Saturday, July 15, 2017

GET OUT

Get Out Movie Review

WARNING! THE FOLLOWING CONTAINS SPOILERS!!

Daniel Kaluuya stars (and does a wonderful job) in this film that is just like The Stepford Wives, except that instead of creating robot wives, rich white people kidnap black people and turn them into who they want them to be--it's also pretty much just like Invasion of the Body Snatchers, except that instead of aliens taking over the body of a host, it's aging, rich white people doing so. There's also much more profanity in this movie than in the other two, the last fifteen minutes packs more violence and bloodshed than those two, and it's not as good as either of those films, much less as good as you've heard it is...but it's certainly not a bad movie.

On A Scale...

"Wait, you're not done already are you?!"

Yes...yes I am.

On A Scale Of One To Ten: 6


Get Out Movie Trailer

Friday, July 14, 2017

WAR OF THE WORLDS

War of the World Movie Review

After diving under the ground on bolts of lighting, aliens re-emerge, driving massive implements of destruction and killing every human being in their paths. This Steven Spielberg 2005 take on the H.G. Wells story follows Ray (Tom Cruise, The Mummy) and his two children as they run and do whatever they can to survive.

"Well there's something you don't see every day"

The aliens arrive via an apparent storm, and right from that moment, you know you're in for a big budget, big screen blockbuster film, and when Spielberg is involved, that's almost assured to be gold. After the initial destruction, we get to know the characters a bit more--Cruise is really good as Ray, an every day blue collar guy who, though he loves his kids, isn't quite sure how to protect them--we don't get the story of an every day guy who is suddenly the world's ultimate survivalist with all the answers here--Ray is flawed, scared, and never sure he is doing the right thing, and Cruise plays that role surprisingly well. After seeing their tripod machines and snake-like cameras, we finally get a look at the aliens, and they are actually fairly frightening looking.

"Say, do ya have any Germ-X handy?"

The main drawback to this film is Rays kids--they are SO over-the-top irritating that one has to wonder how Ray managed not to smack them repeatedly--I would pay money to be able to enter the movie world, track Robbie down, and beat the living hell out of the kid. They whine, scream, and overall make poor Ray's life even worse than it already was--it's a wonder he didn't just surrender himself to the aliens to escape the kids. The ending, which ties into what I just said, also fails to deliver the punch you are expecting, but overall, I still find War of the Worlds to be an entertaining, fun film to watch every couple of years.

On A Scale Of One To Ten: 7


War of the World Movie Trailer

Monday, July 10, 2017

THE BYE BYE MAN

The Bye Bye Man Movie Trailer

We start off in 1969, where a man grabs a shotgun and shoots everybody--including himself-- familiar with a certain name. Flash forward to modern times, and eventually some college kids discover writings left by the shotgun -wielding madman, and repeat what he was saying--"don't think it, don't say it"--over and over again. The name, as you probably know, is The Bye Bye Man, who will appear, alongside his trusty pet dog, to destroy the lives of anybody who dares know of him.

"Who said it?! Who thought it?!"

Who is The Bye Bye Man? Where did he come from? We don't know--nor do we ever really find out, which is just one of many problems with this film that, surprisingly, actually hit the big screen. Some other problems include a very shaky (at best) plot, poor (for the most part) acting, a barrage of horror cliches, and characters that are largely unlikable. Not all is bad here, however--there are a couple fairly scary scenes, some twists you may not see coming, and a somewhat decent performance from Douglas Smith as Elliot, the lead character--less impressive is Carrie-Anne Moss (Memento), who seems absolutely bored in her brief appearance. The Bye Bye Man is a so-so horror film that is so unoriginal it is destined to be lost in the ever-growing shuffle of forgettable horror films of this decade. 

On A Scale Of One To Ten: 5


The Bye Bye Man Movie Trailer

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

THE SNAKE WOMAN

The Snake Woman Movie Review

After years of being treated for her madness with snake venom, a woman dies while she is giving birth and villagers are killing her scientist/snake handler husband. Fast forward twenty years, and the village is experiencing several deaths via snake bites, and a mysterious woman (Susan Travers), who appears to be about twenty years old, is seen wandering about.

Our title character

This movie starts off slow, and only gets slower. The dialogue is dull, and the pace is so sluggish you will have difficulty staying awake. The only thing that is moderately interesting in the plot is when somebody plays a snake charming instrument--horribly--and our snake woman loves it. The acting is at times wooden, at times Una O'Connor-esque. This film tries to be some sort of combination of a Universal Monster movie and Hammer film, but fails at being even close to either. To make matters worse, it's set around the turn of the century in England. All of this leads to a boring and predictable ending--certainly not following in the Hammer footsteps there! If you are wanting to do yourself a life favor today, decide to never spend your time watching this movie.

On A Scale Of One To Ten: 3


The Snake Woman Movie Trailer

Thursday, June 22, 2017

GAMMERA THE INVINCIBLE (aka Gamera: The Giant Monster)

Gammera The Invincible Movie Review

An aircraft is shot down by a fighter jet, landing in a frozen tundra and unleashing a prehistoric monster--Gammera The Invincible! It's not long before Gammera makes it to Tokyo and starts destroying everything in sight. This 1965 film was the first in the Gamera series, and for reasons I can't explain, there's an extra M in his name here. This movie is also notable for being the only Gamera movie filmed in black and white, and our lovable turtle monster isn't quite so lovable quite yet--in fact, he's the fire-breathing, people-crushing antagonist here!

Gammera? 

