Sunday, June 30, 2013

The Purge (2013)

One of the great things about a drive-in (besides the cost) is the fact that you can see two movies, usually themed together. That was the case with the double feature that I watched last night. While not completely the same, the governmental propagandist overtones with in these two made them interesting bedfellows. First it was White House Down, and then the United Nations Agenda 21 infused The Purge.

Plot/ A family is held hostage for harboring the target of a murderous syndicate during the Purge, a 12-hour period in which all crime is legalized.

I had heard some things about this and the Agenda 21 overtones contained, and I will admit, those were definitely there. If you do not know anything about the United Nations Agenda 21, you better look it up and understand why things are happening the way they are. This movie was an interesting idea and had a somewhat original plot; unfortunately, it did not take that potential and run with it. The acting was so-so, the ending anticlimactic, the scripting forced, and with such a shot run time, there was a lot left undeveloped.  The worst part was the fact that there was absolutely no atmosphere, something that could have been easy to accomplish with the intriguing story. Honestly, this movie could have been a tremendous movie and in the end, came off forced and rather bland. In the end, this movie was not terrible, but did not do anything that would make it memorable in any way. Wait for it to come out on DVD and make sure you research Agenda 21 before you watch it. 

White House Down (2013)

As anyone who has followed my blog may realize, I do not do many flicks that are in theatres. Too often, the hype that has been built can influence an opinion. I like to wait until I forgot about something and see it then. Last night, we decided to hit the drive-in for the evening, and I got to see two flicks that interested me for different reasons; the first movie up for review from the trip, White House Down from 2013.

Plot/ While on a tour of the White House with his young daughter, a Capitol policeman springs into action to save his child and protect the president from a heavily armed group of paramilitary invaders.

Action flicks are not normally my cup of tea, but when at the drive-in, they are always a solid bet. This flick was not great but it was not terrible either. It was a typical over-the-top action flick full of implausible and impossible details. With that, it also had the somewhat disjointed plot and feel to it, almost like the multiple story lines were so far apart that they could not be brought together smoothly. The acting was OK, and none of it was believable, but it was entertaining. To me, the biggest letdown (besides the CGI and lack of any character development) was what I expected when we pulled in, the idea that right-wing extremist sponsored by a right-wing element of the military industrial complex would be to blame. Yes, the same NDAA driven propaganda that has become the calling card for training in the DHS and DOJ in recent years.  In the end, this is an entertaining action flick that makes little big picture sense, and a movie perfect for a drive-in or living room once it hits DVD. 

Friday, June 28, 2013

Hansel & Gretel Get Baked (2013)

With my vacation finally here, it was time to start it with some movies. While I grabbed a few flicks at the Family Video Store, there was one that really perked my interest. Hansel & Gretel Get Baked from 2013.

Plot/ A brother and sister battle a witch who lures teenagers into her suburban home with her special blend of marijuana where she then proceeds to kill and eat them to maintain her youth and beauty.

When I grabbed this, I initially thought it was going to be some type of indie stoner flick. What I found though, was an interesting take on the Hansel & Gretel fairy tale. This horror-comedy has many moments and is a lot of fun. Yes, it isn't side-splitting comedy, but its fun. The cast works well together and the scripting is solid with the cannibal /zombie / rejuvenation storyline flowing perfectly. The acting is good, the cinematography straight and the effects fall into place to add something to the comedic flair. Is it a perfect movie, no way, but it is a creative twist on a classic tail and one that should be given a chance. 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Frankenstein Theory (2013)

After a couple days off the blog, I decided to jump back into it with a take on a story that has always interested me. It was going to be 1984 as a celebration of what would have been George Orwell's birthday, and although my class watched it today, I have already reviewed it. Ever since I watched Gothic so many years ago, I have been fascinated by the story of Frankenstein, and the creation of the masterpiece. Unfortunately, over time, the movie has been played out and I am always searching for fresh takes on the subject. That led me to this flick, The Frankenstein Theory from 2013.

Plot/ if the most chilling novel of all time was actually based on a true account of a horrific experiment gone awry? When he is suspended from his university job for his outlandish ideas, Professor John Venkenheim leads a documentary film crew to the rim of the Arctic Circle in a desperate effort to vindicate his academic reputation.

This is another on the mockumentary subgenre, and like the majority of those, it suffers from some technical flaws such as sound quality, uneven acting, and so-so scripting. In this case, the storyline was rather interesting, and one that I could see a true documentary being made about. The story of Frankenstein and the creation of the monster is one of the most interesting out there, and one I have enjoyed reading about. This movie did have potential, but never truly achieved what it could have due to some extremely slow pacing and some questionable decisions about the audio effects and the ending. Was it perfect? No, but it also is not the worst move out there in this genre; tread cautiously or just stay away. 

Saturday, June 22, 2013

American Mary (2012)

Having a long night in the field last night doing some Bigfoot research made for a somewhat lazy day. Of course, the 90-degree temperatures may have played a role in that as well. As my day wore on, I decided it was time to take some time and find something different to watch. In the end, I decided to check out American Mary from the Twisted Twins, the Soska Sisters.

Plot/ The story follows medical student, Mary Mason, as she becomes increasingly broke and disenchanted with the surgical world she once admired. The allure of easy money sends Mary into the world of underground surgeries which ends up leaving more marks on her than her so called 'freakish' clientele.

Going in, I was not quite sure what to expect with this flick, but I am glad I grabbed it. American Mary is an interesting flick that seems to cross through different genres while delivering an entertaining trip. While it is not quite a normal horror flick, there is a lot to like. The acting was solid, the story dark, and the production values and cinematography top notch. Overall, the movie is as advertised. The only flaw is the ending, which is just average in comparison to the rest of the flick. In the end, the Soska Sisters created a flick with non-mainstream appeal and the potential rise to cult status. Check it out!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Mama (2013)

Continuing through some of the flicks, I have watched in 2013, I figured out it has been a strange year. Lately, I have been so caught up with the scandals that are plaguing our nation that they seem to have taken up much of my time. More disturbing is the fact that every movie seems quite predictable to me lately. One movie that fell into that category was Mama (2013)

Plot/ Annabel and Lucas are faced with the challenge of raising his young nieces that were left alone in the forest for 5 years. But, how alone were they?

This supernatural horror flick was better than I expected. An interesting storyline throughout, this movie succeeds due to the solid cinematography and a decent combination of scripting and scares. Of course, it does use CGI, which is some ways cheapens the flick and makes some of the scenes predictable, although, that does not truly detract from the film at all. In the end, this is a dark flick wit solid acting and an atmospheric soundtrack that does a great job adding to the tension. Is it a masterpiece? No, it is not. However, it is one of the better supernatural themed horror flicks to come out in some time and should be seen.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Dark Skies (2013)

Let me start my return to blogging Happy Fathers Day, one of the best fays for fathers out there. For me, I got to spend time with my daughters and watch a decent flick. I also decided that it was past time for me to start blogging again, after taking some time off to recharge the batteries and regain focus. Now, with the mind clear, it is time to get back at it. The first flick I have watched is Dark Skies from 2013.

Plot/ As the Barret family's peaceful suburban life is rocked by an escalating series of disturbing events, they come to learn that a terrifying and deadly force is after them.

This is one of the best film of this genre I have seen. As an alien abduction flick, this one has some very creepy moments and some elements that could scare the faint of heart. The storyline, while some may find it cliché, actually had some original elements and was interesting. The characterization was good and the script was crafted in a way that made for a solid twist toward the end. In the end, this was an entertaining film that is well worth watching. Sure, there were some predictable moments, but it had enough originality to be both creepy and entertaining.