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Cult of Chucky (2017)
Hard crowd to please
Wow. A lot of people seem hard to please on here. Most series are struggling by the 7th entry (7 stars appropriate) having ruined continuity, rehashed the same formula seen before or by having lost original cast members. A Nightmare on Elm Street had to switch it up to 'it's a movie but not', Halloween had to bring JLC back, Saw was calling it a day, Hellraiser was already screwed and Friday the 13th gave the heroine telekinetic powers to spice things up. It's damn hard to keep a series going and adding new ideas.
I thought this entry had a lot going for it. Whilst only glimpsed post credits in Curse, Cult sees Andy Barclay back and all grown up since the first 2 entries and also with the original actor, Alex Vincent. Thanks to his childhood run-ins with Chucky, Andy is pretty bad ass taking no crap and is out to to stop him (much alike Tommy in Friday the 13th Part 6 which was a bloody good entry).
One reviewer said this was cheap in production. This is what I thought of Curse, of which after 2 attempts of watching it, 4 years later (thanks to Cult) I revisited that film and watched it ignoring the lesser production budget. I was maybe a bit harsh. Cult employs animatronics over CGI at every turn apart from one shot that I could see of. I much more prefer this as animatronics still work the best for this character even in this modern CGI world.
The kills are a throwback to some other films but overall are fantastic for gore with one drill scene which would have had the censors in uproar a couple of decades ago.
I love the continuity for this film as everything in previous entries is in place and hasn't been changed with many a nod to earlier entries. For fans of the series this does show the love Mr Mancini has when writing these later entries. Add to this all the familiar cast are back including Fiona Dourif who turns out to be an excellent piece of casting (being the real life daughter of we know who) when 'expanding' her role later in the film (I'll not give anything away on that).
Lastly, people seem divided on the humour in the series. I personally enjoy it. This entry has the humour lacking from Curse which I found a bit bland without it. This entry has enough without being too OTT like Bride or Seed. It's probably my favourite entry and a while since I've seen it but i recall CP2 having some dark humour so stop moaning those who don't like it.
Overall the entry managed to breath some new life to the series with a new concept that could prove interesting if used minimally (again not saying more)....we are on entry 7 but it ain't telekinesis! The series has moved away from cinema release so the budget is never going to be what it used to be. This can be seen now and then but thankfully not when it comes to the FX for Chucky.
Child's Play/Chucky films are what they are - about a murderous doll who kills people. They are watched by fans who know what they are getting. I look forward to entry 8 and seeing where things go. Make sure you watch after the credits!
Lights Out (2016)
Excellent horror debut from a new director
I do like the horror genre and whilst plenty of horror films are made it is slim pickings when it comes to ones that are good. There's only a handful (if that) each year that stand out. 'Lights Out' thankfully is one of these.
The film is as generic as a horror movie can be - Family in peril, check. Ghost/Monster/Creature terrorising, check. Jump scares/Death. Obligatory backstory reveal to said Ghost/Monster/Creature, check. End fight/battle, check - which is not a bad thing at all because most horrors work from this formula. It is how this formula is presented and what new ideas are brought which makes or breaks whether a film is good or bad and new to feature film director David F. Sandberg shows that not only has he a couple of new ideas to bring to the table but he knows how to work the formula to keep things tense and scary.
Running at a short length of 81 minutes the film throws you straight in for a scare ride, introducing Diana straight away as the malevolent character which can only be seen when the lights are out. The use of this idea is simple but very effective especially in scenes where characters are turning the lights on and off. There were people sat in the cinema who were genuinely hiding away from the screen because they knew something was going to happen when the lights went out.
The acting was believable and the kid who played Martin did really well at actually looking scared and run down. The story went by at just the right pace and some of the transition shots between scenes by the director were really refreshing to see as it stood out (well at least to me) rather than a traditional editing between scenes.
Overall this was good film, well scripted and shot and fun for a few scares. I'll be keeping an eye out for anything else by David F. Sandberg
El desconocido (2015)
Neat Spanish thriller that could be mistaken for a Hollywood film
A banker goes to work one day and takes the kids to be dropped off at school but before that can happen, he receives a phone call from someone who tells him he has placed a bomb under the seats of the car and tells him he must arrange a transfer of money to him.
It's the kind of idea that has been seen before whereby someone on the end of a phone is controlling someone else for their gain but from the offset we are sent on a thrilling journey making you wonder why this is happening and making you wonder what you would do in such a situation. The director manages to keep things fairly grounded and so the realism assists in building up the tension. There are a couple of twists thrown in which keeps the pace going.
