Sunday, January 27, 2013

Mama (2013) review


This kind of horrific, melancholy fairy tale of two girls is definitely worth seeing. Del Toro definitely knew what he was doing when he made this.

PLOT:Five years after a tragic murder involving a family of four (a dad, mom, and two girls), two little girls are found in a cabin living by theirselves, or so it seems. Once the girls are returned to civilization, they are placed in the care of their uncle, Lucas (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), and his girlfriend, Annabel (Jessica Chastain). However, a presence from the cabin seems to have followed the girls back home; this presence is the spirit that has raised them the past five years, named Mama. Now Luc and Annabel must try to protect the children from the jealous hands of Mama. It's a good plot executed very well.

ACTING:The performances in here were excellent. I think this film lived off the acting aside from the scares. The best performances were done by Jessica Chastain and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Annabel and Lucas/Jeffrey. They really led the cast on. The other shiners would be Daniel Kash as Dr. Dreyfuss and Megan Charpentier as Victoria. For a child, she did a pretty great job.

SCORE:The score was very good. It set the mood of the film off in the right direction every time, and it contained a truly haunting theme that I hope becomes more familiar in time. Thank you, Fernando Velazquez.

EFFECTS:The effects are really what set the scares in place next to the supsense. Though all of the effects were CG, they never failed to scare. The effects used to make Mama look and move in scary angles were pretty great. I, as a animation/special effects geek, have always wanted to pull off something like this.

OTHER CONTENT:This was actually a really good film. Del Toro decides to put old-school jump scares and suspense-buliding techniques to win over its audience instead of just mindless gore and killing. It also contained a very compelling storyline and told it as if it were a sick, melancholy fairy tale instead of a horror film. Even for being a modern horror film, this was truly a beautiful film with balancing emotions and plenty of scare in it. However, I found it to be a little derivative in some of the scares and ideas it contained. Also, I didn't really agree with the ending; I could've seen it going in a completely different direction, even if it was an emotional end.

OVERALL,a great horror film with a really good plot, excellent acting, very good and haunting score, pretty great effects, old-school scares and suspense-builiding, and beauty by balanced emotions, but it was a bit derivative and I didn't agree with the ending.

Friday, January 25, 2013

V/H/S (2012) review


I've heard many mixed reviews for this one, but in the end, I believe it to be a pretty good horror anthology. It definitely isn't the best and is very flawed, but it entertained.

PLOT:This group of friends make money off doing bad things and putting them on film for others to see, such as breaking into houses and molesting women. However, one night they're asked to do a job where they break in a house and steal one VHS tape. They break in and find upstairs an old man's corpse surrounded by TV's and VHS tapes. One by one they choose to go through them, not knowing what's on the tape. What they find is horrifying footage of a date with buddies gone wrong, a second honeymoon with mysterious results, a trip to a peculiar lake with a bunch of friends, a webchat session between boy-and-girl gone wrong, and a Halloween night in peril. It's a decent plot executed decently.

ACTING:The acting in here wasn't the best I've seen and was kind of hit-or-miss, but some of it was actually good. The best performances I believe were Joe Swanberg as Sam, Sophia Takei as Stephanie, Calvin Reeder as Gary, Helen Rogers as Emily, Hannah Fierman as Lily, Mike Donlan as Shane, and Norma C. Quinones as Wendy, as well as other actors I can't place the name of. Most of the time, however, it depended on the moment.

EFFECTS:There wasn't really any score, so I'll move on to effects. The effects in here were pretty cool. They weren't totally realistic, but they looked really cool. The best effects would have to be in the first video (even if they were unrealistic) or the third video. The worst were definitely in the fourth video.

