Tuesday, March 3, 2015

The Intruders (2015)

Now that I have finally finished my physics class, I can possibly dive into some more creative outlets. Unfortunately, it took a couple days to get back into the swing of things. Now I am ready to roll (at least, I think I am). Next up for review, the 2015 flick: The Intruders.

Plot/ After the traumatic loss of her mother, a teenaged girl tries to uncover the dark secrets behind her new home, in spite of her father's disbelief.

I watched this over the weekend with the daughters, as they were excited to see Miranda Cosgrove in a “scary” movie. While I did not find this one suspenseful in any way, it was not a terrible flick. The acting was solid, the scripting was decent, and there was at least a small amount of atmosphere created throughout the flick. Sure, it was more of a predictable mystery than horror/thriller, but it did show a few moments of originality that gave it some redeeming qualities. In the end, this was an entertaining flick to watch with the daughters and one that makes for a solid family friendly mystery/drama. Not for the fans of hardcore thrillers or horror, if you are looking for a decent “scary” movie with the kids, give it a shot.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Zodiac: Signs of the Apocalypse (2014)

Last night, I spent relaxing (and finishing some physics homework) and had no motivation to hit the blog. By now, everyone has probably heard about the passing of Sci-Fi icon Leonard Nimoy. For me, he not only etched his way into my mind as Spock, it was his work on In Search Of that sparked my interest into the unexplained. He will definitely be missed. #LLAP  - Now to the blog, next up is the 2014 made for television disaster flick Zodiac: Signs of the Apocalypse.

Plot/ When a mysterious planet crosses the sun global catastrophes are unleashed. A rogue scientist is the key to deciphering the symbols and humanity's only chance at survival.

Yes, I knew exactly what I was in for when I started watching this one: a predictable, CGI filled, made for television disaster flick, and that is exactly what I got. I did find the subject matter interesting; the theory of Nibiru or Planet X causing major disasters has been growing for decades. Ironically, it is popping up more and more into pop culture, even making its way into the last Star Trek movie. Unfortunately, the characters were flat, the CGI sloppy, and the scripting and performances were uneven at best. In the end, while this one offers nothing really new and is rather unbelievable (a car outrunning a tsunami), it is a mindless trip toward the apocalypse and perfect for background fodder when working on something.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

The Glass House (2001)

Sometimes, I take pleasure in the fact that the daughters enjoy scary movies. Unfortunately, as they get older, I do have to pay more attention to what type of flick I select, with content and rating overriding the scare factor. One such movie we enjoyed over the weekend was a solid family friendly entry: 2001s The Glass House.

Plot/ An orphaned teenager is taken in by a Malibu couple but discovers they are not the caring friends they seemed to be.

I went into this with almost no expectations and only put on because the daughters wanted to watch something. Fortunately, what I found was better than I could have expected. While it is not a perfect film and is rather predictable, the atmosphere and characters do actually set it apart from many of the other PG-13 entries that sit in the genre. The story was interesting and believable, the performances solid, and the scripting created a realism that was easily imagined. Yes, there were some plot holes and it did have some predictable moments, but those issues are rather small (especially for a family friendly thriller). In the end, this will not be for the hardcore thriller fan, but it is better than many in the genre and perfect for a wintery afternoon with the kids. Give it a shot.  

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Motivational Growth (2013)

It has been a good period for horror comedies. Between Horns and Tusk, the past few months have been a blessing for the genre. Now comes another entry that definitely should give that genre a boost, the 2013 indie entry Motivational Growth.

Plot/ Ian Folivor, a depressed and reclusive 30-something, finds himself taking advice from a growth in his bathroom after a failed suicide attempt. The Mold, a smooth talking fungus who was born of the filth collecting in a corner of Ian's neglected bathroom, works to win Ian's trust by helping him clean himself up and remodel his lifestyle.

This was almost an afterthought when I picked it up the other day, but I am ecstatic that I did. This is a bizarre horror comedy that is something so much better than I could have originally imagined. The scripting is dark and funny, the performances solid, the animation and soundtrack work really well, and the atmosphere is above the line. Then there is The Mold (Jeffrey Combs), which steals the show with his comedic combination of lightheartedness and sarcasm. Yes, there were some uneven parts with some of the character interaction, but that is but a minor flaw. In the end, this is one of the best low budget indie flicks I have watched in some time, and a movie that is definitely underrated. If you have not seen it, you are missing out. Now, go find it!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

V/H/S: Viral (2014)

Last night I was locked into science class and my weekly assignment. When in that zone, I struggle to get motivated to do any type of writing or reviewing. That was a shame because I still have some stuff from the weekend to catch up on. The next one up from that backlog is the 2014 sequel V/H/S: Viral.

Plot/ Follows fame-obsessed teens that unwittingly become stars of the next Internet sensation.

As a fan of the first two installments of the V/H/S series, I was decently excited to pick this one up when it came out. Unfortunately, that excitement quickly deteriorated once I started watching it. Unlike the first two entries, this one has no coherent moments and is a rather large mess. In fact, I would say that the only redeeming quality is the initial segment about Dante the Great. While not perfect, it did make some sense and was interesting. Other than that, the film felt beyond low budget with poor scripting, uneven editing, poor special effect, and some bad characterization (not sure if that was the script, acting, or both). In the end, stay away, and if you were a fan of the first two movies, stay far away from this one.