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|1946 reviews in total|
Independent Horror and Psychological Hybrid that is of Two Minds. First
it is a Lover's Competence of Unrealized Utopia and Second, a
Disturbing Paranormal Horror that is Literally Gut-Turning and
It is a Two-Person Low-Budget Conceit with Enough Atmosphere to Engage and Equal Amounts of Good Acting. But the Dialog At Times is too Repetitive and can be Annoying. Lines Said Over and Over Tend to Halt Movie Movement and Make a Scene Wallow in its Sameness and Fails to be Insightful and Informative.
This Hiccupping of Words is its Greatest Setback. The Much Maligned Ending is Fitting and Follows the Natural Progression of Events that are Never Fully Explained and Left to the Viewer's View of Supernatural and Extraterrestrial Mind Games.
Overall, Not Bad and Worth a Watch. It's More Professional and Cerebral than Most Genre Offerings and While Nothing Earth Shattering in its Newness. The Story and the Filmmaking Style are Mostly the Stuff of Standard, but it Works in a Way that is Familiar but Still Frightening.
Generic, Cluttered, and Confusing, this Under Developed and Utterly
Exploitive Examining Tries to be All Things Asian Immigrants and Hong
Kong Crime Movies. But it is Too Short and Unrealized and it Comes Off
as Slick B-Movie Badness So Often Seen and as Disposable as Dirt.
It's a Mad World Afterall, this Setting that the Sometimes Illegal Immigrants Find Themselves, Where Human Trafficking, Torture, Guns, Drugs and Money are All In Plain Sight and Little is Offered that is Not a Daily Drudge of Lost Hope and Dreams.
This is a Story of Two Youngsters Flushed Down the Toilet of Unwanted Humanity and End Up at the End of the Line that is Presented as a Way Out of Ordinariness. "A fisherman in China will always be a fisherman in China, but in America even a dishwasher has hope.".
At the End of this Over Endulgement of Everything in the Melting Pot's Familiar Immigrant Stories Since Forever, You will Find Nothing New or Nothing Worth Knowing that isn't Already a Common Thread that is Still Weaving the Fabric of America's Crazy Quilt to this Day. Not Much has Changed in Well Over a Hundred Years Except the Countries of Origin.
Ultra-Low-Budget-Drive-In-Movie that has Gained a Huge Cult Following.
It has Now Been Recognized as Being Influential to the Slasher Genre
and a Solid Addition and Early Entry to Films About Serial Killers.
Obscure Director Pierce Known Also for The Legend of Boggy Creek (another Cult Fave) from 1972, Shows Signs of Talent and Embryonic Abilities. Here a Brutal Killer is Presented Without Much Restraint and Seems to be a Forerunner of "Slasher Movie" Type Detachment.
The Director Doesn't Shy Away from Gore and Splatter and there are a Few Scenes that are Quite Unsettling. The Movie has Taken Many Slings and Arrows about its Decision to Incorporate Comedy Relief and in Retrospect it was a Mistake and Holds the Film Back from Greatness.
Ben Johnson does His "Melvin Purvis" (Dillinger 1972) Bit, even Stopping to Buy Some Cigars, and is OK and Adds a Bit of Class. Andrew Pine as a Deputy is Solemn and Welcome. But Again, Director Pierce's On Screen Appearance as Spark Plug is Universally Acknowledged as a Big Error in a Film that Doesn't Have Many. The Docu-Style Adds Creepiness and Works Fine.
The Film has Gained in Reputation Fast Because it is Finally Available in Pristine Prints on Blu-ray and Seeing it as Originally Presented Only Enhances the Experience and Brings an Appreciation for a Forgotten Film that has Lingered in the Memory of Drive-In and Grind-House Patrons and those that Only Know it by Word of Mouth or Awful Video Releases & Bootlegs.
Not Without Some Charm and a Couple of Terrifying Scenes, this Mr.
B.I.G. (an affectionate nickname for Director and SFX wizard Bert I.