OTHER CONTENT:This wasn't as bad as some people say it was, but it also wasn't as good as some people thought it was. Besides the hit-or-miss acting and the unrealistic effects, this really didn't have any character development in any of the shorts. The characters are really one-dimensional and almost don't matter unless it's by their one personality trait that's dominant. Also, the execution in some of the shorts is really hit-or-miss. The first video? Great. The second? Okay. The third? Not so much. The fourth? Decent. The fifth? Good. The overall execution? Just enough to be decent. I believe a lot more could have been done to make this better, but it still has some positives. This succeeds to build suspense for certain scares so you don't know what will happen, and the scares are pretty shocking when they do come. The execution needs some work, but otherwise it's pretty good. It's definitely a stereotypical horror movie (blood, guts, jump scares, swearing, drugs, sex), but it does some of it oh-so-right.

OVERALL,a good horror anthology with a decent plot, some good but hit-or-miss acting, cool but unrealistic effects, little character development at all, execution problems, suspenseful moments, good scares, and the stereotypes of a horror movie.

Monday, January 21, 2013

French Kiss (1995) review


It's actually a pretty interesting love story with some decent acting, but it fails to do anything truly spectacular for me.

PLOT:Kate (Meg Ryan) has been engaged with a guy named Charlie (Timothy Hulton) for a long time. He takes a trip to Paris without her, because she's afraid of flying, and ends up falling for another French girl. Kate then decides to fly to Paris to try to steal him back. However, while on the plane, she meets an interesting Frenchman named Luc Teyssier (Kevin Kline), who helps conquer her fear of flying. However, Kate doesn't know about Luc's troublesome past and what he's done. In a strange turn-of-events, they end up following each other and get advice for each other's lives. It's a decent plot executed pretty mediocrely.

ACTING:The acting wasn't too bad, I'd say. Meg Ryan played a pretty good part as heartbroken Kate and Kevin Kline played a pretty decent part as wannabe-smooth Luc. However, neither of them was really outstanding I'd say. It was a typical romantic comedy. The other shiner would have been Jean Reno as Jean-Paul. He was alright.

SCORE:The score wasn't really important. It was made up of some mood-fitting score and a cheesy arrangement of French songs.

OTHER CONTENT:This wouldn't have been that bad if it had been executed right, I believe. It was just bland overall. The jokes fell pretty flat, the drama and romance didn't leave a huge mark, and it followed the rom-com formula pretty straight. I did see a bit of potential in it, and the performances weren't too bad, it just didn't end up to be anything more than bland.

OVERALL,a neutral movie with a mediocre-executed plot, decent acting, unimportant score, flat jokes, somewhat dull romance, and a too-familiar formula, but it did have some potential and it's not bad-it's just bland.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

ParaNorman (2012) review


I was really looking forward to seeing this one this past year, and I have to say that I got everything I expected and a little more.

PLOT:Norman (Kodi Smit-McPhee) isn't like the other kids; he can talk to ghosts. All the other kids pick on him at school and even his family ignores him and labels him as crazy. However, he is one day visited by his uncle (John Goodman) who tells him that he is now in charge of keeping the witch's curse under control and keeping her from coming back to haunt the town. Norman tries, but fails to keep the witch under control, which in turn raises the dead and trashes the town! Now it's up to Norman, his sister (Anna Kendrick), his best friend, Neil (Tucker Abrizzi), Neil's brother, Mitch (Casey Affleck), and Norman's bully, Alvin (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) to save the town and stop the witch's curse. It's a really good plot executed greatly.

VOICES:The voice acting in here was pretty good. Kodi Smit-McPhee actually played a pretty good part as the young Norman. I say that in this tone because the child actors usually aren't that good. The other shiners would be John Goodman as Mr. Prenderghast, Jeff Garlin as Perry (Norman's dad), Casey Affleck as Mitch, Anna Kendrick as Courtney, Elaine Stritch as Grandma, and Tempestt Bledsoe as the Sheriff. However, some of these performances weren't all that great, or they couldn't live in a live action movie as they did in here.

SCORE:The score was pretty good. It wasn't anything spectacular, but it really went along with the mood of the movie with a nice finishing song from The White Stripes.

