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Beyond Dream's Door (1989)
Beyond Dreams Door
Apparently inspired by the various writings of H.P. Lovecraft, Beyond Dreams Door is the chilling tale of young Psychology student Benn Dobbs who, after becoming part of a college study on dreaming, suddenly finds himself haunted by a continuing series of terrifying nightmares which appear to bleed into the waking world. As Dobbs tries to unravel the meaning of his dreams, he discovers that beyond dreams door is where horror lies... And the door has been opened. This is an entertaining and unique film well worth the time of anyone willing to seek it out.
STORY - The film was shot on practically no budget and skillfully uses suspense, atmosphere and storytelling to it's advantage. The pacing doesn't seem slow at any time and is quite gripping, giving viewers just enough information to grasp what's going on but make their own individual articulations, oozing Lovecraftian inspiration throughout. What we have is a suspenseful horror story centering on the terrors that may, or may not, lurk within or beyond the subconscious. Very few films today have such a strong grasp of story. 5/5
EFFECTS - Due to the budget there are not that many special effects in the film, and while those that are in it are not bad at all their age does show. The effects for the creature were spot on, but unfortunately everything else is only average. 3/5
ACTING - The acting here is quite good, but unfortunately dialogue and delivery is poor. The actors regularly paused in the middle of sentences for what I assume was supposed to be dramatic effect, but it comes off as the type of dialogue you get in a terrible dub of a foreign film trying to lip sync dialogue that just doesn't fit with mouth movements. Fortunately this trend seems to die off by the middle of the film and the actual dialogue isn't bad, it's just delivery that drags it down. Beyond that the actors portray the small cast of characters strongly. 3/5
MUSIC AND SOUND - The musical score for this movie was extremely well done, creating a more than creepy atmosphere for the duration of the film. It's a soothing, yet foreboding tune that sets one at ease while also making the skin crawl and hairs stand on end. Sound effects were also done very well, there were none of the noticeable errors or drops in sound quality that regularly plague films shot in 16mm. 5/5
OVERALL - I give this film a solid 8 out of 10. The odd pausing in the middle of sentences was extremely noticeable early on in the film, and the dialogue is overall the most noticeable issue. The characters received an adequate amount of development but certainly could have been more flushed out, and the acting was very strong coming off as stiff only a few times. I think the best way to put it would be to say that the film was above average, but fell just short of what it obviously could have been. Truly deserving of more than the budget it had, and definitely deserving of a modern day DVD release.
Mission Impossible: Mission Accomplished!
If you need a good movie to see for the holidays, look no further - Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol is for you! Tom Cruise returns from the demolished train-wreck that was the third installment in the MI Series with a vengeance not seen in quite some time.
This installment in the series is just as down to earth as the rest of them, which means to say that the most plausible thing is the impossible. The plot is pretty strait forward from the get go: After a botched mission results in the Kremlin being bombed and the IMF blamed, the President invokes "Ghost Protocol" aka the entire IMF is disavowed and fired. This unfortunately leaves a soviet madman with the capability to incite global nuclear warfare and so Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) must lead another motley crew to save the day.
Throughout the movie you will notice that the entire cast really enjoyed their time making it, the acting is great, none of the lines have that cliché ring to them, the music is perfect and the special effects are top notch while still believable. There is a good combination of serious moments and urgency, the plot is explained without giving too much away and without ever making you want to check your watch, and they even managed to mix in the humor effectively; instead of cheesy overused jokes Tom Cruise simply smashes his face into some inanimate objects four different times (Possibly referencing that its the fourth movie?). The action scenes are well performed and every character that appears has depth and you can't help but actually care about their plights.
All in all, the cast and crew successfully revived an old gem in a desperately stagnant age of cinema, bringing us a fun thrill ride for the whole family and proving that whoever said "when you take any old classic and make a sequel or remake of it, its going to suck balls" was wrong - it can indeed turn out a grand success.
Let it be known, when I hit the enter button I shouted "Mission Accomplished"!
Amazing zombie movie, even by todays standards
I had been looking for this movie for about 4 years and finally found it (Thank god for Netflicks) and I must say it was well worth the search.
Not to spoil too much of the movie, the basic plot is relatively simple. The priest at the beginning of the movie (Fabrizio Jovine) hangs himself in a cemetery at Dunwich, New England. This act opens the Gates of Hell and evil spirits of the dead are now rising to overtake our world. Enter Mary Woodhouse (Catriona MacColl) a young psychic who, during a séance, witnesses the entire event. With the help of a intrigued reporter (Christopher George) she goes on a mission to save the world by destroying the zombie of the Priest, and if they cannot succeed by Midnight, the hour of All Saints Day, the Gates of Hell cannot be closed and the dead will overtake the Earth. They are joined by some of the residents of the Town of Dunwich, where horrifying events are already taking place.
