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Deliver Us from Evil (2014)
Offers Nothing New, But Still a Good Horror Film
Deliver us From Evil directed by Scott Derrickson had some pretty high expectations as the 2012 hit horror film 'Sinister' impressed a lot of people. Unfortunately, fans of Sinister might be a little disappointed as Deliver us From Evil is a very different film as the genre leans more towards a crime/thriller rather than a straight up horror film. Don't get me wrong, this film is essentially a horror flick, but not in the aspect of what 'The Conjuring' or the 'Insidious' franchise had to offer.
The acting in Deliver us From Evil was great, especially from Eric Bana who plays the lead role of NYPD officer Ralph Sarchie, and Edgar Ramirez who plays a priest. Both performances felt real and grounded which added to the realism of the film. Joel McHale was also a fun character to watch as he added humour to film to relief audiences from tension. Also, props to Sean Harris as the main antagonist for producing a disturbing and visceral possessed character.
If Sinister and Deliver us From Evil had to be compared, I would say that the main similarities between the two is the depressing and un-easy tone, and the horrifically bone chilling music of both films. And perhaps that is the best aspect of this film. I was not scared once during Deliver us From Evil which is disappointing to say, however because of the tone and creepy score of the movie, it was able to make me feel un-easy and somewhat disturbed which is what every horror movie should aim to do. The only thing the film is missing, is the 'scary' element.
While Sinister felt original in someways, Deliver us From Evil lacks originality in all aspects. Sure, some may argue that the crime/mystery element changed up the game a few times, but for me, it did little to nothing to make the film any more original. Remember those cheesy and ridiculously clichéd jump scares in the 1990's? Without spoiling any of the jump scares, I will say that 3/4 of the scares in this movie are lazy and cheap. However, the build up to those scares are terrific as my whole theatre was quiet and tense. Its just so unfortunate how the scare at the end of these tension built scenes are very less rewarding. Also, how many clichés can you put in one movie? I won't say any more about the un-originality of the film, but as you watch this you will think to yourself, 'these are the most typical scenes and characters in a horror film ever'.
Despite all these issues, the film is entertaining from start to finish. This is because of the mystery element to it. From the first scene, the movie manages to hook you to the story and to be intrigued by what the hell is going on. The camera-work should also be commended as there are some really terrific and unique technical shots used in the film. The use of zoom and slow motion particularly was beautiful to look at. Last but not least, the exorcism scene at the end was fantastic. It was of a perfect length, frightening and yes, sometimes even funny and awesome.
It all comes down to 'did I enjoy it?' And the answer is yes. Despite a few clichés brining me away from the movie, I will say that the story was interesting enough for a horror film, the acting was solid, the tone and score was fantastic and the exorcism scene at the end made the movie just a little better.
If you are a true horror fan, you will like this movie and appreciate the style and tone Scott Derrickson has to offer. If you are not so much a huge horror fan, then maybe wait till its release and check it out on netflix.
+ Fantastic depressing tone and creepy musical score + Solid Acting + Intriguing story + Brilliant and unique shots + Awesome exorcism scene - Stereotypical characters - Cheesy and lame jump scares
Deliver us From Evil gets a 7/10.
The Fault in Our Stars (2014)
I've Saved my Ten for This Film
Before I continue with this review, please note that I have not read the book, but am going to in the very near future :) Please note that Im also a (straight) guy... not that it matters :P
Wow what can I say about this movie. From the moment the title sequence starts, I was hooked straight away. Scene to scene this movie just manages to suck me into this beautiful world of Hazel Grace Lancaster and Augustus Waters. The chemistry between Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elsort is astounding and the performances were astonishing. Honestly, this is the best movie I have seen all year, even better than Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Godzilla which was a massive surprise. I just thought this was going to be another teenie love story and boy was I wrong. I loved this movie and recommend it to everyone across all ages. I'm rambling on and praising the movie now so I should probably get on with the review.
The direction and cinematography was fantastic. Not a single shot felt odd or out of place. Every shot matched the scene and felt real. The editing was also great as shot after shot matched with the characters faces and where they were (typical good movie editing stuff).
The acting perhaps was one of the best aspects of this movie. Seriously it makes the two characters feel real and alive, and at times I forgot this was fiction and not based on a true story. Their performances were so heartfelt and definitely Oscar worthy in my opinion. But knowing the academy this is just another teenie love story that will not be acknowledged at all. Hopefully I'm wrong, but thats the way it normally is.
This is the first movie this year that I have given a 10. I don't give out 10's easily, but there was seriously nothing wrong with this film. The pacing was perfect, the acting was phenomenal, the direction, editing and cinematography was exceptional and overall, this movie is one of the best romantic comedies that have ever touched the face of the earth. I encourage EVERYONE to go see this movie no matter what age you are and bring a packet of tissues as well. You'll need it.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)
Pacing Issues, Unbalanced and off.
I went into this film with high expectations. I enjoyed the first one more than I thought I would have, as well as the trailers for this movie really had my attention going. Sadly, this movie is no where near as good as the first film and felt like it was directed by someone completely different.
