Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Lost Highway (1997)

Once I completed After the Static, I decided that I wanted to rework/edit Walking Before Dawn, and I finished last week. Today, I was excited when I saw the reworked cover design for that book and should see it released in the next few weeks. To go along with that excitement, I decided to watch one of my favorite Lynch films: 1997s Lost Highway.

Plot/ After a bizarre encounter at a party, a jazz saxophonist is framed for the murder of his wife and sent to prison, where he inexplicably morphs into a young mechanic and begins leading a new life.

Like many, I am excited to have Twin Peaks coming back to the television in May. David Lynch is my favorite filmmaker and I am fascinated by everything he does. To me, this is one of his best films and a great example of bringing dreams and nightmares to life within the cinematic world. This journey into surreal has an extremely layered storyline with multiple things happening throughout, the cinematography is amazing, the performances solid, there is a great soundtrack, and the overall atmosphere brings everything to life. This is truly a masterful piece of filmmaking. Yes, as with every film by Lynch, it is definitely not for everyone with a myriad of storylines, strange twists, and endings that often leave non-fans scratching their heads wondering what is taking place. In the end, this is a great film and one that should be seen. Yes, there may be some confusing moments, but it is well worth.

Monday, March 27, 2017

End of Days (1999)

Having watched a wide variety of flick over the past few days, I wanted to get back to something closer to my After the Static project. While that is zombie/outbreak themed, there are some religious/apocalyptic overtones inside the book. With that in mind, I decided to watch the 1999 action/horror flick End of Days.  

Plot/ At the end of the century, Satan visits New York in search of a bride. It's up to an ex-cop who now runs an elite security outfit to stop him.

I remember seeing this when it came out and even after watching it again, I can say that my initial thoughts will still ring true: viewers will either love or hate this film. Really, there is no in between, especially with the religious overtones that are woven throughout the movie. For me, this was an entertaining flick that I still find intriguing. The storyline, while uneven, is interesting, the performances and effects are decent, and the dark cinematography works well with the soundtrack and the theme of the movie. Yes, some of the characterizations could have been darker, some of the scriptings were uneven, and it was highly implausible, but that is what makes movies like this engaging. In the end, this one will be polarizing due to many different factors including actors, religious beliefs, and tone; but, at the end of the day, it is just a fun and mindless good versus evil flick that should be seen.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

The Forest (2016)

After spending a portion of my day without service at softball practice, it is nice to finally relax some at the house. Now, maybe I can get to one of the projects. Over the past few days, I decided to check out a few different genres, and I continued that last light with 2016s The Forest.

Plot/ A woman goes into Japan's Suicide Forest to find her twin sister and confronts supernatural terror.

Last night after watching my final flick, I settled on The Forest, thinking that it would be a nice change of pace. While it did do that with its creepy atmosphere and interesting premise, it still left much of its potential on the table. The acting is solid, the cinematography works, and there is enough tension built throughout that makes you want more. Unfortunately, there is not enough meat to the attempted scares and they often are predictable and flat, the scripting almost ignores the forest, and some of the editing feels off. In the end, while this one has its positives, it never reaches its potential and ends up missing the mark. There are definitely better options out there.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

The Ecstasy of Isabel Mann (2012)

I have many different writing projects going, and I absolutely love it! Last night I finished a rewrite of the back page description for Walking Before Dawn, knocked out two blog posts, and did some work on my After the Static project. Today, after some yard work and answering a few emails, I kicked back and enjoyed my last flick from Family Video: 2012s The Ecstasy of Isabel Mann.

Plot/ A violent sect of day-walking vampires seduces teenager Isabel Mann. Her classmates start to go missing, attracting two detectives. Things get weird as the disturbed teenager kills at will in the nearby woods.

This was the last movie that I picked up at Family Video and probably the one I enjoyed the most. While there were some of the typical low budget flaws present, for the most part, it came off in a rather impressive manner. The performances are decent, the storyline interesting, the cinematography and direction spot on, and the soundtrack blended perfectly with the script and movie. Yes, the pacing was a touch slow, the sound quality was uneven, and some of the elements may seem better suited for an art house film than true horror entry, but when you look at the movie as a whole, they are minimal issues. In the end, this movie is a different approach to the vampire mythos and one that works. Sure, some viewers may not like it (and that is understandable) because of the diverse scripting and scene choices, but those are only minor flaws. Check this one out.

Friday, March 24, 2017

The Summoning (2017)

Last night as I was working on some of the smaller parts of a project, I decided to throw on one of the two movies I had left from Family Video. That movie is the next up for review: 2017s The Summoning.

Plot/ When a law student uncovers chilling secrets and places her life at risk, a bitter, and rough-around-the-edges detective is assigned to her case.

When I started this one last night, I was not sure what I was getting into. What I found was something that I probably should have expected with the low-budget status. Being a fan of smaller indie films, I understand the flaws, and this one definitely has some. However, it is not the worst thriller out there with an interesting premise (based on true events) with some solid performances sprinkled in. Unfortunately, the pacing is somewhat slow, the editing uneven, and the ending feels a bit off. In the end, this one had the potential to be a creepy thriller that would have been more memorable with some small adjustments.