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There's something to be said for sitting back and enjoying a B movie once in awhile. If you aren't already into B movies, then don't bother, because this is definitely in that category.
A SyFy style movie, only lower budget. It has every. single. -CLICHE- in the book - the snotty, angst-riddled teenage daughter, the smart, dorky super-brainy scientist mom who doesn't have a clue how to be a good parent, the evil manipulative scheming b***ard who makes trouble and then blames it all on the protagonist, the ex-hippies, the love-interest in peril - everything.
I was enjoying it as much as I usually do until about 50 minutes in, when the main teenage character began experiencing a diabetic crisis. Her blood sugar was going low. So naturally, her mother began frantically doing everything in her power to find some insulin for the girl. Sugary drinks wouldn't do it, "...she must have insulin, NOW!" :-|
That basically ruined any semblance of enjoyment I -had- been getting from the movie. My tolerance for scientific illiteracy is pretty high when it comes to these types of movies, but -this-? I was so, so, so, so, SOOOOOOooo disappointed. I mean, the scientific stuff was already garbage (which I didn't mind, as it's par for the course), but you'd thought they could have at least gotten that one very, very simple, excruciatingly well-known fact right - that if your blood sugar's going low, the LAST thing you want to get for it is insulin. Unless perhaps the mother was secretly trying to murder her own daughter amidst the crisis? Now -that- could've made for an interesting plot device. ;-) But alas, that wasn't their intent.
Am I really all that much more brainy than the average actor, script-writer and studio exec that I possess the esoteric knowledge of how diabetes works? :-?
Other than that, like I said, it's typical SyFy-esque B-movie fair. If ignorance about diabetes doesn't bother you, and you usually like B-movies, you might enjoy this. Otherwise, if you don't like clichés or cheese, avoid it like the plague.
Slow-paced, thoughtful film.
If you appreciate subtlety and dry humor, and can overlook some seemingly-wooden acting, this might be worth it. I say ''seemingly'' wooden acting because in some ways, given the context of the culture and futuristic era in which this is to have occurred, a sort of bland, passionless mannerism would actually make a great deal of sense. The world is a hopeless, dull place, filled with nothing but drudgery and monotony, and no hope of things ever changing for these people. So that, while it may not appeal to a lot of movie-watcher's tastes, is actually a rather logical thing to include, assuming it was deliberate. Even if it wasn't, it worked for me.
It's very slow-paced, not an action film at all, and events are presented in a very non-linear way (scenes pop up out of nowhere, and they don't make much sense until later on in the film - that worked well for me, to maintain interest). Something similar in feel to Ryan Reynold's ''The Nines'', though lower-budget.
The visuals were somewhat reminiscent of 1990s CGI, but nice just the same, and the concept was very intriguing. Pay attention to the guide's outfits, and how the props change from scene to scene while on ''the ship'' - it's all very subtle, and this type of visual subtlety works its way throughout the entire movie.
There is full-frontal male nudity in a few scenes, but it's not gratuitous, vulgar or overtly-sexual at all. I suppose the story -could- have been made without it, but it did help add a bit of realism to certain things.
All-in-all, I think it takes a fairly rare temperament to enjoy this sort of film. If you're not sure after about 15 minutes, just watch until you've seen a few minutes of their interaction with the occupant of the 'ship', as that frames the tone for the rest of the movie. By then, you should know if you want to see the rest of it or not.
For my own part, I think I probably enjoyed this more than most people would. But if it sounds like it -might- appeal to you, I definitely recommend checking it out. :-)
Saving Christmas (2014)
Notice how long the 10-star raters have been members, and how many movies they've reviewed...
First, let me state that in spite of the claims of Cameron and those who support him (and who have attempted to artificially raise this movie's ratings with fake profiles and fake reviews), I, as someone who hated this movie, have nothing against Christians or Christianity. Not at all. Most everyone I know and love _are_ Christians. Die-hard, conservative, dyed-in-the-wool Fox-news-loving fundamentalist Christians. And even THEY thought this movie sucked.
