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The Princess Bride
Monty Python and the Holy Grail
The Thing (1982)
12 Angry Men
The Shawshank Redemption
El espinazo del diablo (2001)
Not scary, but a great and spooky drama
It's a lot like "What Lies Beneath" and "The Orphanage." It's a bit of a mystery, mixed with drama of the war and its effects on a poor orphanage for young boys. One in particular whom we follow, Carlos, is new and begins to suspect that the orphanage is haunted. There isn't a lot to criticize here, yes it may be predictable and dry at times, but it's well put together with an eerie setting. Personally, as a horror fan, I'm a bit disappointed in the movie. But as del Toro fan, and a cinematic fan in general, I was well satisfied with the movie. Its harsh reality and ghost theme helps set the somber mood, and no complaints about the actors either, everybody did a convincing job in their roles.
Great movie, go see it if you like mystery, drama, and yeah, even horror, why not.
American Sniper (2014)
One man sets out to protect his country, family, and brothers
American Sniper is a film based on the true events that surrounded Chris Kyle, a heavily skilled and determined American SEAL, and his brothers-in-arms in the Middle East during a time of war and crisis. It's a story about a boy who grew up to be a man and yearning to fulfill one specific duty: To protect men, women and children from those who seek to do evil and harm.
The movie takes us through a bit of his early life and training, and then juggles between his 4 tours in Iraq and his life on US soil as he struggled with internal and external dilemmas. It's an accurate portrayal of the life of Chris Kyle, and his confirmed 160 kills that saved many more American lives.
The film is not perfect, but aside the minor editing flaws, fake babies, and a few sub-par directing decisions, it's a movie well worth seeing for the action, the drama, the laughs (there were some good ones), the cries, the story, the characters, and the patriotic tribute to the men and women who serve. I would also like to mention the respect given to Chris Kyle and his family is well executed in the film, and I've never seen a theater packed with people so silent as they filed out as the end credits rolled, silent save a few sniffles.
There's a lot of controversy regarding the actions and beliefs of Chris Kyle. Do not let this mindless squabble tell you who Chris Kyle was, go and see the movie yourself and learn of the sacrifices he and ALL troops made to keep the US (and others) safe. This isn't a story about a blood-thirsty killer, this is a story about a man who was committed to his God and his country, and who ended blood- thirsty killers.
You can do some protecting for yourself and others in the theater, just bring some tissues to protect those around you against running makeup and wet cheeks.
God bless our troops.
The Dyatlov Pass Incident (2013)
A thrilling, yet far-fetched portrayal of the Dyatlov Incident
The Dyatlov Incident is a rather bizarre mystery that nobody's been able to explain, and it seems like the filmmakers got together to recreate it in the most fantastical way possible.
Take elements from "The Descent," "Frozen (2010), "The Blair Witch Project" and add some Sci-Fi zest, and you have the recipe for "Devil's Pass." It's an effective horror/thriller about the true story of how 9 Russian mountain climbers mysteriously died in Dyatlov Pass, and the movie does explain it fairly well, while mentioning some of the strange true elements of the event, but it takes us on a weird route later on, the explanation of the incident is a little eccentric, even though it's fiction based on non- fiction, it gets a little silly.
It's got good flow, the story, while outrageous, is still entertaining and exciting. The acting is good, and the interactions between the characters is believable and functions as it should. The movie does get intense, and sometimes can even be effectively scary for some viewers. But some scare attempts fall flat on their face, the constant screen distortion effect especially is annoying, and makes no sense to boot. You also have your typical horror dialogue clichés, and predictability.
All in all, it's a fairly good horror movie, I recommend it to any fans of horror or of the movies previously listed. However, I would still like to see another version of this story be told to us without the found-footage effect, and with a more believable explanation.
As a side note, the pictures at the beginning is especially chilling.
Hostel: Part III (2011)
Straight to DVD, and it shows
Lower budget, no Eli Roth directing, not nearly as effective as the first two, but worth watching if you're a fan of the series up to this point, just for the sake of finishing the series.
The movie starts as one would expect, and honestly the first third of the movie really reels you in, with a couple neat little twists and good set-up, only problem is that is goes downhill fast. The gore effects are cheap, and the build-up for each torture scene leads to quite a disappointment. The previous two movies had good tension builds that led to something shocking, whereas this movie leads to something silly, cheesy, or just plain stupid.
