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Demon Resurrection (2008)
Rated "R" for Retarded
How the fck is this rated so high? So many instances of downright retarded decisions. We will review some point by point. If you're an intelligent person or at least basically reasonable then you will choose the right answers to these simple questions.
If you see a bunch of slow moving demons feeding on someone do you (a) run away or (b) stand there whimpering until they feed on you too. The people in this movie chose 'b'.
If there are dozens of demons outside your house do you (a) go out and charge them with a tire iron or do you (b) stay the fck inside. The people in this movie chose 'b'. I know you're shaking your head, reader.
If there are lots of unsavory demons outside your house do you (a) open the window and stick your head or some other part of your body outside or do you (b) keep the fcking window closed and push something in front of it. The people in this movie -you guessed it- chose 'b'.
If there are dozens of demons swarming an idiot with a tire iron do you (a) wait for them to kill him and then attack them with your little axe or do you (b) run the fck back into the house. The people in this movie -you guessed it again- bully for you- chose 'b'.
Basically, dear reader, the annoying thing thru out the whole movie is how people just stand there or wait there until they get attacked even though they had ample time to take off or do something to help themselves. It is a badly made movie and deserves no more than '3' stars. Love, Boloxxxi
Worry Dolls (2016)
Horror about dolls that bring out the worst in people
A serial killer leaves behind a box of "worry dolls" after he is killed by cops. Basically, you tell your worries to a worry doll and supposedly it takes them into itself thus liberating you. Anyhow (yawn), the dolls (4 or 5, I believe) accidentally get distributed while in transit to police headquarters. Not a good thing for the new owners whose fears and insecurities become amplified to paranoia by the dolls.
The good news: Movie could have been longer. But don't take this to mean it was a terrible movie. It was just a straight-forward, "nothing new or surprising" movie. Once you learn about the dolls in the earlier part of the film, your brain just coasts thru some bloody, but unremarkable deaths until the end where there is a little bit of the unexpected. Before I close, let me say this: A human being on fire is not funny. But I think that if in a movie said human is made to run a considerable distance while aflame....well...you know. I'm only human, folks! Love, Boloxxxi.
We must accept that it is the fate of all classics and faves to eventually get stabbed in the ass with a remake-dagger.
So, another movie classic has been remade to less than rave revues (Surprise!). One reviewer here called this remake "filth" which had me chuckling since as a movie-reference, the term is usually applied to unsavory violence, and/or sex, and/or language. None of which were in this movie. But I totally understand. Messing with someone's movie classic (or song) is almost like messing with their religion. They will go off-the-wall on your ass. I've had some of my own personal favorites re-tooled or re-told, whatever, and I was just as miffed as the reviewer I mentioned. And would myself not be aversed to using terms or language that did not logically apply. Here's one: "Shaft", remade with Samuel L. Jackson. (I forget the idiot who did it). You would not have wanted to be anywhere near me when that happened. Samuel L. Jackson is a fine actor, and a busy one, since he appears in every other movie. But Shaft?!!! No f!!cking way!!!
Do I need to tell you what this movie is about?
On the off chance you haven't seen the original Poltergeist then use the basic or generic model of most ghost horror movies "Family moves into a new home and sh!t happens". The interesting thing here is that this movie would have been received a little better without any association as a remake or "update" to the original Poltergeist. Thus, given a different title and some of the more obvious content similarities removed (like the little girl and the TV, for example) it could have -standing on it's own- done a little better (maybe 5.8, or so). So it's being punished somewhat by fans of the original thru association and comparison. They wanted it to be as good or better. Can't argue with that.
In it's day Poltergeist introduced us to movie imagination and magic that we had not seen before; giving us a powerfully visual and frightening experience of certain aspects or areas of paranormal experience in the same way the original Exorcist did. Fans feel that this remake should have done the same thing instead of contenting itself with coasting along on the coat tails (name recognition) of it's parent. The producers should have accepted the challenge of doing as well if not better and blow us away a second time. Ah well, no point in crying over spilled milk or wasted opportunity.