That Kirk tried to use religious guilt on people to have the ratings artificially inflated is just pathetic. Seriously, dude, you have a problem. You need help. Get some. :-/ My opinion of this movie is pretty much the same as the opinions of EVERYONE I know who's actually had the misfortune of deciding to give it a try. It would be pure camp if those who made it weren't being so stone-faced serious. It's patronizing, condescending, childish and just downright _bad_. And it's not the message, itself - even those I know who agree with the central point Kirk's trying to make see the movie as doing more harm than good.
As for that illicit ratings-inflating campaign, it appears to be bearing fruit. When you have a movie with overwhelmingly bad ratings (and I man REALLY bad, where most are just 1-star with, shall we say, "Nothing nice to say..."), and just a couple of profiles with 10-star ratings and glowing things to say, and ALL of those 10-star profiles were clearly just set up just to make the glowing review about just that one movie... I'm not going to outright accuse anyone of anything, but, well, it doesn't inspire confidence in their legitimacy.
I mean seriously, dude, stop it. You're not helping Christianity's image at all. In fact, you're making it worse. Even if you don't care about your own image, you should seriously give thought to how much more damage you want to do to the Christian image in the U.S. today. Or are you a closet atheist trying to destroy the "enemy" from within? Your actions are hurting far more than helping.
And I have nothing against Christianity or religion in general. If people want to be proud of their religion and remind themselves of the spin Christianity has added to the meaning of all these previously-existing traditions and holidays, that's wonderful. But this? This isn't _that_. This is just pandering, patronizing, exploiting - pure and simple.
Please, Kirk, get help.
Another theory about what's going on.
Lots of ideas being bandied about, but I'm pretty sure I get what's happened. Major spoilerage, though, so don't read if you haven't already seen the movie - but might.
That said... I'd wager that everyone was already dead at the beginning of the movie. The couple were ghosts who didn't realize they were already dead, thus the girl whispering, "Don't open it" in her sleep near the beginning of the movie and then again at the end just before revealing her corpse. After panning across her corpse at the end, you could see that the chain was hanging off the door - it was already unlocked. That's the way the door was near the beginning, when Alex first opened the door to let David in - he noticed the door had already been unlocked and the chain hanging there, and had to go back into his apartment to retrieve the key so he could lock it again.
David, too, was already a ghost by that point. As was the woman in the apartment upstairs - though I suspect she wasn't one of David's victims, but just another ghost living in the building. It's possible that the playing with the lights _could_ have been the living, who they couldn't see - kind of like in "The Others".
That's my guess, at least. Makes more sense (to me) than some of the other speculations I'd seen. I don't see any parallels to "Paranormal Activity" at all, and in fact would say this movie exceeds the PA franchise by a great deal in terms of quality.
Battlefield Earth (2000)
I've seen (and enjoyed) worse.
I was very, very hesitant to watch this flick. I'd thought it was going to be an advertisement for Scientology in sci-fi movie form, but it really wasn't. I mean, I don't know if some aspects of it were consistent with Scientology dogma or not, and I don't care - I'm not going to become some glossy-eyed xombie convert either way.
While there were a few glaring absurdities in the plot, I must say I actually enjoyed watching this. Oh, yes, there -is- cheese - plenty of it, in fact. But overall, I've enjoyed less well-made movies. I think the negative expectations on this one was due largely to the negative publicity by anti-Scientology critics, who tore it to shreds simply because it was associated with L. Ron Hubbard. Had it not been for that, I think it would have been much more well-received.
Now don't get me wrong - it's far from "great" by any means. But while I know this is no huge compliment, I'd say it's better than most flicks put out by SyFy. The visual effects were fairly well-done, too.
Damaging to its believability first and foremost is the way that people living at the level of cave-dwelling Neanderthals learn to fly fighter jets in just a few hours - and maneuver like pros. It's also less-than- believable to think that an entire planet could blow up just from exposure to a low-yield nuclear bomb, or that the Psyclon's breath would explode if exposed to radioactivity.
So yes, there are definitely absurdities. I still enjoyed it, though. So if you can overlook a certain level of absurdity in your sci-fi, give it a try. You might be pleasantly surprised as I was.
