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Hellmant

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0 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
I really wanted to like this movie!, 7 November 2016
5/10

'YOGA HOSERS': Two and a Half Stars (Out of Five)

Writer/director Kevin Smith's new comedy-horror flick; about two teenage girls that must battle a supernatural force, while still maintaining their after-school jobs at a local Manitoba convenience store. The film stars Harley Quinn Smith (Kevin Smith's daughter) and Lily-Rose Depp (Johnny Depp's daughter); and it costars Johnny Depp, Justin Long, Ralph Garman, Austin Butler, Tyler Posey, Natasha Lyonne and Tony Hale. It's the second film in Smith's 'True North trilogy' (following 2014's 'TUSK'), and it was ravaged by critics and fans alike (marking the lowest point of Kevin Smith's career). I think the movie marks the lowest point in Kevin Smith's career!

The story takes place in Winnipeg, where two 15-year-old girls, Colleen Collette (Lily-Rose Depp) and Collen McKenzie (Harley Quinn Smith), both work after-school jobs at the Eh-2-Zed; a convenience store owned by Colleen Collette's father, Bob (Hale). The girls are also huge yoga enthusiasts, and are extremely excited to be invited to their first senior party; by a boy named Hunter (Butler), that Colleen McKenzie has a big crush on. The Colleens are very disappointed to find out that they can't attend the party, when Bob makes them work that night. The girls are also horrified, when they're attacked, at work, by one-foot-tall Nazis (that are made out of bratwurst). They're yoga teachings may have taught them the skills they need to defend themselves though.

I really wanted to like this movie, and I have liked all of Smith's other films; to somewhat varying degrees, but usually very much. I'm especially disappointed I didn't enjoy this movie (very much at all), because it does costar his daughter; and both she, and Lily- Rose, are good in the flick. The film is just not funny; it's interesting at times, and has some clever ideas, but it's just not funny (in the slightest). I hope Smith is able to get his career back on track, sooner rather than later; I really want to like the upcoming 'MOOSE JAWS' (the third installment in the 'True North trilogy') as well!

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Nerve (2016)
A lot better than I was expecting it to be!, 7 November 2016
7/10

'NERVE': Three and a Half Stars (Out of Five)

The new teen cyber-thriller, from directors Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman; the duo also helmed the social media documentary 'CATFISH', the thriller 'VIRAL' and the found footage horror flicks 'PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 2' and '3'. The film tells the story of a high school senior that enters an online reality game; in which players except challenges from people watching them, and are rewarded with money prizes. The longer she stays in the game, the more dangerous the challenges become though. The film was written by Jessica Sharzer, and it's based on the 2012 novel (of the same name) by Jeanne Ryan. It stars Emma Roberts and Dave Franco. The movie received mostly positive reviews from critics, and it was a hit at the Box Office. I enjoyed it.

Vee (Roberts) is about to graduate from high school, while still grieving over the recent death of her brother. Her friend Sydney (Emily Meade) is becoming really popular playing the online reality game 'Nerve'. In 'Nerve' people accept challenges from 'watchers', people that pay to watch them, and if they complete the challenges they're rewarded with money. After being bullied by Sydney, for never taking risks, Vee enters the game and starts accepting challenges. The challenges become more and more dangerous as she goes on though, and the watchers soon control her every move. She finds help, and possible romance, from another game player named Ian (Franco).

The movie was a lot better than I was expecting it to be, I didn't realize who directed it when I started watching it though. I did enjoy 'CATFISH'; I'm not a huge fan of the 'PARANORMAL ACTIVITY' films though, but they're not bad. Knowing who was behind the film does explain to me (now) why it had a certain feel to it that I wasn't expecting. It's pretty intense, in certain moments, and surprisingly creepy. I'm not a big fan of the two lead actors though, and the film is a little too geared towards teens sometimes.