So how'd this happen?
Well, I'm not sure how reliable my sources are, but one day, while golfing, fishing, or playing tennis, someone felt nostalgic. I dunno, maybe they were telling each other ghost stories on the course, on the lake, across the net, whatever, and someone said "Remember Poltergeist?" and the other responded, "Yeah, it scared the pants off me!" Then looking at each other thoughtfully, one said "Why not do an update?" And the other responded, "You mean a "remake"?" And the person with the brainstorm says, "An "update" showing off modern technology. You know, laptops, flat-screen-TVs, smart phones, black BFFs, drones...you know?" This got the other thinking, "You know, it could work. But aren't drones controversial?" And the brainstormer says, "You're right. Sh!t! I really wanted one of those things to fly over the house at the end of the movie and nuke it. The audience would go wild!" They later decided they would work out a compromise. Love, Boloxxxi.
Best viewed as a sedative.
This movie is as much a relationship movie as anything else: Between Jo (the main character) and her boyfriend and her mom and dad. Horror movie? I'm laughing right now so there's your answer.
After breaking up with her boyfriend when he confesses something to her (The road to disaster is oft times paved with "good intentions", Reader. Dude should have kept his pie hole shut.) and refusing any and all attempts at communications from him, Jo later has an encounter with an ice cream vendor on wheels with a weird painted-on face. She later suspects him of committing a terrible crime facilitated by her negligence. She and her ex-boyfriend go sleuthing (she reluctantly) to see if they can find something on this guy who knows she's been snooping around and decides to target her. The constables don't believe anything she tells them (Surprise!) and have already decided they know what happened.
If you have nothing better to do, this movie is best viewed at home in your underwear scratching your-- (Okay, I'm not going there). Point is, it's a "TV" movie about relationships with mild suspense (yawn) provide by the ice cream guy at the end. Needless to say, this movie was not "my cup of tea" as the saying goes. No interesting dialog, no interesting action, no senseless nudity...... Er, speaking of "senseless nudity", I think I'll go browse my video library. Love, Boloxxxi
Dead Rising (2015)
The reporter, the hot chick, the grieving mother, the camera woman. Will their brains and other good parts be eaten by the zombies? Stay tuned.
At an event where people who have been bitten by zombies are waiting for their anti-zombie injections (which they must periodically take) a reporter, out to make a name for himself in the news business, has an argument with his camera woman over his exploitive and sensationalistic idea of news reporting, and they go their separate ways. She to leave the scene, and he to sneak into a tent to take secret pictures where medical personnel are administering the anti-zombie injection for those who have been bitten. He's present when --for some reason-- the drug does not work and all hell breaks loose. On the run for dear life, he teams up with a hot brunette of the model variety with whom he had an embarrassing encounter earlier to the amusement of his camera woman.
Though this movie is not an "outright" comedy (one with a lot of blunt silliness and slapstick, for example), it is no doubt a horror comedy; played a bit more seriously and deadpan. It has some amateurish flaws of execution, but is more forgivable since it is a comedy and you can't take it seriously anyway. As well, you want to root for people who aren't part of the Hollywood establishment who make a decent effort to entertain you. The main flaw, I thought, was those narrow escapes or close calls where the zombies or bad guys clearly had ample opportunity to bite or do bad things but the would-be victim got away. Some of them doing so after the camera cuts away to another scene during the attack or threat and returns to see them still unharmed.
Nonetheless, this movie is still entertaining and therefore worth your time. Watch out for the live news broadcast with the anchorwoman and her celebrity guest zombie expert. It is reminiscent to me of something you would see on Saturday Night Live, if you ever watched that show. It is well done and funny without seeming to try to be. At the end, this movie seems to promise a sequel. I look forward to it. Love, Boloxxxi.
Ex Machina (2014)
Tech wiz knight meets his AI princess locked away in a secure remote facility.