So scientists and experts try to figure out a way to stop the monster, while turtle-loving child Toshio, who Gammera saves at one point, tries to convince them the monster is actually nice and misunderstood--I saw the American version, and though I could find no evidence to prove it, the voice actor for Toshio sounds an awful lot like the woman who did the voice of another misunderstood, lovable beast from the 1960s.

This guy!

The scenes not involving Gammera are typically somewhere between mind-numbing and sleep-inducing, but those featuring our monster are absolutely fantastic--it steals borrows heavily from Godzilla, yes, but when it is pulled off this well, I have no problem with that. The movie also features on of the all time great scenes in movie history--as Gammera is destroying the city, there is a dance hall party going on with a band singing about how great Gammera is--and the song is catchy as hell by the way. The police bust in, demand they all leave, and after a brief pause, the band ignores the police and continues to sing about how great Gammera is until the beast destroys the entire building! The movie also features a fantastic ending. While not my favorite monster movie ever, Gammera The Invincible is a lot of fun, and a must-see for anybody into these type movies.

On A Scale Of One To Ten: 7


Gammera The Invincible Movie Trailer

Monday, June 19, 2017

47 METERS DOWN (From The Theatre)

47 Meters Down Movie Review

Side note before we get started: The movie theatre I saw this in had a fantastic cardboard cutout advertising this movie, but alas, I forgot to take a picture. If I make it back there in time, I will get that picture and put it here.

Sisters Lisa (singer Mandy Moore) and Kate (Claire Holt, The Messengers 2) vacation in Mexico and decide to go scuba diving in a cage surrounded by sharks. Things go very wrong for the sisters, however, when the cable connecting the cage to the boat snaps and the girls, still inside the cage, plummet--yes--47 meters (or almost 155 feet) down to the bottom of the ocean.

Well, you did do THIS voluntarily!

The movie starts off like every other horror film about Americans vacationing in a foreign country--there is a minor bit of relationship drama, the Americans party and get drunk, they meet some questionable people who want to take them on the time of their life, one of them (Lisa in this movie) thinks it's all a very bad idea but gets talked into it anyway--you get the picture. Thankfully, this film doesn't spend too much time with all that--the movie-makers here know we've come for the sharks and for the terror of being trapped at the bottom of the ocean, and they waste little time in getting us there. They also avoid the cliche of every foreign person is out to kill American tourists, which is nice. Visually, the movie is very impressive, and the scares are usually genuine, if not somewhat predictable. The gore is kept to a minimum, but if really isn't needed here. The acting isn't top of the line, but nobody is offensively bad. The ending will leave a bit to be desired--it was set up to be perfect, but the final couple minutes kill what could have been a very memorable end to this film. 47 Meters Down is far from a great movie, but it delivers what you expect, and does so fairly well. 

On A Scale Of One To Ten: 7


47 Meters Down Movie Trailer

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

THE MUMMY (2017) (From The Theatre)

Warning: While I generally try not to include any spoilers in my reviews, in order to fully tell the tale of this film, and to encompass everything surrounding it, there will be some minor spoilers within this review. Proceed with caution.

The Mummy Movie Review

Princess Ahmanet (Sofia Boutella), upon learning she will not become the most powerful person in the world when her father dies, murders her entire family--she then makes a pact with Set, the Egyptian God of all things chaotic, and when she attempts to kill her lover to give Set a human form, she is captured and mummified alive. Flash forward to present time, where treasure hunter Nick Morton (Tom Cruise) discovers the underground tomb Ahmanet was buried in, and, of course, unleashes her. Meanwhile, mysterious Doctor Henry (Russell Crowe) is interested in capturing Ahmanet, the knife and stone she used when she attempted to kill her lover, and Nick. There's also a love story involving Nick and Jenny Halsey (Annabelle Wallis), a woman who may not be quite who she seems. Oh yeah, and Nick's buddy Chris Vail (Jake Johnson) gets cursed and becomes a ghost/zombie thing.

"Am I forgetting anything?"

So yes, there's a lot going on in this movie, which serves as the kick off of the new Dark Universe series from Universal. You may ask yourself "Is this a remake of the original The Mummy, or is it a reboot of the series starring Brendan Fraser? Is it horror like the original, or more action/adventure like the Fraser series?" Honestly, it's a bit of both. The special effects are large and frequent, and the horror is dropped in here and there. While it makes it a great movie to see on the big screen, the CGI is a bit much for my taste--that said, it is done very well. I am personally a Tom Cruise fan so I enjoyed him in this one, even if he does ham it up a bit too much. The story, while convoluted, is an interesting one, but the dialogue leaves a LOT to be desired. Crowe, who I am typically not a huge fan of, is actually good as Henry, who we discover later is Doctor Henry Jekyll--I didn't see that one coming! I admit to also getting a slight bit giddy when I saw Gill-Man's arm and Dracula's skull in a passing scene. While the film was a lot of fun, my main complaint comes from the horror, or lack thereof.  The Princess, while looking a bit scary, is seldom presented as a mummy--no, I didn't expect her to be wrapped in sheets the entire movie, but to see her in the mummy form more would have been nice.

She looks like this for most of the film

Her troops were some sort of sand zombies that were so ineffective they came off more like the Argonauts Jason fights off in the 1963 film--only not as cool. You never got the sense there would be a time Nick wouldn't be able to fight them off. All that said, I still enjoyed watching this movie--it's a rocky start to the Dark Universe series, but it's worth watching, especially on the big screen.

On A Scale Of One To Ten: 7

The Mummy Movie Trailer (2017)