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Rampage: Capital Punishment (2014)
strong and daring movie
Another decent little flick to arm the Boll canon Rampage: Capital Punishment sees the return of the disenfranchised and very angry Bill Williamson. Bill created a bulletproof suit of armor, then went on a shooting spree, ultimately killing a lot of people. After coming out of hiding and creating another bulletproof suit, Bill takes over a TV studio and using the employees as hostages, orders them to play a video he prepared earlier. Bill Williamson's message is simple. "Kill the rich."
There were a couple of scenes that were powerfully written and worth mentioning here. The first involves a couple of bums Bill occasionally comes across, and the second arrives right at the end, and involves a short exchange Bill has with a little girl. Once you see the scenes you'll know what I mean, but as I don't want to give anything away, I'll say no more.
This, in my humble opinion, is an excellent and entertaining movie. The storyline is indeed strong, if not a little perverted. The acting and the action are wholly believable and realistic. If you are a fan of American Foreign Policy (and who is ) this movie is not for you. Nor is this presentation for you is you are of the Republican persuasion ! For most non-American viewers the the theme will only serve SOME to highlight the obvious differences between good and evil, something most Americans fail to recognize.
Ridonkulous Dhoom 3
In 1987, a masterpiece called Hard Ticket to Hawaii arrived in theaters. It chronicled two Playboy models sent undercover to Hawaii to bust a diamond racket and battle a mutant snake. Why am I telling you about Hard Ticket to Hawaii? Because like that film, Dhoom:3 is stupid, ridiculously over the top, unbelievably hammy, hilariously terrible cheesy, contrived and non-stop fun.
Back in 2008, director Vijay Krishna Acharya made Tashan which flopped because believe it or not, it was way ahead of its time. Had it released today, in the post Rohit Shetty-Prabhu Deva Rs 100-crore era, it would easily have made a few 100-crore Rs. Acharya got a second chance with Dhoom:3 and with its humongous budget, he's really let his imagination go berserk.
Aamir Khan makes his entry by running vertically down a building, with currency notes flying everywhere and a background score that sounds like "We want chocolate we want chocolate".
Abhishek Bachchan makes his entry by breaking through a concrete wall in an auto rickshaw, then jumps over rooftops in the auto and then does Tom Cruise's Mission Impossible 2 bike stunts with the auto.
Katrina Kaif makes her entry by doing a Marky Mark-"Good Vibrations"-style, five-minute-long aerobics workout (and/or striptease) as an impromptu audition for The Great Indian Circus in Chicago.
Really, Dhoom:3 is Dhoom to the power of 3. It's 27 times as ridonkulous as the previous Dhoom films in every department. The longer it runs, the more preposterous it gets, and you can't help but admire it for what it is.
The action sequences were most certainly conceived during a drunken Thief & Police game that Acharya played with his toys one night. You see Khan driving a bike that turns into a boat that turns into a submarine that turns into a bike. You get Bachchan Jr tailing Aamir's bike boat marine while clinging on to the rope ladder of a helicopter. You get Uday Chopra wearing a Captain Jack Sparrow costume and chasing Khan on a BMW in random corridors.
And don't you dare think there is no substance to this movie. Prepare to have your mind blown – the villain in the film is not Khan, but banks. Yes, Dhoom:3 is a social commentary on the postmodern world being afflicted by the tyranny of bankers. It's deep stuff. In one scene, a wicked man looks at the camera grimly and tells a destitute common man, "We are bankers. We understand the world of money." And since this is a Dhoom movie you get a ginormous buffet of bad acting, cheesy romance, dreadful songs and plot holes so big you could drive Van Damme's Volvo trucks through them. It's not fair to take pot shots at Chopra because he's the only genuine element in the film – all of his jokes are self-referential. Bachchan Jr doesn't do much more than grimace a couple of times and walk around extremely determined. With her back perpetually arched, midriff perpetually bare and dialog perpetually corny, Katrina comes off like a parody of an action movie heroine.