The very wealthy creator and proprietor of an internet search-engine innovates an artificial intelligence in the form of a human female and enlists the aid of a young male employee to test it at his remote hi-tech home/research facility thru conversations and interactions to see if it possesses "real" consciousness.
There is little to no action in Ex Machina in terms of fighting, running around, and explosions. This easily goes unnoticed and unmissed by us however, since the general topic of human beings meeting and interacting with something "other" is so entertainingly well done. Almost from the very start of this movie we find ourselves helplessly immersed in the conversations and interactions of 3 persons and 1 "questionable person" within the intimate (focused) setting of a visually captivating hi-tech home/research facility.
Let me introduce you:
Nathan (AI innovator): Direct, outwardly friendly, energetic. A giant ego is evident. As well, one can sense an underlying restlessness and temperament; a dark side. What is he up to? What are his unspoken ambitions? You cannot help but wonder.
Kyoko (Servant, lover, plaything and who knows what else): She does not speak but she dances. And there is a hilarious and incongruous scene (which made it even more effective) having to do with this. Priceless! And the look on Caleb's face... Well if ever there was a WTF look, that was it. Kyoko is however withdrawn; seems always cowed and unhappy. Does this have anything to do with the suspected and unknown dark side of Nathan? Hmmm.
Caleb (Nathan's employee and elected tester of his AI): Has an unusual grasp and insight of AI technology and theory. And so seems very smart, even gifted, where this is concerned. Other than that, he seems a basically decent, ordinary guy-nextdoor-type which is why he is our "point man", so to speak, in the movie. This means that we, the viewing audience, can identify with him more than the other principals.
Ava (AI): You would never know she was a machine if it were not visually obvious in her physical construction. I felt an eerie fascination for her combined human and machine qualities. I believe you will too, Reader. She's at first guarded but polite with our point man. And later, determined, and distressed about some hidden desire and knowledge she possesses.
Enough said! I would not presume to give you orders Reader, but if there is more to you than car crashes and explosions and you love your sci-fi as much as I do, then you need to get your butt in gear and see this movie. Highly recommended. Love, Boloxxxi.
Starry Eyes (2014)
Desperate and ambitious, a woman gets more than she bargained for when she trades sexual favors for stardom.
What would you do if a long-standing dream was suddenly only a blowjob away? -This is the dilemma of the female lead in this movie who has aspirations of being an actress and a "star". The question of what one would do to get something they want badly is not a new movie question or theme. It's been done and asked many times. Nonetheless, it remains a fascinating question because it is one of those questions that shows who you really are. I have long maintained that many so-called "law-abiding" citizens are only so because they are afraid of getting into trouble; of getting caught. Ergo, if you could guarantee them that they would not get into trouble or be found out there is no doubt these heretofore "upstanding citizens" would be willing to commit a crime. Welcome to the depths of human nature.
I was able to sympathize with the character in this movie. She wants it so badly and has been wanting it for such a long time. The walls of her room are covered with pictures of legendary female actors that she both worships and envies. She would so love to join their ranks. Then miraculously, it seems, her big break arrives. But it requires that she override certain ingrained qualms and principles of her personality and character relating to her sense of ethics and decency. In an ideal world she would succeed on the merits of her acting talent alone without having to do anything unethical and indecent. Things that would not prove her gifts as an actor but rather how desperate and how much of a whore she is should she accede to them.
What should she do?
Should she sacrifice her principles and seize the moment? -Or continue to waitress at "Big Taters"?
Tough question, Reader.
Her friends are no help to her; provide no moral support because they don't seem to have any real vocation or ambition beyond partying, getting high, and talking about the movie one of them would like to make. Therefore, how can hanging out with them encourage her to stick to her principles when they all look like a bunch of aimless, shortsighted losers. There has to be more to life. She was made for better things; for "greater" things. Secretly she pities them and perhaps even despises them at some level. How can people without real ambition judge her? Dare even to look down on her if she does whatever it takes to accomplish something big? The guy in their group who wants to make a movie with her is neither trustworthy or reliable, she thinks. It would be a huge roll of the dice to put stock in someone with no proved talent beyond talk, promises, and getting stoned.
