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Reminds me of Andy Sedaris movies
You know the story, and it doesn't matter all that much if you don't. Tacky effects, great scenery - Hawaii gorgeous as always, hot actresses and actors with serviceable acting ability and that guy who was in that thing that one time many years ago.
The only thing that keeps this from being an actual Sedaris movie is the absence of Andy or his son from the producer list and the lack of nudity since this is basic cable broadcast. The production companies should make these shows in dual-format for Syfy (who tragically lost their spell checker some years ago) and for Showtime or Cinemax.
The effects are really bad, I mean REALLY bad but the acting is OK and movies like this keep the majority of Hollywood in business, plus at least these actors got a trip to Hawaii, so I will give it a thumbs-up. Check it out.
Jug Face (2013)
Creepy and effective
A reclusive backwoods society maintains their way of life by making sacrifices to an unspecified monster. When a teenage girl discovers both that she is pregnant and she's the next sacrifice, she tries to escape her fate.
Some blood, but mostly just creepy and sees the ending through with more focus than A-List movies.
Acting is not just serviceable but good, especially since it deals with backwoods archetypes that it's hard to not turn into a parody. This thing is deadly serious and realistically portrayed even with the supernatural elements.
Good movie - kind of a different take on "Winter's Bone" if you liked that. Check it out.
UnHung Hero (2013)
A story about different kinds of shortcomings
I didn't hate this documentary. I heard about it a few times, and mainly that it was fake. Wanted to find out for myself.
It's not very polished, but it's sincere - he's open-minded and respectful to the people he interviews. I liked his style as he participates in the narrative without falling into that bland overly-PC lack of reaction.
There's just one unfortunate exception and it should not have been in the movie. Like most young people he is insecure and like most documentary filmmaker he's narcissistic, and it results in one unfortunate segment where he tries to film in a Korean sauna.
It's sort of slapstick-funny when he's caught and those guys react like you would expect showering men discovering someone sneaking a camera into the shower would react, but it's neither informative or entertaining - just creepy and borderline racist. Shouldn't have been in the film.
It's kind of interesting how this issue is viewed in other cultures - the weight-lifting segment is pretty surreal, and when he backs down from a needle in New Guinea - yeah, that's cause for reflection. The segment where he considers surgery - this is not a joke for some people, it's really that important to them.
Some of it is Spurlock-type selfie time and it's a little forced when he slaps a meta-layer of narrative about not being sure why he should finish the film and a date turning the camera back on him, but I think he/his crew really wanted to make a documentary and this issue seems very personal to him.
He goes around the world and meets people and talks about this issue, and makes some discoveries about this topic and about himself, which is what a documentary is for.
His interview with the guy who is in the other direction is interesting for the other perspective, but comes across a little as the rich man bemoaning the loneliness of wealth.
It's not for everyone but some people will find it interesting to examine an issue that, while rarely treated seriously by most, is deadly serious for some men.
He makes an entertaining show out of it (with a single exception) by talking to different kinds of people, examining the subject from different perspectives and learning as much about himself as he does about the topic.
Check it out.
The Blob (1988)
Much better than the rating
This movie is rated 5.8? Really? And crap like Saw > 1 is rated higher? Wrong, wrong, wrong.
Yes it's from the 80s but don't let the age fool you - this remake of a 1958 classic is pretty scary. The monster is fast and relentless and everyone is a target sympathetic and nasty alike. Not exactly a "Game of Thrones" plot but the action pulls you along enough to not look around too much.
Most remakes (lookin' at you, Rob Zombie) bungle almost everything that made the originals good, but this one cranks up both realism and intensity. Worthwhile movie, even with Kevin Dillon's '80s do (stay strong, Bunny).
Watchable for: Candy Clark, Jeff DeMunn in a pre-Walking Dead lead role, the crazed preacher at the end, Shawnee Smith bein' cute and the effects are actually kind of special for 1988. Plus the safeties are definitely off in terms of usual movie tropes for the era. Check it out.
The Lost Future (2010)
Decent on its own terms, much better than SyFy average
A post-pandemic world is the setting for a very watchable morality tale about obligation to others and sacrifice for the collective good.
Some klunk here and there but the sets, costumes, performances and themes are well above the very, very, very, very low bar set by SyFy (e.g., "Mega Python vs. Gatoroid"), in fact far enough above that this is a decent movie in its own right.
Sean Bean is a decent actor and does well in this movie along with no- name cast, to a unusually deep level. Good action scenes, too; fights from horseback, group hand-to-hand combat, interiors and exteriors.
The major characters all have interesting conflicts and the interaction is believable (though as some have said, they are all waaaay too pretty). No eye candy shouting their lines; the actors modulate well and for a very large part play their roles believably.
There's also a nice structural component with parallel story lines, unusually nuanced for the media. The story lines alternate well between the questing leads, the tribespeople trapped in the cave, and Gagen's self-justifying depravity, are better than expected for the genre.
One of the other reviews said "Good bones, bad carpeting". That's well put - I'd say the carpeting is cheap, not bad, but that's just semantics.
To be clear - this is not an A-list movie; it's entertaining but low budget. The primitive tribespeople are groomed to the max and comically articulate, the effects are serviceable but still almost all CGI, one of the leads father seems to have somehow taught -himself- to read in the absence of any other literate persons (??), etc.
All of that notwithstanding, I have sat through way worse Hollywood crap with 100X the budget and one-tenth the script. Not Inception or anything epic, but worth a watch if you are looking for a couple of hours of entertainment.
I make all these points because the people who make these movies work just as hard as the Hollywood A_listers but don't get the recognition.
Just because it's a B movie doesn't mean there should be no standards. When a movie crew puts time and effort into making a structurally good movie, it deserves recognition even if it's never going to be on "Entertainment Tonight".
