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Saturday, October 30, 2010

Movie Review - The Invasion (2008)

Okay, I have an interesting one for you; "The Invasion" (2008). Now, it is a remake of “The Invasion of the Body Snatchers”. This is considered the fourth version. The first came out in 1956 B&W. I’m sure for that time it was thrilling. Another version was later released in 1978 which resulted in the same story but with a few things added and changed. Then, Hollywood decided to reboot the film in 1993 which turned out to be mediocre and an unnecessary attempt to draw excitement. I wasn’t too impressed with that version. I’m not sure why they would choose to do so again BUT, this new version is decent. The premise is much the same but it was altered to a point where it could be its own fresh take.

This movie starts, and you’re immediately thrown directly into the action. For the first 5 minutes it seems that you are picking up in the middle of some sort of epidemic. You soon later find out that the beginning is more like around the end. The movie then proceeds to explain the whole story from the beginning.

So, I’m sure you may have seen one the versions, but the premise for this movie goes as follows: A space shuttle blows up upon entry thereby scattering pieces of the hull in various locations of the US. It is identified that the wreckage contains some alien type fungus that is not prone to high temperatures, meaning that it cannot die. People who came in contact with the wreckage are exposed to the virus fungus. The alien virus begins to re write DNA but this can only happen when sleeping. Once infected you are void of any feeling and are in a state of consciousness while being controlled by the alien; making it truly an invasion.

The film stars Nicole Kidman as the main character. She was alright; I don't care much for her. I won’t say she ruined it but thank goodness for supporting Daniel Craig (new 007) and he is always very good. There is lots of action, dialogue is decent, and effects are decent.

I didn’t feel like I was really watching a remake. This movie did keep my attention and in fact I rather liked this version. I rate it 7.5/10 and recommend viewing it.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Movie Review - Resident Evil: Afterlife (2010)

For the last few years I’ve been awaiting the return of Resident Evil; with three movies and multiple games under the franchise belt and now the latest installment "Resident Evil: Afterlife" (2010). I will say, it's definitely true that sequels kill a movie franchise. I for one am a fan but there is limitations to my fandom. In all honesty, the franchise seems to have gone hill with every sequel.

This was the last and final straw for me though.

Where do I begin? The story line is terrible and unfolds with Alice looking for survivors in a world overrun by the deadly ‘T-virus’ and zombies. Her mission is to guide the survivors to a safe haven known as ‘Arcadia’ located in Alaska but the mission gets thwarted by the Umbrella Corporation, namely Wesker. By the half way mark I was bored. The zombie action was a snooze. I'm used to a certain caliber and this isn't it. I know the movies are made for the fans but come on.

Alice is still played by Millia Jovovich, not much changes with her same old. There are some new faces and some old faces carried over from the previous movie (Extinction 2007). No one really stands out as having superb acting. The Wesker character played by Shawn Roberts was a rip off of Agent Smith from ‘The Matrix’. I did like him but that’s because I love the Matrix. I can’t blame the actors as the issue is really with the script.

This movie may have been more exciting had I seen it in 3D. This I will agree with but you shouldn't have to be blinded by cheap effects to like a movie. In my opinion, this is the worst film of the year subsequently making Resident Evil one of the worst franchises in cinematography. It hurts me to give a low rating; 5/10 -don't waste your time.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Movie Review - 100 Feet (2009)

It's tough to find a flick out there that keeps your attention. The movie "100 Feet" (2009) does just that. The beginning seems slow but you realize it's building towards something.

The story line is as follows; Marnie Watson (Famke Janssen) is convicted on man-slaughter charges for killing her abusive husband in self defense at their home. After a bit of a vacation in the slammer, she is now home but under house arrest with an electronic ankle bracelet which only has a range of 100 feet. Still with me so far?

Enter, the un-rested enraged spirit of her dead husband who is haunting her. The movie shifts to Marnie trying to rid the spirit of her home.

This movie wasn't really scary as it was suspenseful. The background music and sound effects helped solidify the moods of a haunting. This is what I would call cheap thrills. I won't lie though; I did jump a few times. The acting was average, visuals were average.

