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The bad reviews are correct.
I made it through about 15 minutes of this ridiculous mess before turning it off because right from the beginning it's obvious this was created by someone with no writing talent at all. Fraternity hazing is a real life problem, but the actions of the characters from the very beginning of this movie make no sense, not because they are even unrealistic but because when you have no talent at writing a screenplay to advance the plot, just make your characters idiots. Moronic decisions that make no sense at all, just to move your characters forward are the stuff bad movies are made of. There were so many stupid decisions by this obnoxious cast of characters in the first 15 minutes of this film I just gave up. In order to keep on watching it, you'd have to believe that these people were all mentally challenged , not college students. As others have pointed out there's a lot of yelling that takes the place of acting. Since it's obvious where this was all headed and the previous reviews on here confirm, I just gave up. Avoid if you have a brain in your head.
The Pond (2021)
A Masterpiece (of Boredom)
There are 2 people who deserve awards for this art film, #1 who ever was in charge of filming it because it is filled with great shots and #2, who ever put together the trailer to make this look interesting. Believe me it is not ! The shame of it is, is that by it's end I can see at the heart of it was an interesting story, but this story was told in the least fascinating way possible. Everything about this is dull, the script, the performances, the pace. I kept watching out of curiosity and struggled to stay awake the whole time. As a photographer , I was in awe at how nice the movie looks and professional. Everything else said "amateur". Honestly there is little at all to see here. You could open up a book of interesting photographs and get more substance than what is put on the screen. I wish I had read reviews before watching as I feel like a chunk of my life has been wasted.
The Night (2020)
Literally Too Dark........
There were certainly the makings of a spooky film here, good acting from the 2 leads, great sound effects, and the movie which starts off slow, builds. The main setting , a deserted hotel certainly recalls The Shining. But this is not The Shining, it's just a bit incoherent, kind of lets you know what is going on and then seems to go off someplace else. By the time it ended I could only kind of guess as to what was going on , but strangely for a movie that is little more then a couple and their baby, I felt very little for them. The very worst part of the film is the actual cinematography, the majority of the film looks like it was lit by a 25 watt bulb. Maybe they felt this added to the atmosphere, but it just didn't work. I just sat there thinking, please put on more lights ! It is possible to convey darkness without literally filming a scene in almost total darkness. This is one of those films that seems to be trying too hard at being a supernatural mystery, while keeping scenes so dark it will be a mystery as to what is going on. Next time hire someone who knows how to film a movie professionally.
The writers and director behind this gem certainly knew what they were doing in creating a small, very watchable and entertaining film. While not filled with much action, they've still managed to make this a mesmerizing journey that boasts phenomenal performances from the small cast but especially it's star, Olivia Bonamy. Anton Lesser also deserves a round of applause .The movie starts out great , pulling us in with it's violence, sharp editing and a perfect setting for the story to unfold. This is a detail oriented movie and performance driven. Suspenseful at times , unnerving at others, I understand it was originally a play and has a very defined first and second act. Another great example of how important casting is to a film, these actors were fantastic choices and for the performances and well written twists and turns of the plot, this is a must -see.
Storm Warning (2007)
A fun ride
I went into this thinking I was going to be seeing another Eden Lake , a horror film I love. Well no this is not the torture-fest that film is, but there is plenty here to entertain. A great cast, excellent acting, for the most part people reacting in realistic ways, the perfect setting and atmosphere, well filmed, the entire movie hits all the right notes. Plenty of disgusting gore too. Well worth watching.
The Fly (1986)
Stands on it's own
There is very little this has in common with the original 1958 film. I think both films are great and stand on their own. Between the 2 this is the one that will have you screaming. Typical Cronenberg , it is filled with the grotesque. 25 years after it's release only the hairstyles and cars really date this, as far as make-up and gore effects go, it is sickening and as well done as anything done today. The movie isn't perfect though, I actually felt that having just seen the 1958 film the night before, that version was more realistic in it's portrayal of human reaction to a horrible situation then this film. For some reason this throws in a bit of humor that I don't believe works. I won't give away any spoilers, but events take place in this film that had me thinking, "I don't think most people would react that way". As good as this is, it could have been better.
The Fly (1958)
Some will say this movie is dated and it is. That doesn't mean it's bad, but watching it 63 years later this is a movie that deserves it's classic cult status. Even for 1958 it raised some good questions about where we are heading when it comes to messing with nature. The creature itself is also pretty horrifying. having just watched the 1986 re-telling, they are very different films, yet strangely this is the more realistic of the 2, although not the most terrifying. If you are expecting a horror movie with scares this is not it. If you want to see fine actors in a more cerebral type horror film, , one that will leave you thinking, this is a great one.