The worst thing about this film is the pacing. Something about the flow of the movie was just wrong and off. Some scenes went on for way too long, I'm talking about 20 minutes of just straight up chatter of non related topics that do not contribute to the film's storyline at all. The next scene would then be a 30 second clip of something interesting, and then it would cut back to scenes that actually bored me. Even the action scenes were paced so poorly. I can't find the exact word for it, but the only word I can think of is weird when it comes to the action. Don't get me wrong, the visual effects look great and the cinematography is great also (way more colorful and bright than the first film) but nothing in the action feels natural. I was never on the edge of my seat on any of the action sequences. Even the last action that was supposed to be the final climax action set piece had me feeling empty. The structure of this movie was just messy and all over the place, and on some parts, very boring to watch.
Andrew Garfield I felt was not as strong in this film as he was in the first film. Its not so much his acting, but the script he was given. All he does is cry or look like he's about to cry, and the dialog scenes that he has with anyone (even Gwen) is super dooper cheesy and un-natural. Dane DeHaan as Harry Osborne was good, but not as spectacular as everyone says he is. He was particularly strong towards the final act of the film. Jamie Foxx was a weird one for me. I couldn't tell if his acting was poor, or if what he was told to do was poor. Before he became Electro, his scenes were off as hell. Too rushed, too many quick cuts and just unbalanced (which as I said before is pretty much the entire film). The reason of why he suddenly becomes a villain I found was just stupid. One second he's totally obsessed with spider-man and the next he wants to kill him... Ummmm...huh? One of the few things that was good about Electro (or Max Dillon) is that you sympathise for him at first and you feel sorry for him because he gets treated like horse crap. But all that connection is lost as soon as the times square showdown sequence happens. The best performance is still Emma Stone (Gwen Stacy). She's always good, but as I said before, the dialog in this movie is off, which does affect her performance on a small scale.
Another big thing that ruined the movie for me was the music. The trailers made it seem like this truly was spider-man's ultimate battle because of the music (especially the music towards the end of the final trailer). What do we get instead? Dubstep, party music (Project X stuff) and music that seems like it would belong on the Disney channel. Whenever there's an action sequence, the music completely ruins the tone of the fight making it so much more less intense than it should have been. And since Hans Zimmer was composing the score, I expected it to be intense orchestral hybrid pieces. If he were to compose a score that would sound something like inception's, then I could see that capturing the tone of the film (particularly the action sequences).
A few things I actually like about the film: The opening scene was amazing. I thought that by watching the opening scene, this movie would top all of the other Spiderman movies. Sadly I was wrong. The action as I said before is cool to watch. Everything is very colorful, and the visual effects aren't the realistic type in lets just say Captain America: The Winter Soldier or Man of Steel. Its the cartoony comic book style type of visual effects (sort of like 300's) which is great for this type of movie. I also like how they don't over do the slow motion in the movie. It was used when it was needed the most and it looked great.
All and all, this film felt like it was directed by Michael Bay. It had that weird, off, quick cut, rushed, forced and messy pace but had great visual effects just like Transformers 2 and 3. This isn't a terrible film, but its not good either. If you want to watch this movie for the action, then you're in for a treat. However, you will need to get through the clunky dialog, bad pacing, okay acting, rushed villain origin stories and a generic storyline. In total, there is probably only around 30-40 minutes of action which means you will need to get through the 90 to 100 minutes of everything else.
5/10 - Mediocre
The Walking Dead (2010)
Watch Breaking Bad Instead
Just watch Breaking Bad instead. This is the most cliché piece of garbage I have ever seen. Mediocre plot and boring characters. Breaking Bad is completely owning this show. Also the direction and technical aspects of the film are really, really bad. This is a waste of time and an insult to cinema. I cant believe this is even aired. The season starts of okay, good actually. But after the 4th or 5th episode, this show takes a turn for the worst. Seriously people who watch this are kids who enjoy watching zombies get killed. A more mature TV show I would recommend would be ones such as Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad and/or Boardwalk Empire.
Save your time and money and watch BB instead.
Simply the best horror game ever made
This is by far the best horror game ever made. Before this, I always thought it was Dead Space (the first one) or Amnesia (again, the first one). Horror games need to follow this type of gameplay. No weapons. No help. Limited batteries. Messed up environment/scary, insane and intense chase scenes that will make your skin crawl and a very disturbing atmosphere. This is what survival horror means. To purely SURVIVE.
I don't get scared easily. Jump scares aren't scary in movies or games because they are just loud noises and guess what, loud noises make you jump no matter what. This game does have jump scares and some are cheesy but the ones that are good are terrifying because the provide a scary or creepy visual element to it. But what makes this game scary, is how you feel like there is always someone behind you. You will be walking down a hallway and you will hear a sound, and you will turn around only to notice that something is not there. When you turn around, something may or not be there at all. The games works because it is making you paranoid, and if a game can make you paranoid, you know its scary and disturbing. The chase scenes/sequences are also terrifying. Not as terrifying as the paranoid aspect but terrifying as in 'terrifyingly intense'
This is an absolute 10 out of 10. This defines and even surpasses what it means to be a horror game. Never has a game terrified or shivered my to the core of my spine so bad I couldn't sleep. And this is coming from a guy that didn't find the conjuring scary.
