does offer decent entertainment and is definitely worth your time.

The Alibi (2006)

genre: comedy, thriller

Steve Coogan rarely lets down. But in this movie he simply did not do it for me. As a thriller this lacked too much and as a comedy it was far too serious. I simply could not get into it. So much more could have been done with the premise. To me it felt lackluster. But Go watch Hamlet 2 instead. That one is brilliant.

Oz the Great and Powerful (2013)

genre: fantasy

Where to start with this one. A prequel to The Wizard of Oz might work on paper but this film shows that it actually is very unnecessary. A lot of the movie magic is dependent on your knowledge of the original. And while it is nice for movie lovers. You also have to add that standalone element to make this unique. And it fails completely to do this. I was so bored all the time. Waiting for something worthwhile to occur. And apart from a very few times it did not happen. What was going on with Sam Raimi? I mean I did not recognize anything of his kinetic film style. Surely in a movie like this it would have made sense to use his extravagance. But no, in this one he decides to tone it down. Unforgivable! Don't watch this.

42 (2013)

genre: sports, drama

A solid sports movie about an American Legend that is filled with compelling dramatic moments and at the same time makes you feel good at the end. Worth your time.

Laws of Attraction (2004)

genre: comedy, romance

A lot of the film is riding on the chemistry between Julliane Moore and Pierce Brosnan. And that is all it needs because they hit it off quite good and together provide some comedic and charming moments. 

The House of the End Times aka 
La casa del fin de los tiempos (2013)

genre: horror, thriller, drama, mystery

Now this is a movie that builds up slowly and is asking you to pay attention. The movie does a good job of making you guess of what is going on. And apart from a few things doesn't leave you hangin. Event by event you it is revealed to you what is going on but never letting up the suspense. In fact the suspense and tension remain throughout. And for once you really want to find out what is going on because you care for most of the characters and the background story has some real dramatic substance. Check it out!

Our Idiot Brother (2011)

genre: comedy, drama

This comedy/ drama will be hit and miss for most. A large part of depends on the charm of Paul Rudd. If you don't like the guy you won't like this movie. Because he is like the nicest guy ever and everybody else are incredibly selfish and self absorbed and the exact opposite of him. Now a case can be made of him being too nice. But there lies the brilliance.His innocence actually wins you over. (Very much like in the first season of TV Show Rectify.) You root for the guy and you get angry when others do something to him. Except for a dog named Willie Nelson. He loves him unconditionally. The subplots concerning the sisters aren't that interesting because they never go to deep into it. Every time when you think, ok now something dramatic is coming up they leave it and shift to another scene and event. Taking the easy way out. A real shame if you ask me. Because it was all there. Overall an enjoyable movie worth your time but might feel a little empty since it is afraid of discussing the themes it touches.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Review The Perfect Game (2009)

genre: sports, drama, comedy

The Perfect Game might be coming off as low budget or amateurish at times. It has heart through and through. The story about the young Mexicans going against the odds and are able to overcome the difficulties they come across is an endearing one. You can't but help root for them. Now I have read reviews where often the criticism is that it is one cliché after another. True, the story is like many previous sports movies. You know where it is heading. But that is the whole point of a feel good movie isn't it? You don't watch movies like these to feel surprised or god forbid bad. Whoever wants to feel bad after watching a movie? If you do then sorry to say that simply does not make sense to me. Anyhow. You will have to overlook some of the film's flaws and look with your heart. There is a lot going on in here that is important to show or tell even if it is done in a cliché way. Movies like these bring attention to events a lot of people aren't aware off and if you need to know what of it is true you could look it up and read more about it. Overall this is a film that is very entertaining and makes you feel good. Always a plus in my book. 

Review Deliver Us from Evil (2014)

 genre: crime, horror

To be honest I wasn't expecting a lot from Deliver Us from Evil. And that is why I was pleasantly surprised that despite it's flaws I found it to be compelling and entertaining. But maybe not in the way you would expect. 