Good acting from everyone involved in a cast that I am unfamiliar with due to the Spanish production. In the decade of remakes and reboots, this is certainly a film I can see being remade at some point. Provided you do not mind reading subtitles this is certainly worth the viewing time.
The Do-Over (2016)
Not a return to form for Sandler
The quality of Adam Sandler films has steadily declined since his early days where his comedic style was a box office draw and his name was associated to a good film (Happy Gilmore, The Wedding Singer). I've always liked his films, as silly as some can be and so when a new Adam Sandler film is released I will watch it - knowing that it may not be good.
Whilst The Ridiculous 6 was nowhere near classic Sandler, it was entertaining enough to watch whilst being borderline silly. Going into the 2nd film of his Netflix deal I had high hopes after reading the reviews here saying that Adam Sandler was back to form. Whilst I agree this performance was a little more restrained/serious the film was let down by poor direction and shoddy production values.
I know Netflix aren't a major studio but you really get the sense of watching something limited. The line delivery of the comedy didn't quite hit home with most gags falling flat. Lack of cohesion to setting up scenes and characters by the director did not help and after 30 minutes I had decided that watching the remainder of the film would be a waste of time.
I suppose Adam Sandler made the right move because I really can't see this or his previous film doing well theatrically. Netflix made a bad investment.
Black Dynamite (2011)
Even funnier than the film
It's a crime that no-one has written a review for the animated series!
Keeping it simple - if you enjoyed the live action film of Black Dynamite and found it amusing then you'll love the animated series. A lot of the cast return to give their voices to the characters that were created in the film.
With animation you have the freedom to do anything and the creators use this freedom so well! I'm only 4 episodes in but so far the takes on real life celebrities of the 70's (Michael Jackson, Richard Pryor, O J Simpson) is absolutely hilarious. Incorporating such icons into a manic mickey taking episode is fantastic. The writers are on fire for the gags and stories so far.
If you enjoyed and laughed your ass off at Black Dynamite the movie, you'll do exactly the same with the animated series. It's adult humour all the way.
Wild Bill (2011)
Brit film making at its best
Oh Dexter Fletcher! How I have your name engraved in my mind for all eternity from when I was a little boy watching 'Press Gang'. An iconic name for those of my generation and British acting. He managed to appear in many a film but never a leading man but now tries his hand at directing.
I think Mr Fletcher may have found his way of breaking out by stepping behind the camera. What we have here is a very well written and directed film debut about a man who is released from prison and finds himself looking after his 2 sons whose mother has abandoned them.
It isn't an exciting film as this is a drama with some light humour thrown in. It's quality British film making where we go and take a peak at something which is more than likely true to real life.
Many familiar fine British actors are recognisable in this film and Mr Fletcher no doubt had no trouble in bringing out their finest performances as I'm sure he's probably friends or familiar with them. This makes viewing the film as if watching real life.
So, if you want to take break and watch something engaging then do so by watching Wild Bill. The performances are great (Will Poulter will be a star one day), the story is realistic and gritty and the direction for a first timer is spot on. This isn't the type of film you'll watch repeatedly but the type you'll be glad that you've seen the once.
Good supernatural/mystery/horror film
Long time since I've reviewed a film as I tend to use Facebook for that nowadays but this is a little gem that is well worth typing a few paragraphs about.
I wasn't sure what to expect from this film and so with expectations low I came away from viewing feeling very satisfied at having watched a bloody good film.
I've not heard of the director before and I've not seen the lead actress before now but have done a wonderful job. Basic premise is that a girl moves away after the loss of her sister and ends up at a séance trying to contact her sister. This leads to the vengeful spirit of a murdered girl choosing the lead to try and solve what happened to her.
Whilst there are horror aspects, this movie is more a supernatural murder mystery thriller. The direction is excellent and the cinematography mixed with good believable acting make for a highly polished film probably far out reaching its budget. It's not perfect - some of the stronger horror parts concerning the murderer do not sit comfy with the atmosphere given from the rest of the film and sometimes some of the actions/discoveries are all too quick. None of this takes away though from what is a very good story from start to finish. This film could have easily fallen flat by giving in to the slasher/gore elements of the film and could have easily become run of the mill fodder. Thankfully though it does not and for the running time you are pulled into the film and captivated.
This is one of those films that will not get a wide audience but deserves one. I'll be recommending to people I know.
