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The Flash: Rupture (2016)
It's a (CW) trap!
Storyline-wise this is a totally acceptable episode of The Flash... Moving forward, the show is in a very exciting spot for fans. Jesse Quick & Kid Flash both have received their powers and Wells is in quite a precarious position as it looks as if Barry is gone and Wells is responsible.
As exciting of a chapter as The Flash is currently turning to, it's not without its problems... And I'm compelled to say something as there are times when this show makes me want to bang my head on a brick wall. For one, The Flash (for the most part) has a great cast but Iris is like a huge anchor weighing them all down. Her movements are almost robotic, she looks uncomfortable during scenes where she has to channel extreme emotion, and watching her struggle to find the right emotional note she'll take it to another level by making awkward movements... It's like she doesn't know what to do with her body. Which begs the question... Where is the director to give her some direction?!
I also wish they'd turn down the quintessential 'whiny superhero' bit that Barry has been going through as of late... It was a huge turnoff when it was such a big focus of the Toby Maguire Spider-Man films. If you have to attack it, do so and move on, it's become a tired cliché in the genre and one I really hope to see less and less of as the genre continues to explode.
Please excuse my rants... I feel like The Flash could be great and at times it is, but it gets in its own way. There is a tried and true formula you see again and again over at The CW and sometimes they let that get in the way of the betterment of the show.
Game of Silence (2016)
Sleepers Part 2
A cast of good looking men won't save this clunker... It starts off interesting but then starts losing itself extremely quickly in back and forth flashbacks (why is everyone using this plot device these days?) and muddled storytelling. The prison scenes are far from realistic... Not that these horrors don't happen but they are so over the top it's hard to be truly invested.
These are talented actors, no doubt, but you could throw Meryl Streep & Colin Firth in there and there's only so much they could do with writing like this... Not a lot of chemistry among these actors & actresses either, which says more about the casting department than the actors themselves. It's the actors fanboys and fangirls that will surely blow smoke up this show's butt (see Quantico). This has been done before, many times, and better... That's the main problem... Game Of Silence is basically Sleepers Part 2... And with dozens and dozens of top notch shows currently airing, that's not something I am will to spend my time on.
The Evolution of The 100
I wrote this for TVShow Time... I always review each episode but seeing so many upset with the themes and how low a fantastic episode of The 100 really lit my fire so... Im sharing it with all of you:
A lot of people seem to whining and crying about the themes that The 100 is undertaking this season... I've written that S3 has been up and down but I will never EVER complain about the themes in The 100. I enjoy this show because it's so out of the box as to what is the norm for The CW... This is entertainment, people... fiction... And I refuse to let other people try to force creative minds into PG-ing everything up. Back in the day the fear was that people would burn our books, now in the golden age of television... It's our TV series. Not this one, whistle-blowers... Not my 100. Those that feel the same way as I do... Please head over to the episode pages for The 100 at IMDb and rate this episode honestly... Don't let these censor-cheerleaders rewrite TV history.
Now on to the episode... Now that we have such a rich & explored land w/characters all over, The 100 is at its best when it tells one story at a time... And then melts those stories together. That's what's happened in this episode. Right at the heels of two major character deaths... Raven gets a go at proving her acting chops and does so with ease. Seeing her 'withdrawal' from the drug Allie is dispensing in such a literal and convincing manner will touch home with people who have dealt with real drug addiction.
These characters deaths have been a difficult event to process but they've altered the narrative in such a profound and exciting way that what once felt confusing now feels like it all had a purpose. The 100 feels white hot right now... It's exciting... It makes you stand up and get closer to your television and that's when you know your rly watching a great TV show... That and the fact that The 100 itself has become such a polarizing entity in pop culture. The show is EVOLVING, and we can't be mad at that especially when it's making so much noise in the process.
Scream Queens: Thanksgiving (2015)
Munch On This
Even tho there is some homage being paid to B-Horror past, that doesn't make up for this mess of a show. Maybe if I wasn't such a huge fan of Horror-Comedy or so enthusiastic after the first two episodes I wouldn't be so angry at this show, but I am. It's literally 5:30am & this episode aired around Thanksgiving so that means it's taken me an extra 3 months to get to this point. My gripes remain the same, not enough Horror, way too much Leslie Neilson 2015 if Leslie Neilson was a teenage girl obsessed with overplayed pop albums & sang loudly with her friends every time a Taylor Swift song played on a jukebox at a diner and then they all ask for split checks and no one tips their waiter. See, I can do slapstick too, now slide in an inappropriate sex joke and a severed head, slap Ryan Murphy's name on it and BOOM, you're renewed for S2.