ANIMATION:The animation had to be the best part of the movie along with the plot. The animation is from the creators of the great "Coraline", so you can imagine it's going to be really good. The animation in here is very detailed, both in motions and design. I loved how they made everything movie with ease in beautiful claymation, as well as semi-realistic characters.

OTHER CONTENT:This movie was a real treat for not only the horror fan but also the kid in me. This claymation treat seamelessly blends zombie horrors with a child's innocence and comes out with a product worth being made. It's clever, meaningful, intense, and funny. However, aside from the one-track acting, it also has a sense of a familiar formula, like if you had combined "Chicken Little" with a zombie/premonition movie. It's still a great treat overall anyway.

OVERALL,a great claymation movie with a really good plot, pretty good voice acting, fitting score, beautiful claymation animation and design, cleverness, meaning, intensity, fun, and a well-done combination of innocence and horror, but the acting would probably only work for this movie and the formula seems very familiar.

Monday, January 14, 2013

The Breakfast Club (1985) review


If you watch any of the teen comedies from the eighties, this should be the one you see. It's funny and clever with a suprising amount of emotion from all characters.

PLOT:A brain (Anthony Michael Hall), a princess (Molly Ringwald), a basket case (Ally Sheedy), a criminal (Judd Nelson), and an athlete (Emilio Estavez) all get detention on the same Saturday at their school, led by Mr. Vernon (Paul Gleason). Mr. Vernon is determined to make these teenagers' life a living hell for the next eight hours, but when he's not looking, these odd five teens fight and throw insults at each other fiercely. However, these five complete strangers may end up being best friends by the end of the day. It's a good plot executed brilliantly.

ACTING:The performances in here are great. All of the teenagers did a brilliant job with their roles. The usuals, Molly Ringwald and Anthony Michael Hall, did two very great jobs as Claire and Brian. Of course, Ally Sheedy and Emilio Estavez did just as good a job as Allison and Andrew. The best of the teens, however, was Judd Nelson as John Bender. He really stood out as the over-active and misunderstood criminal character. The only other performance worth noting would be Paul Gleason as Mr. Vernon.

SCORE:The score in here was pretty good. Most of it was pop-like eighties score, but it really fit the mood, including the memorable "Don't You Forget About Me" by Simple Minds.

OTHER CONTENT:This eighties teen comedy film has got the be the best of them, especially in the John Hughes canon. The performances lead it into a very entertaining and substantial film overall. Not only is it a very funny look into teen life, but it's also clever and carries a pretty major emotional impact. One of the many good things about this film is that it can stand alone as either a straight comedy or an emotional teen drama. John Hughes really struck gold on this one.

OVERALL,an epic John Hughes film with a brilliant plot, great acting, good score, funny comedy, lots of cleverness, and a major emotional impact.

Fast Times At Ridgemont High (1982) review


This movie blast from the 80s is hilarious and memorable among many things, but is it just another lost movie of the MTV generation?

PLOT:School's starting this year at Ridgemont High and each student has their own set of interesting goals. Stacy (Jennifer Jason Leigh) wants to score high with the older guys in school with help and advice from her friend, Linda (Phoebe Cates). Mark Ratner (Brian Backer) has a huge crush on Linda and wants help asking her out, which he recieves from his best friend and concert ticket scalper, Mike Damone (Robert Romanus). Stacy's brother, Brad (Judge Reinhold), has just recently lost his girlfriend and is now also having trouble finding a solid job to hold onto. Jeff Spicoloi (Sean Penn) is a pothead, surfer dude who plans on breezing by school, to the dismay of his history teacher, Mr. Hand (Ray Watson). These are the life and times of Ridgemont High. It's a pretty good plot executed greatly.

ACTING:The performances in here are pretty good. The best and most iconic performance would probably have to go to Sean Penn as the memorable Jeff Spicoli. Every line he says is funny and memorable, as I said before. The other shiners were Jennifer Jason Leigh as Stacy Hamilton, Phoebe Cates as Linda Barret, Robert Romanus as Mike Damone, Brian Backer as Mark Ratner, and Ray Watson as Mr. Hand. However, some acting was iffy, such as Judge Reinhold as Brad Hamilton. He had his good moments, but wasn't that good of a performance.