A little taste of Italian
Not reviewed for a while but a zombie film is relatively easy to do and always worth it.
So, we have here a nice little Italian entry into the over populated zombie movie genre. It seems there's a zombie film popping up every other week since 2005 and before that they were 'dead' hard to come by.
So, I've stated before in reviews it is hard to breath new life into this genre (uninteded joke there) so if you can't do anything original, make sure that what you do ticks the required boxes for a good zombie flick.....and most of the boxes are ticked.
The film isn't of the highest budget but with some good make-up, nice locations and good use of the visual effects they have - it's not noticeable. A strong part to this film is the 2 male leads. They work perfectly with each other and the bad ass bald guy just has a totally likable character about him.
The story takes elements from Dawn/Day of the dead and mixes a little bit of Resident Evil in. The zombie make-up and good is of a good standard and the running time passes nicely by......except for the last 15 mins which feels rushed against the pace of the rest of film.
Negatives - some characters are silly and the acting is not always the best. The story can be slightly confusing with unanswered plot points.
If you're a zombie fan then this entry is worth checking out. As a casual viewer then this may not do. I enjoyed it for what it was.
Not better than LOTR
Tut tut to the person who wrote the glowing review.
This is an oddball film. It's low budget with first time actors....I'd even go as far as to say this is some sort of strange LOTR fan-boy homage. That's the feel that I had at the end of the film.
So - 2 dorky park rangers, whilst out doing their jobs, encounter Orcs which have been living in the mountains for a long long time. It's up to them to stop them. That's it! As simple as that, you have the story.
I can't say that the film was an engrossing entertaining watch but for a low budget 'I have a film idea and I'm gonnna make it' labour of love for those involved in making the film, it's not too bad.
The acting could use some work but otherwise the locations, costumes and effects are admirable considering. If you want to waste some time watching something mildly entertaining then give this a try.
Chain Letter (2009)
NOt a bad horror, could have been more....
Vincent Winterbourne's review seems to think that fans of horror, 80's and 90's will lap this up. I'm one of those fans....but this film doesn't deserve that much praise.
Chain Letter is certainly a watchable film. It is clichéd, not hugely original and nothing none of us haven't seen before. This is another of those films that will go floating by and leave you slightly frustrated because, placed in the hands of someone else, it could have been a terrific new horror franchise. There's a good core idea - you receive a chain email/text which you must forward on or die if you don't or delete it. What do you choose to do? Ignore it and you'll meet your end via a nasty gory death by chains (and the use of chains is actually quite good). You can almost imagine, whilst watching, the film this could have been had the script been slightly more polished, a bit more time taken with character development and more confident direction.
I do applaud the filmmakers though as this isn't a big budget horror and for the most part it is an entertaining film. It has some nice ideas. Unfortunately, everything seems to be hurried. I hardly grasped who was who out of the school buddies and it seemed like the director just wanted to get on to the next murder scene or shock revelation. The writers couldn't settle on exactly what was happening. We're given details that it's a cult doing the murders yet only one guy does the killing. The cult hate technology yet that is what they use to track and kill?
It's a shame. This isn't a bad film and I would say give it a try. Could have been so much more though, especially after such a good opening.
Nice to see Keith David with a chunky(ish) role and also Brad Dourif in there too.
I Spit on Your Grave (2010)
Revenge done right
If you're going to take on a remake of a notorious film you have to do it right. If said remake is notorious due to it being one of the 'video-nasties' of the 80's, maintain the core element of the film that put it on the list! If you do this then you end up with a good (and sometimes better) remake. The Hills Have Eyes and Last House on the Left remakes worked by doing this and not trying to water down shock content. For a remake of 'I Spit on Your Grave' the same had to be applied otherwise it would have been pointless.
The original 1978 movie was a brutal and shocking film for its time. Still today you can not get an uncut version of the film in the UK. It's not an amazing film and will only have been watched by fans of the genre. So, how do the filmmakers approach this remake?.....
...with a brutal vengeance! Like the LHOTL remake did, the filmmakers have kept the raw, brutal violence of the original whilst polishing the story and injected some new life in to it.
Sarah Butler does a great job as the woman who is raped and brutalised who sets out for revenge. I thought the acting from all the cast was spot on. It must be really hard to 'act' in such a horrendous way for this type of film.
What elevates this film above the original is that they decided to reduce the rape scene in its intensity and go full hog on the revenge part of the film. Whilst still quite brutal and disturbing, when we get to the part of Jennifer being raped, it's not as drawn out or horrific as it could have been if they wanted to piggy off the original.
