33 ReviewsOrdered By: Date
Shimmer Lake (2017)
A dime a dozen film that explores nothing.
22 June 2017
With very few dark comedy thrillers out there, or thrillers at all for that matter, I had decided to check this little film out. The gimmick is telling the story backwards, which has been done a 1000 times and rarely works. Instead when gimmicks are used, it takes the focus away from the story which is usually ill conceived and predictable, as with this film. When gimmicks are used as a storytelling device, it must be used to enhance the story (Irreversible, Memento are two brilliant ones) not just as a way to tell a story. Putting cohesive stories together within the framework of a gimmick takes precision and this film clearly lacked it.

For anyone that did not get the story from the Thursday (second day) reveal, and I am talking the entire story, you simply were not paying attention. Telling a story backwards has to be more than just a simple delivery method, it must be apart of the story. This film is not that funny, despite the other reviewers, and the moments that are suppose to be funny are forced, because of the abundance exposition. Literally, every character tells you what they are thinking and what they are doing. No one is thinking in this film. It simply is poorly written. The direction is less than as Ron Livingston who is great is just a cog in the oil-less machine. All the comedy is forced down our throat because it is not naturally written or performed and that falls on the director. I found myself bored and playing on my phone. Not to mention, it is a simple revenge story that has no imagination to it. UNLIKE FARGO that someone mentioned in a review, this film has no heart, no sense of what it is and what it wants to say about the subject matter. Very flat.
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Helix (2014–2015)
Entertaining Garbage full of illogical questions and actions
6 April 2015
Warning: Spoilers
This show gets a 6. What starts out as a promising find the cure show that delivers on chills, scares and genuine huh? It quickly turns into a zombie show that is neither written with care or logic. A lead scientist that at every turns, up until the end of season one can't tell the truth, even in the face of his own family being killed. A protagonist that is too human to be real, that in the face of adversity all he wants to do is think rational when it is more rational to think irrational. His character is not even likable because his actions are so predictable. A show that at every moment reveals that everyone is on on the cover up accept our moronic protagonist, even his own brother and ex-wife. HUH?

The basic logic question is, if these 500 people can live forever, what do they care about creating an illness to kill people? They are already obviously super rich, so what the heck do they care about doing this? Is it to thin out the population, reduce so that there is more food and death for them? Lame, they can buy whatever it is that they need.

Not to mention, the our logic of how you would act, thrown into that environment where your job is to find a cure and yet that is the last thing you are really doing there.

Also, this place has the top minds from around the world in every department of science and they need some CDC Doctor to come up there? He is not the end all be all in genetic and DNA coding? Logic all the way around…

AND YET, I find it entertaining. Stupid entertainment…
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Parallels (I) (2015)
15 March 2015
I have to give this a 5 because it is unfinished. Apparently it was suppose to be a TV show but didn't get picked up so they made a stand alone movie.. Well, I guess the pilot episode was turned into a movie and of course it has no closure, it just ends. No questions were answered that it poses which is a shame because it was a pretty decent flick accept for a few performance issues and some pretty cheesy dialogue. Other than that, the premise was good, inventive and much darker than Sliders. ohh well. I wondering if anyone will pick up the rest of it and I am just writing more cause it says I have to have 10 lines of review and I don't have that much cause it just ends.
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Mamula (2014)
Where is the Mermaid?
9 February 2015
Warning: Spoilers
If you write a film called Killer Mermaid and 8 people die but only 1 and half due to a mermaid and you see the mermaid for LITERALLY 3 minutes of the film (no lie) you better show LOTS OF BOOBS. This film does neither.

It starts off promising with a great shot of a couple getting ready to do it. Boobs flying.. Great B move stuff. Then, No boobs or mermaid until the very end of the film and that is not even the central ending. Its a B story ending. That is why this film sucks. Like Godzilla, if you calla film by a type of creature and don't ever put the creature in the film, its gonna suck unless you have boobs. Godzilla sucked, this film sucks.
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The lowest expectations were not even met
7 February 2015
WoW! I went in only wanting some really good original scifi and this didn't even come close to meeting that low expectation. There had already been rumors that the cast hated the film, Kunis already said she thought is was terrible. The reviews have ALL been bad, but I hate reviews.

