Showing posts from January, 2012

The Reef (2010)

So, January is coming to an end. This has been a big month; starting the new job at PIA, celebrating Genesis’ birthday, and branching out with writing (working with the guys at Steelers101). Now, it is time to finish the month on a high not on the blog. My final review of the month is the shark movie, The Reef from 2010 (based on a true story).

Plot/ A great white shark hunts the crew of a capsized sailboat along the Great Barrier Reef.

Let me start by saying that this is one of the best shark movies that I have seen. This movie is put together really well, with solid cinematography that creates a realistic feel and a lot of tension throughout. The character development is sound, acting decent and it was refreshing to see a real shark in a movie vice the standard CGI or mechanical beast. Yes, the pacing was slow and the action was spread out, but this film definitely took a different route in creating its foreboding atmosphere. In the end, this is one of the better animal attack films …

Paranormal Activity 3 (2011)

Ahhh, the end of another weekend is here, and back to work, I went. Overall, it was a decent day. Started lab with the sixth quarter class and completed the FCC licensing test for Radio Operator / Repair (now, I can teach that next quarter). As I am preparing to watch Alcatraz and Castle, I decided to finish some more of the flicks from this weekend, with the overhyped Paranormal Activity 3.

Plot/ In 1988, young sisters Katie and Kristi befriend an invisible entity who resides in their home.

You know, I am so glad that I waited to see this one at home instead of wasting valuable dollars in theatres. Honestly, with the majority of clips from the trailer missing from this version, I would have been even more pissed off had I spent more than the $2.86 on it. Yes, there were a few cool spots, the kitchen scene with the ghost, the hair pulling, and there was actually a bit of tension created. After that, it really went downhill, with uneven pacing, an unflattering ending and so-so performa…

Shriek of the Sasquatch! (2011)

As someone who has researched Cryptozoological mysteries and the paranormal, I will admit that when I see filmmakers take these fringe scientific arenas and make fun of the source materials, I cringe. To me, I can understand the entertainment value, and even why the skeptical society would enjoy such flicks, but that does not mean that they should be taken for anything more than what they are. What is that? They are financial windfalls that prey on the deep-rooted fears of a brainwashed society; the sect that says that fringe sciences cannot exist because they are not in a textbook, or accepted by mainstream society or religion. To that, I say screw that and open your eyes to what surrounds you. That being said, while I do cringe, I do enjoy watching films based on famed creatures and mysteries. One such film is Shriek of the Sasquatch from 2011.

Plot/ Its 1979, Julie and Nick are on a road trip which puts them unwittingly on a collision course with Bigfoot. Will either of them survi…

The Woman (2011)

With my weekend almost over, I decided to get back at the blog by looking at some of the flicks that I caught so far this weekend. Honestly, this has been a very entertaining trip into the world of horror. The first movie I watched this weekend was one that I had never heard of, The Woman from 2011.

Plot/ When a successful country lawyer captures and attempts to "civilize" the last remaining member of a violent clan that has roamed the Northeast coast for decades, he puts the lives of his family in jeopardy.

When this movie walked into the house Friday, I did not know what I was in for, as I did not know anything about it. What I found was an extremely interesting and complex storyline combined inside a somewhat surreal family setting. There was a lot to like about this movie, which had just the right amount of gore and disturbing elements to keep me enthralled by the focus on the disjointed family aspects. Sure, there was nothing new in this one, as much of the torture and…

Priest (2011)

During this past week, I was busy studying to finish my FCC licensing in preparation for teaching my next quarter class at PIA. However, that did not stop me from catching some interesting movies. One such movie was something different for me, the 2011 comic book based, Priest.

Plot/ This post-apocalyptic sci-fi thriller, is set in an alternate world -- one ravaged by centuries of war between man and vampires. The story revolves around a legendary Warrior Priest from the last Vampire War who now lives in obscurity among the other downtrodden human inhabitants in walled-in dystopian cities ruled by the Church. When his niece is abducted by a murderous pack of vampires, Priest breaks his sacred vows to venture out on a quest to find her before they turn her into one of them. He is joined on his crusade by his niece's boyfriend, a trigger-fingered young wasteland sheriff, and a former Warrior Priestess who possesses otherworldly fighting skills.

When I originally saw the trailer for…

Anamorph (2007)

After a few days of chilling out with some vintage classics, I decided to come back to modern day and find something more mysterious and thought provoking. After some debate with the voices in my head, I decided on the 2007 psychological thriller Anamorph.

Plot/ Stan is a quiet, solitary detective in New York City. A few months ago, he solved a gruesome case of serial murders, although an undercover police officer lost her life. A new set of similar murders begins: the bodies are elaborately displayed and the killer uses equipment from art and early movie making in the tableau, or he leaves a clue as to where the investigators are to stand to get the full artistic effect.

When I stumbled upon this the other day, I had no idea what to expect. As a rule, I never read reviews before watching anything, as I do not want that to influence my overall feeling, and in some cases ruin the storyline. In this case, I am glad that I stayed true to my beliefs. I thought that this flick was origina…

Murders in the Rue Morgue (1932)

As I was taking a walk into the early stages of Sci-Fi and Horror, I felt that my night would not be complete unless I ventured into the mind of my favorite master of terror, Edgar Allan Poe. What a better way to close my evening but with a classic tale starring one of the greatest horror icons of all time Bela Lugosi, in the often overlooked 1932 adaptation of Murders in the Rue Morgue.