In this take of the film the main portion/concentration of the film is given to Jennifer getting her revenge....and boy does she do this in some really nasty ways....and when we get to those parts of the film, thanks to the scripting and direction, we're 100% behind Jennifers character in the justification of her actions. It may be gory and some may call it torture porn but when she exacts her revenge you'll be cheering on. I actually think this film should be shown to rapists as a deterrent (unfortunately you'd need a woman like Jennifer to back it up in real life).
So, this isn't going to be everyone's cup of tea due to its content but if you've seen the original, or you're a fan of the video nasties era, definitely check this out.
Very good remake.
When jokes go wrong...
Although depressing, I quite like films like this where one action taken leads to a downward spiral of doom as a situation continues to get worse - ala Very Bad Things or Before The Devil Knows You're Dead.
Brotherhood is in the same vein as the aforementioned films (though not as harsh) as we follow the exploits of a group of frat house students and pledges who's night takes a turn for the worse when a convenience store hold up prank goes wrong.
The story unfolds and the viewer watches as the characters continue to make bad decisions, digging a deeper hole for the situation they are in. If done right, this type of film can take you on a ride where you feel involved as you think to yourself 'but I'd do that', 'If only they'd done....'. Plausability always plays a big part and although some of the decisions made by Adam and the others are just plain stupid, it plays out well without going silly.
There were some believable performances and good acting all round. The film wasn't quite as tense nor dark dark as it could have possibly been for the story type but it was entertaining enough. I was impressed with the side track revelation near the end of the film which relates to something you will have forgotten all about by the end of the film (not giving anything away). Nice touch.
Brotherhood is worth a watch. It has a short running time and would make for a good rental.
Simple and charming
I do like a good coming of age story and I knew within the first 10 mins that I'd like this film. I find that stories and romances like this always work better set in an older more innocent time period.
I didn't realise until after that Rob Reiner had directed and in all honesty it wasn't too much of a shock. He did after all direct Stand By Me which is probably the daddy of coming of age stories.
As in the title, what I liked about this film was when it 'Flipped'. We'd first get Bryce's take on something that happens after which the same series of events would be told by Juli. It's a simple story - girl likes boy, boy doesn't like girl and only realises he does just after the girl begins to not like him. It's nothing new or original but it told with a simplistic charm and works wonders thanks to the two leads and outstanding supporting cast.
This is a nice film. One of the type that will put you in a good mood and make you long (if you don't already have it) for a true love story of your own. My only complaint is the running time which seems way too short. There's so much build up to the inevitable between Bryce and Juli that when it comes, that's it - end of film.
I'd like to think that a sequel could be made to continue the story but it probably won't happen.
This is my 4th Uwe Boll film review. I've slated the guy in the past - and rightly so - for some of the atrocious and bad films he's made. I gave up at one point watching his films hoping he'd get better....but, as my last review about 'Rampage' stated, Uwe had made something that wasn't complete rubbish and was actually entertaining. Whilst not converting me from a hater, this did give me an open mind to any future works. Which leads us to Darfur.
This film can't be called entertaining. It wasn't made to entertain but rather to raise awareness and send a message to people about the atrocities happening in Darfur. I for one had heard of Darfur in the news but knew nothing in detail until looking into to it thanks to this film.
This is simply Uwe's best film to date. This is a powerful, gritty, 'in your face' piece of cinema about the situation in Darfur. There is no happiness, no Hollywood ending. I've never found myself so angry and frustrated whilst watching a film. I don't want to watch it again - not because it's not good but because it's not nice to watch. You will feel uncomfortable and rightly so....and herein lies what makes this film very good - it will illicit emotion from you with it's non-sugar coated story telling.
My only complaint....and a common one when watching Boll films....is the hand held camera. I don't mind it's use but still Uwe overkills this method. Too much shaking makes little sense.
I thought the way this film was made - barely any scripting, the production values - was excellent. So, bravo to you Mr Boll. I think you should step away from video game adaptations and work on original projects as I think when you do this, you can actually show that you are a good film maker.
13 Hrs (2010)
Could have been better with more money
Girl goes home for a family reunion but finds that a creature (werewolf)is in the house. How do the family survive? There is a good premise here and there could have been a good story and the film could have worked as a tense 'what do you do?' horror scenario...but unfortunately this film did not have lot of funding and it comes through BIG time.
