Sunday, October 19, 2014

Radio Free Albemuth (2010)

While I have never been a huge fan of Science Fiction writings, I could be changing my approach. This next movie comes from the mind of author Philip K. Dick (Blade Runner) and offers a glimpse of the reality we are living in today (even if the sheep want to ignore it). Next up for review is the 2010 film Radio Free Albemuth (released 2014).

Plot/ Berkeley record store clerk Nick Brady begins to experience strange visions from an entity he calls VALIS that cause him to uproot his family and move to Los Angeles where he becomes a successful music company executive. With the help of best friend, science-fiction writer Philip K. Dick himself and a mysterious woman named Silvia, Nick finds himself drawn into a dangerous political-mystical conspiracy of cosmic proportions. 

Let me start by saying that I have never read this book and cannot tell you how close the adaptation is to what was written. Although, in this case, I may decide to pick it up and read it, as the idea and storyline definitely felt real and reminded me of some of the weirdness we are experiencing in society today. This was an entertaining journey to watch with an intriguing and layered storyline, solid performances, outstanding characterizations, great visuals and a big budget feel. Sure, as a character and story driven movie, it does lack a tremendous amount of action, but that does nothing to bring the film down. In the end, this mixture of political and theological intrigue, conspiracy theories, and historical philosophical and subliminal messages plays out in an educational and entertaining manner, and is a must see for everyone. Check it out!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Delivery: The Beast Within (2013)

After some old school mysteries including some silent films, I decided to find something different for my Saturday night. While I do have a Sci-Fi flick on right now, I started the night with the 2013 found footage/reality show based Delivery: The Beast Within.

Plot/Delivery tells the story of Kyle and Rachel Massy, a young couple who agree to document their first pregnancy for a family oriented reality show. The production spirals out-of-control after the cameras capture a series of unexplained events, leading Rachel to believe that a malevolent spirit has possessed their unborn child.

When I saw this one at Family Video, I expected another found footage flick. While this one does have some of those elements, this one came with a realism that is often contrived in other flicks from the genre. In fact, this one has a lot to like with a believable script (minus the midwife/home birth), solid acting, outstanding pacing, and the right amount of atmosphere to keep you interested. Sure, there is some tension, but there are minimal (if any) scares, and it fits better as an unnerving thriller vice horror movie. In the end, this is a believable and entertaining flick that has an intriguing storyline. If you are looking for blood, guts, and demons, this one is not for you. However, if you want a creepy and believable thriller, give it a shot.

Friday, October 17, 2014

The Red House (1947)

I love October; it gives me even more of an excuse to watch different styles of movies in preparation for Halloween. Every once in a while, I decide to venture way back in time for some classic noir cinema, which is the case with my next review: The Red House from 1947.

Plot/ An old man and his sister are concealing a terrible secret from their adopted teen daughter, concerning a hidden abandon farmhouse, located deep in the woods.

I watched this film for the first time tonight and was surprise by some of the material. This surprise was not because of what the material was, it was because when the movie came out (1947). Honestly, some of this may have been considered taboo during that era. This one has some solid acting, a perfect soundtrack, and a layered storyline that kept me entertained throughout. Sure, it was not perfect, but it was one of the more atmospheric movies from that era. In the end, this piece of noir cinema is entertaining and rather twisted considering its age; if you have not seen it and love movies from that period, give it a shot. This is definitely an underrated gem!

Walking Before Dawn on eBook

Pick-up a copy of Walking Before Dawn on ebook. It is available from Amazon for kindle or you can pick-up a copy from me for $1.99 in pdf format or signed copies available for $12.00 (shipping included). Just email me for all of the details and grab yours today!

A Haunting at Preston Castle (2012)

Last night, I took a break from movies to do some writing. Yes, that piece, which I posted yesterday, is zombie themed and I know that zombies are saturating the world, but this short story is part of something much larger and layered. Tonight, I decided to venture into some paranormal areas with my movie selection, the 2012 indie entry A Haunting at Preston Castle (AKA Preston Castle). 

Plot/ When three friends set out for an innocent, late night adventure, they encounter more than ever imagined. Inspired by true events at northern California’s infamous haunted house, Preston Castle, the question is whether these three will survive the night.

This flick is another loosely based true story based in an actual haunted location: Preston Castle (in California). While there is really nothing new in this film, it did surprise me as the pacing actually built throughout and there were some decent cinematic elements. Unfortunately, there is nothing new in this one, as the acting is uneven, the scripting is weak, and there is truly nothing memorable inside. In the end, this cliché filled movie does nothing more than help pass some time during writing. Sure, if you are a fan of movies based on true haunted locations, you may enjoy it, but trust me; there is nothing in this that you have not seen before.