Plot/ In 19th Century Paris, the maniacal Dr. Mirakle abducts young women and injects them with ape blood in an attempt to prove ape-human kinship. He constantly meets failure as the abducted women die. Medical student Pierre Dupin discovers what Mirakle is doing too late to prevent the abduction of his girlfriend Camille. Now he desperately tries to enlist the help of the police to get her back.

I love movies based on the works of Poe (albeit loose adaptations), in fact, I can never get enough of them when I find them. Sure, some are better than others, but in same ways they always carry at least som…

Tarantula! (1955)

As a football fan, I should be excited about today, unfortunately, my Steelers were eliminated already and I cannot stand any of the four teams remaining. Honestly, the lesser of all evils is the Giants, and I cannot see myself pulling for them in any way (although seeing Eli with more rings than Peyton would be funny). With my football entertainment limited, I decided to venture back in time for some viewing pleasure with the Sci-Fi classic Tarantula.

Plot/ A spider escapes from an isolated desert laboratory experimenting in gigantism and grows to tremendous size as it wreaks havoc on the local inhabitants.

The 1950s was such a great decade for the Sci-Fi / Horror genre, many films created during that period set the standard for the films of today. Amazingly, some of the best still stand the test of time with their combinations of solid effects and storyline. This flick is one of the finest from that era. Watching this today, the tremendous story stands tall and the effects are amaz…

Bikini Girls on Ice (2009)

While some may say that my review of Alice and Murderland was a bit off, I like to give the benefit of the doubt to no budget indie flicks. I look past some of the flaws and try to see the potential within the idea. This next flick almost fits into that category, here is hoping that the material can live up to the title with 2009s Bikini Girls on Ice.

Plot/ When a bus-load of women's college soccer players get stranded on their way to a bikini car-wash fundraiser, they decide to set-up shop in front of an abandoned gas station on the edge of town. Little do they know the place is the stalking-grounds for a homicidal maniac mechanic?

When I saw this title, it caught my attention. However, I will admit that the title may be the highlight of the film. Do not get me wrong, there are some good points. The idea was interesting (slasher cliché but interesting), the cinematography was solid and the girls were at least attractive. Decent elements considering being a lower budget flick. U…

Alice in Murderland (2010)

I finally was able to kick back and relax for the weekend, thus enjoying some of the flicks that I had been waiting to watch. To start the evening, I decided to start with some no-budget indie stuff, something that I see as a critical backbone for the horror industry. My first selection for the night was Alice in Murderland (AKA The Alice in Wonderland Murders).

Plot/ It's Alice's birthday and her sorority girlfriends throw her a themed party. Everyone comes as his or her favorite, sexy character from Wonderland. The Jabberwocky was not invited when he brings murder and mayhem to the girls' night out.
This movie was quite a dilemma. To start, I love independent horror, especially the low-budget stuff. While this flick definitely had some elements that I loved, some of it came across just blah. The acting was uneven, the costuming so-so (especially the Jabberwocky), the characterization was underwhelming and there were many missed opportunities for nudity (not a must, but …

Evidence of a Haunting (2010)

This has been a crazy week full of weird weather and lot of computer lab, not to mention trying to get used to working again. All that aside, I took a break from the blog for a few days, but I am back again with a review of Evidence of a Haunting from 2010.

Plot/ While shooting their reality TV show, a team of ghost hunters get into the fight of their lives as they investigate the haunted tunnels deep below an old Texas college.

Ahhh, ghost hunting reality movies… These gems are popping up all over the place in varying degrees, and this one may be one of the better ones. The storyline, the soundtrack, and the overall feel of the flick is tremendous and very authentic. In addition, the script does a great job at tying the stories together while developing the characters. Sure, there are some flaws that will noticeable by a trained paranormal investigator and the acting is uneven (but believably amateurish), however, those flaws are minimal. In the end, fans of hand-cam, paranormal inv…

Shark Night 3D (2011)

After hanging out and watching Contagion the other night, I decided to watch something very different for my next review. While I picked up a couple of things for my viewing, unfortunately, I had to watch something a little tamer with the daughters around. My selection, Shark Night 3D (it is only PG-13).

Plot/ A weekend at a lake house in the LouisianaGulf turns into a nightmare for seven vacationers as they are subjected to shark attacks.

When watching the previews for this one, I got the feeling that I had already watched all of the good moments, and ironically, I was right (glad I waited until it was on DVD to watch it). To start, I was a bit depressed by the PG-13 rating, and after watching it, that disappointment was justified. There was really no blood other than the stuff that colored the water when someone was pulled underneath, no gore to mention and the dialogue was a train wreck. Honestly, this was just like something I would catch on the Sci-Fi channel, complete with the …

Contagion (2011)

After spending a few hours at the skating rink for Genesis’ birthday party, (I cannot believe she is 14), it was time to kick back and enjoy some decent virus based entertainment. While zombies are always fun, the tragedy and devastation of a real outbreak may be scarier (especially considering this is the year 2012), fortunately, that is exactly what the 2011 thriller Contagion may deliver.

Plot/ A thriller centered on the threat posed by a deadly disease and an international team of doctors contracted by the CDC to deal with the outbreak.

When I saw the preview for this, I wanted to see it. With the way the media covers outbreaks such as H1N1 or SARS, I felt it was a great time for Hollywood to capitalize on the mass hysteria involved. To me, this one did not disappoint. The cast was solid and their performances were all good. Unfortunately, by boasting such a dynamic cast, the character development did suffer some with all of the divergent storylines formulated to take advantage o…