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Ample reboot of the classic but didn't need to be made.
My quick rating 6,1/10. Nostalgia aside I think this movie did OK on its own merits. It was an impossible task to live up to the original and I am sure many people who have reviewed this just dismissed it entirely for that simple reason. The only chance the movie really had was to be original which the makers intended to do by casting all female leads. Problem is, the movie itself was not original in the slightest. I guess it wouldn't be all that easy to reboot a franchise without taking some of the creativity from it but this movie does so in excess. Albeit done in a good way. The ghosts in the movie look great, that is for sure. The action sequences are rendered to what you would expect from a 144 million dollar budget. The main ingredient of the characters (ghostbusters) was not too bad although McCarthy and Wiig seemed very forced throughout. McKinnon and Jones though were extremely funny and held the attention of the viewers well. The stand out though wasn't a female, it was the hilarious performance by Hemsworth that nailed his deadpan comedy style perfectly throughout. I think this is a worthy reboot that even though I would prefer Hollywood just leave some movies alone such as this, they aren't going to stop remaking things. So since our voice won't be heard, at least stop destroying movies, foreign or remake alike. This time, overall, they did just fine. And in the end, we know Zuul is coming, maybe to save the inevitable sequel from losing money (to date, the movie has made 127 million).
A fun ride for Zombie to create
My quick rating - 6,2/10. This movie can be summed up in knowing it was for Rob Zombie to just have fun. Group of people get abducted and put into a haunted house, so to speak (abandoned warehouse basically) and hunted to the death by hired killer clowns. The action is often impossible to tell what is happening due to some massive quick editing that leaves you with a headache. Put this flaw aside and you have a standard fare of "The Running Man" but with clowns who get paid to kill people. The lead "hunter" so to speak steals the show (Richard Brake) as he plays the sinister doom-head. Right from the opening you can tell he will be the focus and with good reason. Surprisingly the movie doesn't use the gore in excess for shock which is fine. There is plenty of it though, don't worry. Overall the aristocrats betting on the outcome is held together by the phenomenal Malcolm McDowell as Father Murder who runs this yearly event. I would be not doing my job if I didn't mention one of the contestants is the often used daughter of Zombie, Sherri Moon, and she again plays her role quite well. Overall a fun ride but doesn't bring anything new out to speak of. Seems the killer clown craze is picking up steam and I have no problem with that.
Funny and original but could've been much better
My quick rating - 5,2/10. Not really a horror but has horror elements. These are far overshadowed by the humor which was surprisingly good. That said, one character stole the spotlight with the laughs. Kudos to the scriptwriter that came up with her lines. To get what I mean, you will just have to see it. Very under the radar but going in blind, I was entertained for sure. If this were developed better, this could have been great. Not the first dead partner comes back to haunt the other that lives, but surely original in the death itself and the method of haunting. I am kinda laughing thinking about it. I can see going back and watching this again.
Original story that comes so close to being more than average
My quick rating - 5,0/10. The saturation of these "Blair Witch" type movies has somewhat slowed down so I don't get quite so frustrated by them as I was a few years ago. The camera style works quite well for this story. It does well to capture the fear one might go through if, let's say, a biblical event such as the rapture befalls upon you. It would've been a heck of a lot better had the actors not been so cookie cutter imitations of American tourists. Plus, the acting being poor didn't help their cause much. Beyond that though, the imagery worked well with some nice looking "monsters" that did actually work for a few scares. Wasn't worth the hype but I do think a lot of the buzz was due to it being an Israeli movie. That and the touchy whiners which always pop up when religion pops up in horror movies. At least the movie didn't try to ram the Christian underlying tones down the viewers throat. If it pops up on cable or at redbox (does that still exist?) it would be worth it, but 15 bucks at a theater would be out of the question.
She Wolf Rising (2016)
Laughable monster peeks out in crush story
My quick rating - 4,5/10. Well, not the worst I have seen. If it wasn't for some out of place humor that this movie has, this would really have some low scores. Truth is, the movie is not very good. The movie within a movie idea works out OK but the filmmakers got a bit lost in how to wrap it up with anything resembling logic. But that isn't really the point of it, seeing a "scream queen" transform into some sort of monster (why and go the title is wolf, I have no idea) and go around killing people is the point, right? Well, if you actually watch this, you will realize that wasn't the point. The movie is really more of a love story between the male lead (Timothy Mandala) and his crush on the scream queen in this movie (Jamie Lee Curtis need not be afraid). Yes, Tiffany Shepis does an adequate job in her role, and does not overdo it at all but the sheer ridiculousness surrounding the transformation and monster element is so laughable it earns points in how bad it is. If you appreciate "so bad it is good" then you may like this. But be warned, it is not a good film at all so don't expect it to be.
