Monday, August 28, 2017

LIFE

Life Movie Review

Astronauts, scientists, and various other smart people (in theory) man the International Space Station when a space probe returns from Mars with a soil sample that proves there is life on Mars. The life form, named Calvin, starts off small and cute enough, but soon morphs into a deadly killing machine.

"I'm not touching you, I'm not touching you!"

This special-effects laden big screen film stars Jake Gyllenhaal (Donnie Darko) and Ryan Reynolds (The Amityville Horror) and, predictably, both turn in fine performances here--in fact, every actor in this movie does a pretty good job, making the characters across the board pretty likable--of course this makes you care about the inevitable death scenes, something we see too far little of in horror. Some of the dialogue may lose you, especially in the beginning, which starts off rather slow, and some of the decisions the characters make will have you shaking your head, but it's nothing we're not used to by now. These unbelievable scenes, and a somewhat drawn-out third act aside, there is a lot to like about Life. Yes, it borrows heavily from Alien, but separates itself more than enough to stand on its own in the long run, and it provides a very memorable final scene--this suggests there may be a sequel in the coming years, but I personally would very much prefer they leave it as is. If you're a fan of sci-fi and/or alien films, you should certainly set aside the time to watch Life.

On A Scale Of One To Ten: 7


Life Movie Trailer

Sunday, August 27, 2017

ASHES

Ashes Movie Review

Doctor Andrew Stanton (Brian Krause) is trying to come up with a cure for AIDS, but when he prematurely administers the treatment to a dying boy, he instead unleashes an aggressive virus that turns hosts into zombies. This low budget 2010 film is part of a box set I own, and while trying to decide which film from this "prestigious" set to watch next, I decided upon Ashes based on one thing--it co-starred the legendary actor Kadeem Hardison, who, of course, we all remember as one of the all-time great 1980s sitcom characters, Dwayne Wayne.

We all remember this guy, right?

Naturally, Dwayne Wayne's iconic glasses are also remembered fondly to this day and were named...you guessed it..."Dwayne Wayne glasses". So, if you have stumbled upon this site because you are wondering what Dwayne Wayne, or Kadeem Hardison, looks like today...I can't help you, but I CAN show you what he looked like in Ashes, circa 2010.

"Anybody seen my glasses?"

Back to the movie itself--the film builds a lot more on character development than one would expect from a zombie flick, and it actually does it quite nicely. Krause plays both a believable and likable Doctor Stanton, Hardison is spot-on in his performance--in fact, with the exception of the unbearable Joel Bryant (of Jack The Reaper fame), most of the cast is surprisingly decent. Most of the violence occurs off screen, and the outbreak doesn't happen until near the end of the film, but it somehow works--what fails is the directing, the editing, and the camera work. From a technical standpoint, this movie is an absolute mess--it's a shame really, because this film had a lot going for it otherwise.

On A Scale Of One To Ten: 5


Ashes Movie Trailer

Sunday, August 13, 2017

FINAL GIRL

Final Girl Movie Trailer

William (Wes Bentley, P2), a master...trainer? Hit-man? Boxer?...well, we're not quite sure who he is, but we know that his wife and child were killed by a "bad man", meets Veronica, a young girl who has just lost her parents. Over the next 12 years he trains her to be...a hit-woman? Assassin? Avenger?...we're not quite sure of that either, but once we meet a group of young men who enjoy luring young women into the woods for the purpose of letting said young woman run so they can hunt her down and kill her, it becomes obvious what Veronica's purpose will be. How did William know about this pack of killers? Who knows--that question is never answered either...if you're noticing a pattern here, there's a reason, and it's the biggest problem this movie has--there are so many unanswered questions and unexplained nonsense going on that it's hard to keep focus on the film--the poor dialogue and equally poor acting do nothing to make the movie any more enjoyable.

Don't even get me started on this guy

The notion of baiting a group of killers is an interesting one, but the execution lacks, as do the scenes when the killers inevitably face their deepest fears. If all this weren't enough, the pace of the movie is terribly slow, and our hero isn't particularly likable. All this said, there are a couple of things to like about the movie--the film has some strange David Lynch crossed with a live-action anime feel to it at times, and the tension actually hits an effective level during the game near the woods--these things, however, do not justify spending the time it takes to watch this movie.

On A Scale Of One To Ten: 4

Final Girl Movie Trailer

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

CURSE OF THE UNDEAD

Curse of the Undead Movie Review

The year is 1959. Vampire movies had been a staple on the big screen for years, and westerns were all the craze on television, so it was only natural that a movie that combined both genres be made, and that's what we have here with Curse of the Undead. As dead bodies begin to pop up, the denizens of a small Old West town begin to panic, and false accusations are tossed around. We have many of the things you expect from a western movie--drunkards, saloon fights, shoot-outs, arguments over land and whatnot, and a mysterious stranger dressed all in black--it will surprise nobody to learn this is the killer, and, naturally, the vampire.

And snazzy dresser to boot

From this point the movie shifts more toward a vampire/horror film, and brings some interesting twists to what people in 1959 knew as vampire movies--our vampire here can walk in the sunlight, he doesn't turn his victims into vampires, and is only a vampire himself because he killed himself in his previous life. He doesn't seem to WANT to kill people--he just does. Michael Pate does a decent job as Robey, the vampire, but the rest of the cast is sub-par, to say the least. The story struggles to gain traction and never really does find its footing, and the direction leaves a lot to be desired. Worst of all, the movie is really just...boring. As a fan of both horror films and westerns, I was somewhat excited to see this hybrid of the genres, but unfortunately, Curse of the Undead fails to be good at either.

On A Scale Of One To Ten: 4


Curse of the Undead Movie Trailer