This is the first in the Gates of Hell Trilogy, the other two being, in order' "The Beyond" and "The House By The Cemetery". The zombies in this film are not like most zombies people are familiar with, these zombies can teleport, levitate, and have super strength. The entire film moves at a very good pace, it is never too slow and it never feels rushed. The music score is hauntingly good, it really helps keep the audience on the edge of their seats. I think one of the greatest things about this movie is the form the zombie apocalypse takes. Usually in any zombie movie Humanity has already fallen and the movie focuses on a small group of survivors, or a small group during the fall of Humanity. This movie focuses on the events before and a small group of people as they attempt to save the rest of the world from the fate they know is coming. It is a very creepy and powerful feel, sadly now mostly forgotten in the zombie film genre.
For anyone familiar with the Lovecraft mythos the movie draws some references. When the Priest hangs himself there is a tombstone which has a very Lovercraftian passage written on it, and the "evil force" of the movie is very undefined and raw. The town of Dunwich, while said in this movie to be in New England, is very similar to Dunwich Massachusetts, a fictional town of immeasurable importance to Lovecraft's mythos.
The acting by each of the performers is not just believable, it really makes you feel the intensity of the situation in the movie. The special effects are the effects of 1980, however Lucio Fulci is known for taking almost nothing and turning it into pure gold. The amount of work and effort into the scenes is good, but at the same time it does feel a bit sub par compared to some of Fulci's other works. There are one or two characters who do not do quite as well as the main cast, but they still do better than many of today's actors.
Finally, the quality of the film itself. I managed to track down the Unrated version of the movie. All you need to know is several amazingly gruesome scenes were taken out of the initial release and banned consistently throughout the 80's and 90's. It is roughly 5 minutes of extra footage but very worth tracking down, because of how good the quality is. The film was not shot on cheap film and the camera and lighting make for an amazing setting. Every so often the camera man seems to make a few jerky motions, but it is not anything worth real noting. I had chills running down my spine for all of this movie. And that is very rare to have a movie send real chills down my spine.
My final rating: Film quality - 9/10 Actor Quality 9/10 Sound Track - 10/10 Storyline - 9/10 Special Effects - 8/10
Over all rating - 9/10 Fulci has indeed done better than this, but this movie is by no means anything less than one of the greatest zombie movies in history. If you get the chance it is on Netflicks and I would suggest finding it.
I saw this movie today with a buddy of mine, and I gotta say everything else this year and throughout 2010 is gonna have a hard time trumping this one! The story was simple yet effective, and despite the idea being the Zombie Apocalypse scenario that's been said, done, and done again a thousand times over it was a refreshing new spin on the genre. The actors had solid performances, the zombies were convincing, and the gory special effects were great. Hell they even managed to get Bill Murray in there (I was searching frantically for Dan Akroid once I realized this). Solid acting, truly hilarious, and the story was great. And for any who might be thinking it, no this is far from a Shawn of the Dead ripoff. I can only say this, go see this movie! You wont be able to stop laughing, you'll love the ride, and you'll stay entertained the whole trip.
Survival Island (2002)
Killer Goddamn Pinata.....
This was one of the most pathetic movies iv ever seen. I watched it on IFC, when nothing else was on AT ALL. This movie can be summed up in 3 words- killer goddamn piñata. Yes I said piñata. The story is very simple, the acting is very lame, and everyones an idiot. There are only 2 good things I can name about this movie
1 - One of the actresses is a playboy playmate.
2 - The killer piñata is one vicious little bitch.
In all seriousness, there's 1 really hot chick and the Pinata, though pathetic and cheesy, brings the gore fest like Pinhead and Leatherface, just without the awesome demonic powers or the chainsaw. This is the kind of movie you rent for $1.00 when there's nothing else to do, or watch on TV for free as its pretty much worthless.
Damn good!!!! Possible spoilers!!1
I am a big fan of anime, and i admit that when i saw the commercials for S-cry-Ed I thought "thats gonna suck". Boy was I wrong. What you have here is a "post-apocalyptic/big crisis" world set somewhere in the future. In an area of Earth known as The Lost Ground, AKA the very site of the big apocalyptic event, humans are being born with a mysterious power: Alter powers. Basically, humans can transform any matter, the ground, your car, houses, etc. into powerful weapons called Alters. Every Alter user has his own unique alter grafted after his personality i think. The story focuses on a young Alter user named Kazuma, as well as another named Ryuho. Kazuma had no parents or last name and lived off his Alter Shell Bullet, while Ryuho is heir to a large fortune and part of HOLY, a police like organization made of Alter users to fight Alter user criminals, referred to as Native Alters.
The anime is 26 episodes long and filled with amazing fight sequences, incredible animation, and an interesting storyline. The hardest part is the story, most of the terms you wont figure out until at least episode 7, but you WILL figure it out. There are also some elements in this anime for most ages, hero's like Ryuho who try to do whats right at any cost, truly evil villains who just make you hate their guts the moment you see them, good hearted people like Kazuma who defend what they believe in, some good humor, and as mentioned before, this anime is practically BUILT around the fight scenes. The alters are another good point, cause there's so much thought put into them. If your like me and saw the Adult Swim commercial with Kazuma running forward with his big fist pointed strait in front of him thinking its gonna suck, punch yourself in the nuts for thinking that cause this is a must see anime for anyone older than 9 in my book.