Rarely are the critics right. This film has NO story, It is so convoluted and filled egocentric directing. Clearly the Wachowski brother and sister team are just living off the Matrix. There is no chemistry to the main characters and the acting is MONOTONED throughout. There are so many plot holes which all movies of this nature have, but so many that it is no longer even followable, if that is a word. i won't give spoilers but, lets just say that there is not one shred of continuity within the story that makes it make sense. The characters, especially Tatums was not ever challenged, never did I say he won't make it, or get there or do this or that, you just knew he would and it was ALWAYS easy. Kunis as well as the rest of the cast looked like cardboard cutouts, for a moment I though George Lucas directed it..

Its just bad.
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Horns (2013)
Something Different
1 November 2014
This film takes murder mystery and adds bizarre and fantasy together. I have read some moronic posts about this film, about character identification and boring and slow; well, let me tell you, I laughed a lot, the script is well written and funny. The look and feel of the film was somewhat noir in tone as if Guillermo Del Toro did a Hitchcock film. Don't get me wrong, this film is not GREAT by any means, I pretty much knew who the real culprit was from the get go, it did not hide it at all. However, with the writing and the off beat characters throughout this film, something tells me that they really didn't try to hide the who, its about the journey the character takes to find out who and why? Therefore I really enjoyed it, it is something different than whats out there. If you want the normal paranormal captivity, Saw, Comic book movies than go right ahead, but if you want something inventive, something out there, than check it out.
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Almost Human (2013)
21 June 2014
Considering this film is clearly influenced by John Carpenters The Thing, I mean, the sound design and score were basically remixed to create the mood for this film. Its actually decent and I will tell you why. Some jokes out there never look at the production design of a film, they say things like, Typical Slasher flick or some nonsense. When in truth, they don't know what they are talking about.

This film has plenty to like, the effects are actually pretty decent, and a few OMG parts. Does it look like Peter Jacksons BAD TASTE at times with the rubber head exploding, sure, but any good fun loving horror fan will get a kick out of the splatter. Also, its rare to see a slasher flick be an alien flick. Usually its some deranged guy killing folk, so to see its an alien is refreshing. Its clearly a film that does not take itself to serious and therefore you are aloud to have some fun and say "seriously, that is so cliché" but a part of me things that the writer director did this on purpose, or at least I hope so. The whole production design is wonderful, it takes place in Maine and you clearly get that you are in Maine, I have been to Maine, so I know this to be true. From the clothes to the locations. Well done.

you might be asking, if I liked it so much, why only a 4…..? Well, Acting and Dialogue. The acting all around stinks, it looks like this guy got everyone he knew, friends and family and just put them in the film. Would be 10 times better with better performances, I did not buy any of them. Also, because its an Alien film, you can get away with no nudity, and we only get one quick boob shot. Could be more considering what happens… (watch to find out) Then, dialogue - it is terrible, unbelievable and un-natural. new film makers always suffer from the same thing, too much dialogue, when film making is show me, not tell me. The interacting between the characters with words is forced exposition, and usually tells us what we already know, there is not much suspense to the film. Its a get some beer, popcorn and watch the blood flow sorta film. I got what I was expecting, so I had fun with it. Its worth it if your bored.