Gordon) Movie is Entertaining Enough and the Director Sure Knew How to
Incorporate Props and Mattes for Some Low Budget Thrills.
His Movies Always had a Look. A High Contrast Otherworldly Appearance that Gave His Stuff an Ethereal Atmosphere of Another Place in Time Space. This One is a Cute Little Story About a Lonely Man, John Hoyt in a Soft Spoken Endearing Performance, that "Makes" His Own Friends by Scientifically Shrinking Anyone He "Likes having around".
There are Some Good Action Scenes when the "Dolls" Escape and a Few Interesting Scenes with a Cat, a Dog, and a Jeckyl and Hyde Marionette. Overall, Worth a Watch for Fans of B-Movies, Drive-In Fare, Fifties Psychotronica, and Bert I. Gordon Completest.
Actually, This One Plays Better Today than it did in 1965. James Bond
was Firmly in the Film-Goer's Mind and Hammer Horror had been Around
for a Decade. So Although this was in Color, Starred Christopher Lee,
and Featured an Iconic Pulp Character, the Movie Seemed Drab by
Despite Numerous Fight Scenes, Location Changes, and an Attempted Period Setting for Flavor, it Just Didn't' Deliver the Thrills and Chills Expected. Competent, and Professionally Done with a Decent Budget and Good Lead Actors, Viewed Today with Less Expectation, and a Throwback Attitude it Can be Enjoyed in Saturday Matinée Template from a Bygone Era.
But Without a Matinée or Drive-In Flashback Attitude it Comes Across as Stiff and Plodding. Considered the Best of the Five Mid-Sixties Fu's Featuring Chris Lee, Although the Follow Up The Brides of Fu Man Chu (1966) is a Contender.
Prudes, Fundamentalists, and Other Watchdog Overseers of Morality have
to Get Over It. These Raunchy Comedies, Gross-Out Flicks, and Their
Toilet Humor Tropes are Here to Stay.
This is One of the Better Ones. It is Smartly Written Smut and there are Laughs Outside the Overkill on Penis Jokes. Mostly it's the Chemistry and Snappy Timing of Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne. They Just Click as a Middle Aged Couple with a Baby Trying to Get Along with a Frat House that Recently Moved In Next Door.
The Baby is the Cutest Thing On Screen and that Includes Zac Efron that is a Mannequin by Comparison. No Personality, Just a Six Pack Drinking a Six Pack. But Even His Zero Charisma and Bare Screen Presence Can't Stop the Shenanigans from Becoming Hilarious at Times and Yes, Thought Provoking Now and Then.
This is One of Those that Can be Enjoyed by Comedy Fans that Usually Stay Far Away from Movies Like This. It's So Much Better than it Should Be and by Most Accounts a Lively Generation Clash with More Brains than the Usual Ballsy Bromedies.
What We've Got Here is Another Oily-Black, Slimy, Female, Ghost. Yes,
Another. This is 2015 and These Asian Spawns have been Populating PG-13
Horror Films for Far Too Long. They Slink and They Scream Loudly and
Show Rotten Teeth and Rotten Flesh and it's About Time These Clichés
are Laid to Rest.
This Movie is Average of its Type. There are a Few Atmospheric Touches that are Indigenous to the Southern Swampy Setting. The Lead Actress Shows Some Acting Chops and Cleavage, A Lot of Cleavage. Her Co-Stars are All Competent and Do Not Distract.
But the Story Unfolds in Yet Another Found-VHS-Footage and if the Tropes Get Piled On Any Higher the Film will Collapse Under the Weight of Weariness and Familiarity. The Skeleton Key (2005) a Similar Movie was Much Better.
Overall, Only of Interest to Horror Movie Completest and those Not Willing to Go Full Gore with the 'R" Rating Others of its Ilk. As Far as PG-13 Horror Goes there is Nothing New Here and In Fact it's Virtually All Recycled.