But Dhoom:3 will be remembered for being the point where Khan gleefully ignored all of the accolades he's ever received for being a good actor. He clearly worked extremely hard on his muscles, but every dialog he utters magically produces ham hocks around the screen. In the film he's either
a) Too serious, and hence unintentionally funny or
b) Completely barmy, and hence unintentionally funny.
Khan is a good dramatic actor and a great comedic actor, but is not a commercial action hero. Someone needed to tell him to lighten up a bit. This is a Dhoom movie after all.
You may have predicted all of the above things, but nothing will prepare you for the barn burning 'twist' just before the interval. You can see it coming, but you desperately wish and pray for that to not be the case. But it does come, and you're left groaning in defeat, wrapping your face with as many palms as you can find.
We Are What We Are (2013)
Remake of the Spanish film,But it's a different beast all together.
We Are What We Are is an English language remake of the Spanish film Somos Lo Que Hay. The word remake is sometimes looked upon as a dirty word amongst film geeks. Trepidation regarding the quality of remakes will always exist, it's only natural.
Both films are entirely different from one another despite sharing the same premise. Somos Lo Que Hay was (in my opinion) a pessimistic film rife with social commentary in regards to Capitalism and Poverty. We Are What We Are deliberately ignores that commentary and instead focuses in on the religious fundamentalism of the ritualistic family as its central theme. We Are What We Are is not just a mere shot for shot remake; it's a different beast all together.
Director and Co-Screenwriter Jim Mickle lift's the premise of the original film and relocates it from the Inner City of Mexico to the back end of Sleepy Rural Southern America. The film follows the reclusive Parker family and the bizarre rituals they practice.
It all begins when the Matriarch of the family unexpectedly passes away. Devastated and unable to cope with the sudden loss, the Patriarch (Bill Sage) of the family regresses into an emotional collapse. Leaving his two teenage daughters, Iris (Ambyr Childers) and Rose (Julia Garner), to ponder over who will step up to the plate and continue the cannibalistic rituals that the family practice every other Sunday.
The Parker's do what they do under the guise of believing that it is a penance that must be performed in order to be saved in the eyes of the lord. They follow the writings of a diary kept by an ancient patriot relative who suffered through a harsh winter with very little in the way of food supplies, thus resorting to cannibalism out of desperation.
They treat this diary as if it were their equivalent of the holy words of scripture. Thus the diary has been passed down from generation to generation and is seen as a rite of passage into adulthood – in this case the eldest daughter Rose is next in line to inherit its 'teachings'.
The family is kept under the strict ruling hand of the Patriarch -- played with unnerving intimidation by Bill Sage. He is a domineering force as he preaches his beliefs and traditions to the family in order to keep them together and to push forward with the annual ritual. Much like the film as a whole, he has a simmering rage boiling underneath his controlled exterior demeanor that threatens to erupt at any given moment; making him all the more frightening and intimidating.
His dominance makes life all the more difficult for his two teenage daughters who, with the recent death of their mother, are starting to question the ritualistic ways of their existence. They yearn for something else in life and struggle to come to grips with what it is they are. Much like the original film, denial plays an important factor for the siblings as it does for almost everyone else in the film – be it the savages or even the town sheriff denying suspicious foul play in his town. The siblings hide in denial of facing who they truly are until they are forced by cruel fate to face the beast that resides within.
Ambyr Childers and Julia Garner are excellent finds for these roles as they both deliver subdued and nuanced performances. They fit the mold perfectly as the somewhat reclusive children who can't quite fit in with the outside world. They have the frail and pale physical complexity that compliments the dreary and rain soaked atmospheric mood that the film radiates.
While the family prepare for their next ritual, a flood hits the sleepy town washing up evidence of human remains to the surface. This attracts the curiosity of the local town Doctor, played by the always wonderful Michael Parks, who is still haunted by the mysterious disappearance of his daughter. Parks serves as a replacement to the bumbling and fame hungry detectives from the original film. This is actually a wise decision as Parks bring a measure of soul and humanity to the grisly proceedings and is a more then suitable change.