Same day ratings were abysmal for this episode and tanked as the season went on... Yet an alarming amount of people saved it on their DVR. Whatever. My coworker has literally bribed me with $20 to finish just so she can laugh at my saucy reviews... Hi, Amanda! BTW, she says she didn't like the show yet she talks about the show way too much & paying me money to watch it is a dead giveaway she actually does really like this show. So who's watching this damn show and giving it these high ratings on here & IMDb? Not John Waters, and certainly not anyone old or aware enough to know who he actually is... And if that's true, then my Leslie Nielsen joke fell flat too and I'm only in this for the money.
Damn you, Jamie Lee Curtis, Damn you.
Like so many Full Moon films before it, Wax starts out using the tired premise of the filming of a reality show. Journalist Mike is challenged by the producers to spend the night in a haunted wax museum in Barcelona. Mike carries a video camera around with him while being filmed by various cameras set up around the museum... All while being shown footage of serial killer and cannibal Dr Knox performing ghastly rituals to his victims.
Director Víctor Matellano gets a few things right. For one, the atmosphere is extremely chilling and the gore scenes are certainly something to be proud of. Unfortunately, Wax quickly becomes one of those films where it is difficult to suspend your disbelief... As your average horror viewer will certainly start to question how and why and WTF?! as the story progresses. Maybe instead of writing roles specifically for cameos, more thought could go into tying everything together.
ThanksKilling 3 (2012)
T3: A Neon Turkey
If you go into Thankskilling 3 expecting anything like what you got out of the first film you will be incredibly disappointed, maybe even confused. Of course Turkie, the antagonist from the first film, returns to spread as much horror, gore & death as would be expected, but this time the world in which his terror transpires is a much more foreign place. To T3's credit, the world it paints is extremely original... Filled with colorful sets, clever lighting, pulse pounding beats and creative characters and puppets that even Jim Henson would most likely give nod to. Unfortunately those aforementioned pluses are the only things T3 has going for it this time around.
The plot is simple. The blood thirsty, mayhem starved Turkie receives news that the original sequel to his first film, Thankskilling 2, is being pulled and ultimately destroyed. Determined to not let his life's work disappear forever, Turkie grabs his son and sets out to find the last remaining copy. Immediately the film jumps off the rails, introducing character after character, each carefully imagined and constructed but none that add any real substance to the story. Random and potty humor is thrown against the wall like rapid fire and very little of sticks at all. It very quickly becomes extremely exhausting to be the viewer, very similar to keeping up with a toddler. This makes what bright points the film does have almost impossible to truly enjoy.
Director Jordan Downey obviously has some talent... What he needs is an editor. T3 is ultimately a mess. The audience this film will find will certainly be significantly smaller than it's predecessor. I'm also willing to bet that the age of that audience will drop as well
Fun Romp in Low Budget Smut Land
To say this film is brilliant would probably send shivers through pretentious movie reviewers across the internet. No, its obvious from the very beginning of this film, 'Offspring' is not for everybody. So who is for, you ask... Well the answer is simple - Hardcore Horror fans, B-Movie lovers, & fans of old Exploitation and Smut films from decades past will LOVE 'Offspring'! To those of us who fall into those fore-mentioned categories, yes this one is a brilliant & fun romp in low budget smut land! As most of us smut-lovers know, acting is not a necessary quality when it comes to this type of film and well it shows. However, there is a particular 'offspring' that really conveys the correct dosage of fear through the screen; Pollyanna McIntosh who plays 'The Woman' gives us a genuinely creepy portrayal of the leader of these fictitious flesh eating feral humans.
Gore factor is very much in effect and proves to be the centerpiece of 'Offspring'. That's right... plenty of blood, entrails, cannibalism, and gore filled moments to wince to. And don't forget the dead babies in plastic bags, makeshift soda can grills used for chomping skin, 'It's Alive' type baby drinking milk from a grossed out prisoner, and the ultimate 8 year old face off to the death...