SCORE:The soundtrack is made up of many upbeat, 80s songs from artists such as The Go-Gos, Jackson Browne, Oingo Boingo, Joe Walsh, and many others including one track by Led Zeppelin. Needless to say, it was a pretty accurate and cool soundtrack.

OTHER CONTENT:This was a really great movie overall. It was hilarious, emotional, relatable, and just fun. It's actually a pretty iconic comedy. However, this does have a couple of flaws. Unlike Dazed and Confused, this one's not as good at pulling off having a very thin plotline. In this movie, you actually remember that there's no plot and it's not as easy to get lost in as D&C. Also, this one can get a bit cheesy from time-to-time, which makes it nearly lost in the 80s generation of teen comedy.

OVERALL,a great comedy with a greatly-executed plot, good acting, fun soundtrack, hilarity, emotion, relatability, and a lot of fun, but its plot line is noticeably thin, and it can get cheesy from time to time.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Cube (1997) review


I didn't know what to expect from this movie, but what I got was creepy and suspenseful, yet with some poor aspects.

PLOT:A cop named Quentin (Maurice Dean Wint), a doctor named Holloway (Nicky Guadagni), an engineer named Worth (David Hewlett), a student named Leaven (Nicole deBoer), an ex-con named Rennes (Wayne Robson), and a mental retard named Kazan (Andrew Miller) all find themselves in a cube-like torture chamber made up of thousands of different cube rooms with some being trapped and others being normal. Quentin takes the lead with Leaven decyphering the number clues discovered throughout, all while trying to keep Kazan under control as well as the others. All of these people must figure out how to get out of this cubed prison alive. It's a good plot executed decently.

ACTING:The acting in here was pretty mediocre overall. The performances weren't that bad when it first started out, but over time they just got worse. The worst of them were Maurice Dean Wint as Quentin and Nicky Guadagni as Holloway. I couldn't really stand their acting much in the latter half of the movie. The shiners would probably be David Hewlett as Worth, Nicole deBoer as Leaven, and Andrew Miller as Kazan.

SCORE:The score was alright, but nothing special. It didn't fully match the mood of the movie anyhow.

EFFECTS:The effects weren't too bad really. The bloody aftermath of some of the characters were pretty cool to watch, though not too realistic. The effects for some of the traps were pretty awesome too, whether CG or not.

OTHER CONTENT:This movie could have been better, but it wasn't that bad really. It was creepy, suspenseful, and very thought-out, but some major flaws aside from just the acting make it seem pretty sucky. The ending was pretty preposterous, I'd say. I'm not going to spoil it, but you would never expect it to end the way it did, and it just makes it far too ridiculous overall. Also, we never really got an answer of who was behind it all or why it's happening.

OVERALL,a good movie with a good plot, mainly mediocre acting, unfitting but unimportant score, cool blood effects and awesome CG effects, creepiness, suspense, and a lot of thought, but aside from the acting, the end was ridiculous and we never really tied up all the loose ends.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975) review


Have you ever watched a movie so brilliant that it brought tears to your eyes at the end? This is one of those films I'm speaking of. Jack Nicholson gives what might be his best performance in this brilliant film.

PLOT:Randall P. McMurphy (Jack Nicholson) was put in jail for charges of assault and statutory rape earlier in life. Now, he's being carried over the the local mental institution with assumptions that he's crazy. McMurphy plays it cool and says he's not, but they keep him for evaluation anyhow. While here, McMurphy bonds with the patients of the mental ward, including the deaf Chief (Will Sampson), the anxious Martini (Danny DeVito), the insulting Taber (Christopher Lloyd), and many more by doing many illegal things. However, being under rule and watch by the uptight Nurse Rached (Louise Fletcher), McMurphy must plan his schemes right and keep them convinced that he's crazy, whether he is or not. It's a good plot executed brilliantly.