Much like its spiritual predecessor, it isn't a film that relies on an overabundance of plot turns or 'gotcha' moments. It's a very slow and deliberately paced film spanning over the course of four days. This is reflected with its use of stilted yet beautifully composed cinematography made up of a dreary, rain-soaked and moody palette of rustic greys. It shows a surprising amount of restraint and has patience in taking its time building its tension whilst shining the spotlight on its characters and themes.
It's a very unassuming film where the tension is always simmering underneath just waiting to erupt. When it erupts, it grabs you by the throat unexpectedly and bites in hard. Unlike most Cannibal films that focus on gore for gore hound sake, it keeps the gruesome stuff to a minimum. But it is all the more effective for doing so. It is most surprising as the norm for most American remakes is to usually dial the volume way up to eleven. Yet this one is surprisingly restrained, maybe even more so than the original.
As far as remakes go, We Are What We Are is a fascinating case study of a remake done rather well.There is no familiarity between both the movies, despite a few casual sly nods of referencing here and there to the original film, it stands apart as a drastically different film that has something else on its mind and as is, it does stand very well next to its original counterpart. 7/10
Dark Circles (2013)
Better entry into the 'After Dark Originals' library.
Starring an unknown cast, 'Dark Circles' treads familiar grounds, with a family moving away to the rural side of the USA in order to escape the hectic life in the city. From it's chilling 5 minute opening up to its eventual climax, 'Dark Circles' presents itself as a good start to this years run of 'After Dark Originals'. With the aforementioned opening 5 minutes effectively setting the tone for what's to come, I got the feeling that this could very well be a good horror movie.
With a movie like this, and a plot that has been used countless upon countless times it's quite hard to be original and I think the director (first time feature director Paul Soter) decided to sidestep that by just trying to give us as many creepy moments as possible. For the largest part he succeeds by giving us a rundown of the common and not so common tactics to scare us. Loud sounds, a point of view camera, shapes in the distance drawing near, and a very ominous soundtrack consisting of the same 4 tone piano medley all work together to give us the unsettling vibe that is so highly sought after in these types of movies.
What makes a movie great though, is its story.dark-circles-3 And while it sets out promising, with the main leads openly discussing the disturbing things they are witnessing, ultimately it degrades itself by falling back into the old habits of horror. They start to distrust one another (which only serves as a cheap setup to give us some more scary scenes) and the plot moves from one angle to the complete opposite without any clear given reason as to why.
It didn't manage to make me dislike the movie all together, but it took away from the experience I was having up until 50 minutes into its 86 minute total. The final resolve made me think of 'High Tension' a French horror movie which had an ending that totally ruined all that came before it.
While 'Dark Circles' doesn't tread the same grounds as that one, nor did it have as much impact as 'High Tension' had, its ending makes you wonder about the logic that's being used here.
Can a ghost be killed by a knife? Will it come back? What about the people who die over the course of the movie? and what about the marriage that was under huge pressure up until 2 minutes before the end of the movie? Ultimately, 'Dark Circles' is one of those movies that entertains, but doesn't manage to rear its head amongst the better horror movies. Being a virgin in this genre could benefit your experience as a viewer, but as a seasoned vet it's a case of been there, done that.
To summarize: some genuinely creepy scenes, an effective soundtrack, decent acting and a very well shot movie make this one of the better entries into the 'After Dark Originals' library. But that doesn't mean it's great.
why it took so long to be released.?
The supernatural thriller is getting a lot of play lately in films and television; they seem to be coming out of the woodwork.Aberration is one of these films that play on supernatural elements.
I'm not sure what happened with this film, from what it looks like, it was made way back in 2006 under the alternate title AfterThought and is just now being released to DVD. It must have been sitting on a shelf for the past seven years and is now finally seeing the light of day with a new name. I'm not familiar with whatever struggles this film has gone through to get released but I'm sure the makers are glad to finally get it out there. Whether the film is good or not, isn't relevant. I too am glad that after such a long period of time, the public will get to see this film. Every film, especially the independent ones go through so much to get their films made and it would be a tragic event for it not to be released at all, in that aspect, the filmmakers get my respect and admiration. With Aberration, I have a suspicion as to why it took so long to be released.
