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Great Movie That Leaves Too Much for the Sequel
Prometheus is the long awaited return of Ridley Scott to the Sci-Fi Horror genre. This movie had a big budget and put it to good use. The acting is great for a strategically chosen cast. The CGI and production value of this movie are thru the roof. However, the story lacked the suspense and big moments to make this movie legendary. The biggest issue was the amount of information left for the sequel(s).
The CGI, camera work and action scenes were all very well done. This movie played like there was a lot of thought put into the fine details. I particularly liked the degree of creativity with the foreign structures and creatures within. The acting was very impressive and Michael Fassbender was fantastic. Everyone else played their role well, and I felt that Noomi Rapace created a great protagonist. She was delicate yet resilient when it mattered.
Surprisingly the flaws of the movie were in the story and late execution. Anyone will tell you that there were unanswered questions, but the truth is much more grave. It almost seems like everything in the movie happened unjustified and while it can be clarified in a sequel, it left a lot of wonderment. As much as I love sequels, each movie needs to stand effectively on its own, and I feel this one relies to heavily upon its successor. This affected the suspense that built up so well during the beginning of the movie.
I would recommend Prometheus to any Sci-Fi or horror fan. It is worth a watch, though until the sequel(s) come out, I doubt many will consider it a classic. Being that Aliens is one of my favorite movies of all time, it is possible that my expectations are too high. But if you too were a fan of the originals and wonder how they would look in the 21st century, look no farther. The CGI is crisp, the acting is beautiful but the story and marketing effects give it a limp preventing it from its true potential.
Urban Legends: Bloody Mary (2005)
Low Budget Let Down
Urban Legends 3: Bloody Mary was not a good movie. It wasn't terrible, and it was definitely watchable, but it didn't really accomplish anything. It was a very average "who's the killer" movie tied in with some supernatural edge. Unfortunately the production quality is laughable and it looks like it was made at a high school by students. It seems like an average bad horror movie but then it keeps reminding you that it's cheap and just not a good movie. I hate being overly blunt, but no one will watch this movie and enjoy it. The only thing the movie does well is pace. It is constantly killing off characters while the (simple) story builds. So many decent horror movies under perform because they build too much story. There needs to be some action to keep the audience glued in (a la Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy).
The Darkest Hour (2011)
Decent Fantasy/Horror does some things right but tries to do too much.
The Darkest Hour is a track meet by movie standards. It tries to combine a lot of different themes and plots. The sad thing is it doesn't do a bad job at any of them. But what stops it from being a good movie is the fact that it doesn't leave a lasting impression as a result.
The acting is well done. The mood is set right and the calamity does enough of a job of seeming insurmountable to create the feeling of desperation. Really this movie is as close to a 7 as you can get while still being a 6.
This movie was bold and adventurous but overextended itself. The "aliens" were a little far-fetched and scientifically questionable. But the execution differed from what has worked in the genre, and didn't do enough with it to be deemed a success.
I would recommend this movie to anyone who likes end of the world type movies. Though it's only a 6, it's worth a watch.
Dark Floors (2008)
Has a Lot Going On, But Nothing Actually Happens
Dark Floors is a very interesting moving. It is thought provoking, dark and paced well. Unfortunately not to many other compliments can be given to this movie. It is thought provoking because it is flat out so random and no explanations are given.
Dark Floors has some fundamental pieces of a good fantasy horror. There are some interesting terrors and the setting is great. The acting is average but none of these things can save this movie.
This movie seems like it's a great movie with about 15 minutes of plot oriented scenes cut out. The movie makes no sense and doesn't even try to bring you along for the ride. It's sad because the movie was beginning to remind me of a crappy Silent Hill, but just ended up being crappy.
I would recommend this movie to anyone who wants to pay as little attention to a movie as possible and not miss anything.
Messengers 2: The Scarecrow (2009)
Low grade farm based horror movie
The Messengers 2 is a very prototypical low grade horror sequel. These types of movie never feature the stars that made the first and try to capture the mood of the first without stepping on it's toes too much. The idea would be to elaborate on the parts that worked and avoid the parts that didn't. Unfortunately most of them do the opposite and this entry is no different.
As a full movie this isn't as terrible as some horror movies you'll see out there. There are a few interesting ideas and twists but not many. The movie is also acted well if not lacklusterly under toned.
The concept of being scared of the scarecrow just didn't work for me. It never really seemed like anything other than an inanimate object. The movie kind of crawled along and was predictable as well. There was too much emphasis on the farm (which albeit is a key theme) and not enough focus on the horror. The first movie was good because it mixed the farm setting with an inherited horror and human interaction. This movie left the interaction out and elaborated on the farm.
I would really only recommend this movie to farm lovers. If you loved the first movie then it's worth a watch but you'll likely be disappointed.
The Innkeepers (2011)
Slow pace and vague plot development sink movie
The Innkeepers is a mixed bag. It is a truer type of ghost story and presents a quasi realistic setting. The pitfalls come in the form of a slow as molasses plot development and a poor supporting cast. The movie spans over an hour and a half and could've done with about 20 minutes left on the editing room floor.