Now, if you still nee more convincing, these are the films that it clearly resembles and even took ideas from - The Thing, Alien, Fire in the Sky and Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Some of the same effects, ideas, sound and score were duplicated but with a lower budget. Considering the low budget, it is why I enjoyed it.
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Buried Alive (2007– )
20 March 2014
So, um, yeah.. What good can be said of this movie? I am going with nothing. The film is so predictable and terrifyingly bad, it makes me wonder who the heck produces this garbage. Lets start with the story, or lack thereof. A bunch of kids get taken and put into some contraptions where they can talk to each other and try to figure out who and why they are there. One by one they die in the most boring way imaginable. The reason they are there is OBVIOUS and the bad guy is so OBVIOUS because the amount of attention put to the guy they want you to believe is the bad guy is so over blown you know it is not him. The little boxes they are put in are so ridiculously flimsy that only a moron can't get out of them. The acting - ugh, some of the worst since watching Kristen Stewart stare her way through Twilight.. The found footage follow me videotape this whole thing as we are earthing for our friends is never a good idea because in that situation, who would really take the time to video themselves searching for their friends? Not to mention all the little static transition scenes that only take away from the building up tension. This film is to be missed at all costs..
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Rabid Love (2013)
Above average for what it is.
4 March 2014

There are a ton of horror films out there nowadays, but what separated this from the new age of mostly junk is the obvious throw back to the time when horror was great, the 80s. I don't think this film was meant to surprise you with something you have never seen, but rather introduce the younger crowd to a time when horror films were fun, enticing and interesting. The performances were pretty darn good, the story is a simple story that is not out to confuse you and take you away from the overall experience of watching a horror film. The few small issues are special effects which with a low budget you can oversee cause the story is fun and the lack of nudity in such films. You put a bunch of hot girls in a horror film and not show the goods, sorta a bummer. However, these small problems are insignificant to the amount of fun you will have watching this.

Again, considering the junk flowing around out there now, Paul Porter and his crew stumbled on to the right mix of humor, horror and 80s that is missing from horror fins today..
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23 February 2014
ha, Holy crud. I remember auditioning for the role of Tee for this film under the title Delta Knights. I remember butchering it so bad. Then a year later, I saw it in the video store and rented it and thanked God I didn't get the part. …. The dialogue was so terrible and in the audition they had me pretend I am looking at a mountain wall looking for a cave or something. I tried to speak with a British accent and failed terribly. Ha. I remember watching and thinking to myself that I cannot believe films this bad get funding. Not to mention a few known actors. but a paycheck is a paycheck. But the director went on to produce Chronicle. some years later.
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RoboCop (2014)
Robocop Fails Everywhere...
16 February 2014
Let me start by saying I was apprehensive of a reboot, remake whatever since the original is still amazing today. However, the trailer looked good and I liked that they had maintained the look of the original. Soooooo

That is where the similarities stop. This new Robocop starts out promising, building up who is who and though I think they spent WAY to long on that part, I didn't mind until…….. The way Murphy get hurt.. HUH! How boring, lame, and unrealized. Not violent, not even exciting. Stupid comes to mind. We spent 20 minutes building up the characters, a bit long but knowing the action will come I am still alright, then Murphy goes down in the weakest, most pathetic way. OK, its over, move on, make Robocop and then let him kick arse. Now, we spend the next hour and 15 minutes in a political drama about robots in our community and training Robocop. Nothing of note happens here. NOTHING. So now, we have watched one hour and 35 minutes and still NO ACTION. Just a couple of bad guys get caught very boring like.

Then, Robocop goes after the guy that put him down originally. The most ANTICLIMACTIC SCENE in the history of revenge scenes. WAIT FOR IT.. Were not done. Robocop learns that some cops are bad, which of course we knew from the opening scene of the movie. So he goes after them, captures them without a fight.

WAIT FOR IT - we learn there is a higher cop calling some shots… Again, no fight, captured..

WAIT FOR IT - now, the company wants to terminate Robocop cause he has human within him.. So he goes after the heads of the company, again, NO ACTION… Its over..

This film was only good looking visually, but there is barely ANY ACTION.. Its a SNOOZE FEST… Bring your girl and make out in the back during this film.. That is all it is good for.
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Coma (2012)
The problem with COMA
13 February 2014
Warning: Spoilers

So the I finally sat down to watch this 3 hour epic on DVD. Saw the billboards and stuff all around town and I love me some Tony and Ridley Scott. I also like medical thrillers, like Anatomy, Antiviral, Nightwatch and more.

