Monday, March 23, 2015

Devil May Call (2013)

While I continue to try to push through the next week and end March on a high note, it is becoming increasingly difficult. Today was the first 12U softball practice, and in 40-degree weather, it made my back tighten up again. At least now, I am snug in my recliner and catching up on the blog. Next up for review is the 2013 thriller, Devil May Call.

Plot/ A young, blind operator for a suicide hotline descends into a night of unrelenting terror when an obsessive caller turns out to be a serial killer.

This was a strange movie to watch and review. While there were some interesting moments, with some solid performances, a decent story, and a solid ending, there were many uneven moments that destroyed the momentum built early on. On top of that, pacing was off; there was little to no violence, and it definitely had some cliché moments. In the end, it did have some entertaining moments, but seemed a touch forced in the middle and that was problematic. If you are looking for something to help pass some time, it could help; it is an interesting story, but really nothing new.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Subconscious (2015)

As a former Navy Chief, I am drawn to Sci-Fi movies that involve the best service branch in the world. In fact, because I have moments where I miss the camaraderie and the duties, I often jump at a chance to pick these up when I see them. That was the case with my next review, 2015s Subconscious.  

Plot/ An investigation into a retired WWII sub plunges a research team into a supernatural journey across the dark abyss of time - with history hanging in the balance.

This was an uneven film to review, and it actually went in a different direction than I imagined when I picked it up at Family Video. Yes, it is not a traditional WWII based Sci-Fi flick, which could turn some people off, it does have an interesting storyline that was unexpected. As a low budget flick, it does have it share of flaws; but, as is the case those are somewhat expected. In this one, the storyline was a touch unbelievable, but it worked, the setting was amazing, and it did have an interesting twist at the end. Of course, there were some uneven performances, the lighting was all over the place, and there were a ton of preposterous ideas being thrown around, but again, as a low budget flick, those flaws are to be expected. In the end, this is not a perfect movie and will have to find its niche audience, but it does have some entertaining moments. If you love the stuff from the SyFy Channel, you will likely enjoy it; give it a shot.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Something Wicked (2014)

Every once in a while I wander through the video store hoping to find something that I had not heard of. That was the case with the next flick up for review here at The Ringmaster’s Realm. The one is the oft-delayed horror/thriller Something Wicked from 2009/2014.

Plot/ As a young couple embarks upon their wedding plans, gruesome secrets from their past collide with sinister forces of the present to ensure these newlyweds do not live happily-ever-after.

When I saw this at the video store and realized that it was Brittany Murphy’s last movie, I had to grab it. Unfortunately, it was unfitting swan song for her and her talents. While there are some interesting moments that make you thing, there is really nothing else to make it stand out. The characters are unlikeable, the performances uneven, and most importantly the storyline was extremely disjointed and seemed splintered into multiple sections. In the end, this one does have a few entertaining moments, but not enough to make it worth watching. If you have nothing else available, give it a shot, it not, stay away.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

The Fly (1958)

I have been stuck inside a very retro mood lately. Between listening to classic folk music on my drives and watching 1950s low budget Sci-Fi, I have been living in a nostalgic dream. Next up for review is another movie from that era, the 1959 Vincent Price classic, The Fly.

Plot/ A scientist has a horrific accident when he tries to use his newly invented teleportation device.

What can one say, The Fly is a classic, and one of the best insect flicks of the 1950s. Starring Vincent Price, this movie has absolutely zero scientific merit, but it is definitely one of the most entertaining and memorable of the genre. The atmosphere is amazing, the performances solid, and the special effects were quite impressive for the day. Most importantly, the ending left a lasting impression on the viewer, and one that will be etched into their minds. In the end, this movie is a true classic and a movie that should be seen. Yes, the David Cronenberg remake was good, but this classic is better.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Fiend Without a Face (1958)

Last week was one miserable experience. Between car troubles, a trip to the hospital, and the development of some severe back pain, I was about ready to go insane. Luckily, my back seems to be clearing up and things are returning to normal and I can kick back and focus on the blog. Next up for review is the 1958 classic Fiend Without a Face.

Plot/ Invisible atomic monsters attack a U.S. Armed Forces base and the local residents.

Fiend Without a Face was exactly what the doctor ordered for the weekend, as I wanted to dive into some classic Sci-Fi with an edge. While it may seem a touch dated today, much of the movie stands the test of time considering the era. Honestly, when the invisible creatures came to life it was awesome, and the effects should be considered top tier for the age. The effects are solid, the performances were outstanding, and there were many things in this that made an entertaining watch. In the end, this was an outstanding flick and one that should be seen.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

XIII: The Conspiracy (2008)

With my homework out of the way last night, I figured it was time to relax. After searching Netflix for something fun, I decided that I needed some action to help get my blood flowing. After some inner debate, I decided that XIII: The Conspiracy from 2008 was just what I needed.

Plot/ The first female US President Sally Sheridan is shot dead by a sniper during her Veterans Day speech. Her assassin narrowly escapes the scene with his life, national security hot on his heels - or so it seems. On the run, clinging to one desperate clue after another, XIII begins to piece back his life, fragments of his memory.

I watched this mini-series yesterday and was rather surprised by it. Based on a graphic novel, this two-part mini-series is comparable to the Bourne series, although being made for television, does not pack the same punch. The performances are solid; the storyline/plot believable, and the action sequences worked and featured some sound cinematography. Yes, there are some head scratching moments, there is some choppy editing, and the violence was toned down (remember television), but all in all it was worth watching. In the end, if you are searching for some mindless action with a conspiracy/political themed backdrop, this one should at least entertain you. Yes, it is not perfect, but I have definitely seen much worse.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Animal (2014)

Saturday should be a day of rest. Unfortunately, for me, I had to make the trip to the institute for an open house event. Now that I am finally home relaxing, I felt it was time to dive into something rather mindless; my choice was the 2014 Chiller Films flick Animal.

Plot/ When plans for a weekend vacation hit a dead end; a group of close-knit friends find themselves stranded in unfamiliar territory, pursued by a menacing and bloodthirsty predator.

OK, so, I needed to watch something rather mindless, and this one definitely fit the bill. While it is not a terrible film by any means, it is just nothing special. In fact, it is rather cliché throughout, with the typical cardboard characterizations one comes to expect in most horror films in this genre. Sure, the performances are decent and the cast is all right, but other than that, there is nothing new to get anyone excited. The effects are uneven, the scripting predictable, and the decisions made by the characters make zero sense. In the end, this one is not bad and has some entertaining moments; it just does nothing to make it stand out within the genre. If you are a giant fan of this genre, give it a shot; if not stay away.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Final Prayer (2013)

This has been one frustratingly long week. Between car issues, flooding streams, a blizzard, working late, and subzero temperatures; this one had everything to keep me overwhelmed. With the weekend finally here, it is time to take a step back and get on track with the blog. Next up for review is the 2013 found footage flick, Final Prayer (AKA The Borderlands).

Plot/ A team of Vatican investigators descends upon a church in a remote area to demystify the unusual happenings, but what they discover is more disturbing than they had first imagined.

The found footage subgenre has become almost as saturated as the apocalyptic world of the zombie. Still, occasionally, you can find one that comes from nowhere to be a great surprise. That was the case with this one. While there was really nothing special or new, it was also one of the better entries to come along, with solid acting, a decent plot, some actual character development, and a tense atmosphere that makes it and interesting watch. Yes, there are the typical flaws that come along with the genre, but those do nothing to truly harm this flick. In the end, this one is an entertaining watch, and a movie that was actually a surprise. Give it a shot!

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.