There should be a genre name for these films which not quite A-list but better than traditional "B movies" - decently made, not great art, but decent entertainment. Maybe "paperback movie" is a better title - other examples are "Snitch", "The Naked Kiss", "Love and a .45", or "Red Eye".
The Shortcut (2009)
Good horror is hard to find....
There are other reviews, this is just a comment. Movie is decent, ignore the haters.
Does have some issues (didn't know Nazi Germany was still fighting in fall of '45), plot meanderings, weak points and not exactly a master thespian cast but has some good horror moments, decent banter and semi-plausible character interactions.
The interesting thing about this movie is its orientation toward not showing the ultraviolence in all its dripping glory. The most visually graphic scene is when one character has his finger broken.
Personally, I am utterly sick of watching 80 minutes of CGI anatomy trying to take the place of a story. This movie has the sense to use the cutaway (ha ha) approach to violence and I respect it.
I would watch this movie 100 times over any of that Saw (post Saw 1, which I thought was pretty good) / Hostel torture voyeurism or Rob Zombie crap remake any day.
Post Impact (2004)
Why I watch SciFi
(as they were known before their spell checker stopped working).
Don't understand the venom here. The movie isn't great, but it isn't terrible either; don't know the preferences of the other reviewers but I would watch movies like this before crap like Hostel or another remake of a 70s movie that wasn't that good the first time.
Post-Impact is a mid-Europe production crew making a movie with an interesting premise; a comet strike renders northern Europe uninhabitable. After a rescue mission is destroyed by a microwave satellite controlled from the impact zone, a team moves in to discover the truth. The source is found, and it turns out not everyone on the team is working with the same agenda.
Yes, there are Euro-accents all over the place, the equipment is wrong, wrong, wrong (the .22 inserts on the M16s, and, well, pretty much everything about the military and government aspects). Sometimes it sounds like Hanz und Franz from SNL wrote and directed an action movie. But it's a interesting premise, Dean Cain hits the marks and says the lines and it brings an interesting setting into your living room. Some characters have good turns.
No, it's not great. Nevertheless, I find SciFi (no, I'm not going to write Syfy, because I am not Hooked on Phonics) movies more interesting than 99% of the crap and recycled garbage that comes out of the big entertainment houses these days.
No, really. No matter how bad the acting, how laughable the special effects, SciFi movies nearly always have a gem (sometimes a very tiny gem) in there, a premise or a characters or a setting which transcends the Robert McKee/focus-group fueled McMovies. Yes, you have to reach pretty deep into some of those things to pull out the diamond but it's nearly always there, and it's there in Post-Impact. Look for it.
Fast Food Nation (2006)
You can't handle the truth
This is a great movie. Some criticism is that the movie is too many things; I think it's actually one of the film's strengths.
One of my favorite parts of this film is the university students forming their group and deciding to take action, then seeing their action not have the effect they hoped it would. You can see Amber having a formative experience in her life, and her eyes opening into a larger world and that's worthwhile for anything else.
I didn't really care for Ethan Hawke dropping the same slacker science bit he did in "Reality Bites" ten years ago, but no film can be perfect.
I believe this movie should be rated higher than it is, as a reflection of our times. I think the food companies want very much to trivialize it and most people don't want to face up to the impact that the choices they make have on the lives of others.
Prisoner of War (1954)
Pretty harsh for '54
Not a very good movie but according to the info it's pretty accurate in depicting torture techniques. The purpose of the film was to show the brutality of the NK POW camps and that's done effectively enough, with surprising frankness for the time. Whatever technical flaws exist (and there are plenty) by watching this you'll see a forgotten corner of a forgotten war and some pretty nasty stuff - again, nasty because it's being done north of the DMZ and not in Guantanamo Bay.
I don't think any of the Korean veterans brought up his torture when running for office, and if you watch the movies like this one and Pork Chop Hill in comparison to the Vietnam films. I don't know if it was the people in '54 being trapped in the WWII concepts (the boys tend to wisecrack a lot) or the war or what, but it's interesting to see this from the same system that 16 years later would be making movies like "Go Tell The Spartans".
Kid Nation (2007)
The Kids Are All Right
This is my favorite show of the 2007 season. I agree with the other comments about the "child labor" commentary - in America you can always find a university professor/media gadfly/reporter desperate for something to talk about somewhere willing to voice clucking concern.
Some people reflexively see anything not involving indulgent, extensive and repeated -heart-ing of kids is torture and abuse. And we must be suspicious of the artifices and manipulation of reality television. I don't care for all the Burnett-style time-lapse shots and really dislike the way tyhe general store has started to play up the play-drinking aspects. These kids watch TV too, and when you give them shot glasses for root beer and water you're encouraging them to act out.
But for me the watchable part of this show, the thing I tune in for every week, is the way these kids found so many ways to cope, to live together and deal with the situations that came up without all the lies and self-aggrandizement and duplicity most adults engage in.
They're so wonderfully honest, and sometimes they like each other and sometimes they hate each other but they crash into things, look around, dust themselves off and move right along. They are all right, and they find their way, and their strength and resilience makes me feel better about the future of the world for an hour on a Wednesday night.
All of the episodes have been fascinating to watch - during the election show when Mike realized that every single kid on his team had voted against him, he visibly sank. Then he picked himself up and took his place among those who had voted him out. You know that will be an event that will always be part of his life, and maybe it will make him a better person and maybe it will undermine him, and instead of "ooh, isn't it cool?" I wanted to show this to my nephews and say this kid is demonstrating what you should do in the world when it hands you failure - you sink for a moment, and then you pick yourself up and deal with what's left.
I highly recommend this show, at least so far.