To Coma - What I liked - I loved the cinematography, the performances were great, the suspense was well built and the FEW twists within it were well done. All the technical aspects of this show ere top notch, I would expect nothing less from the Scott brothers. (Tony - RIP)

A HUGE problem with the film, the pace and knowledge of the main character - Speaking from EXP as I spent 14 years in the military in the medical field, the pace of how this STUDENT uncovered the issue at hand is astounding and really, NOT STUDENT LIKE. So logistically there are TONS of problems with the film. All the evidence she found was so easy and yet they could not contain or remove her before it got out of hand yet they can put JAMES WOODS in an elaborate car accident? James Woods, who was apart of the whole thing (or was he, this is never revealed) Just because the main girls father was a doctor and supposed starter of this project does not mean the granddaughter will suddenly be smarter than all the other students and catch on. Geena Davis who looks like BOTOX on steroids in this film has a mental, killer patient who kinda makes no sense and his character is never truly explained. So he killed a young girl, so he is on meds now and does her bidding. Yet can't kill a female medical student? uhhh OK! I could go on with a lot of the logistics of the show.

Now - to the overall story. I get that they are putting specific people in Comas. I get that there are experiments on those in the coma. trying to cure disease or find better ways to treat them. I get it. What I don't get is why take NORMAL HEALTHY FOLKS coming in for cyst removals and have them suddenly go into a coma? That only draws attention which with the amount mentioned in the film in such a short span not even the facilitates ethics committee could hide from HIPPA and the federal government which requires you to report such anomalies. You could not keep this contained to the hospital alone. Richard Dryfeuss character is never fully realized. What exactly they were doing in the facility was never fully explained. Kind of a round about answer. and FINALLY

What was with the pregnancies that the old lady was doing. How the heck was she getting female coma patients pregnant and WHY?

In the end - A good looking medical thriller that had wonderful performances but lacked any explanation as to WHY its all happening. Not to mention she had friends at the beginning of the show that mysteriously didn't materialize during the last hour. Odd.
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You're Next (2011)
14 January 2014
I am rating it a 5 because of the last 20 minutes, the cinematography, and the nice little twist, even though after a bit, you figure it out.

The dialogue is horrible, the shot selection and directing is inconsistent and the acting, other than the main girl and the main bad guy is horrendous. The only inventive part was the blender scene, that was kind cool, although blood is not brown and that is what it looked like. The only strong character was the main girl, other than that, there is no development at all so really, we don't care about any of the characters and we kinda actually hope they die. The mom was a terrible choice in casting, must be a family friend of the writer or director. She cannot act. The father had moments, but as soon as he spoke, he was unconvincing. If your bored on a Saturday night and its on showtime or something, grab some popcorn and hang out, there are moments that deliver, but few.
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True Nature (2010)
Decent indie Film
20 November 2013
For an indie thriller this film is quite good. A bit slow throughout and a little bit weak on performance but the story is solid. The dialog is well written. THe over all feeling from the minor score gives off a good vibe, or rather suspenseful vibe. Interesting story that through exposition you learn, no subtext at all in this film but since the exposition is so far and few between it is acceptable, after so long, another clue is given, but nothing more.. So I applaud the film makers for that approach.

The negatives, as I said, some weak performances, mainly the father who has zero charisma. Even in depression and fear, there is charisma within a performance. Some questions are never answered, or rather the supernatural answers are never given. The cinematography is the weakest point for me. It looked like they used practical lighting for everything. It does not compliant the story at all. I think some more time and energy should have gone into the look of the film. The story is so good that you want it to look better.

However, even with the negatives of the film, it is still a sold film and well worth watching if you like slow paved thrillers with a twist. Well done.
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Magic Magic (2013)
Interesting, reminds me of Breakfast at Tiffany's
12 November 2013
I ver much liked this film despite the lack of closure. It had an ending but not closure. Not a fan of Ambiguous endings.

