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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Movie Review - The Unborn (2009)

I think something should be said about new horror, been there done that. With that said, I just finished watching “The Unborn” (2009). This movie is categorized as a supernatural-horror thriller. I don’t normally watch this sub genre that much as I like zombies but also because it is new.

Although the plot line seems unique to me, it is very reminisant of the new horror-thrillers that are being produced in the last decade. The special effects were okay, kind of reminded me again of few other movies I had seen in the past. I wasn’t entirely convinced by this movie and I though why… the answer is because it seems to play out to perfect. I wouldn’t entirely say it was predictable but again; there was a certain ‘Déjà vu’ attached to it that I couldn’t shake.

The story is this; a girl is being haunted by a demon, she researches and finds out it drove her mother to suicide. She meets her grandmother who tells her the background about the demon and the connection with the family. She later finds out she is a twin and this demon has a hard on for twins (as do I). In an effort to rid herself of the demon she contacts a rabbi. The ending is what you would expect, complete with an exorcism and demon battle which everyone dies. To add insult to injury she finds out her bastard boyfriend knocked her up with twins... I'm sorry to say I think this movie will live on in a sequel.

This movie kept my attention but again nothing special other than a scantily dressed girl. I can say there were some pretty freaky scary scenes but that’s it. If you watch it, I can only assume that there wasn’t anything else on. I mean it is still horror but I rate it 3.5/10 and that was being kind.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Movie Review - Daybreakers (2009)

Vampires are cool aren’t they? This is why I decided to watch yet another flick on that sub-genre but this time with an open mind. The movie in question is “Daybreakers” (2009). I would definitely categorize this film as being a science fiction-horror even though it is listed as a horror-thriller.

Although I was ‘thrilled’, I couldn’t help but notice the obvious similarities to the movie “Last Man on Earth” (1964) in which Dr. Robert Morgan (Vincent Price) is the only one left living fighting vampires who of course have turned by some sort of plague? Another a few movies close to it would be the remakes “The Omega Man” (1971) and Will Smith’s “I am Legend” (2007). So, the idea may not have been unique, there was some original concepts with regards to a cure.

The storyline is simple; a plague turns people into vampires, they need blood to survive. Human blood is of course the best vintage and so the supply soon runs out. The movie jumps forward 10 years later from the beginning of the plague. A pharmaceutical company is researching synthetic blood and seems to be the main military clout. Hysteria breaks out and vampires are starved turning them into aggressive bat like creatures. Later, a small faction of humans meets with vampires to reveal and explore a possible end.

The gore and blood scenes were decent, splatter fest. The editing and special effects were fantastic adding that ‘Matrix’ - 'Van Helsing' feel. This movie had my attention the whole way through but I couldn’t help but wonder why the vampires didn’t consider cloning people. Supposedly this film takes place in the year 2019; one would think that present technologies would continue to be researched. The acting and characters were adequate for their parts. Just a solid well put together film.

Some might think this flick was a rip off but I don’t care. It is worth watching. I rate this film 8.5/10. If anything, you should watch for the similarities.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Movie Review - Lifeforce (1985)

I thought I would switch it up and view a science fiction movie. What a surprise, it's also classified as horror too! I have to admit, I felt a bit confused; it was like “2001 Space Odyssey” meets “Fright Night” with a twinge of “28 Days”. The title is called “Lifeforce” (1985).

The basic premise is like this: a group of 3 ‘space vampires’ (2 guys and 1 girl who are enclosed is glass like coffins) who are awaken by a space exploration team near Halley’s Comet. They then ‘feed’ on most of the ship crew-all but one and are some how are brought back to earth. On earth, the space officials are trying to solve the mystery of why the space craft was almost blown up, track down the vampires, and kill them. While the space vampires are being tracked down, they of course are feeding on multiple victims. The feeding is not in the traditional sense that one would expect from a vampire but rather orally-sucking some sort of electrical ‘life-force’ from the unsuspecting victims. (It actually reminds me of how the Wraith from “Stargate: Atlantis” suck life from a person too.) The Space Vampires seem to feed to the point that the hosts are reduced to skeletons but some how only have 2 hours of life before turning into dust. In some cases, victims were zombiefied and crazed while passing on their vampire tendencies.

The special effects aren’t too bad for what is was. I do like the skeletons; a little blood splattering here and there was good. Not a big budget film and it shows. All in all it was a good mix. I don’t think I would really recommend this film, but I would suggest watching if your fan of horror. I give this movie 3/10.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Book Review - Terminator and Philosophy

Thought I would do something different than post a movie review. How about a book report... I recently just finished reading “Terminator and Philosophy: I’ll Be Back, Therefore I am” by William Irwin, Richard Brown and Kevin Decker. Yes, this book is both entertaining and educational. Ever wonder what John Connor, Sarah Connor or the T-101 was thinking? This book explores the deeper meanings behind their reason for existence and how they relate with the events of judgment day and the machines.

Let me just say that this book was fantastic, a bit deep and hard to swallow at times. Basically, the book contains a compilation of essays written by various scholars to explore and debate philosophical ideas and apply them to the Terminator franchise (Terminator, T2 Judgment Day, T3 Rise of the Machines and The Sarah Connor Chronicles). There are several quotes, and citations from the franchise to help solidify their arguments. I did find at times that it was a bit of an overkill dwelling on certain topics to the point of annoyance (almost like beating a dead horse).

The themes presented were completely profound. In some cases I felt I needed a University degree to comprehend the ideas within. This book has it all; everything from theories to speculation. The truth is no one really knows and it is unlikely that James Cameron put that much thought into his movie. It is what it is; an action packed flick with fighting robots.

I have always been interested in philosophy but the topic is so boringly dry... however, when put into the context of the Terminator franchise it has life and new meaning. I did lean a thing and enjoyed reading it. Being that I'm a big fan of the franchise and the Terminator universe, that I just had to read it.

I highly recommend reading this book; even if you’re not into philosophy but as a fan. Who knows, you may just pick up a thing or two about one of the best movie franchises in history.