I'm a huge fan of Sara Paxton. I don't know why, but I've followed her career so far quite closely and that lead me to this movie. She does a great job and if your a student of her body of work (so far) you'll notice she has impressive character variety. She nails the character as a nerdy but quirky punt who's a sweet heart. The core story of this movie also has so undeniable potential but falls short.
A good ghost story is deep and filled with the many pieces of supernatural lore associated with it. Unfortunately, the story's great base has no sustenance and falls short at the end. Also, there aren't really many scares or jumps to be had here. There are a lot of stall techniques to build the story but it just comes off as cheap. The supporting cast does nothing to add anything as they are as flat as cardboard.
I would recommend this movie to fans of the ghost story genre and of Sara Paxton like me. This is not a very good movie and it will bore you, but it is watchable if you're driven.
Decent Horror Movie Pales in Comparison to Predecessors
Alien 3 is the 3rd entry to the extremely popular and successful Alien series featuring Sigourney Weaver as the protagonist. Aside from other factors, Weaver made this series with her version of a tough as nails female dramatic hero in military based settings. Of course it helps that the Alien itself is very unique and interesting. Plus the setting, plot and execution are both novel and unique with very memorable touches. Alien 3 however will likely disappoint. No matter how much it differs from the series and what they were trying to accomplish, the movie doesn't pace and doesn't execute when it matters.
This edition does a few things well. It creates the mood well, mixing an abandoned factory and jail with an Alien is a good touch. They set up plenty of expendable characters. They give you a lot of extra themes and story lines secondary to the movie. And again, the biggest redeeming factor of this movie is Sigourney Weaver's acting job. She is on point and does a top notch job.
The problem with this movie is out of it's control. No movie could follow Aliens. I mean not only did it increase the scope but it executed on every level. But this movie was a little slow and boring. Add in the fact that a slow start has a less than average pay off for the genre and you're not adding much to the core of the movie. The story on it's own seems forced and irrelevant. It almost just seems like an extension of what was postulated in the 2nd movie.
I would still recommend this movie to any Alien fans and horror enthusiasts. But be prepared that if you watch this movie after Aliens, you will be thoroughly disappointed.
Superhero Movie (2008)
Mediocre Comedy Balances Funny and Goofy
Superhero Movie is very odd. Anyone who's seen these Scary Movie spin offs where the movie is a series off topical jokes relating to a movie genre know that they have not been too good lately. This movie surprised me with the fact that I laughed much more than I thought I would. There was a lot of dumb moments that kind of spoil it but I guess it might just be for a different crowd.
There are a few well written jokes, and a couple of decent acting jobs. Kevin Hart was funny as always. Leslie Nielsen was a little on the slapstick side but brought his famous personality to it. Sara Paxton almost seemed to pretty and took the movie very seriously. She almost seemed like she was playing an actual part in a hero movie.
The real flaws of this movie are when it lulled with sad attempts at jokes and poorly executed goofy moments. Almost every movie in this line has those attempted goofy moments that the self assigned mature audience will dislike, but even some dumb moments made me laugh.
I would recommend Superhero Movie to anyone who enjoys comedy and doesn't mind a bunch of moments where the movie lags into dumb comedy.
An Instant Classic; Equal Parts Gory and Funny
Slither is a very watchable movie. I am an eternal fan of the horror/comedy genre. It makes horror movies more accessible to a wider audience. That being said, it is very difficult to make movies like the popular Shaun of the Dead, and the less popular Infestation. But you can add Slither to that elite group that not only pulls off both genres, but excels. Slither is an alien invasion movie about a particularly interesting survival/destruction strategy.
The best part Slither is how it can borderline on the edge of sci-fi even though it pulls of horror and comedy so well. The CGI is impressive in this movie. Elizabeth Banks and Nathan Fillion carry this movie and the acting is serviceable. The fact that Nathan Fillion brings that gentle bravado and light hearted quality lends itself well to a movie that moves at a fast pace.
The only things you may hate about this movie are the accents and the pace. It is a southern based movie, so some of the non southern actors attempts at southern accents might be construed negatively. Lastly, the movie moves quickly and doesn't focus on anything too long. Maybe lengthening the movie a bit could've allieveated this, but the movie is good enough as is.
I would recommend this movie to everyone, except those who hate worms.
Chain Letter (2009)
Dime a Dozen Shallow Horror Attempt
Chain Letter is not very good. I can relax my standards for horror movies typically if it has some redeeming qualities. An interesting character or a cool villain or unique plot are all components that can get me through. This movie lacked all of these and really lacked any hope of being a decent movie.
The movie seems so similar to any horror movie that it's hard to find anything it does well. If you like gruesome deaths, than it has a couple unique "chain related" moments. Other than that, the movie is shallow story wise, has flat characters provides very little pay off. There isn't much suspense built up either, but certain scenes showed some promise.
I wouldn't recommend this movie to anyone unless they absolutely love chains.