Ignore any references to Dog Soldiers. Although the two films are similar in respect of werewolves, remote location and low budget...Neil Marshall's film is a prime example of how to do a horror film with werewolves on a low budget - 13hrs is not.
Whilst watching I could see the film this could have been. There are good ideas and given more money, better actors and a more polished script, I'm sure this could have been good.
Instead we are left with a cast of characters who are family and friends but trying to link who's related to who is hard work as we have short introductions. The acting for the most is below average but this may be due to the script which, rather than giving engaging conversation between siblings which might have elicited a connection between them, decides to go with the standard cliché dialogue.
The thing that really hampers the film is the direction and editing. Editing in most scenes being very quick and tight - due to the budget - and not showing anything. The direction is misguided as there is no real sense of bearing in the house and to how big it is. When the siblings are roaming the loft areas, it just looks like they've moved into the set next door. There is no real sense of danger - yet this is the situation that they are supposed to be in.
If you don't see the 'twist' by half way through the movie then....
All in all, there's nothing engaging in the film to keep your interest. I almost began fast forwarding near the end.
Oh....and why is the film called 13hrs? Is that how long they are in the house? I don't know. Seems rather a lazy title.
La horde (2009)
Not a bad zombie effort
The rise in zombie films after a long period of absence from the lime light, I would say, stemmed from Zack Snyder's 'Dawn' remake...which still for me remains the pinnacle and height of the new zombie wave.
Since then there have been a fair few efforts, some OK and a lot bad (Day of the Dead anyone).
I had not heard of this film until I saw an advertisement on the net and decided to check it out. I don't mind subtitles and the French are quite apt at making horror films.
Now, the story is basic (to be expected for a zombie film) so I feel the best way to review this film is to cover the good and bad points - which I feel is a cheap way to review but the only way for this film. See, when watching a zombie film I like particular things. So....
THE GOOD POINTS
Good apocalyptic and impending doom feeling
We get to see the outbreak from the beginning and can feel the scale of the problem (nicely done with shots of the city skyline in the distance and explosions taking place)
There is no explanation as to what has caused the outbreak
Some excellent imagery...shots of zombie hordes below the building, zombies surrounding someone trapped on a car (to mention a few)
Very good gore level throughout the film
People fight zombies!...to explain, it's not often you see someone who hasn't got a weapon properly fight for their life against a zombie(watch and you'll see what I mean)
Nice sets and lighting
Anyone is fodder
THE BAD POINTS
Fast zombies....that's just my personal taste
Not as much character development as there could have been
No matter how many times they shoot, no-one learns to shoot in the head!
Acting is sometimes a bit shaky (but overall OK)
Zombies never attack if there is an important piece of dialogue taking place
Subtitles were not fantastic in translation
Overall this is a good effort of a zombie film and if you're a horror fan or fan of the genre it's worth a watch. Much better than some efforts of the past 4 years (inc Romero!).
Night of the Demons (2009)
I managed to watch an hour of this film before turning it off. Remakes of 80's horror films are a dime a dozen nowadays. Some go straight to DVD, some to the theatres, some with big budgets, some with small.
Although well versed in cinema and movies, the original 'Night of the Demons' has evaded my radar and so I had no memories of the original 80's film (soon to be watched though).
Regardless of whether the original was a good film or not, this updated version is a waste of time. Shannon Elizabeth should have words with her agent, as I don't think her career has derailed to the point that she needs to be doing cheap horror films. Edward Furlong is clearly in it for the money and you can sense that he knows he has yet again signed up to appear in something cheap and crap.
The film premise is simple...party goers at an old abandoned house discover skeletons in the basement. One gets bit and possessed by a demon who in turn ends up getting others possessed. Blood and death follow. We've seen it many times before done a lot better.
The acting is poor, the script is basic and flawed. The direction is standard with nothing inventive thrown in.
I used to say to my friends that you'd never get away with making some of the horrors of the 80's in this day and age. The 80's was a glorious time for cheap, cheesy, silly films which are fun and enjoyable with ridiculous stories and ideas which would not pass as well on modern audiences....but it seems we are getting a new wave of these films. Problem is, they aren't as entertaining and magical. It doesn't work for the modern era. Instead, films like this just come off as cheap, careless and crap.
Puppet Master: Axis of Evil (2010)
I remember watching the first Puppet Master film in my teens and thinking it was a pretty good. I remember watching the second and thinking it was pretty poor. I remember watching the third and thinking that, whilst low budget, it was a good film.