In the film, we're introduced to mousy high school student Christy, played by Gwendolyn Garver (The Brazen Bull). On the outside, Christy is a shy, normal teenager with all the ordinary high school struggles, but in reality, she's hiding a terrifying secret passed down from her father. She's a dreamer: she can see visions of the dead in her dreams and is a connection between our world and the world of the dead. Christy is being visited by a ghostly boy and she doesn't know why, then her friends begin to be killed. She has disturbing visions of the future that she cannot explain and her world begins to break down. Her friends begin dying around her and her only hope of survival is to uncover the truth behind this mystery before it's too late for the entire town.
I find this film to be poorly titled. I'm assuming the aberration of the title is referring to Christy and her supernatural ability to communicate with the dead and see into their world. The title is a little misleading to make viewers believe the film is more of a horror film than it really is. Sure Aberration has some horror elements to it, but it turns out to be more of a mystery thriller than anything else.
I found the majority of the film to be dull and somewhat boring as a horror film. The supernatural elements should've factored more into the film than they did and the twist ending is decent enough to keep some people guessing until the end. Now as a mystery thriller, it's not a terrible film and most of that genre's audience might find it enjoyable.
The film is solidly written by leading actress Gwendolyn Garver, it just falls flat as a horror feature. Garver also does a fine job in her role as Christy; she is the most believable of the bunch. The rest of the cast does an average job with their roles, aside from some overacting; they try to do their best with the material given to them. Besides Garver, the other standout in the film for me was Mindy played by Bobbi Jean Basche (Shooting April); I would like to see her given a chance in more roles. One complaint I have is that most of the cast are playing high school students and they all look to be in their mid-twenties or older, it just doesn't jive with me.
As I said earlier, as a horror film, Aberration falls flat. There are some murders but they're pretty bloodless and tame. The supernatural elements of the film needed to be explored more and implemented further into the film. I'm a little angry by the DVD cover with a ghostly boy that led me to believe this was going to be a horror film, but in reality it is not. I don't recommend Aberration to the horror crowd, but mainstream watchers may find it fun.5/10
A well made supernatural thriller
Into The Dark (2012) sees Sophia Monet (Mischa Barton) experience a range of inexplicable and increasingly disturbing occurrences, following the death of her father.
Originally titled I Will Follow You Into The Dark (named after a Death Cab For Cutie track), Into The Dark is a romance, come supernatural thriller, which contains some interesting ideas and a few key scares.
Sofia sits by the bedside of her dying father, the last of her surviving parents. He is conscious and articulate; vocalizing his difficulties in accepting the illness which is rapidly taking control of him. He urges her to find love, telling her that she will not be complete without it. More significantly, he shows doubts with regard to his religious faith, stating "This may be all we really have." This statement unnerves Sofia, who is taken aback at such a claim being made by a man with whom she has associated the church her entire life.
A staunch atheist, Sofia echoes her father's doubts at a eulogy for him, displaying no great love for religion, nor any respect for the crowd that have gathered to pay their respects. "There are no ghosts, or demons, or loved ones waiting for us on the other side." he assuredly states. For those of us familiar with haunting movies, we all know that taunting what may or may not lurk beyond our perception is never a wise move. Needless to say, it doesn't take long before those spirits come a knocking.
A photographer, and visual artist (an oddly common profession in these films), Sofia stays up working late on her intricate time capture pieces. She remains sullen and morose as a friend attempts to coax her out. Worrying about her own health, she visits her doctor and, on her way home, (literally) bumps into Adam Hunt (Ryan Eggold: 90210), who is on his way to a tour of a haunted asylum. She joins him and the two form a flirtatious relationship. Whilst their excursion to the asylum is uneventful, however, the same can't be said for Sofia's apartment, which begins to take on strange and new forms, culminating in Adam's disappearance.
Despite the presence of two leads who are more associated with sunny teen dramas than genre features, Barton and Eggold hold their own throughout. There are scenes which create an unsettling mystique, such as when Sofia is pinned down to her by an invisible force in the middle of the night. Writer / Director Mark Edwin Robinson shows great potential within the genre, and it would be interesting to see if he continues his foray into genre territory.6.5/10
Bailout: The Age of Greed (2013)
Uwe Boll! you did it this time.