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1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
It's also awesome to see more and more female directors making a name for themselves!, 7 November 2016
7/10

'INTO THE FOREST': Three and a Half Stars (Out of Five)

A dramatic thriller, based on the 1996 book (of the same name) by Jean Hegland. It's set in the near future, when a continent-wide power outage has left much of society in chaos. Two sisters try to make it on their own, after both their parents pass away. The film stars Ellen Page (who also served as a producer), Evan Rachel Wood, Max Minghella, Callum Keith Rennie and Michael Eklund. It was written and directed by Patricia Rozema, and has received mostly positive reviews from critics. I enjoyed it.

The movie takes place sometime in the near future, when a giant power outage has continued to set in; destroying society as we know it. Two young women (Page and Wood) have been living at their remote home in the woods, with their father (Rennie). When their dad dies, in a terrible accident, they suddenly have to make it on their own. They're forced to battle intruders, starvation and their own psychological demons.

The movie has a great premise; it's a little slow-paced, but it's mostly a fascinating idea. I wish they would have done a little more with it; but as it is, the film is a great little post- apocalyptic drama. It's a good character study, and both Page and Wood are excellent in their roles. It's also awesome to see more and more female directors making a name for themselves (like Rozema).

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31 (2016)
Richard Brake is totally classic as Doom-Head!, 7 November 2016
7/10

'31': Three and a Half Stars (Out of Five)

Writer/director Rob Zombie's new horror flick; about five carnival workers who are kidnapped and forced to participate in a sadistic game, where they're stalked, and violently murdered, by maniacal clowns. The movie once again stars Sheri Moon Zombie (Rob Zombies wife), who stars (or costars) in all of his films; and it costars Jeff Daniel Phillips, Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs, Meg Foster, Kevin Jackson, Richard Brake, Malcolm McDowell, Judy Geeson and Jane Carr. Zombie raised a lot of the movie's budget through crowdfunding; and the film received a limited indie theatrical release, before going straight to VOD next. It's received mixed reviews from critics, and fans alike. I mildly enjoyed it.

On Halloween, in 1976 (the year I was born), five carnival employees are attacked, in their van, and kidnapped. They're then taken to a large compound, and held captive there. Three rich elderly people (McDowell, Geeson and Carr) then force them to participate in a murderous game, where they're hunted, and killed, by sadistic clowns. The object of the game is just to survive, for 12 hours; while the rich people find immense joy, in betting on which of them will die next.

The film is everything you'd expect from a Rob Zombie flick; intense (and very gratuitous) violence, laced with disturbingly dark humor. The characters, with the exception of a villain named Doom-Head (played by Richard Brake), are not that memorable though (but Brake is totally classic, as Doom-Head). The film is entertaining overall, if you like this type of slasher flick, but it's definitely nothing that original. It is definitely an improvement over Zombie's last movie, 'THE LORDS OF SALEM', though.

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5 out of 11 people found the following review useful:
A lot better than the original movie., 2 November 2016
7/10

'OUIJA: ORIGIN OF EVIL': Three and a Half Stars (Out of Five)

A prequel to the 2014 hit supernatural horror flick 'OUIJA'; both films are based on the Hasbro 'talking board' game (and released by Hasbro Studios). This chapter tells the story of a widowed mother, and her two daughters, who scam people out of money by running a fake seance business (in 1967 Los Angeles). When the trio begins involving a Quija board in their 'show', one of the daughters becomes possessed and things begin to go horribly wrong. The movie was directed by Mike Flanagan, and it was written by Flanagan and Jeff Howard; the duo also performed the same duties on 2013's 'OCULUS' (another supernatural horror flick). The film stars Annalise Basso (who also costarred in 'OCULUS'), Elizabeth Reaser (of 'TWILIGHT' fame), Lulu Wilson and Henry Thomas (of 'E.T.' fame). It's received surprisingly positive reviews from critics, and fans alike (mostly), and it's also performed decently at the Box Office. While it is a better reviewed movie, than the original, it hasn't done nearly as well financially speaking. It is a much better film though.

The story is set in a 1967 suburban home, in Los Angeles; where a widow, Alice Zander (Reaser), cons grieving customers out of their money, by running a staged seance. She has help from her two daughters; Paulina (Basso), a teenager, and Doris (Wilson), who's 9- years-old. At a party with her friends, Paulina uses a Ouija board for the first time. She then convinces her mother to begin using it in their act. Real supernatural forces then begin haunting the house, and their 'show' becomes more than just a trick.