ACTING:The acting in here was great. Jack Nicholson stole the lead as the insane Randall P. McMurphy. His acting in here got him an Academy Award and several others, and I believe that it was a great decision to choose him. The other shiners would be Will Sampson as Chief, Danny DeVito as Martini, Christopher Lloyd as Taber, Louise Fletcher as Nurse Ratched, Scatman Crothers as Turkle, Brad Douriff as Billy Bobbit, Sidney Lassick as Charlie Cheswick, William Redfield as Harding, and William Duell as Sefelt. Each performance was unique and expertly done.

SCORE:The score in here is great and done by the great Jack Nitzche. He does it so hauntingly and beautifully that it brings more emotion to the film.

OTHER CONTENT:This film was pretty brilliant. The visionistic approach in Nicholson's character inspired the whole film as well as an insightful look into the mental institutions of that time. The emotional impact this film contained packed such a hard punch that anyone who really watches the film will feel great delight in it. This film left me with an unforgettable feeling .

OVERALL,an epic film with a brilliant plot, great acting, haunting score, and a powerful emotional impact.

Monday, January 7, 2013

House of Wax (1953) review


Any movie I've seen with Vincent Price has been pretty good because of his haunting acting and the creepiness the film creates. This one is no exception; there's plenty of creepy imagery to be found along with Price, but does it stand the test of time?

PLOT:Professor Henry Jarrod (Vincent Price) was a great artist of wax sculpting and used to own his own wax museum with his beautiful creations bound up inside. However, his museum is burned down after a jealous investor burns it down from not getting Jarrod's money. Later on down the road, Jarrod is never found and the investor is in wealth, yet, he one day is found mysteriously hanging from a noose in an elevator shaft. While the cops are trying to solve this mystery, another one is forming involving corpses vanishing from the morgue. Also, a certain Sue Allen (Phyllis Kirk) is being followed home by a strange and ugly figure, terrorizing her. Things really pick up when Jarrod is discovered not dead and crippled in a wheelchair with helpers starting his new wax museum. It's a big hit, but the wax dummies have a little too much of a striking resemblance to real people. It's a good plot executed greatly.

ACTING:The performances in here weren't the best, and might be a little dated, but some still are good today. Vincent Price played a creepy and passionate role as Professor Henry Jarrod. Nobody else really stood out like he did in this. The other shiners, however, would be Phyllis Kirk as Sue Allen, Paul Cavanagh as Sidney Wallace, and Paul Picerni as Scott Andrews.

SCORE:The score wasn't the best I've heard, but it was pretty good still. It didn't do anything real special.

EFFECTS:The effects in this movie are pretty good. The make-up effects for the character(s) are very well done and creepy. The best effects would have to be of the wax dummies melting in the fire. The camera is aimed at them at such an angle and timing that it actually does give you the creeps.

OTHER CONTENT:This movie was probably a dead ringer for a good horror film in its time, especially with the introduction of the 3D effects, and probably had a high entertainment value. The movie had great dialogue and was full of suspense, but it's still rather dated. Some of the scares and thrills shot in here aren't as scary as they probably were back then, especially with the 3D. Plus, this movie is easily classified as more a horror for entertainment with a couple laughs and the 3D thrills induced in it. It's still a pretty great horror film today, but the test of time has worn it down a great bit from what it has been.

OVERALL,a great horror film with a good plot, mainly dated acting aside from Price, unimportant score, creepy make-up and wax effects, great dialogue, and lots of supsense, but a lot of the scares and such appear to be dated and for pure entertainment.

Beetlejuice (1988) review


This has always been one of my favorites. I love the unique style, plotline, and character development put into it by Burton. It's more than an 80s classic; it's a pretty good mark in movie history.