Typical revenge flick
A typical revenge flick - class outcast dies as a result of atrocious treatment from his classmates (suicide, true, but he wouldn't have if he'd had a moment's peace), comes back from the grave to exact bloody revenge.
The acting was acceptable, even pretty good for some of the characters. But character development itself was rather weak. Especially the character of the main antagonist, Darren. Then again, I guess it's hard to portray a very animated personality when the character's primary action consists of being a teen-killing zombie. ;-)
As for the action, I don't really need to give away any spoilers - nothing new at all, the movie is quite thoroughly predictable. The best parts were the two sex scenes. Other than that, it was okay for passing time or for a late night horror flick craving.
Alone in the Dark II (2008)
Nothing like the first stinker.
This movie has absolutely nothing in common with the first, except for its name. And unlike the same trick when tried by the makers of "The Skeleton Key 2", this one is thankfully much, much better than the first.
It's still not what I'd call "great", but it's watchable. It's just that the first "Alone in the Dark" sucked SO MUCH, that almost -anything- would be much, much better in comparison.
While there aren't a ton of special effects, the few that exist were done very well. The main male character's acting was flat, but then so were his well-defined and oft-shown abs, so I guess he can be forgiven that.
All the characters were rather shallowly written. Lance Henrickson and Bill Mosley are the most well-known stars, but even their characters were written to about the same degree of quality as the lesser-known actors. They played them well, but there really wasn't much all that impressive to play.
Still, like I said, it's watchable. It'll keep you entertained to some degree while it's on, just don't expect to be blown away.
English dub version - horrible.
I'm sure my impression of it would have been much better had I listened to it in the original French. But William Shatner was a horrible, horrible, HORRIBLE choice for the voice of the English version. His raspy, shaky voice and constant non-verbal noises he kept making just utterly ruined it. In the prior release, for English-speaking audiences, I suppose we were spoiled by Antonio Bandaras' as the cat. Shatner's Puss was just plain nails-on-chalkboard awful. Totally ruined any potential enjoyment I might have been able to get out of it. The story itself was okay, though definitely a bit on the "silly" side - but it doesn't seem to be geared towards an adult audience, so that's okay.
I can't really comment on the French version, though surely they had to have a better voice than Shatner. If you're listening to it in English, just don't expect an experience even remotely similar to the original movie release. This movie was nothing like it. At. All.
The Tattooist (2007)
I'm not going into any great detail, but just wanted to say that for some reason, I wasn't expecting this to be very good simply because it starred Jason Behr. And I have no idea why - I guess it's just that he doesn't strike one as the "tough guy" type that the cover art portrayed the main character as being. I found out after I began watching it, though, that the character isn't really so much "tough guy", however, as "troubled good guy", and that works for Behr. Not to mention that he's definitely chiseled up his physique for this - the bod was as hard as you could want it to be. The scares are semi-jumpy, based more on "eewww..." than "AAAUUGGHH!!!" It's got tension and a mystery that's slowly unwound. The only thing I didn't get is how Behr's character somehow just "knew" that a girl he'd lifted something from half a world away would just "be" in New Zealand. That didn't make sense. But overall, I wasn't expecting an enjoyable movie but I got one anyway. :-)
Return in Red (2007)
Not quite sure what to say. :-/
The actors were so likable in this, I feel bad saying anything negative about it, but yet this really was a rather dull movie. It's really not for anyone who is looking to be entertained, though it is somewhat interesting from the perspective of someone wanting to study the film-making process. The reason for this is that the process is pretty obvious, here - in truly terrific filmmaking, you can't tell what's going on "behind the scenes", so to speak - i.e., casting, special effects, acting... But with this, there really isn't any way to forget that it's a movie and get lost in the story.
Still, it's interesting enough for me, but I tend to be able to enjoy things most people wouldn't waste toilet paper on. So I can't recommend this for most folks. Look up some previews and clips on YouTube or some such, and just from that you should be able to tell if it's your type of thing or not, as the entire film is made with pretty much the same pacing and tone the whole way through (slow and dull).
I must admit, however, the guy who was the lead actor (at least for a time) was pretty cute, and not too bad at it, either. Hope to see more of him. :-)