An Excellent Screenwriter, Scott Frank, Directs this Neo-Noir with the
Unlikely Action Hero, a 62 Year Old Liam Neeson. The Film is an Homage
to the Noirs of Yore and it isn't Shy About it. Filmed in the Rain and
On Gritty Streets and Dilapidated Buildings it Sets a Tone of
Foreboding Not the Least are the Two Psycho/Sadist that Seem to Kidnap,
Mutilate, and Rape Their Victims and Also Get Their Money.
They Will Get the Comeuppance, that is Never in Doubt, but Getting There is Thing of Novels and this is Pulp Pure and Simple. When the Movie is Dealing with the Psychos and the Drug Dealer Families it is at its Best. The Film Also Excels at Interesting Offbeat Characters that Populate the Mean Streets, Like a Weirdo Who Raises Pigeons.
However, the Movie is Not Without Some Missteps. The Inclusion of a Homeless Teen is Hokey. Can't Imagine Sam Spade or Philip Marlowe Parenting Such a Cliché. It is a Modern Sensibility that Doesn't Fit. It Doesn't Ruin the Movie but it Also Doesn't Help.
Speaking of Not Helping, the Ending Freeze Frame, 12-Step Recital is Another Modernism that is Not Welcome in Such a Downbeat, Scuzzy, Thriller. Once Again it Almost Ruins, but Not Quite, the Effective, Bleak, Camera Work that Had Framed the Film to That Point.
Overall, it is a Good and Stylish Attempt at a Throwback to the Detective Genre. Neeson does a Lot of Gumshoeing. The Aforementioned Missteps Aside, this is Good Entry Into the Film World of Detective Fiction that Came from a Popular Pulp Character that to Date has Walked Among the Missing and the Dead for 17 Books from Author Lawrence Block.
Director David Fincher's Zodiac (2007), Se7en (1995), and The Social
Network (2101) are Great Films but This One Never Reaches that Status
but it Isn't for Lack of Trying. The Movie is Stuffed and Paraded,
Staged and Twisted and Not All of it Works.
It's Also too Long and Some of the Template and Deconstruction About the Media is Overused and Flat. Ben Affleck Mumbles A Lot as Expected Rendering Some of the Dialog Difficult. Rosamund Pike as Amy is Better and the Best of the Film is when the Viewer is Inside Her Head as She Unspools Her Anger, Disappointment, Insanity, and Revenge.
The Supporting Cast is OK, Except Tyler Perry who Comes Off as Grinning Goofball and Seems Out of Place in This World. Neil Patrick Harris Isn't as Awkward but Almost.
The Director's Dark Touches are Welcome Here and There and the Score by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross is Ominous and Creepy. The Story Works Best when it is About a Disintegrating Marriage and the He/She Wedges. But, Once Again, that Media Stuff, there is Just Too Much of it.
Overall, a Cerebral Modernism that is Well Crafted, Well Written, and Good to Look at and Try and Figure Out. More of it Hits than Misses, but the Misses are a Distracting Bore. Definitely Worth a Watch, but in the End it Can Be Frustrating and Somewhat of a Let Down.
Much Talent Came Together for this Early Seventies Western Riding the
Revival that Started in the Mid-Sixties with The Sergio Leone Trilogy
and "The Wild Bunch" (1969). Clint Eastwood, Director John Sturges, and
Writer Elmore Leonard are Not At There Best.
The Result is a Tepid, Turgid, Tale of Land Rights and Oppressed Mexicans. A Good Supporting Cast Including John Saxon, Robert Duvall, and Don Stroud who Always Plays a "Good" Sleazebag. The Cinematography is by Bruce Surtees and the Score from Lalo Schifrin.
So Why is the Thing So Dull? It's Anybody's Guess, but it is. It is Dumb from the Start and Never Gets Any Smarter, Culminating in One of the Silliest Train Rides Ever. The Dialog is Not Snappy, the Violence is Ho-Hum, and Eastwood, Never a Great Actor, is Awful. Once Again Relying on Squints and Macho Speak.
The Movie Looks Good but the Movie isn't Good. It's Standard Stuff and Everyone Involved, from Top to Bottom has Done Much Better Elsewhere. A Dud.
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