The film is definitely a lot better than the original movie, if I remember correctly (but I don't remember that film that well, other than I didn't like it). It's also a lot better than 'OCULUS'; I do remember that flick, and I wasn't too impressed by it. This film is creepy, well acted and somewhat nostalgic; it's very reminiscent of other horror films from decades ago. It's definitely a lot better than I expected it to be.

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Terrortory (2016)
2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
To really enjoy the movie, you have to respect low-budget filmmaking., 2 November 2016
6/10

'TERRORTORY': Three Stars (Out of Five)

An ultra-low-budget anthology horror movie, telling six different supernatural tales. It was written and directed by three indie filmmakers; Dan Doran, Kevin Kangas and Mark Wenger. It stars a cast of completely unknown actors. The film is pretty cheesy, and amateurish, but there are a few quality elements to it; especially considering how low-budget it is.

The movie centers around a couple that's trying to entertain each other, while waiting for the electricity to come back on during a power outage. The guy (Brad Masters) tries to impress his female friend (Laura Kiser), by telling her five very bizarre scary stories. Each supernatural tale revolves around different people being stalked, and killed, in the woods. The segments are titled 'Gotz', 'Siren', 'The Prowler', 'Smiling Jack', 'The Drone Collector' and 'The Midnight Clown'.

At first the film was pretty painful to watch (full of atrocious dialogue, nonsense stories, and bad acting); but as it went on, I started to notice several elements I liked to it. I think to really enjoy the movie, you have to respect low-budget filmmaking; being an ultra-low-budget filmmaker myself, this is something I can do. The movie is pretty bad, in comparison to mainstream horror flicks, but for a next to no-budget film, it's not that horrible (some of it is kind of cool).

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Cell (2016/I)
Incredibly cheesy!, 2 November 2016
5/10

'CELL': Two and a Half Stars (Out of Five)

The new apocalyptic horror flick, based on the 2006 Stephen King novel (of the same name). It's about a bizarre cell phone signal, that turns all cell phone users into zombie-like killers. John Cusack stars as an artist, that's trying to reunite with his wife and son (in New England); while continuing to blindly hope they're still alive. The film costars Samuel L. Jackson, Isabelle Fuhrman, Owen Teague and Stacy Keach. It was directed by Tod Williams (who also helmed the 2010 fright-fest 'PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 2'), and it was scripted by Stephen King (himself) and Adam Alleca (who also wrote the 2009 'THE LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT' horror remake). The movie has gotten almost unanimously negative reviews from critics, and it's also only received a limited theatrical release at the Box Office (after going directly to VOD). I think it's a bad movie (like a lot of Stephen King films), but it is mildly amusing (at times) as well.

The movie opens with a very powerful electronic signal being broadcast across many cell phone networks, around the world. Everyone that's on their phone, at that time, becomes a zombie. Clay Riddell (Cusack) is a struggling artist, that's just trying to make it home to his wife and son (in New England). He teams up with other survivors, in order to do so.

Despite the presence of John Cusack, Samuel L. Jackson and Stacy Keach, the movie is still incredibly cheesy. It's almost laughable how bad it is, at times, but it's also mildly entertaining. It seems that any time King becomes involved in the making of a film, that's based on one of his books, it doesn't quite work out that well; most of the time it results in a pretty bad movie. This is one of those times.

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Not really any worse than the other three chapters (how could it be)., 2 November 2016
5/10

'SHARKNADO 4: THE 4TH AWAKENS': Two and a Half Stars (Out of Five)

The fourth installment in the popular Syfy network television film series (which began in 2013). This chapter was once again directed by Anthony C. Ferrante, and Thunder Levin once again wrote the screenplay (the duo performed the same duties on all three previous movies). Actors Ian Ziering and Tara Reid also reprise their starring roles (for the fourth time as well). Other returning cast members (from at least the previous installment) include David Hasselhoff and Ryan Newman; they're joined by newcomers Tommy Davidson, Gary Busey, Masiela Lusha, Cody Linley and Cheryl Tiegs. Cameos (this time around) include Stacey Dash, David Faustino, Dr. Drew Pinsky, Gilbert Gottfried, Steve Guttenberg, Lloyd Kaufman, Vince Neil, Wayne Newton and Al Roker (for his third time). The film has it's moments, but it's not as funny (or as cleverly bad) as the previous three installments.