JCVD returns as the teacher
My quick rating 5,0/10. I won't say much. If you like martial arts action films, you should be OK with this one. Typical avenge the death of your brother plot, so don't expect to be astonished. Nice choreography for the fight scenes with a nice nod to the MMA world sprinkled in. Good to see JCVD making a pseudo comeback such as this film. He plays the muay thai teacher role quite well. The use of Batista was also a nice choice as he looks and plays the part well (he doesn't need to say much) and riding his recent success helps. I think the movie would've been just fine without the pointless love story that most of the time you can't tell if it is actually happening or the main dudes wet dream. Beyond that, just know what you are getting in for. Fighting. (yes the broken glass from the original is used)
Oh, and if you like this movie, be happy to know there is a sequel on the way in 2017.
Maximum Ride (2016)
Substandard fantasy film
My quick rating - 4,4/10. Pretty bland story that really never got going. Six children genetically cross-bred with avian DNA, complete with wings, take flight around the country to discover their origins. The plot line sums it up. Problem with this movie is some subpar FX, the lack of depth (flashbacks via MTV style don't cut it) and lack of any reason to care what happens to the kids. The action, so to speak, is pointless and they don't even try to find their origins, they more or less allude to it. Visually, the sweeping camera work looks very nice over the landscapes as they fly (don't focus on them, the vfx are horrid as I said) but that cannot save a lackluster effort such as this. I read that this is a series of books that supposedly are pretty good so I assume a sequel is on the way. I won't be bothering with it if they do. Aside from the main character, Max, the bit players are just there. The kid who blows stuff up at least ended the movie with a funny line. Not really a spoiler nor does it make it worth it to watch just for that. If you know the books, you will be disappointed, and if you don't know them, you most likely still will be. I know I was.
The Nice Guys (2016)
Quality buddy chemistry flick
My quick rating - 7,8/10. Crowe and Gosling team up in an unlikely crime/mystery film that just works. The characters are acted out just the way they should be which is often rare in buddy flicks. Crowe plays the heavy while Gosling plays the heavy drinker. They get paired up when Gosling is a Private detective working a case that Crowe inadvertently gets roped into. The two of course have no interest in working together which adds to the comedy. This movie is filled with underlying dark humor that sometimes does miss the mark, but overall is entertaining. Also incorporating some little shout outs to spotting the time frame (Tim Allens name on the marquee at the Comedy Store for an example) points out the writers/directors attention to detail. Little things such as this pop up to make you appreciate the care that was put into the film. The story itself moves along very well as the mystery of Amelia (Margaret Qualley) plays out in the porn industry. Explaining what I mean would be in spoiler territory, so watch it to see. I will say that after the majority of the film being so good, the ending just seemed to run out of gas. It didn't let the audience down, it just didn't live up to the excellent work that was already presented. But overall, a very well made movie and I could be open to a sequel if they so chose.
I Am Not a Serial Killer (2016)
Well made flick that moves you through at the right pace
My quick rating - 6,3/10. Rarely do directors click so well with editors. This movie was a demonstration in how to pace a film so the audience isn't overwhelmed but stays completely interested in what is going on. This follows the creepy kid (Max Records) who lives in a funeral home which is the butt of all the kids jokes in school. This introduces him to a main character, his therapist. But that would be a boring drama movie, so I think they should sprinkle in some horror elements. How about Christopher Lloyd as a otherworldly killer? This happens early in the film, so that is not a spoiler! The well placed humor and the sheer awkwardness of the aptly named John Wayne Cleaver (Records) makes his performance so believable, often to the point of just how stupid his decisions are at times. In reality, how many people would make better decisions in a situation of trying to stop a serial killer in a small town? The film plays out wonderfully to a fulfilling ending and I can say this is a re- watch type movie. You get the feel for the small town (although at times there were far too many people who did not know one another), the geek next store romance from afar, and the satisfaction of a great actor in Lloyd as a "body parts collector". Check it out.
Belly of the Bulldog (2015)
Well, this movie really "tanked" (had to do it)
My quick rating - 4.0/10. Well, that was a movie where it ended and my thought was "ok, take it or leave it" it certainly didn't have any strong points. The acting was "there", the dialogue was non-existent without using the f-word. Sentences often made absolutely no sense when uttered. Not sure why this is considered a "horror" either. Barely a psychological thriller really. I only gave it a 4 because I appreciated the claustrophobic feeling these people must've endured and the poorly acted insanity it would bring out. Slight side note, I read a review that compared it to "Dog Soldiers" and I have no idea what that reviewer was smoking, but it doesn't even hold a candle to that movie. Almost an insult putting them in the same sentence.