A good upstanding film worthy of viewing but the ending could have been slightly better. The premise sounds unique but the idea of a haunting spirit in a home is unoriginal.

I rate it 6/10. Good strong effort here.

Movie Review - The Lost (2009) TV

Alright, I have a really good one for you. It's not really a horror but more of a thriller, could be considered crime mystery drama. The movie is called "The Lost" (2009) and it was a made for TV. Okay, I know what you’re thinking but I assure you this movie is decent.

The story follows a Psychologist Doctor; Kevin who is played by Armand Assante. He has just written a book explaining the connection of being sexually abused and the development of multiple personality disorder. A woman meets up with him to plea for help, actually more like blackmails him to help her sister in a mental institute as he may have misdiagnosed her 3 years prior. He later finds she has distinct personalities which go against symptoms of the disorder. With a little investigation uncovers the truth behind her mysterious illness while uncovering his dark past. I think I will stop there as I don't want to ruin it for you all.

The acting was fantastic, everyone played their part. Armand Assante, great as always. I say; hats off to Lacey Chabert who played Jane –the girl with multiple personalities. The story and dialogue was smart and intelligent. I’m a fan of psychology and found it to be interesting on other levels.

I was super impressed with this movie however, it did end abruptly which I did not like. I felt that it could have been tied up a bit better. So I give it my approval rating of 6.5/10

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Movie Review - Night Skies (2007)

I can’t be sure about alien abduction films but one thing for sure; they are creepy. It is the unknown that we fear. With that said, I just finished watching "Night Skies" (2007).

This movie is supposed to be a reenactment of an alien abduction -something called ‘The Phoenix Lights’. The acting overall was mediocre at best and the only actor worthy to note is Jason Connery (who is the son of Sean Connery) but even his performance was a bit of a disappointment.

It involves a few 20 something’s going on a trip to Las Vegas in a motor home. They soon get lost on a woodsy back road which was supposed to be a short cut. Their motor home then encounters a stranded truck and its driver (by smashing into it). Some passengers are hurt and help must be found. Things start to shake up when the aliens release their havoc. Need I say more?

The movie pace was a little slow to build. While waiting, I was subject to boring cliché lines read by second rate actors. Once the film got going it didn't take too long for me to get scared. There's nothing like blurred images of grey aliens running, popping head shots and of course the constant clicking. The camera work was alright, lots of POV shots helped create the mood to freak me out.

After watching this film I had an alien induced dream that night. I’m sure I wasn’t abducted but still felt odd. So, although I was deeply touched by this flick, it still lacked a decent story. Yes, I agree that it is a reenactment but still it was poorly done. I felt like I was watching a soap or TV movie so I rate it 4/10.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Movie Review - Pulse 2: Afterlife (2008)

I’m on a bit of a ‘B’ rated kick right now, searching for films worthy of a positive review –if any. Hidden gems and the under rated films waiting to be rediscovered. I got a real 'winner' here; “Pulse 2: Afterlife” (2008). Keep in mind that this movie is a sequel which apparently went straight to DVD and there is good reason for that. The original “Pulse” came out in 2006, which I don’t recall watching? Now, it may have made some sense to watch the original to really 'get it' however, I think it should stand on its own.

The story opens right into some eerie action, a man dressing up in a red suit, a TV type image of woman accosting a person in the alley. The scene then switches to a woman in her dilapidated apartment, realizing that her daughter is gone and so the adventure begins with that. There is an apparent plague which shows as a blackish vein mould on the body which some how was spread through the internet. As the condition worsens, your body turns to dust and you are digitized between spirit worlds. Somewhat interesting, freaky enough to be a horror but by no means scary. Yes, I thought I had seen this story before as this film kind of reminded me of “Silent Hill” (2006) and “Feardotcom” (2002) and perhaps “The Ring” (2002). I won’t give away anymore of the story, if your interested you can see it for yourself.

The acting was alright, nothing fantastic to mention any stand out actors. The camera work was okay, special effects okay. I felt that there could have been more done with the story. I’m intrigued about what the original was like and surprisingly there is a 3rd sequel available to watch, if I dare. This movie is all around o-k-a-y, so I rate it 4/10 and note it’s definitely a ‘B’ movie but I say ‘B+’ with + for effort.