The characters are plain (and in one instance, highly annoying), the dialogue is forgettable, the plot is simple. It can be entertaining at parts, but unless you consider yourself a huge fan of the series, skip this one.
You'll like this, only if you're 13 and a big fan of the first three movies
If a 13 year old was given $210,000,000 to make a movie, here's what you'd get. What's cooler than Transformers and explosions? Transformers riding DINO Transformers and explosions!!! Get ready for tedious slow-mo effects, an actor who switches his Irish accent on and off, corny and over-dramatic dialogue, IN-YOUR-FACE product placement (YOU SHOULD BUY THE PILL BY BEATS, AND LOOK AT THE NEW CAMERO! DON'T FORGET TO DRINK YOUR OVALTINE), your typical hot girl and hot guy personalities AND relationship, the carefully placed single-allotted F word, and plenty of other little things to annoy the heck out of you!
However, it is still an entertaining film, and it is a sci-fi action film, a 4th Transformers movie from Micheal Bay, so the expectancy of realism is already thrown out the window, and taken with a grain of salt the film isn't terrible, but it's not very good either. I mean yes it's an action film, but no way can those humans be more indestructible than any of those transformers. Which they are apparently.
Really, it's not as bad as the second Transformers movie, but it's far worse than the others. It's everything you would expect from Micheal Bay, so if you love cool action scenes with barrages of explosions and more slow-mo, and even more Micheal Bayness, you'll find it worth seeing in the theaters. If you're becoming more bored with the series, this is not for you.
Not bad, cliché, maybe predictable, but not bad.
Shrooms is one of those movies you should already know everything about before even watching it, just based on the premise. A group of friends experiencing mushrooms trips in the wilderness, turns into a deadly fiasco indistinguishable from reality. A standard run-of-the-mill campy horror flick, complete with a horror movie starter-set cast; the smart and relatable lead female character, the annoying idiot jock, the goofball stoner, the b*tch, the outcast female, and the handsome nice guy (who also is occasionally, like in this case, the foreigner).
The movie has good, maybe even great moments. I especially like the 2 "locals," their characters aren't new to this genre, but they're fun and quite creepy and add an interesting flare to the movie. Some of the effects are well done, and the story is entertaining enough to keep you interested, and the very end gives the movie a nice touch.
However, the movie is riddled with clichés, the predictable jumps scares, and the gore effects aren't as good as they could have been. There's a part towards the end of the movie where they had so many chances to make to good, but it turned out rather boring.
Everything else is pretty standard, nothing special or particularly bad about the acting, directing, or screenplay.
In short, it's an average run-of-the-mill horror flick. If you're looking for something amazing, this isn't it, but if you're bored or are just a horror fan looking to enlarge your viewing collection, it's definitely worth a watch.
My favorite scene: The scene in the home of the two locals, I love the dialogue between them, very unsettling.
Another breathtaking addition to the Hobbit saga!
There was quite a build-up for this movie, and also for the dragon Smaug. And Peter Jackson did NOT disappoint. The movie is everything any Lord of the Rings and Hobbit fans could ever want. More adventure, more action, more everything, only with the coolest dragon to ever hit the big screen. Or any screen. The tale of Bilbo Baggins continues as he ventures with his Dwarven companions to reclaim what was once theirs. There is plenty in this movie to satisfy anyone, even those who aren't die-hard Tolkien fans. Director Peter Jackson asked us to put faith in him, especially since he tends to go astray from the events in the book, but I must say that the faith his fans put in him has definitely paid off. The story is intriguing for all, and at the end will have you BURNING for more!!
The Battery (2012)
A slow-paced little gem
If "The Road" and "Dawn of the Dead" were to have a baby, and if that baby was raised by "I Am Legend," then "The Battery" would be that baby, only on a much smaller budget.
Overall, it was a decent film, with flaws. The movie can be broken into two halves:
The first half introduces our heroes, as two former baseball players wandering the forests and farmlands of New England (although judging by their pitching and batting, I'd say even the minor leagues were a stretch). The pace of this first half moves along at the rate of a sloth eating laffy taffy, and includes all sorts of mundane things like brushing teeth, walking, singing, more walking, dancing, and bickering like a couple of 12 year old boys with only one comic book to share between themselves. Oh, and lots of walking. And if that wasn't enough, try the hipster MGMT-ripoff soundtrack that plays constantly. We do learn a bit about the back-story of our characters, but just on a need- to-know basis.