I say remember as I'm 31 now and it was quite a while a go. But being the film fanatic that I am, I still remember the puppets and their names.
Even though more Puppet Master films were made, I didn't follow the series after the third one....until I noticed that a new film had been released and that the story would take place early Toulon days - like the third film, which worked - so I thought I'd jump back in and see where the series was up to.
Unfortunately, by the 10th instalment filming is on a micro budget and it shows! I liked the story and thought it was engaging enough. I looked past some of the shoddy acting and poor performances.....but the thing I just couldn't forgive was the lack of budget given towards the puppets! It was poor and disgraceful. At no point did you feel that Blade (my favourite since the first) and co. were alive. There wasn't the slightest effort made at all. If you were to make a home movie about puppets that are alive, the best you'd be able to do to make it look convincing is move the puppet with your hand so the camera can not see - this is exactly what happened in this film. No attempt at animatronics or stop motion capture.
The original Puppet Master was made in 1989 - all these years later, it still outclasses this instalment in every department.
The good thing that did come out of this film is that my interest is rekindled and I've obtained Puppet Master 1-9 which I'm going to watch!
EDIT - Just watch 1-4 as the series goes down hill from 5 onwards :)
August Underground (2001)
It wants to shock and disgust and does so royally!
I've just finished watching August Underground after reading some of the reviews here. I am a fan of extreme film and go out of my way to hunt down and watch movies which are not quite the norm....only to see for myself what the BBFC here in the UK deem as so bad that they won't allow me to watch it by banning a film or censoring it.
It's hard to pinpoint exactly what the makers of this film were going for. Yes it's brutal, yes it's shocking but there had to be a point to it. Such films as Guinea Pig 1 & 2 would have us believe they are real 'snuff'. Such films as 'I spit on your on corpse, I p**s on your grave' and 'Scrapbook' go for cheap realistic looks and shock tactics whilst trying to form some kind of storyline. Apart from proving that the 'actors' and makers of this film are extremely twisted and disturbed, i think 'August Underground' succeeds in being the most realistic portrayal of what an actual real 'snuff' film might be.
There are no opening credits, we are just plonked straight into some guy with a camcorder and what he and his two sick friends get up to. There is no story, no plot (bar what things they get up to), no numerous camera angles, no cuts in scenes. Everything about it screams 'This is real!' This is where 'August Underground' exceeds all other extreme films of it's genre. The special makeup effects in it are highly convincing but they had to be otherwise this film would have lost it's shock value. The raw edge of everything being on camcorder just adds to the realism...we only see what the camera sees.
I don't have any problem watching such films as this, i know they're not real and it's hard to shock me. There were times during this though where i found it hard to keep watching. There was one part where our protagonists were forcing two women to vomit whilst the female lead in the film was herself vomiting on them. The fact that i don't think this bit was faked at all made my stomach churn.
What really sets this film apart is that some elements of the film were real. The above mentioned along with the humiliation and degradation that were portrayed. Did some of the people in this film really know what they were getting in to? because they really look scared and uncomfortable in parts.
'August Underground' did it's job well. I rate it as the most extreme film i have witnessed and yes it did truly shock and disgust me. I would only recommend to the hardened movie watcher as i'm sure you won't of seen anything along the same unique style it has.
I would have to give this film 10 stars for being the most shocking thing i have watched but would have to take 5 away as i think the actors and makers and everyone involved are extremely disturbed and portrayed their enjoyment a bit too well.
Strange film making
Here in the UK, since around 2001, the BBFC have been doing a splendid job of not butchering films or censoring films like they did back in the 80's and 90's. So it is to my surprise that a film has been banned by the BBFC here in the UK....the film in question - Grotesque.
Being an avid fan of the 80's video nasty era where many a film was banned due to it's content (long gone are the days), I was intrigued to know what - in this day and age - had upset the BBFC so much that they warranted banning Grotesque. If someone tells me I am not allowed to see something, then I want to see it more so! I seeked out Grotesque purely to view what someone at the BBFC deemed as something I shouldn't view so as to form my own opinion. If it weren't for the ban, I wouldn't have bothered (note to the BBFC, ban something and more people will want to see it than if you had just given the film a rating) To the film - Erm...this is where it becomes difficult to formulate a point of view. Did the BBFC ban the film due to content or were they actually being really kind and ensuring that such rubbish had no chance of distribution? Grotesque is a well shot film - good actors, editing, lighting, special effects. It's not a cheap 'Schlock horror' aka along the line of the Guinea Pig series of films. Problem is that whilst it's a well shot film, the large overhanging question is 'Why?' was it shot in the first place. Seriously, I have no idea as to what audience this film may cater for. I can't actually think of the type of individual who would be 'entertained' by this film. It serves no purpose....there are no moral issues addressed, no twist, no conclusion to idea. This film is simply about a sick twisted person who kidnaps a couple so that he may torture them for his pleasure. That's it, nothing further - there is no story, no character background, no narrative, NO POINT! Even gore hounds will be bored. Whilst the torture is nasty and gory...that's all it is, nothing further. As a previous reviewer stated, you could just look at this film as a series of 'special effects sequences' because there is nothing past that.