With that being said, this film reminds me of Breakfast at Tiffany's. Its about a the deterioration of the mind. What causes it? Stress. We are witnessing the brains mental capabilities literally decline and basically shut down due to stress. We see how her brain makes her see things and do things that are not what she would normally do. What aspects are real, what aspects are not? I would not call this a horror film by any means though, more of a psychological thriller. I think it is very good but I see how the common viewer would be turned off by more of a thoughtful and less shocking movie. Its not a fast paced, who done it thriller or a slasher film.

Well done.
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Resolution (III) (2012)
Not Satisfying and not fulfilling but Good
11 November 2013
I bought and watched this film because the box cover said that it is like Cabin in the Woods but better. Will blow your mind.

I really wish they would not have done this because it is nothing like that film and no where near as good of a story. With that being said, it is still a good film because it shows real promise and talent. The dialogue is well done, They kept the whole film on the cheap, as an indie film maker, there is nothing in this film that would make me think it cost 1 million dollars. This film can be made for 100 grand. I mean, one central location, few cast, no special effects. No reason to cost 1 mil. Someone got ripped off. The Cinematography is basic school level photography, looks like it was DSLR, 5 D or something. Basic coverage of a scene, nothing to write home about. There are some good elements that make you wonder what the heck is going on and really fuels you to want to watch more.

The problem, you never learn anything about why its all happening. The overall story is so muddled and convoluted that when it ends your like HUH? I don't get it, was it a demon, was it a spirit, was it the french kids from 30 years ago. You never learn WHY it happened. Its a shame too cause it could have had a much better ending. one that tied the whole story up. It just had some random moments like I can't bring this home to my wife, bring WHAT home? If it would have given me the WHY it happened and WHO was doing it? My rating would easily jump to a 7-8…
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Interesting and Haunting but flawed
23 October 2013
This film has 3 major faults, the first two are filmed in 3D which is pointless and completely removes the viewer from getting into the film. Nothing happens in 3D to make you go, that was cool. 2nd, the random overlays of a couple having sex are again a poor choice the director chose to include in this film along with the small in screen box of the same. Again, as a story teller you need to make decisions that enhance your film. The 3rd and most important, we never learn anything about our characters. Who they are, where they been and where they want to go. The film is a moment in time captured without substance. In life, this happens, but in films, we need substance, we need to feel for our protagonist, we want her to survive and get out of this situation but she has no story. So in the end, we don't really care.

The third I mentioned is what ultimately dooms this film because I loved the voyeur aspect, the sepia, the raw street type, gorilla film making that is used. The little glitch as if it is film is annoying because NO FILM does it that much. However, you grow used to it and after a bit you don't see it. The film is haunting, the score is beautiful. The performance of our young girl is wonderful and refreshingly innocent but playing a 13 year old is a stretch, should have kept it at 16 as that is more believable. The constant sounds of the camera hitting something and movement again are poor choices. This film could have been a classic film in the style of Lynch or Kubrick if a few choices that the film maker made were not made. I guess that is what separates the greats from the average. The choices we make as film makers.

This film is still good, worth checking out as it touches a subject that is fresh and will always be fresh.
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Smiley (2012)
Don't Do It
13 July 2013
Smiley - The most Cliché newbie director horror film someone can make. Seriously. Zero ground broken, nothing new to the genre and frankly it is a slap in the face to horror fans. A girl, blond cute and dimwitted in everything technological and web based goes to college only to be terrorized by some internet killer that seems to be everywhere....... Or is it?

Stupid and here is why... Nothing is ever explained, ever as to why it happens. That right there is all you need to know. Kids are killed (or are they) and no one knows why, in the end we are left with so many questions that a part is pointless now. Who is smiley and if you tell me that twist in the end tells me then your as stupid as the movie because it doesn't tell us anything. So now, we just watched lame kill scenes and believe me when I say lame. I knife to the throat to an unsuspecting victim. Super easy, no conflict or struggle. LAME. Not only that, but no nudity, if your making a horror film with no story or theme or plot, show some tits. Nothing... Not even any nipple through a wet tshirt.