One of the best things in this film is that it attracts your attention to certain events that easily could be explained with common sense and logic. For the most part at least. And when these events occur it does keep you guessing if what you see is real or someone is making you believe it is. This feeling is enhanced by horror method 101, use of atmosphere and building up tension with minimal means. But if needs is not afraid to be excessive. While there is tension throughout with some creepy moments here and there it's not super scary to a point that it will make you gasp for air. And that is mostly because a lot of tense scenes are followed by less interesting scenes that only serve as filler. 

(I need to address you filmmakers about this. In the last few years I have noticed a high number of movies have exceeded the movie duration of 90 minutes to 120 minutes or more. Nothing wrong with a long duration as long as it is build up with substance. But often it is just a waste of time that detracts from the overall effectiveness and viewing experience. I am an old school movie fan. I prefer films where characters and story are fleshed out. Or where spectacular scenes are give more time to impress. Only I don't like it when dialogue is unnecessary or where attention is raised on characters or events that have no impact on the main story whatsoever. This all becomes apparent in movies where there is not much of a story to begin with. So please stop making films longer than they have to be. Thank you for reading.) 

The useless scenes distract you once too often and took me out of the film on occasion. However the finale makes it up to the viewer. There is a reward that is rarely seen. Credit has to go to Sean Harris. His character once he gets introduced to us is beyond creepy and quite scary a few times. Then he shows us something that makes you see things completely different. Miss Chofass and I were amazed by this and I think a lot of the viewers will feel the same. This moment makes the film worth watching. Of course it does not hurt to have Eric Bana who is dependable as always. Although sometimes his character is a little careless which is quite odd since one of the plot elements is that he has this instinct that makes him aware of things other people can't hear or see. You would expect a man like that to be even more careful. Still it is done to give us some tense moments so it is forgiven.

Overall Deliver Us from Evil is one of better films in the genre that I think is worth your time at least once.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Review Batman Returns (1992)

genre: action, adventure, crime, comic book, fantasy

Batman Returns is a movie I was wanting to re watch for a long time now since the Arkham games and now the new show Gotham. In every discussion you can think of that concerns Batman, Batman Returns is very prominent. And I do remember that this was my favourite film for a while and had watched it almost yearly when I was younger. But now somewhat years later, do I think feel the same.

And to answer my question right away. No, I don't feel the same. Is that a bad thing? Not necessarily. Problem with Batman Returns is that it is almost a very standalone film. It does feature known and established characters from the DC Comics but it tells it's own alternative tale where Batman is more a side character and not very present. Which for me personally is a letdown. I was never really fond of Danny DeVito as The Penguin. When I was younger I think I was swept away by the Tim Burton style that was hard to ignore and it seemed more like a Christmas movie than a comic book adaptation. In that context The Penguin fitted nicely. But seeing how the focus of Batman Returns was more about him and other villains now it does not work as well. If not for Michelle Pfeiffer as Selina Kyle / Catwoman. Without a doubt she was the highlight of the movie and a real shame she was not in it a little more. For me she did approach the characters as best as she could. And she was definitely super sexy. You just could not take your eyes of her and her antics. I am not that fond of Michelle Pfeiffer as an actress. But in this she is a scene stealer through and through. I would have loved to see her reprise her role as Catwoman. 

Christopher Walken is Christopher Walken. When does he disappoint? The first times I saw Batman Returns I though it was quite spectacular. Now I don't think it is. It is incredibly visually appealing and very stylish. But almost lacking real substance to back them up. While it still featured some nice action for me it simply was not satisfying any more. Let's face it. Most of the appeal of Batman is seeing the caped crusader kicking butt. 

Overall Batman Returns is a wonderful dark fantasy film. As a Batman film it's not so good. Batman should never be a side character in one of his own movies. That's just unforgivable. 

Also Read:
Review Batman (1989)