Which brings us back to the blowjob (No snickering, please).
I think you can guess what choice she makes. But it's like striking a deal with the devil who will always try to get more than you bargained with. By the time you realize you've signed over your soul it's too late. I'm just using this as an example since I'm not sure if the people of "Astraeus" (the production company our starry-eyed girl is pinning her hopes on) are devil-worshipers or belong to some other cult. They wear a six pointed star around their necks. Whatever, there is no doubt that there are supernatural doings afoot, Reader.
There is some gore and bloody mess in this movie. Some disgusting vomiting as well (One suspects there was more to that blowjob. Just saying....). I lowered the bar for this movie from the get go. I didn't recognize a soul in it. Must be some independent, amateur crap I was thinking pessimistically. Surprisingly it got better as it went along. The lead actress whom I didn't credit with much ability, range, and sexiness in the beginning began to blossom as the movie went along. I realized I underestimated her and the whole movie in general. Hope you'll be pleasantly surprised too. Love, Boloxxxi.
The Last Days on Mars (2013)
A cousin of our favorite shuffler and shambler is discovered on mars
FOREWORD: I'm not sure it's possible to spoil a movie that is (in my opinion) 4 stars since the fact that it is 4 stars indicates that it has already been spoiled by the people who made it. However, if you disagree Reader, skip to the next reviewer and we'll get together another time.
After an imposed time limit (caused by preparations to leave mars) forces members of a mars exploratory team to return to base camp, one of them, hiding his discovery of life on mars (some kind of bacteria), pleads for more time outside using the ruse that he needs to check if a sensor is working. Against better judgment, the captain caves, giving him a little more time to go out and check the sensor. Conditionally, he is ordered to take another crew member with him and to return by a certain deadline.
Now at their destination, the deceitful crew member (Glory Hog) is outside doing who knows what while the other crew member assigned to him (Clueless) sits in the mars rover watching perplexed. Meanwhile, back at base camp, the deceit is discovered and Clueless and Glory Hog are ordered to return. Preoccupied (no doubt with visions of fame and glory) the directive is ignored by Glory Hog who shortly has an accident, falling into a hole rife with the coveted bacterium. The effect on the poor sap is "somewhat" similar to the virus that turns people into zombies in earth-bound zombie movies. I think you can guess the rest of the movie. There is desperation, fear, courage, the resident coward, all of that, as the the crew scramble to save their asses from their mars nightmare.
This movie is routine in that it offers no innovations beyond placing the zombie idea on mars. Oh, I saw a mars zombie use a weapon so that's new. They're evolving folks; faster, and now willing to pull a knife on you if it gets down to it. (Heaven help us!) Everything else follows a generic playbook of many movies of the same ilk wherein people are hunted by some type of creature(s). Thus: They run for their lives, hunker down somewhere, try to hatch a plan to get to safety, are impeded not only by whatever-the-f!!ck is after them but also by dissent, cowardice, and treachery in their ranks. Finally they make a dash for it, some make it some don't. If you're a horror vet you know this script. So it's NOT a "must-see" movie. But if you have nothing else to do I found it a "mildly interesting" means of killing time. 4 stars seems just about right. Love, Boloxxxi.
The Dead 2: India (2013)
Damn! That was a close call. -Or was it? Mmmm...
Synopsis: Foreigner working in India and in a relationship with an Indian woman encounters the living dead.
This movie was never going to get a 10 because the performances were "somewhat" off -but not enough to stop it from getting as high as 8 or even 9 if all else went well (After all, we came for some scary thrills not to hand out Oscars).
Unfortunately all else did not go well.
