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Lost Souls (2000)
It is not trying to be a horror movie folks!
It would appear many horror flick fans had an expectation that this movie would be like The Excorcist, The Omen, Rosemary's Baby. Having watched the film, it's clear it was never intending to be like those films. So, that means horror fans will hate this film and say things like "dull" and "cure for insomnia" over and over again.
Lost Souls is more like one of the more low key supernatural-themed X-Files episodes. Characters are introduced, there's a mystery presented, and motivations of almost all characters only become clear near the end. What this movie does well is let the mystery brew and keep the suspense going almost to the end. I think this is what totally irritated the horror film fans: they never get spinning heads or vomit, and that's really all they wanted to see anyway. No spoilers here but many folks complain about the end. Sure, the end is "abrupt" but it makes perfect sense if you were attentively watching. Its a reasonably good film if you like slow-paced moody flicks.
Fluffy, but fun to see in 3D
There's little to complain about in terms of the look of the movie. It is visually arresting, especially in 3D. But the plot and characters are dull and predictable. I cant help but think of Aliens 2, where all of the marines had distinct characters and we cared about their outcomes. But in Avatar do we care about any of these characters including the main character? Not so much.
I did enjoy Weaver who also seemed to have the most dialog to work with. In fact I really wanted much more dialog in this film and Weaver herself in more scenes. What we get instead are several genuinely enthralling action scenes and a whole cartload of hokey plot. Would I see the sequel? Sure, but for the effects only.
Almost but not quite
I wanted to like this movie. It has several things going for it. The acting is generally solid and the plot is a reasonably original twist on "the end of the world with zombies." But character motivation keeps messing up the movie. We are told very early on that survival is determined by staying away from roads and towns (where the infected and crazies are) yet the main characters _repeatedly_ go to towns and stay on busy roads. Furthermore, the main character (played by Pine) keeps doing dumb things that get them all in really big trouble. What were the writers thinking? Couldn't they come up with a plot that doesn't rely on someone making dumb decisions? A lesser problem is that the main characters never seem to care about or lack for food and water in a world where civilization has fallen, but they always need gas for the car. In one scene they talk about water but then we see them drinking beer. It's lazy writing like that had me looking cross-eyed at the screen.
There's real potential in the story but the writers never really figured out how to draw characters that do plausible things.
Dorian Gray (2009)
Did the screenwriters even read the original story by Wilde?
There's not a single thing inherently wrong about adapting old stories in new and surprising ways. Unfortunately the writers removed all of the original class and gender subtext in the original story and then added naked ladies. Really that's all there is to this adaptation. Some unusually bland acting goes with the bland writing. I have a feeling the actors knew the movie wasn't going well, took the paycheck, and just went a long for the ride.
I have to express some discontent that some others say this adaptation does justice to Wilde's story. I just don't see that at all sorry. This is "lowest common denominator" kinds of movie making. The good news is that this is the sort of movie that disappears in a heartbeat after a quick release to DVD.
Unintentionally hilarious "Jaws" ripoff from 1977
If you're in the right mood, this movie will have you laughing out loud at the gratuitous nudity in every other scene. There are lines like "Hey, let's go swimming with our clothes off." All of the women have the exact same body type, so the producer must have hand picked his cast from his fantasies. In between those ridiculous scenes, there are some surprisingly graphic underwater clips of sharks being speared to death in slow-motion by "shark-hunters." So it is a truly terrible movie. The 70's clothes and really really bad disco soundtrack were fun to see and hear. The bad acting by the main character is especially fun to watch. He cannot emote for any reason and yet the camera will do a close up on his stony-eyed face again and again. The plot never really makes sense of course. The movie deserves a 1 score but I enjoyed its badness too much to give it any less than a 5. The version I saw on the MonsterHD cable channel had the ending clipped off and then it rolled to the credits unfortunately. So be aware that there are different versions of the movie floating around.
Wind Chill (2007)
Interesting at very first, but then it takes a nosedive
I really enjoyed the first 30 minutes -- there's lots of talking and the writer is taking his time building the 2 main characters. Unfortunately several things go wrong. The movie looks good enough in the vein of the X-Files TV show (dark and misty and lots of shadows) but the few special effects that exist in the film look especially terrible. But far worse is the story-telling we get from mid-point onwards. I wont give anything away. The story we get is unsurprising, somewhat random, and even rather dull.
There are a bunch of X-Files episodes that are miles better than anything this movie attempts to do with a ghost story.