I really can not fathom the reasoning behind the making of this film. If the director had a point to make or message to say - sorry, I missed it.
I can only think that maybe exploration of a sick mind (such as August Underground) was the point to put across but unfortunately it fails as a pointless exercise (whereas August Underground worked for what it was) I have given the film a 5 star rating as adequate effort to make a film has been put in...I just don't understand why though.
Dare I say...
Uwe Boll has been bashed by many critics for his films and justly so considering some of the crap he has directed. If you make a bad film then you deserve the bad reviews that go with it. Take a look at my other movie reviews and you'll see some there for other Uwe Boll movies - slated and rightly so.
My curiosity with Uwe Boll film's used to be to see if he would get better. At the end of the day, Mr Boll is capable of raising funds for his projects and he certainly manages to get well known actors - but the money and cast aren't all that make a film. Eventually my curiosity as to whether Mr Boll could actually make an entertaining film faded due to his track record and how many films this guy actually puts out a year (does he ever take a holiday?). I thought I'd never watch a Uwe Boll film again or yet alone review one....
So, whilst browsing the internet I came upon the title 'Rampage' and it reminded me of the old game where big monsters bashed buildings and ate people. When I looked further into 'Rampage' and found out who the director was I actually thought he might have made an adaption of it (he's adapted so many other computer games and made bad films of them, why not?). Turns out the film is not based on the game but rather refers to the rampage that Bill (Brendan Fletcher) goes on one day, suited up in kevlar with a lot of guns.
I read the reviews on here - dubious of the ones which gave praise - and read the synopsis and thought I'd give Mr Boll a chance...again. The idea of a film about someone who's peeved off with life and society and goes on a rampage is a good one - and given that Uwe Boll was directing I knew it wouldn't shy away from violence.
So, dare I say it?...me, one of the Boll bashers...Uwe has actually made a film which I sat and watched (all the way through) and enjoyed. This was a GOOD film! The story was crazy but plausible, the acting on the whole was OK - a lot of the scenes looked like they were improvised in conversation but not bad acting. The build up to the rampage was good and when we get to the rampage.....well, it was tense! I was actually rooting for Bill (wrong I know). The bingo hall scene was excellent as was the hairdressers scene.
I'm kinda stumped on what the entertainment value is with this film though as it's a crazy bloodbath of people being killed. There's plenty of social commentary and justification to the characters actions - but let's face it, it's not really played out like a drama. You end up watching for the mindless violence.
There are flaws - for me the flashes of what was to come didn't fit correctly in the film and Uwe still has to find the correct balance when using shaky cams (something which has cropped up in his previous films) but overall I enjoyed this film...and the ending was actually clever as well.
I never thought the day would come but to all of those haters who are reading now - I too was a hater.....I still am but I'm giving credit where it's due as UB has actually made something entertaining. Don't get me wrong, this won't make me go back and watch some of the UB films I've not seen because I thought they'd be crap but it will now allow me to have an open mind to see if UB has actually (practice makes perfect) honed his trade to an acceptable level.
*May be spoilers*
Jamie is born with facial/body defects which he feels hampers his life and his chances for love. In a world of escalating violence, which personally affects him when he loses his mother, he is offered the chance for the life he wants at the cost of more violence by a strange character.
I wasn't familiar with the director's previous works and watched this film with limited knowledge of what it was about barring the few reviews here on IMDb. This film was quite trippy and definitely a bit insane....but all in a good way.
All the way through the film I was trying to guess where it was going, what the conclusion would be, what the twist would be. Every time I felt I'd settled on something the film took another direction. This in itself makes for entertainment when watching something - continuing to watch to see where a film goes and to find out exactly what was going on....I've even come back on here and used google to find other reviews to try and clarify some points in the film which have left me a bit confused.