This film stunk.
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Aftershock (2012)
Pleasantly Surprised
10 May 2013
I would not call this a horror film. A dark disaster film is more appropriate. The film is fun, lively and well done and acted. If not for a oddly timed and inappropriate character reveal that just makes you scratch your head and go huh? It was fun. The reveal was not even needed, especially when it did happen. It literally took me out of the film until it was resolved.

If your looking for something on the dark end, with horror type feel then check it out. It was good. It flowed really well and made sense how the characters got from one place to another. Well structured and honest.
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The Cavern (III) (2005)
Had to click Spoiler cause you must be warned
21 March 2013
Warning: Spoilers
If you read a lot of the reviews of this that are positive, they usually refer to the cave part of it, being confined and not this glamorous looking neat cave. THATS IT.

Here is the story - A bunch of Idiots(and they are, their dialogue proves it) go caving in Kazakstan(which the external scenes look nothing like the Middle east) only to find that they have come up against a 24 year old superhuman Russian kid who has been living in the cave for who knows how long yet has no problems when the light is shown on him, who can dismantle a human in second yet bullets don't hurt him and can move HUGE 5000 pound boulders with no problem. All while in a cave the seems to have some magnetic force that drains batteries. HUH?

Seriously, What was this film about. Idiots going caving only to talk about a friend that died EXACTLY 2 years prior in a cave right before they go in. Dark spooky talk about cave spirits, right before they go in. No one is happy in this film from the beginning. I am rooting for these people to die. Then, while in the cave, the stupid camera work make it hard to see whats going on, I don't mind the low light but upside down and jerky camera work just makes a story that is not well thought of even worse. Then, the people start dying, being ripped in half. Then at the end, we learn its a 24 year old dude who has been living in the cave since a plane crash when he was like 8. For one, if he lived down there and PRETEND HIS EYES ADJUSTED and can see in the dark, which is impossible, animals that live in total darkness rely on other senses, however, when light is flashed at them, it would hurt and could cause brain damage with sensory overload. Nope, this kid is fine. He can move 1000 lb rocks and bullets don't hurt him. HUH? When the 2 surviving people who just happen to be chicks with no brains are captured and brought to his lair if you will, all he wants to do is sex them up!!! HUH.....

The worst thing about this film is that fact that someone thought it good enough to invest 150 grand into making it. That some idiots at a film festival thought it good enough to select it. No story, no plot, horrible dialogue, zero effects, horrible cinematography and camera work, lame shot selection. This film is by far the WORST cave film ever made. EVER.....
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Hollow (I) (2011)
How does this stuff get made?
18 March 2013
OK, I have seen a lot of Found Footage films and first, this does not tell you it is a found footage on the box. Second, whats the story, is it about a tree or an old monastery? It never tells you, it also never shows you any scares. Nothing in this is worth watching, even the ALMOST BOOB shot is cleverly hidden. What I don't understand is how the heck do these films get funded. Sure this film is ultra low budget but to get distribution? WTH.

At least other films of this genre show something, starting with The Blair Witch Project which sucked but still had moments of terror, Paranormal Activities had some cool effects that led to a couple jumps. This film had characters running around talking about crap and doing a whole lot of nothing. It is unfortunate because the acting was actually good (which is rare for found footage) and the camera work was pretty steady which was nice for a found footage. However, we never see anything and nothing happens, even the end, which is boring and uninteresting because we don't know why anything is happening.