PLOT:Adam (Alec Baldwin) and Barbara (Geena Davis) Maitland are a young country couple living in the sticks of Winter River, Connecticut. This year for their vacation, they decided just to take it at home with each other. However, riding back home from a regular trip to town, the couple swerve off a bridge and crash into the water below. The couple somehow make it back to the house and notice strange things going on. They don't accept until later on that they are now ghosts and didn't survive the crash. The house is rented out and a city-based family moves in, including artisic Delia (Catherine O'Hara), the simple-minded Charles (Jeffery Jones), and the strange Lydia Deetz (Winona Ryder). These people tear up the house and start to drive the couple ragged, but they need help being ghosts. They start to hear about the bio-exorcist, Beetlejuice (Michael Keaten), and contact him, which is when things start getting crazy. It's a really good plot executed awesomely.

ACTING:The performances in here are very good overall. Michael Keaten stole the show as Beetlejuice, even if he didn't have as much screen time as the others. He really let loose and made the character interesting. Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis also played a pretty funny part as the unaware couple. The other shiners would be Catherine O'Hara as Delia, Jeffrey Jones as Charles, Winona Ryder as Lydia, Sylvia Sidney as Juno, Robert Goulet as Maxie Dean, and Glenn Shadix as Otho. The performances were really great in this movie.

SCORE:The soundtrack in this movie is another one of the best parts of it aside from the plotline. The great Danny Elfman, whose work for Burton is very famous. The themes and background score produced in here is very detailed, fitting, creepy, contagious, and loveable by all. It was perfect.

EFFECTS:The effects in here weren't as fantastic as some of the Hollywood effects you see today, but they were still really good. I love the old effects used in here for the sandworms; I've always loved these kind of effects. The effects used to make the gruesome ghosts look real are very creepy and realistic as well.

OTHER CONTENT:This has always been a favorite film of mine. It's funny, smart, creative, and like no other. I believe this movie should get even more credit than it has already. I believe there should be more movies like this: wild, creative, and just unique. However, this movie is flawed. There are moments where it does come off as very cheesy with some of the dialogue and situations. The rest of the dialogue was pretty solid and smart though. Despite its few cheesy flaws, I believe this movie should stand taller in the film industry and be more of an inspiration to others.

OVERALL,an awesome movie with an awesome plot, very great performances, creepily-perfect Elfman score, old and realistic effects, and just an overall creatively wild and unique feel that other movies should have, but a lot of it can come off as cheesy sometimes.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

My Most Anticipated Movies of 2013

The year 2013 has come upon us maybe a little quicker than we thought, but nevertheless, there are still a lot of movies to be released this year that we will all want to see. This, my friends, is my most anticipated movie list of 2013, so far.

Release Date: Feb. 1
Directed by:Jonathan Levine

As preposterous as a movie about a zombie falling in love with a girl sounds, this has somehow hooked me to see it. It goes against the formula of zombies being unfeeling, undead servants and delving into one zombies mind as if he were a captured soul being controlled by zombie impulses. Could this actually be a decent movie? We'll just have to see because this has me hooked.

Release Date: Feb. 13
Directed by: Richard LaGravenese

All my friends have read or are planning to read this book in school, and from what they've told me about it, it sounds really interesting. It involves some paranormal/mythological stuff mixed in with an interesting love story, as most teenage books nowadays. However, seeing the trailer for this one actually gave me hope that it won't be another generic teenage sleeper. I'll keep open-minded.

Release Date: March 8
Directed by: Sam Raimi

I've always loved the Wizard of Oz and I was thinking about how it could eventually use a re-vamp. Well, I finally got it from none other than the great Sam Raimi of the Evil Dead and Spiderman. I'm sure he'll do good to the near-lost franchise, especially with performances from Michelle Williams, Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz, and James Franco. I'm sure this one will be really good, and I can't wait until it comes out.

Release Date: March 8
Directed by: Kaare Andrews (mainly)

This one really appeals to the horror fan in me. This horror project is made up of 26 individual chapters done by 26 individual directors. With all of this production, I'm hoping it's as good as it can get.