There was a clever mix of genres in this film as it plays mainly as horror but has elements of drama/thriller and comedy - and they all work.
'Heartless' is not without it's flaws and it does begin to feel like it's dragging around the 85 min mark. You may also come away from watching feeling some mild confusion as I do not think everything was explained as clearly as it may have been (or might just be me).
This film is certainly different and entertaining to boot....which are 2 things combined that you don't too often find nowadays when watching a film.
Really enjoyed it
What can I say? I'd heard nothing about this film until I had a look at some reviews on here, sounded like something which might be my cup of tea and had a decent cast......what a good film.
I have no idea why people have watched this and called it propaganda - it's a film! Granted, the subject matter is realistic and presents a scenario which could have already happened or could happen in the future. The film is very clever for this reason as it makes you ask yourself (or whoever you are viewing with) lots of questions. What would you deem as moral/acceptable? How far would you go to save the lives of thousands? Should we be governed by laws when dealing with people who have none?
Anyway....I'm not entering the debate but, for the fact this film gets you thinking and asking questions, it's a cleverly scripted film. It's also a tense and thrilling ride as you watch the events play out.
The cast all do a fine job with their parts and the direction is very good. Yes the film has some brutal scenes but it's all part and parcel to draw you in.
It's not often nowadays that you watch a film and have to think afterwards to fully appreciate the fact that you've just been entertained and watched something good....and that's what 'Unthinkable' manages to do.
Regardless of what film genre you're in to, this is definitely worth a look if you appreciate good cinema.
Dead Air (2009)
Not a bad effort....
OK, first off this is not a zombie movie. This is an 'infected' movie. Infected people act crazy and kill people....and infect people spreading infection. People say 28 Days Later is a zombie film - it's not. It's an infected film, just like this. For a zombie film see any of the dead series (inc the fine Zack Snyder remake).
With that out of the way, I heard about this film a couple of months ago and it sounded interesting. Just finished watching it and it's not too bad.
Brief summary - Terrorist attack takes place in America and a toxin is released which turns people crazy who then kill and infect others.
We've seen it done before. The key to this type of film to make it entertaining is to concentrate more on the characters and the situation rather than go for all out gore fest. This film does that well as we see the whole situation unfold through a radio host and his team who are on the air at night doing their show. There's a good sense of confusion as everyone tries to get to grips with what's happening and the characters play out how, if this was real, people might act.
It's not without it's flaws though. The acting for the most part is good - this film does not have a high budget - especially the actor who plays the main radio host, he was excellent. There are some shoddy acting moments which can be forgiven but slightly drag you back into the reality that you're watching a film. Production is 'ok', there are some issues with lighting and sometimes the soundtrack drowns out the actors if they are speaking. Overall though, given budget, I thought everyone did well and made an entertaining enough film.
The thing that kept my rating at mediocre level is that after a strong start to the first half - excellent premise for the film, good intro of characters and the situation, nice dialogue - it seems that the script (or maybe the choice was by the director) loses it's strength and runs out of ideas, deciding to fill the second half of the film with infected people, cliché scenarios/outcomes and.....a social message on America and terrorism. Given the type of film it was, I didn't need commentary.
If you're a fan of this type of film or a zombie fan (but they aren't zombies!) then give it a try. Better than some efforts that have come out recently.
w Delta z (2007)
Not really that good..
I give 5 stars as this is one of those films that you can watch and then throw away. It's not bad but it's not good. I don't think it's the sort of film where you would pull it out of your DVD collection every couple of months to watch.
I'm not sure what type of 'film' was used but the director went for (what looked like to me) HD hand-held cams. Don't get me wrong, I don't mean Cloverfield 'all over the show' sort of filming but rather the film print it's self. I suppose this gives the film it's 'gritty' look, which I can appreciate sometimes but for this movie it just made the production look cheap. If it weren't for the famous faces you'd be forgiven for thinking you may be watching a lower budget movie.
As for the film itself....we've seen such ideas already done with 'Saw' and 'untraceable'. There's no real new context here to give a fresh light to the story. The acting was fine and I have no problem with the direction....I just wasn't drawn into the film in any way. It was difficult to hold my interest or really care about the characters on screen.
I don't really give insight into the 'story' of a film when I review as others do that better but as a film goer I'd say that this is a throw-away film.....the sort you'd rent or watch to pass some time. As I've said before, it's not a bad film....but it isn't great. Slap bang in the middle