I want to know how Ain't IT COOL NEWS and TOTAL FILM rated this film as terrifying and engrossing. Who the hell were the reviewers, they had to be paid because this film, had no laughs, no scares, no real story that you identify with, uninspired dialogue, no blood, no nudity and how in the hell is there a DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY on a found footage films. You give the camera to the actors. This film is a snooze fest and if I could meet the writer and director I would slap them silly for wasting peoples time.
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Srpski film (2010)
WOW - Horror cinema with a social commentary
27 February 2013
A part of me wants to hate this film, the human in me. The I don't want to know this world exists side of me. However, I know this world exists and this film brings out and takes to the next level the social commentary of "Violence Sells, the more explicit we get, the more we push the envelope" This film takes that stance that the more we see, the more numb we get so we have to push even harder to find that thrill in life. Most people wont admit to themselves that they secretly love watching car chases in the hopes of a crash, UFC has put an end to boxing, NFL has gotten rougher even though they implement rules to keep it safe, their are more fights in sports than ever before. Films are much more realistic and violent, video games and good ol fashion TV has gotten more graphic and violent and with reality TV, more real, even though they are faker than most TV shows. The fact that it is called reality TV says it all. Violence Sells, Sex Sells, Pornography is bigger than ever and we as humans are craving it, most in secret. What A Serbian FILM does is go so overboard that you cannot help but want to cry for the world knowing that this happens. If you can think it, someone has done it.

This film is by far the best look at how far humanity has degraded itself that I have ever seen apart from the Faces of Death series which some say is real, others say is false. The performances are top notch, the reality, blood, sex and atmosphere is haunting and moving. Its darkness is only over shadowed by the love that Milos has for his family and the humility that his wife accepts given her husbands past. Their child, an engaging look at innocence lost to societies craving for MORE.

Make no mistake, this film is horrific, intense, violent but I would not call it gratuitous at all, every scene flows from one to the next and makes perfect sense. The scenes which depict child pornography, necrophilia, and snuff films are carefully shot without being gratuitous, the film makers are aware of the difference of staying to long on a scene being overkill, they stay just long enough for it to sink in. Some people who are weaker of stomach will disagree but if you love dark films, but not SHOCK for SHOCK sake will understand.

This film is not for everyone and I will not show it to my wife who would walk out anyway, she walked out of irreversible, but for those that understand themes, tones, messages that films try to make will love this film for being raw and spot on.
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Worst in recent memory
16 February 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Where do I begin - I will start with the premise, a bunch of people we never learn anything about other than one guy was a gambler, one guy was an alcoholic and the main character if you can call her that is a vegetarian, are all rounded up from across the nation to compete in a game that they have no idea of what it is and how it is played for a chance to win enough money to take care of yourself for the rest of your life. (been done before) That is all you learn. So there is Zero Depth in the performances because there is no story about them.

Next we have the actual photography of the film, I guess since the characters have no color or depth to them, they decided to make the movie look dull and colorless. If that was on purpose, good job, however, I doubt it, Horror films and dark films are known to have a more contrasted look because if gives color to blood and performance and makeup. This film was pretty much grey they whole way. So, in my humble opinion, the director of photography doesn't have much knowledge of actual cinematography and the color palate.

Next we come to the acting which as I mentioned above that the performances were flat. They were all bad. Not one worthy performance, mostly because we didn't know anything about them but also the writing of the film was 96% exposition which is just garbage, all they did was argue about what we already saw or know through the visuals. The main guy was doing his best or worst impression of John Cleese, which was horrible and overacted. His son, had zero point to the film and he seemed like a favor to a friend to give the dude a part and it showed cause he cannot act at all, the worst of the movie. maybe it was the writing but his performance just made no sense what so ever. Something about his mom died and he has been off his rocker since. The main girl, who agrees to this because crap happens in life and she wants the money. is uninteresting to say the least. I never felt for her because as I said multiple times, we never learn anything other than the bare minimum. The rest of the cast is rounded out with glorified extras really.