Release Date: April 12
Directed by: Malcolm D. Lee

They've been teasing us about this one for a really long time, but now, they're finally talking about releasing it! I've been a decent fan of the Scary Movie franchise and have been waiting for this one to finally come out. Maybe it won't be as dreadful as some of its predecessors, especially with Charlie Sheen and Lindsay Lohan.

Release Date: April 12
Directed by: Frederico Alvarez

The original classic by Sam Raimi is a favorite of mine and my overall favorite horror film, but a remake of it? I don't think it's really necessary, but since they're remaking it, it'll be interesting to see how they do it. At least it still has the original producers, so it can't be that bad....hopefully.

Release Date: May 17
Directed by: J. J. Abrams

I never really got into the old Star Trek movies as I did with the old series, but I really did like the new movie in 2009, so this should really be interesting to see. It makes me wonder what's going to happen.

Release Date: May 24th
Directed by: Todd Phillips

I loved the first two Hangovers, and a third one was just inevitable to be made. With all the same actors, I'm sure it'll be somewhat of a riot even if the idea isn't as fresh as it originally was.

Release Date: June 21
Directed by: Dan Scanlon

I said something about this one in one of my past blog posts, but I want to bring it up again because it's being released this year. I really liked the first Monsters Inc. movie and I've always wanted a sequel. I still didn't get one, but this is better than nothing, I'd say. I can't wait to see how this one will turn out.

Release Date: July 3
Directed by: Chris Renaud

I really enjoyed the first Despicable Me movie, but I really didn't think they would make a sequel to it. I didn't think it was necessary either. However, the trailer poses a pretty interesting twist mystery that could really set it off, plus it seems to keep some of the same hilarity the original had.

Release Date: August 16
Directed by: Thor Freudenthal

I actually kind of got into the first Percy Jackson movie, even if it did have a lot of flaws in it. I've actually been waiting for the day they finally turn up a sequel to it. Now the wait is over. Will they improve or not?

Release Date: November 22
Directed by: Francis Lawrence

I really liked the first book and movie of the Hunger Games series and I've been looking forward to the next one ever since. I can't wait until this one comes out, especially now that they gave it a different director. It might actually be a little more well shot this time.

Release Date: December 13
Directed by: Peter Jackson

I really, really enjoyed the latest Hobbit movie in theaters and enjoyed the fantasy Jackson put into it. This title implies this is where a lot of the action occurs, and I hope so. I actually can't wait to gather up my friends and spend another late, three-hour night of watching this in theaters.

Release Date: December 25
Directed by: Ben Stiller

I had to read this short story in school one day and I kind of enjoyed it. I'd like to see a movie adaptation of it in more modern times, especially sporting a cast of Ben Stiller, Kristen Wiig, Shirley McLaine, and Kathryn Hahn. I've heard there was an older adaptation on film, but this ought to be interesting.

There you have it, readers! You've just read my starting list of films I'm looking forward to in 2013.

Friday, January 4, 2013

The Fourth Kind (2009) review


The more I see this movie, the more I realize about it. However, it's still a pretty terrifying "documentary" with scary possibilities.

PLOT:Dr. Abigail Tyler (herself and Milli Jovovich)  is a psychologist in Nome, Alaska. Her husband has recently been killed and Tyler is trying to find out his killer, but things have been weird around. All of her recent patients come in telling about a disturbance in their sleep patterns caused by a mysterious owl. She puts one of her patients in a hypnosis so he can pinpoint what's been disturbing his sleep every night; however, he reacts violently. Things get worse when all of her patients start going crazy and claiming that some alien intelligence is abducting them at night. Tyler and her followers are determined to get down to the bottom of this. This story is told with reenacted footage besides "actual recordings". It's a good plot executed decently.

ACTING:The acting in here was pretty sucky overall. Milli Jovovich tried to play the part of Abigail Tyler with her acting flair while keeping true to the footage, but she just ended up failing the job she was given to do for the character. Will Patton also played a pretty sucky part as Sheriff August. The only two actors that were pretty decent were Elias Koteas as the other psychologist and Hakeem Kae-Kazim as the Sumerian translator. Either way, the "real" footage was done better.