Silk Road (2021)
Starts to bore, picks up
I watched this for Nick Robinson, Alexandra Shipp and Jason Clarke, because all 3 are appealing actors and I figured , what could go wrong ? Well, this movie . I knew nothing of this "based on true events" story going in , but reading about the real life drama afterwards , I don't understand how something so fascinating was made so dull. The problem seems to be that although I saw this advertised as an indie, everything about this is Hollywood clichés and stereotypes. How could something based in reality play like a run of the mill, really poor Hollywood thriller ? The movie does get better as it goes along but it feels like so much time passes for that to happen, I was even tempted to turn it off. Clarke's character is the obvious lead here and both he and Robinson do their best with characters that are not well written. Poor Alexandra Shipp is reduced to playing nothing more then a generic girlfriend role. Generic pretty much describes this whole film.
To make it somewhat worse there is an editing technique used in this film to end some scenes, that adds nothing. It just looks kind of amateurish. Really a shame when good actors get stuck in poorly written and directed Hollywood garbage.
Atlantic Rim (2013)
I saw the big budget Pacific Rim and fell asleep, I watched this and laughed throughout. I didn't realize that 8 years ago The Asylum was actually putting some effort into their movies, at least when it came to special effects. The effects is this are not good, but better then what they currently churn out and it's obvious this had some budget since their current films look like they spend under a hundred bucks to produce. If they spent a bit more on this production in 2013, they still didn't bother with a script that made sense, editing , directing and and most of all actors. They must hire anyone who says yes and comes cheap. The real winner here is the LOL ridiculous dialogue, coupled with the acting and the actual ridiculousness of the story. While this is really a 1 star movie it is 10 stars for entertainment value if you love "so bad they are funny" movies.
Satan's Children (1975)
Dear Satan, What a Bore !
I love a good "so bad it is funny" movie and the reviews on here led me to believe this was weird, bizarre, and almost a cult must-see film, something so awful it's amazing. Well, no, having fallen asleep multiple times through it, all this is , is a bore. It's a very low budget exploitation film from the 70s without the exploitation. It's porn-level bad without anything erotic or sexy. The acting is torturous because there is a pause that feels like an hour between every dull line spoken. The men are prettier then the women in this, which makes me wonder who and what filmed this. There was nothing funny in how bad this was, some bad films are just that , bad and unwatchable. If you need a good sedative , watch this.
Wrong Turn (2021)
Somewhat entertaining but same old, same old
It seems many people are upset that this Wrong Turn movie has nothing to do with the original Wrong Turn. I went in with low expectations anyway and found it to be fairly entertaining in a typical Hollywood way, which is to say, this is just everything Hollywood has done before. It's 2021 so they had to throw in the current political topics of the day, race, same sex couples, whiteness, etc. It doesn't work , adds nothing to the movie , which is filed with all the same old Hollywood clichés and stereotypes. Once again the people of Appalachia, this time in Virginia, are backwards hicks and the city folk are all the young wise souls. In the end , this part of the film is offensive. I live in Virginia and seeing the south and the mountains continually portrayed as a place that city people visit, to be slaughtered, it's just tired garbage. This is the movies main problem, there is absolutely nothing new here and the actual "bad guys" set-up in this movie is kind of ridiculous. The acting is OK, but in the end this is just your typical Hollywood fare, with a new crop of actors and a cast ready for the PC and Woke generation. If that is Hollywood's idea of making something new, they failed big time.
Fear of Rain (2021)
Tries too hard to be too many movies in one
This is your average new Hollywood production, decent acting ( Connick is very good in this, Madison Iseman is excellent, as is Eugenie Bondurant ) well shot, mildly entertaining, but ridiculous story , awful script and plot holes galore. It's as if they don't even try, treating the audience as if everyone is an idiot. The entire movie doesn't make a lot of sense , characters could easily clear things up by asking questions or just saying something but then the movie would have no where to go. The movie is filled with clichés and scenes that just show how lazy the writers were, although I won't give anything away. It also seems to suffer from not knowing what it wants to be, so it throws in way too many angles and twists that don't ultimately work. Heigl, who can be good, is wasted here and seems miscast, Israel Broussard is now just being typecast as the unrealistic, cute , super-nice boy in school. I wanted to like this but it's just another stupid Hollywood endeavor.
Brief Encounter (1945)
There aren't many movies that qualify as flawless perfection, but this is surely one of them. The direction , the incredible B&W cinematography, the magnificent use of Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto #2, the beautiful script and most of all the mesmerizing performances of the 2 leads, this is film as art. If ever a movie conveyed what it feels like to be in love, this is it. A Classic.