For all you B-Movie Conniseurs, 'Offspring' is the s**t! You'll laugh, you'll jump, and you will definitely wince!
The Canyon (2009)
Dry & Desolate Canyon
The general plot line of stranded individuals in any particular setting is nothing new to Hollywood, as we have seen many marooned protagonists go up against mother nature, blood thirsty villains, and both fictitious and very real beasts alike. However, of all the places we have seen films set in, the grand canyon is mostly new. With a fresh setting we should have endless possibilities and plenty of room for an exciting and unconventional script. Unfortunately, 'The Canyon' cannot capitalize on it's sources. The final product that director Richard Harrah presents us with is nothing short of boring film-making, extremely grating 'come on' moments, erroneous use of wolves, and a very empty script. The actors are very talented and do what they can with the material, but not even talented actors can save a script that is as empty, dry, and desolate as the grand canyon itself. There are a few shining moments, but not enough to carry this movie into the entertaining zone. There is a nice gore scene (that will surely make anyone who watches it wince), the scenery is put to very beautifully shot aesthetic use, and of course nicely acted moments that accurately evoke the hopelessness of the situation and sometimes are even ironically witty. Notice that I have yet to mention the word 'thrilling' or 'thriller', which is extremely sad because this movies is obviously supposed to be just that - a thriller. 'The Canyon' simply can't cut it as a thriller and is obviously too straight forward to be anything else. Avoid this one just as you would avoid going into the grand canyon with a guide who could possibly double as the homeless guy who shines shoes outside of your office.
Gutless film-making ruins a 'could have been'
If I told you this film started out strong then I would be lying to you. As a matter of fact the beginning of this film was probably the hardest to watch. I found it difficult to settle in with the characters, especially Ben & Anna. Their relationship seemed awkward at first and very much hard to identify with. However as the film progressed I did feel more comfortable with the character's direction as they begin to loosen up and loose focus on Ben & Anna's relationship.
Anna & Ben's late night slumber is rudely awoken by Andrew, Mark's college buddy and a decent plot line of a drunken promise between the two to make an amateur porn surprisingly unfolds. Unfortunately, the film is a complete letdown... no bang for your buck if you know what I mean. What seemed to be a film blooming from nothing does just what it should have never done... you guessed it, 'Humpday' just bloomed into nothing basically folding into itself by hanging on to clichiec ideology that we as a society left in the dust several decades ago raping our two main characters of any depth or growth that began to shine as the film ran it's course.
No this is not daring film-making, this is shabby & gutless; even setting back the male gender a few years. Shame on Lynn Shelton.
A much improved Polson answers his critics with 'Tenderness'
'Tenderness' was first recommended to me by a close friend who I normally trust as far as judgment in film. However, when I learned the director, John Polson, was responsible for such films as 'Swimfan' and 'Hide & Seek', I had my doubts... As the movie progressed I found myself reassured by some emotionally provoking cinematography, strong performances, and an intriguing story. This film obviously is not comparable to Polson's previous flawed films. No, 'Tenderness' is actually substantial proof that Polson does have some talent in his bones after all.
After several years of juvenile incarceration for the horrific murders of his parents, Eric Poole (Jon Foster) is released back into the world amidst much controversy. While dealing with his wife's terminal condition, Retired Detective Cristofuoro (Russell Crowe) keeps close watch on Eric after his release waiting for him to slip up. Shortly after returning to his Aunt's home, Eric sets off to Albany to look at colleges. Suspecting that there is more to the trip that Eric is letting on, Eric's Aunt Teresa (Laura Dern) notifies the Detective of the trip. Fueled by an obsession by a seemingly chance encounter with Eric before the murders, a young and immature teen, Lori (Sophie Traub), forces a second encounter and finds herself accompanying Eric on his journey all while both searching for their own version of tenderness.
While it's no secret that this is not a perfect film, there is something to be said about this adaptation of Robert Cormier's novel. Instead of drawing from high suspense of the occurring events and without spelling everything out for the audience like most American films, Australian director Polson focuses on studying the film's characters. Though the characterization is a worthy effort, I still felt that the full potential of each character's depth was not explored. As long as you can get past Polson's earlier work and view the film with an open mind, you should be able to enjoy 'Tenderness' for as much as I did.