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The Lost Future (2010)
Great bones, ugly carpeting
Wow, the reviews on this movie are all over the place. Is it garbage? Is it an overlooked gem? Well, a little of both.
If you've ever been househunting, you've run into houses that had "good bones" - good solid construction, nice layout, good plumbing, electrical, etc..... but these homes often have ugly carpeting, out-of-date wallpaper, and a kitchen and bath that need a MAJOR redo. That's this movie.
Overall, the movie has an interesting premise, a lot of fun action, characters that you care about and gorgeous scenery. Good bones. Unfortunately, the movie also suffers from silly mistakes and sloppy writing that needlessly diminish it. The scene, for example, where the characters come across leeches for, apparently the first time in their lives (though they are in a body of water IN the village), then in the next scene they refer to these creatures casually as "leeches". What? A second ago they were horrified and baffled at the sight of them! Or the fact that when attacked, they all cry out, "To the Cave!" and all run to what is apparently their Emergency Back-Up Cave (complete with an emergency "door" that seals them in).... yet strangely, the cave has no food nor water stored in it, and they are soon worried about this - understandably.
These minor, but frustratingly inane situations occur with sad frequency - but my hubby and I kept with the film because... it does have good bones, just ugly carpeting.
Really ugly carpeting.
Just watch the film imagining hardwood floors, granite countertops and stainless steel appliances. LOL!
Bad Day on the Block (1997)
A Familiar Setting Turns Frightening - Very Effective!
I must admit, I rented this only because I'm a fan of David Andrews (JAG, Terminator 3, Cherry 2000, CSI) who plays the father of the Braverton family. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it and ended up buying a copy.
The premise is that an ordinary family's life is suddenly terrorized when their psychologically tormented neighbour (played by Charlie Sheen) finally "cracks". I found the movie quite good, because it WAS a basically ordinary family. I could see my own family in their day-to-day goings on. So many Hollywood movies are spoiled for me by characters who live ridiculously opulent and overly quaint suburban lives. These characters didn't have an enormous swimming pool or luxurious cars or a magnificent house on the ocean - they're NORMAL people....and therein lies the suspense (at least for me). I could see the whole scenario ACTUALLY playing out in a real family's life. The reactions of the characters and the police were realistic and believable. No running around in silly lingerie, no going "Rambo" - real reactions.
Truthfully, the weak point for me was Sheen. He was obviously trying to "break the mold" and was admittedly quite successful - the character was scary in a "smouldering" way. A burning ember. I just couldn't stop thinking of him as....well...Charlie Sheen - and that really wasn't his fault.
This is definitely worth a watch - the dynamic between Mare Winningham and my man David Andrews (who also worked together in "Wyatt Earp") was genuine and gave the whole scenario the needed authenticity.