Worth it for Matt Levett
Payback has many great reviews on here and while I only rate it a 5, it is worth seeing, and for one major reason ..........Matt Levett. In the lead role , he brings this film to life. It isn't that the film is bad, but the story is just a bit too simplistic although it is filmed well. There isn't anything here that hasn't been done by bigger budget Hollywood and better, so you can't help but see that this pales by comparison. Since Matt is pretty much the whole movie, someone did a great job with casting. In fact all the roles are well cast and played, but this really is his movie, he makes the character totally believable, he's gorgeous and the camera loves him. For what must be a lower budget indie they did a great job with recreating the feel of the 1990s and the sound recording is excellent, I've seen too many movies lately with garbled dialogue. It's obvious the people behind this knew what they were doing. Just wish they had told the story in a more compelling way.
Engrossing and not for the squeamish
Saw the trailer , thought this might be good and it is. Not just as a thriller but as a horror movie and a stomach turning one at that. Be warned, if medical type grotesqueries bother you, this is kind of sickening. The make-up jobs and special effects are very well done, the movie is genuinely fascinating while being loaded with twists and turns, the score is interesting and most of all Brendan Sexton III is phenomenal in the lead. The cinematography is also excellent and loaded with intriguing shots and like the score add to the movie in ways that elevate it. On the other hand there are some problems. For such an involved story, I wish there had been more to the script, and there were scenes that were very poorly recorded. One scene which was obviously crucial to the story was kind of lost on me as I could barely understand the actors. Talking softly in a film should never be literally talking in a whisper. The plot was great, the script needed work though. Still this is an amazing film, never boring, genuinely different and well-made enough to possibly give me nightmares.
Other then the fact that this boasts some attractive lead actors, this has nothing to recommend it. Slightly gruesome if you don't like autopsy type stuff, this is just a poorly made horror film minus any horror or suspense. Poorly filmed, I have no idea what cameras in 2006 were this blurry unless they were using some old phones. The Acting , script, continuity, and camera work were the only things truly frightening about this. The person I watched it with wanted to give up after 30 minutes of nonsense but we stuck it out for what ended up as a waste of time. One other slight plus was the score, which was reminiscent of something from a Hitchcock film , but this is really one you can skip. Just too many scenes of people talking, bad acting, and even worse, bodies just turning up without a bit of explanation. It was as if someone just edited a bunch of scenes together and left out pieces of the movie.
Daman akeseo guhasoseo (2020)
Korea does Hollywood
Deliver Us from Evil is well shot, well acted, involving and overall an OK film, if you like your films Hollywood style, which means kind of preposterous, unlikely, a bit of humor thrown in with the action, and every other cliché Hollywood would throw in. It even has has a drag performer as a main character to let you know this is a modern film. While entertaining enough, there is nothing here I haven't seen before, the sad eyed little girl, the side story ripped from today's headlines, the hitmen with almost super human powers. The lead actor is really the movie's saving grace, he's excellent and rises above this completely average material but there just isn't anything new here. I've seen many excellent Korean movies but this is just Hollywood garbage in another language .
Dead Billy (2016)
Well acted, ambitious but muddled
With an obviously low budget, Dead Billy is much more interesting then it had any right to be. Lauren Myers is excellent in the lead and John Hardy is fantastic as Billy but even the actors in the smallest roles in this movie shine. The story unfolds in a fascinating way , that will eventually have you wondering what is going on. Some of your questions will be answered, but unfortunately by it's end, some will not. It's the main problem with this movie, it throws so much out there that it becomes a bit of a muddled mess. Events jump back in forth, the editing isn't what it should be, and so some of this remains unclear. It's a shame because this could have been a much better movie. There are signs of great writing, and yet at other times it relies on nothing more then special effects, which don't work. This needed a tighter script with more dialogue and some clear answers, not snippets of symbolism. Worth watching once for the performances and some very well done scenes.
Wander Darkly (2020)
A tear jerker for the new crowd
Wander Darkly is an Ok film if you take it for what it is, a modern tearjerker for the 30-something crowd. Sienna Miller and Diego Luna are both fine in the leads but for the most part this is her movie. It's also a message movie and while it doesn't hit you over the head with it, the movie is a bit contrived. I guessed the twist early on and if you've seen enough movies lately , it's a twist that's becoming more common, which is to say this movie doesn't really present anything really new. The worst parts of this film are technical, I have no idea why shaky and twirling camera work were used as they add nothing. This is a drama, talk heavy, action light, but at times the constantly moving camera and quick edits were making me dizzy. The other problem was sound recording and Diego Luna's accent. I had no problem understanding her but his dialogue was at times completely lost on me, either it was mumbled or badly recorded. In a dialogue heavy film this is unacceptable. Overall, the movie just didn't move me, the characters, especially her, are not exactly lovable and while it is sad, I think it tried a bit too hard. If they were going to examine a couples relationship, maybe they picked the wrong couple because these 2 weren't all that fascinating. There are classic tearjerkers, this is not one of them. Worth a watch if you like the 2 stars.
