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Resolution (III) (2012)
Unique and entertaining.....Definitely give it a watch (or two)
7 November 2012
Caught Resolution at a film festival. This is a movie that you have to see, as there is no way to really describe it. It doesn't fit into any sub-genre within Horror, but it definitely belongs in the family. The film is one of the most creative and unique I've seen in a while. It's thoroughly entertaining, moves at a good pace and keeps you guessing the entire time (and after its conclusion for some. Personally, I can't wait to get a second view of this film.) The two leads put on very good performances which is essential for a film with an isolated setting.

This may end up being one of those films that people either love or hate. I loved it, and speaking with fellow audience members I did not find any one who really disliked it. Even if you don't end up "loving" the film, you'll no doubt be entertained. Plus it will provide for some interesting conversation with fellow fans. I think most viewers, like myself, will find it refreshing and unique. (And those are two qualities that are getting harder and harder to come by in modern horror.)

See this film! You won't regret it.

8 1/2 stars
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Fascinating overall
30 October 2012
Warning: Spoilers
My Amityville Horror is a very interesting work. You can tell that deeply interested people put a lot of care into crafting this film.

What this film IS NOT: if you are are looking for scares, evidence of what truly happened or an investigation of any sort in to the events on Ocean Ave, you have come to the wrong place.

What this film IS: An incredible look at Daniel Lutz, now decades removed from the events but still dealing with them everyday. It delves into how the phenomena of Amityville and the subsequent sensation surrounding it has had a deep and ongoing impact on one man's life.

No matter your opinions on what did/didn't happen in the Amityville house, Mr. Lutz must be praised for his willingness to speak frankly about his life and experiences. It's not easy for anyone to open up old wounds, let alone do it on camera and face the publicity and scrutiny that comes with it. Mr. Lutz knows better than anyone the pressure publicity brings onto those who fall under its gaze. He does not seek it out, yet since it has hunted him his whole life he has taken a stand and has found the strength to confront it head on. No matter your stance on the paranormal, Lutz must be respected for his strength and honesty. If your a skeptic fine, but respect that for him he is opening up about severely traumatic experiences.

At times during the film, Lutz is both endearing and alienating. He is guarded, yet you can empathize with him. His tough exterior is the result of his experiences and was developed as a needed defense mechanism. The documentary shows both sides of him well.

I heard criticism that it fails as a documentary, as it does not examine the "Amityville is a hoax" side of things. To that I say, this film is not supposed to. It's not a "did it happen or not" investigation. This film is saying that regardless of what may or may not have happened, the events in the house and the fallout that followed had a tremendous impact on the lives of those involved. Those people have a right to tell their story, a story that needs to be told in order to understand the Amityville events on a deeper level.

Overall, the film is an incredible success at accomplishing its goals. Definitely seek out this movie for a viewing. 7 1/2 stars, falling slightly closer to an 8.
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Sushi Girl (2012)
If you're a film fan, you'll enjoy this
30 October 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Film Fan, Movie Buff, Cinemaniac, Grindhouse Ghoul....If any or all of the above are terms you use to describe yourself, then you will enjoy watching this film. Sushi Girl is a hardcore revenge flick. Complete with bloody torture, crazed criminals and those little cinematic touches that fans go crazy over. The only knock I could think of on this film was that it is a tad predictable, but then I thought "Who really cares?!!" because I surely did not. The film keeps a strong pace throughout, and though you're sure you know what's coming, you can't wait for it's triumphant arrival. Sometimes filmmakers get a little carried away with this type of film. Sushi Girl does not fall victim to that, the makers knew their vision and brought it to life perfectly. Whoever cast this film had a horseshoe hidden somewhere in/on their body. The cast is fantastic, from the main characters down to the cameos. The entire heist crew has incredible chemistry and Mark Hamill is particularly delightful to watch.

9/10.....This film knows what it wants to be and lives up the confidence it has in itself. Definitely worth adding to the collection.
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After (VI) (2011)
Indie fantasy film worth catching
30 October 2012
Warning: Spoilers
**Slight spoilers but nothing too specific** After is a well-shot indie fantasy film that's worth catching. The first 2/3 of the film setup, at a rather deliberate pace, some decent suspense and mystery as to what exactly is happening to our heroes. The last third turns from thriller more to romance, which personally turned me off. The film had good potential as a thriller in my opinion until they took that fork in the road. Pros: Two leads are solid in their roles, which is very respectable considering the weight that is put onto them. Interesting start and some decent mystery/suspense. Special effects were interesting. Cons: Stalled out in terms of thrills, took the film in an unexpected and, to me, unwelcome direction.

Overall I think of After as a darker-in-nature "What Dreams May Come"-style fantasy but without the over reliance on special effects. The film is definitely worth seeking out for a viewing.
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Citadel (I) (2012)
Good quality psychological thriller with a bit of horror
30 October 2012
Warning: Spoilers
**This review DOES CONTAIN SPOILERS** Citadel is a bit difficult to put into one category. I'd define it as a psychological thriller with a bit of horror tossed in. The film is well shot and the story moves along at a good pace. I got the sense the film aimed to keep you tense without scaring you too much outright, and if that was indeed their aim they accomplished it.

Pros: The main character Tommy played by Aneurin Barnard is very well done. His acting is superb throughout and helps make up for a few of the film's shortcomings. The sense of tension throughout the film holds very well and keeps the viewer interested in seeing things through. The film's exploration of Tommy's agoraphobia is powerful without being overpowering. The fears Tommy has are realistic. If you have ever dealt with someone who has gone thru traumatic events, you know that in some cases reasoning and rationalizing are no match for the fear and anxiety that can develop. The film throws in "slightly supernatural" villains but does so in a way that they do not outshine the real villain, which is Tommy's phobia. The monsters shown on screen are a well-done complement to the the terror that is within Tommy's mind.

Cons: The priest character is a bit cliché. Towards the end of the story, the twist involving the priest doesn't really add anything to the film. You can see it coming a mile away. It only made me think they were trying a bit too much to be clever/shocking. If they had left it out, i think the film would have been better off.

Overall I give Citadel 7 1/2 stars. It's "quite good" but not quite "very good." Definitely worth watching a time or two.
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Doomsday Book (2012)
1/3 Great, 1/3 Good, 1/3 Doesn't Fit
29 October 2012
Warning: Spoilers
I'm writing this based on my first impression of the film. (I generally don't like to do this for films with subtitles, as the first time I focus (of course) on reading the dialogue where as the next few times I can truly "see" the rest of the movie.) The first story is of a man and his love as they go thru the Zombie apocalypse. I'd say it's a romance complemented by some horror and a dash of humor. Nothing great here, but a well done story. 6/10

The film's second act is about a sentient robot that faces his potential demise and the technician who is put in the middle of it all. This part of the film is excellent. It's incredibly well done all the way around. If you like sci-fi that truly makes you think, that makes you question how you define the human experience then you will like this. The story's exploration of the philosophy of existence using a Buddhist backdrop is incredibly interesting. This section alone is worth seeing the movie over and over again in my opinion. 12/10

The third narrative involves a girl accidentally ordering an alien, oversize billiard ball that ends up destroying life on earth. This section to me was pointless and unnecessary. There was nothing entertaining or redeeming about it. Standing on its own, I think it would be bad. Fitting it together with the other 2 stories just makes it appear even worse and throws off the flow of the film. 1/10

These grades average out to about a 6 but I bumped the overall grade up to a 7 based on the incredible strength of the second narrative. Check it out and if your crunched for time just skip the 3rd act.
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