Uwe Boll is known as one of the worst directors ever known to be in the film industry for making movies for big budgets and making absolutely nothing back from them.hes hated by all the directors in Hollywood and is mocked by people all over the world.his last few movies have been universally panned by critics all of them adapted from popular video games.after owners of well known game metal gear solid refused to sell the rights to Uwe Boll because his history as a director.
i think he finally woke up and smelled the smoke because his latest film Assault on wall street is actually good.The film stars Dominic Purcell and Erin Karpluk .the film starts as Jim a security guard for an armored truck who is struggling to pay for his ill wife who is recovering from cancer and Jim must find ways to pay for his wife's treatment after his disastrous investment his stockbroker advised him to make.he soon looses everything he has and decides to take extreme measures to get revenge on the rich and greedy people who got him into the situation hes in.although the film starts off slow it somehow manages to keep you interested and you sympathize with Jim and actually start to root for him even though you know what hes doing is wrong.it picks up near the end and to be honest it impressed me even though Uwe Boll has gone really dark for this one.with a A+ performance by Dominic Purcell and Erin Karpluk
this is a film Uwe Boll can actually be proud of and not have to worry about being universally panned.many people will watch this movie and give it a bad review just because of Uwe Boll past and because they quite frankly don't like him or his methods but thats not what film is about.the film is a huge improvement over his previous films and all i can say is Uwe Boll keep it up stay away from the video game adapt ions and concentrate on your own work.now I'm not saying this film is amazing but it is a damn good film.6.5/10
The Place Beyond the Pines (2012)
It's powerful, it's bold, it hits you hard
In The Place Beyond the Pines - a roaring drama that combines the gritty intimacy of a B-movie noir and the outsized ambition of a multi generational Hollywood saga - Ryan Gosling's motorcycle stunt rider is covered in tattoos: an owl, a Bible, a boxer, a spiderweb, a hand grenade, a dagger dripping blood.
That last one is on Luke's face. With his shock of peroxide blond hair and his souped-up motocross machine, the guy doesn't exactly blend into the scenery. But when the carnival Luke travels with pitches its tents - and its "Globe of Death" motorbike show - for its annual stint in Schenectady, N.Y., blending into the scenery becomes his new mission. He discovers he's the father of a baby boy, sired a year earlier when he was in town and struck up a relationship with a waitress, Romina (a riveting Eva Mendes).
"Who's that guy?" he asks, gesturing to the infant in her arms "He's yours." And so, the whole axis of Luke's world starts spinning in unfamiliar ways. But in director Derek Cianfrance's daringly constructed and compelling film, taking on the responsibilities of fatherhood is something Luke's not sure how to do. To be a provider, he reckons, means having money. And having money means robbing banks.
n no time at all, he's partnered with a mechanic (the ace Aussie Ben Mendelsohn) experienced in the art of armed robbery. Next thing you know, there's a guy in a ski mask waving weaponry at scared-silly tellers, screaming at them to fill up his backpack. His getaway bike is right by the door.
Gosling, paired opposite Michelle Williams in Cianfrance's moody Blue Valentine, is electric here, and the bank heist scenes are crazy-nervous and thrilling. Especially the one when a Schenectady cop, Avery Cross (Bradley Cooper), takes after him, a high-speed chase that zooms along streets, down alleyways, across a cemetery The bank robber and the cop end up in a house together, at which point The Place Beyond the Pines turns into Avery's story, with Cooper demonstrating (if Silver Linings Playbook left any doubt) that he's a serious actor - a seriously talented, instinctive, risk-taking actor.