Saint Maud (2019)
A Character study
The most amazing thing about this movie is to ask, how could so much add up to so little ? The performances in this are fantastic, the atmosphere perfect, sound effects are great, the cinematography is expertly done. The characters are fascinating. The problem is this is not horror , it's a depressing drama and Stephen King's Carrie comes to mind just no where near as interesting. It's an Ok watch but I doubt most would watch it a second time. There comes a point where watching any one person suffer is not entertaining , no matter how great the performance is. Maud is not some character who has never graced the screen before, in fact at this point she's kind of becoming a cliche. There just isn't much of a story here, it kind of hints at wanting to become a horror film, but never does and flirts with being something nasty, but doesn't commit to that either. In the end , the script was the failure here, this just kinds of plods along, soaring only in a very few scenes. Worth watching once if you're in the mood for something dark.
The Girl (2012)
When I finished watching this the first word that popped into my head was tedious. As of 2021 the most helpful review on here is titled "fairly tedious" so I guess great minds think alike. This made for TV movie isn't very good. It's an insult to Hitchcock who is a legend and if this is Tippi's take on the making of The Birds and Marnie, well I don't believe it. Tippi is not a legend and this film is tedious and concentrates too much on The Girl and not the legend. Yes I know it's suppose to be her viewpoint but in the end I understood neither of them. Toby just becomes a caricature and she just isn't presented in any interesting way. How can a movie about a legend and the making of at least one very famous movie (The Birds) be so dull ? To top it off, I watched Marnie after seeing this, a Hitchcock movie I had never seen and I can see why Hedren's career nosedived after that film. It isn't great and she stinks in it. Still as bad as Marnie is, it was better then this . Even bad Hitchcock is better then the garbage Hollywood now churns out.
Hitchcock was, in my opinion, the greatest director who ever lived. It's because of this that I found Marnie a great disappointment. It's 2021 and fifty something years after it's release I know some want to consider this a great film and a classic, but really it is not. It isn't even good. It's almost as if bits and pieces of better Hitchcock films had been pieced together to create this and it doesn't work. Sean Connery is very good, but I could never understand his seemingly blind attraction to Marnie. The story just doesn't work. I figured out most of her secret very early on, it's too obvious. The very worst part of the movie though is Tippi Hendren's performance, perfectly cast as Melanie Daniels in The Birds, she is horribly miscast here. Her acting is atrocious. The movie is all about her and the role needed a complex actress of the highest caliber. Instead she was just painful to watch. There is no chemistry between her and Connery and pairing her with such a fine actor only made her bad acting even more painful. With Hitchcock long dead I believe he has fans who would love to revisit his work and proclaim them all some sort of masterpiece but Marnie is a watch once movie. Vertigo, Psycho, The Birds, Rear Window, these are just some of his greatest achievements to be watched over and over. Marnie stinks.
The Black String (2018)
Dark and Creepy
I went into this with low expectations but with Frankie Muniz's excellent performance, some sickening and creepy moments, this dark tale is much better then it had any right to be. Obviously shot without a huge budget, it still boasted some good special effects , an interesting story that keeps you guessing, and fine performances from the rest of the cast. Realistic reactions built into the characters helped to elevate this above the usual horror films with people doing the stupidest things. Instead this was horror grounded in reality. Maybe not a classic horror film, but this is well worth watching.
Dark Skies (2013)
Horror based in Reality
I've seen this a few times and it always impresses me with how well it's been made, and how as a story it genuinely presents horror in a realistic sense. For the most part, the characters in this behave as you would expect someone to behave in their situation, something sorely lacking from many horror films. Keri Russell and Josh Hamilton are fantastic in the leads, working with a great script that makes this believable. It's an intelligent horror film and if you're expecting the usual big budget treatment with a horror story delivered and all neatly tied up in a bow by the end, this is not it. It's the fact that this isn't trying to be like every other horror film, but tries to take it to a personal level , that this succeeds.
The Exorcism of Emily Rose (2005)
High end exorcism movie
The movie is impressive. I know nothing of the real life story it is based on, but as an exorcism movie goes, it is right up there with "The Exorcist". This is not some cheaply made B movie , it boasts outstanding performances from everyone but especially Laura Linney (Excellent actress),Tom Wilkinson(always great) and an outstanding performance from Jennifer Carpenter as Emily Rose. Genuinely creepy and perfect atmosphere for a horrifying situation. The entire movie unravels in a fascinating way, it has a well written script and at times it is chilling. There have been so many exorcism movies over the years since The Exorcist , but this is an A list effort that completely succeeds in 2021, 16 years since it's release.