next, the kill scenes. Lame, no new ground covered and horrible shot. Every time something happens the camera turns away. OK, so they wanted a Horror film and not a gore film, got it, good. But no intensity behind the kill scenes. Nothing. Not to mention half the group dies by seemingly non lethal blows. I know this because I spent 14 years as a Corpsman in the Navy and marine corps. A paralyzed old lady gets stabbed in the thigh an ice pick and dies in seconds. Never gonna happen, first of all they show where she got stabbed and the femoral artery is not there and second, its an ice pick, the artery would roll and be undamaged. A dude gets whipped 12 times on his back and he dies. of what? Shock, ehh, maybe, but he was young so, I don't know what he died of, but he did. Not blood loss that is for sure. Then a dude gets his hand blown off by a supposed 1/4 stick of dynamite which looks an awful lot like an M80 and not a 1/4 stick. anyway, regardless, he died after having a heart attack after his hand blows up, which of course we don't see. He was a bit overweight, but yeah, I am not buying it. I wont go into all of them, but know, some dudes get just plain ol shot. The only believable death scenes.

The directing - uninspired, boring and stereotypical in shot selection. Like the guy just read a book on basic coverage and then did it. OK, I get that, I am currently in film school so, very safe. however, to make it in Hollywood, you need to bring something new to the table. Not a bore film, with uninspired performances, writing, action, cinematography and directing. This film lacked on ALL FRONTS.

If anything, you learn what not to do in making a film. first thing I would have done in reading this script was ask WHY are the people going to the game not asking what exactly will we be doing during this game? I would have had a character say, wait a minute, when you said play a game, you didn't say it was to the death, you never told us the rules of said game therefor game is null and void. You as a director need to be able to answer these basic questions before you make a film. I don't care if it is your first film, you don't want it to be a stinker. Eliminate the problems with concept and dialogue which was ohh man, some of the worst dialogue I have ever witnessed in horror films.

OK, I guess you can say I didn't like the film and I told you why. You know who is going to win before you even start the game. Now your just watching it happen and in the end, when you get there your like, yup, just as I said.

bad movie fellas...
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Side Effects (I) (2013)
Good but not great
15 February 2013
Side Effects is the story of a Psychologist working with a depressed woman and managing her depression with drug after drug until they come across a new medication that has her do something within the film that puts both her life and the life of the Dr in the publics eye and possible Jail time. (not the best summary but I don't want to give anything away)

The film is well acted but the first 30 minutes are really long and I had a hard time getting into the film. However, once the twists start and the cover ups and the introduction of new ideas and possibilities it picked up nicely. I did figure it out relatively quickly after a couple of other thoughts were squashed. I think its worth seeing but not for 15 bucks a pop. If you can get it at the dollar theaters or matinée for 4 bucks, its worth it. AS I said, good acting, story is good but at times predictable and Soderbergh directs well. As thrillers go its one of the better ones in the last few years mainly because there haven't been many. Its all been large superhero films etc. So, its a good change of pace. AS i said, good but not great.
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Sand (2000)
Not much good in it, but it really tries.
14 February 2013
The film tries hard to be so good and dramatic, unfortunately with the talent in the cast, the script is a let down. Horrible dialog lends to unbelievable characters. The "BAD FAMILY" in the film really isn't that bad, but they are suppose to be. All they do is line after line of coke, but nothing more. The brothers are arguably the worst written bad guys ever on screen. Zero chemistry between them as brothers and of course the script is just such a let down that, they don't come across and crazed, unthinking criminals who don't give a poo about life, rather idiots who have never been to any school, EVER.

The only real good character in the film is Norman Reedus who does actually deliver some pretty awful dialog convincingly. Everyone else is flat.

Technically, the sound is horrendous, I don't know what they used but whatever it was was not working, the ADR booth used for the beach shots was not a professional place at all. It all sounded fake and far away from the performance.

In closing, I understand what the writer director was going for but he failed. The story is suppose to be about a guy trying to escape his past but we are never told what that past was. We get that the family is a bunch of criminals but in what, we are never told. I get that a son wants a better life, so he leaves. He goes to the beach to start a new life, and does. Then randomly his family shows up with a lame story of how they found him. Not believing it. Then of course the rest is just a bunch nonsense of revenge after revenge for nothing that ultimately ends in an anticlimactic finish.

I like the overall story, or I should say, what they were trying to accomplish.
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