Breaking News! Anchorman 2 Sucks
Anchorman 2 really sucks. I am not giving this a 1 out of 10 because there are some things about this film that don't make it a 1. Lets go deeper into this.
The story is terrible, predictable and cliché. Definitely one of the movies weakest points here. Ron Burgundy is fired from his old job, so he gets offered a new job and this is his chance to make an 'epic' comeback on his road to 'changing the news forever'. I did not enjoy the story at all.
The acting is one of the best parts about this movie. Unfortunately the acting + dialogue combo is lacking majorly because the writing is so, so stupid and the jokes are un- humorously funny. The parts that are funny, are also stupid, but Steve Carrell executes his lines and acting very well that it makes it funny. Keep in mind this only happens for about 10% of the film though.
I could not believe the ending when I saw it. The ending made Scary Movie 5 look like an absolute god. The ending is THE most ridiculous, stupid, un-funny and flat out crazy. It makes absolutely no sense. Everything up until that point, everything was believable and you thought to yourself 'this could somehow be possible for these events to occur'. But as soon as that ending come up thats it. Everything is lost.
This is not as bad as Grown Ups 2, but its very close.
- Weak Story -Very un-funny humour -Stupid Humour -Bad Writing +Good acting +Steve Carrell is sometimes funny
The Lords of Salem (2012)
A Pleasant Surprise
Rob Zombie's style has always been something that I like personally. It's not as unique as something like Tarantino's work, but it certainly is different. With The Lords of Salem, the unique style returns once again.
A radio DJ named Heidi receives an unusual package containing a soundtrack from a group known as The Lords of Salem. The soundtrack causes Heidi to trigger a flashback from her town's satanic past.
I found the story to be fairly original. There were a few clichés here and there, but for the most part, the movie was weird, interesting and captivating like all of Rob's other movies. I say weird as a good thing by the way. I did feel as though the story lost its way and sense of direction on the last quarter of the movie. The ending I felt could have been explained a bit better and could've ended better in a whole. This only took a little chunk out of the experience and is considered minor in my book. The other three quarters of the movie was close to perfect, as the the curiosity behind the witchcraft story was undoubtedly interesting.
The acting in this movie was okay. By okay, I mean that half the characters were great and the other half not so much. Sheri Moon Zombie and Bruce Davison were the two best out of the rest. You could feel for Heidi through Sheri's performance. She was emoting everything perfectly and same goes for Bruce's character as he stood out the most for me.
As Rob Zombie's main role in the film industry is soundtrack producing, I expected quite highly of this film. I felt that the soundtrack in this film was excellent but not the best. Each music piece fitted the scene perfectly especially the music from the strange record that Heidi finds.
The movie to me was not scary in the slightest but was creepy instead. The atmosphere was weird and strange which fitted the story perfectly although it would have been nice if this filmed scared me a little with a few jump scares. It is also to be noted that there is no tension in the movie whatsoever. There were also a few 'WTF' moments that were strange, but that is all part of Rob's directing it seems.
Overall, this movie was a fun experience. If you are a fan of Rob's work, then this should not be missed. However if you are looking for a scary jump-fest, then this movie is definitely not for you. You must go into this movie expected a weird style of cinematography and story and must have the ability to be patient with the storyline.
+ Excellent Storyline + Effective soundtrack + Rob's signature style of directing - Acting could have been better for other characters - No tension - Disappointing ending
Breaking Bad (2008)
The Best TV Show Ever Created
Without a doubt, Breaking Bad is the best show ever created. Right from the pilot episode, this show had me engaged from start to finish. Every episode had meaning, emotion and humor, and there was not one episode that I felt was bad.
What makes breaking bad is the characters and the originality of the plot. The acting is magnificent. Even from the most minor character you can think of. The plot is outstanding and without the style, color and writing from the brilliant mind Vince Gilligan, the plot would not have worked. Vince was made to make this movie as the entire cast and crew were. The style of the show is so unique. Almost like a Tarantino film. The characters and writing are definitely something like a Tarantino film.
Season 1 starts off nice and easy with some slow paced moments, setting up the characters and plots in a smooth and timely manner. Season 2 kicks off straight away with suspense and curiosity. Season 3 is more family and drama based but is used so that the audience can connect to the characters even more and can feel for them. Season 4 is amazing. Every episode had its 'HOLY SH*T' moments. And lastly, season 5 is a masterpiece. The ending was extremely satisfying and left an imprint in your mind for days, weeks and months.
For the people missing out on Breaking Bad. You are missing out on a revolutionary show. From start to finish, this show will get you thinking, will make you sad, laugh and leave you to think that you were in an experience like no other. The Walking Dead is nothing compared to this masterpiece.