The second half picks up the pace, and does get interesting. While it can still be mighty slow at parts, new challenges arise for our heroes to face, which sort of makes up for the first half and makes this movie worth seeing. I won't spoil anything, but I will say that if you've seen a few zombie films by this point, you won't see much of anything new, but you will have a gem of a movie with its own particular personality, which creates a story about a unique bond between two characters whose only common interest is baseball.....and surviving.
So if you like drama, indie films, hipster music, walking, deep- thinkers, and the typical zombie grind, this movie's worth checking out. If you are easily bored, and cannot stand character immaturity, cliché dialogue structure, this type of soundtrack, and mundane character actions, I'd move along to something else.
Fan-frigging-tastic, guaranteed to entertain.
Elysium is an energetic science fiction action thriller featuring Matt Damon, Jodie Foster, and Sharlto Copley. Neil Blomkamp certainly aims to please, especially fans of District 9, as both the movies share many similar elements.
A crock-pot full action and violence, and spiced with a few humorous moments, we follow our hero as he struggles to live within the future L.A. slums that are packed to the brim with the poor and unfortunate. You can almost hear the monotone chant; "bring out your dead" over and over again. Meanwhile, up in the confines of space, the rich and fortunate live in utter bliss on the rotating space station, Elysium, free from the disarray of Earth life. The story rages on, heavy with themes of justice and equality for all, as our hero stumbles upon something that could change the course of history, and bring the two worlds back together again, and save those who really need it.
Matt Damon's character is believable enough, with Jodie Foster coming in as a ruthless commander and politician of Elysium. Both do a good job, but the real winner here is Sharlto Copley, who emerges as a completely new type of character than that in District 9, one who is eccentric, dangerous, and malicious. Along with a fun array of new weapons, robots, and fun ways to be blown up, Sharlto Copley adds that special touch of uniqueness that elevates the level of fun.
It would be unfair to also give praise to the special effects of the film, which looks marvelous on a big screen. The cinematography is well done, adding a few new filming methods, and improving on old techniques to help elevate the feel of the movie.
One could question the racial undertones that define the living standards of each way of life, and one could also nit-pick the realism of this future world, and Wolverine-ish superpowers of Matt Damon. However, the movie does share a moral of what a beautiful planet Earth truly is, and gives us a good lesson in gratitude. While it panders to the action and sci-fi junkie, it also allows room for just about anybody to envelope its positive themes and appreciate the courage and strength of the characters. However, it's main purpose, is to entertain, and blow you away. And this movie does just that.
The Thing (2011)
Amazing and fun movie, if you're not too picky
I'm excited to say I'm not disappointed with this movie, but I'm also not incredibly impressed.
First, the cons:
Not nearly as much character development this time around. Also, the CGI, while still fun, was overused. It seemed too "fast". There were a couple small holes in the movie, and the sound wasn't as good as it could've been. Something that bugged me, were the sound effects when they were looking through the microscope. You're not supposed to hear microorganisms making noises. There was too much soundtrack in the movie as well. But the BIGGEST issue for me, was that it wasn't really that scary. On a scare level, it was about a 4. I think this was partially due to the fact there was too much soundtrack, and the movie felt more like "Deep Rising" than "The Thing". Also, some of the deaths seemed a little disappointing, like it could've been more. The movie was missing the element of surprise, fear and paranoia.
To sum up the cons: Not scary enough, too much CGI, ending could've been better.
Entertaining and well executed. There was enough Norwegian and other elements to tie this movie in well with the 1982 movie. The very ending during the credits were great. The creature effects, even though slightly overused, were fun, exhilarating, and impressive. I loved the use of actors in the film, they all did really well. It was very intense sometimes, and well put together. While some deaths were lamer than anticipated, others were spot on. The creatures were really awesome, and it was a killer movie.
ALl in all, if you get really picky, it's not as good of a movie as it could've and SHOULD'VE been. BUT, even though I'm an avid film of John Carpenters's version, I can't rail on this movie, because it's its own movie. It did well paying tribute to Carpenter's version, and it did well making a name for it's own. I was very happy with it.