The story takes place five years after the events of the third film; and there hasn't been a 'sharknado' in all of that time. Thanks to technical genius Aston Reynolds (Davidson), and his company's atmosphere stabilizers. Fin (Ziering) has been enjoying the peace and quiet, and he's now traveling to Las Vegas; for a family reunion. Unfortunately, he soon learns, that his break, from the sharknado action, is now over.

All of the 'SHARKNADO' films are laughably bad, which makes them also somewhat enjoyable. In my opinion the series reached it's peak in 2014 (with the first sequel). Now I think it's definitely running out of steam. This chapter is still mildly enjoyable, and it's also not really any worse than the other three chapters (how could it be). Fans of the series will probably still enjoy it.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
It's not a horrible movie, it's just nothing that memorable., 2 November 2016
5/10

'MOTHER'S DAY': Two and a Half Stars (Out of Five)

The last film of director Gary Marshall's career (before he passed away in July 2016), is another cheesy 'holiday themed' ensemble romcom (much like his previous two movies 'VALENTINE'S DAY' and 'NEWYEAR'S EVE'). This film revolves around the lives of multiple different mothers (and a single father), with intersecting stories, all set on the week before Mother's Day. It stars Jennifer Aniston, Kate Hudson, Julia Roberts, Jason Sudeikis, Britt Robertson, Timothy Olyphant, Margo Martindale, Sarah Chalke, Shay Mitchell, Aasif Mandvi, Robert Pine, Hector Elizondo and many others. The film received almost unanimously bad reviews from critics, and it disappointed at the Box Office. I found it to be exactly what I expected it to be.

The movie is set in Atlanta, during the week before Mother's Day. It centers around the lives of Sandy (Aniston), Jesse (Hudson), Miranda (Roberts), Kristin (Robertson) and Bradley (Sudeikis). All of them have to deal with different (sometimes intersecting) family issues, and a few romantic ones as well, as they all prepare for Mother's Day too (in the process). Things become more and more hectic (of course) as the holiday grows closer.

Marshall has directed a few good movies in his long career, like 'PRETTY WOMAN' (also featuring Julia Roberts), but his last three were definitely nothing to be too proud of. The actors in this film have also done much better work (especially Sudeikis). It's not a horrible movie, it's just nothing that memorable. Some mothers (and daughters) might enjoy it though, at least a little more than me (probably).

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
It's great to see Gibson in another cool action flick like this!, 2 November 2016
8/10

'BLOOD FATHER': Four Stars (Out of Five)

A new action-thriller starring Mel Gibson; as an ex-con that reunites with his estranged daughter, who he must protect from drug dealers out for revenge. The movie was directed by by French filmmaker Jean-Francois Richet, and it was written by Peter Craig (and based on his book, of the same name). It costars Erin Moriarty, Diego Luna, Willaim H. Macy, Michael Parks and Dale Dickey. The film got almost unanimously positive reviews from critics, but it only received a small indie theatrical run. I enjoyed it.

John Link (Gibson) is an ex-convict, and former alcoholic. He's out on parole, after serving seven years in prison, and attends rehab regularly. Link is also a badass war veteran, who hasn't seen his estranged 17-year-old daughter, Lydia (Moriarty), in several years. When Lydia gets in trouble with a gang of drug dealers, one of which she was dating (Luna), and they want to kill her, she turns to her father for help. John is more than prepared to help her.

It's great to see Gibson in another cool action flick like this; I've been a fan of his throughout his career, I thought he was outstanding in his last film ('THE EXPENDABLES 3'), and I can't wait to see his next (long awaited) directorial effort ('HACKSAW RIDGE'). I'm of course not a fan of some of the horrible things he's said and done, in his personal life; but I do think he battles with a lot of mental illness, alcoholism and depression. It's great to see him in cool movies like this still though (and this is a good one). I hope to continue to see him in many more.

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