SCORE:Sympatheticand unnerving, but not the best sci-fi/horror score I'll ever hear.

OTHER CONTENT:When this movie hit theaters, a lot of people thought it was real due to the freaky found footage aspect of it and the introduction at the beginning saying to believe what you want. However, research and the twist ending makes a mockery of the belief it's trying to win. I don't think it's as honest as it's trying to be, but either way, the moments where the aliens come in scare the heck out of me still. Though it doesn't seem real, it still succeeds to scare. If it is fake, I do like the effects and camera tricks put into making this work. It's a really confusing movie.

OVERALL,a good alien (mock?)umentary with a decent plot, mainly sucky acting, ok score, scary moments and frightening possibilites, but the research I've done and the twist ending make the belief it's trying to convey a mockery. Either way, it's still entertaining.

The Evil Dead (1981) review


If there was such a thing as a perfect horror film, this would be the top contender for me. It's scary, dark, and perfectly set-up.

PLOT:Ash (Bruce Campbell), his girlfriend, Linda (Betsy Baker), his best friend, Scott (Richard Demanincor), his sister, Cheryl (Ellen Sandweiss), and his best friend's girl, Shelly (Theresa Tilly) travel to Tennesse to a hidden cabin in the woods with party on their mind. The cabin is freaky, old, and located across an unsafe bridge. Once they get settled in, strange things start happening causing Ash and Scott venture down in the cellar. They find a tape recorder, a spooky sword, and an old book. They listen to the recordings later and find out this used to be a site for Kandarian demon possessions caused by reading the Book of the Dead aloud. One transcript reads off a passage and it summons the demons. Strange things start to happen involving trees, possession, and dismemberment and now the teens must try and make it out of the house alive. It's a great plot executed brilliantly.

ACTING:The acting in here was pretty good. Because of the way this movie was made (low-budget and campy), the acting was supposed to be overdone, but it comes off as just right to evoke the right senses of insanity and horror in the characters. Bruce Campbell did a great job as the main protagonist, Ash. He definitely lead the pack. The other shiners were Betsy Baker as Linda, Ellen Sandweiss as Cheryl, and Richard Demanincor as Scott.

SCORE:The score was only there to set the mood right and unnerve the person watching, which it did. The creepy feel of the movie combined with the score to make a truly unnerving set of scenes.

EFFECTS:The effects had to be cheap, considering this was a low-budget film, but they got the job done well. From chocolate syrup as blood, to green cottage cheese as oozing pus, to painted eyelids, every effect was done basically. However, these effects made it much more real and scary compared to today's CG effects.

ANIMATION:The animation in here is used like part of the special effects, but it's still claymation. Some very detailed claymation was used for the ending sequence to enhance the rotting flesh of the demons. I loved this part most because of the artistic view put into it all.

CAMERAWORK:Though the film was low-budget, the director definitely had a vision for cinematography, for he captured each shot to the fullest extent and feeling. Some shots alone freaked me out. Thank you, Raimi.

OTHER CONTENT:Every thing about this film as a horror came together to make the formula for a perfect horror film. It's scary, funny, unforgiving, campy, dark, simple, well-crafted, controversial, and even creatively executed. The effects and mood of the film just unnerve the viewer and possibly sends shivers down their spines. Even in the latter scenes all the way up to the climactic battle at the end, the feeling of true horror and the rarely captured feeling of pure insanity is seen in here, beautifully created by the actors. I also liked how they experimented with sound to make the demon voices just right to scare. It's just a perfect horror film becuase it has everything it needs.

OVERALL,an epic horror film with a basic plot executed to the best degree, acting that fit the mood of the film, unnerving score, working low-budget effects, beautifully gruesome claymation animation, full extent camerawork, the feeling of insanity and pure horror, just right demon voices, and all it takes to make a perfect horror film.