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The Beguiled (2017)
Only movie patron's beguiled here
Don't waste your time or money. Sofia Coppola was a terrible actress (Godfather III - LOL) and now we can say she is a terrible Director as well. She obviously did not inherit any of her father's artistic talents. Zero. The only beguiling happening with regard to this movie occurred when watching the trailer. I was tricked. The trailer is deceptive and in it's 2 minutes and 33 seconds it out entertained the entire 94 minutes of the actual movie.
40 minutes into this disaster I was wondering if a plot would materialize, it didn't. I then began wondering if this was a build up to a chaotic second half (sort of like The Hateful Eight) but it never happened. As a matter of fact, I was so shocked at the last five minutes that when the final fade occurred and the credits began to roll, I actually burst out laughing.
American Zoetrope should be taken to task for releasing this garbage and I certainly will not see another movie that has anything to do with Sofia Coppola. If I had to leave on a positive note I would say they spared us be only making it 94 minutes long.
The Hunger Games (2012)
Review from the movie perspective alone
First let me say that I did not read the novel(s) so I am basing this on seeing the movie without any predisposed ideas.
My first impression was that the camera work was horrendous. I realize that at times a hand-held shot that shakes is used for giving that 'real' look but it was used way too much in this movie. Additionally there were fast scene cuts that, combined with the shakiness of the camera, started to give me a headache. This is a trick that is sometimes used when bad footage is taken. If you shake and move the video and cut away real fast you can get away with showing almost anything. Anyway, I'd give the camera work a 3 tops.
Regardless of what is in the novel, I did not like the look of the colored hair, tribal cut facial hair and outlandish dress of wealthy people. Coming from a point of not having read the novels and looking for that, it looks ridiculous.
The acting overall was very good, however, is it me or should Donald Sutherland just stop. He has had such a great career but his acting lately is wooden, unnatural and degrading to those in his scenes. Luckily, the idea of the movie and some of the acting saved this from being a total disappointment.
The movie should have done more with the history and setting up the audience than a couple of screens to read to begin the movie. If it weren't for everyone else in my house having read the book and explaining it to me ahead of time, I don't think I would have understood it enough from the movie alone.
Between the sets, make-up, costumes, camera work and seemingly cheap budget this movie seems like it was made by the SyFy channel.
Paranormal Activity (2007)
You demanded it
The only thing I demand about this is my money back.
Simply put, this movie, if you can call it that, is flat out terrible. I put it up there with Cabin Fever. So, if you liked Cabin Fever, by all means go see this. If you liked Cabin Fever, you like anything.
I'm sorry I missed this at the festival. I would have warned everyone sooner.
This is what I call the Blair Witch Cookie Cutter method of film production and distribution.
1. Make a video or film with all shaky grainy hand-held shots to look homemade. You can even save on proper lighting.
2. Have it loosely based on some mysterious subject.
3. Spend a lot of time and money on Internet marketing trying to get the "idea" of the movie viral. Aim this marketing at younger people. Social networking sites are a good place to start.
4. Market the movie like "everyone" wants to see it (which, by the way, was one of Barnum's idea's.)
5. Hope that you get a huge initial release box office take and then be happy with at least a 50% drop each subsequent week.
6. Come out with the movie in October and then try to cash in quickly with a December DVD release to get the people who didn't see it to buy it before everyone totally forgets about it.
That's it. This movie did it's primary job. It made the studio a quick buck. But it fails terribly at being entertainment.
Even if you somehow found the movie mildly amusing, are you EVER going to watch it again? How many people watched Blair Witch Project twice?
First time effort - good movie - bad production
From a pure enjoyment standpoint, the movie is fairly entertaining. From a technical standpoint, it's got a lot of issues. I had a hard time not focusing on them.
This movie is plagued with bad production. Right off the bat, after the opening title sequence, the opening scene with a car speeding down a highway is frozen and then starts. This is obviously an editing blunder.
There were some scenes which looked to be horribly edited in post. For instance, a scene in which the two main characters are speaking across a table. Normally in film or video, the focus shifts from one to the other as they are speaking. This is done in-camera during the filming process. Not here. The effect in this movie was obviously done in post and horribly at that. One half (almost exactly) is so blurred it's distracting. This causes the opposite affect it was used for in the first place; to place the viewers attention on the important subject at the time. A decent production would not have tried to fix this in post, it would have been re-shot. It seems like the footage was not viewed until the whole movie was shot.
Here's a suggestion, get a tripod! There are times when a scene calls for the hand held shaky look, but not during a seated conversation! I was getting a headache. Terrible.
Someone else commented on the lack of sound during a point in the movie. This was definitely not the time or place to try an effect like that. I seriously doubt it was on purpose.
The movie also suffered from doing a very poor job at explaining why or how things were happening, for instance the guard scene. Did I miss something? This reminds me of a decent school type project. Beyond that, it doesn't hold production value for a serious movie.
By the way, this movie's description makes it sound an awful lot like Steven Spielbergs DUEL. Is it a coincidence that HUSH has four letters in its title? I think not. Duel is much, much better.
The Lathe of Heaven (1980)
must have the original song!
For those who saw it on PBS (aired 12 times, I think), there was nothing like the scene when George runs up on the roof to see the clouds clearing with the original "with a little help from my friends" playing in the background. I think this was one of a few battles the film incurred since the remastered copy has a horrible cover of the song.
I bought the DVD and I'm going to edit in the original. Gave me chills.
The book was not easy to find. Most of the movie was pulled from the book but the story is a bit different.
Do NOT waste your time on the remake, it is terrible. You would think that with the technology available now that a better job could have been done. Too bad.
Cabin Fever (2002)
Horrible, just horrible (spoiler info inside)
Not that this movie can be spoiled. It absolutely sucked. No ifs, ands or ors about it. 100% garbage. I have never before thought about complaining to get my money back - not even for "leviathan", and man that's saying a lot.
The script must have been written by a thirteen year old who needs Ritalin. The whole bit with the cop on the bicycle was so bad it was laughable. What the heck did he say? "man, you gotta keep partying, man, like that what its all about" or something that stupid. His acting was so atrocious that I doubt he has a union card, if he does and someone in the business sees this movie they'll yank it. As a matter of fact, I'll bet you'll NEVER see another player in this movie again.
This was a classic 'pull the wool over the audiences eyes' with hype, hype and more hype. The website for this crap-fest makes it sound like the audio track was done by some Italian composer with John Williams like credentials. I hate to tell you but I could have done better on my PC.
Hey, I especially liked being serenaded by the crappy closing backwards ass country hick make music with a scrub-brush noise they called a song. Thanks also for taking five minutes of my life away as I watched the spring water truck creep away, great film making there.
I guess to sum it up, the movie won. I, like a fool, stayed and watched the whole thing. This is a movie that I'd bet a whole stack of money, that your local video store only gets a maximum of two copies - that's if they bother to get it at all.
Save yourself the time and a few dollars - go rent leviathan, it sucked big time too but it was ten times better than this trash.
You've been warned.