Smart, ambitious, with much to prove to himself and his family, Avery wrestles with the consequences of his fateful encounter with Luke. The character's evolution is fascinating. (Harris Yulin, as Avery's father, a judge, is terrific, and Ray Liotta, as one of Avery's brethren on the force, is, well . . . when you've got Liotta in your picture, you know there's going to be some really nasty business.) The Place Beyond the Pines is a triptych - the Luke chapter, the Avery chapter, and a final section that transpires 15 years later. Two young actors, Emory Cohen and Dane DeHaan, are the leads here. I confess that at first I wished Cianfrance had just let things end with Avery. But as this last act unfolds, and the dynamic between the two kids - they're in high school together - develops, everything falls into place. Into the place beyond the pines, in fact.
Scary Movie 5 (2013)
The perfect film to watch if you want to commit suicide
The latest installment in the series of lazy spoofs, this film offers virtually nothing to its audience, insulting their intelligence for an hour-and-a-half with perhaps the worst collection of blatantly uninspired and recycled gags ever put to into a film.
The horrendous excuse for a plot centers on a suburban wife (Ashley Tisdale) and her dimwitted husband (Simon Rex) moving into a haunted house with their possessed adopted children. From there, the film parodies the biggest blockbusters of the last few years, but does so without a semblance of relevance, creativity or wit.
It says a lot about the film that the only half-laughs to be had come from Charlie Sheen and Lindsay Lohan sharing the opening scene – an incredibly stupid and borderline cringe-worthy, but inexplicably entertaining chuckle at their fall from grace.
It's all downhill from there as the rest of the film plays out as a series of unconnected set pieces seen literally hundreds of times before. Often, such an unappealing movie is still able to salvage hope by suiting itself for a target market, but it is hard to see any audience group, from 15 year old to stoner, defending this abomination.
One would have to drink Lindsay under the table, smoke copious amounts of bud with Snoop Dogg and/or Lion and snort pure tiger blood with Charlie to even come close to drawing any semblance of enjoyment from this disaster. An imminent sweep of this year's Razzies doesn't seem like ironic punishment enough for one of the worst films ever made.
Evil Dead (2013)
remake that works!
Shiloh Fernandez plays David, Mia's brother and takes on the "Ash" like role of the unlikely hero. All of his actions are actually fairly logical and I actually rooted for David to survive this. Alverez does a great job with the affects and the movie does not go as over the top or really goofy like the original does.
The movie was written and directed by "first timer" Fede Alvarez.This movie feels more sure-footed and plot driven than Sam Raimi's original. However it is missing the grit, fun, dedication and pure knowing camp that turned the first Evil Dead into such a beloved cult hit.
Most of today's horror films "fail" because they have become too self aware and condescending. This movie does not go in that direction, while it is a "serious" film, it is not overtly so. These are just people trying to help their friend. It is a weirdly wholesome movie as it is missing a lot of the horror trappings like sex, nudity, drinking, etc. At the end of the day, at least Mia's clean ..
Olympus Has Fallen (2013)
big and dumb
There's a difference between stupid and dumb. A stupid movie just takes your money and wastes your time. It's a business plan on a big screen. But a dumb movie can be triumphant, even transcendent in its joyful idiocy.
Olympus Has Fallen is such a film. It does Die Hard better than Die Hard and is the definition of a guilty pleasure. Directed by Antoine Fuqua (Training Day) and seemingly scripted by the Three Stooges, it is big and dumb and more fun than a barrel of Bruce Willises.
How great is it? When you leave, you actually like Gerard Butler again. All the stupid Romantic comedy, plus whatever the hell Chasing Mavericks was supposed to be, are forgiven. Traditionally, this degree of career rehabilitation could be achieved solely through absolution by Oprah.
Among the events that could never happen except in a dumb action thriller: A plane descends from the clouds above D.C. and proceeds to shoot down Air Force fighter jets, strafe stampeding citizens and obliterate computer-generated tourist attractions. The slow motion crumbling of the Washington Monument uncomfortably mirrors images from 9/11. Too soon? Not for Fuqua.
'll reveal no more about their evil plan, except that the head terrorist is a humorless fanatic played by Rick Yune, a former model who played a humorless fanatic in Die Another Day. That was probably good training for the part, though I doubt it prepared him for the scene where he opens up a caddish can of whoop-ass on Secretary of Defense Melissa Leo.