I think a little more time should have been spent to SHOW as well as EXPLAIN how the zombie virus got to India. This would have made a nice "lead up" and "build up" to the outbreak there (A guy walking in a sickly daze at the very beginning of the movie). The only explanation offered is thru an anecdote told by someone who notices the strange walker. Something about being "bitten by a woman from Somalia". As well, we didn't even get a decent introduction to the main characters so we could know and care about them. Traditionally, in most horror movies, there's a "honeymoon" period before the sh!t hits the fan. Classic are ghost stories which usually start out with a nice introduction to a family who more often than not are moving into a new home. Still, poor movie etiquette, coupled with the somewhat off acting, was not enough to stop this move from getting as high as 6 or 7 if all else went well.
All else did not go well.
What really disappointed me was how badly the "close call" or "narrow escape" scenes were done. They had no credibility at all because you -the viewer- could see how the zombies could have -and would have- bitten the person in their clutches. For example: In these narrow escape scenes the zombie is just about to have dinner when abruptly, the camera cuts away to show an unrelated angle or another scene entirely before returning to the beleaguered victim (A victim we know who should -and would have- been bitten already). A camera cutting away from an imminent event (say, a zombie bite) doesn't stop the event. Only the "recording" of it. If -for instance- someone hurls a brick at your head and it's being filmed, whoever is filming the event can't save you by "cutting away" before impact. All cutting away means is that your head saying hello to the brick will not be recorded and any audience viewing the footage later will therefore not get to see the "obvious conclusion". Thus, cutaways in the editing room cannot substitute for -or represent- a genuine narrow escape or close call.
We, the viewing audience, want "legitimate" close-calls and narrow-escapes. This means that not only do we want to see someone in a tight spot in a movie (because it's exciting and suspenseful), we also want any close-calls or narrow-escapes to be credible. We need to see and believe it was possible. This is what makes it thrilling. When -despite odds against it- the person manages somehow to slip out of a very difficult situation. A "near-disaster" is only as valid as the "escape" part of it since if there is no credible escape, the disaster is not averted. And therefore cannot be called a "near" disaster or "close call" to imply escape.
On the plus side: WHAT THIS MOVIE WAS GOOD AT was the suspense of not knowing WHEN and HOW a zombie would suddenly pop up. Now if only the narrow escape scenes were also done this well. This movie could have gotten a solid 6 or 7 from me. Many times you're able to forgive certain flaws in a movie because they don't take much away from your overall enjoyment. But I tell you Reader, it was hard for me to watch the movie carry on with someone that I know for a fact should now be dead -or "undead"- from an earlier encounter. That's my 2 cents (Okay, it was more than 2 cents, sorry). Love, Boloxxxi.
Song of the Sea (2014)
Little seal chick needs her coat to sing her enchanted song.
The story is about a little girl who is related to fairy-tale creatures thru her mother and able to become a seal. She also has the ability to rejuvenate many creatures in nature thru the power of her song and so is viewed by them as their salvation. She needs to wear her special coat to work her magic, though, and as the movie progresses this becomes central to it's suspense and drama.
After 30 mins or so of this my interest began to ebb. Notwithstanding, there was enough there to make me see it thru to the end. Personally I felt there wasn't enough here for an adult mind. Most, anyway. Unless this animation was strictly designed for kids 8 and under, I would say both story and artwork was, I think, too "elementary" in their construction. However, I wouldn't have minded the simple, flat, brittle, and abstract artwork (unlife-like in movement and appearance) if there was more creativity, cleverness, and complexity to the story-telling.
That said, Reader, the irony is I wouldn't have minded the elementary story-telling so much if the artwork had given me something to gawk at. Hence, had been richer, more detailed and life-like as, for example, "Ponyo" which was for me pure eye-candy. It also dealt with magic and the sea. If you've seen Ponyo, you know what I mean. If you haven't, and you love animation, then you're wasting time with my review. You need to make tracks and get yourself a copy posthaste for your video library!!! I guarantee you pure pleasure. If you're able, may I suggest you lock yourself away with a large viewing screen with stereo headphones and have your favorite snack handy to take the experience to the next level. And if family and friends wonder what you're doing, let them speculate. "Cadbury", anyone? Love, Boloxxxi.