Saturday, April 25, 2015

The Zero Theorem (2013)

Every once in a while, I enjoy taking a trip into the surreal worlds that could develop in our future. While many people find this type of film fantasy, I honestly believe that much of what we view as science fiction today will be reality in the future. One such movie I recently stumbled across is the 2013 flick The Zero Theorem.

Plot/ A hugely talented but socially isolated computer operator is tasked by Management to prove the Zero Theorem: that the universe ends as nothing, rendering life meaningless. But meaning is what he already craves.

When I sat down to watch this, I honestly expected an interesting journey into a dystopian future, but I found something that was more captivating and philosophical. While the movie was a touch confusing (especially early on), the individual payoff is worth wading through those moments. The viewer is the one that is left to make their decisions and find the answers to the dynamic questions posed within this surreal world.  Yes, this one will not be for everyone, but if you decide that you want to travel into this dystopia, you will find a bizarre world that boasts color, character, and philosophy. In the end, this movie has a much deeper message and meaning than most of the movies that come out and will definitely not appeal to everyone. If you do enjoy this type of movie, than you will find it extremely thought provoking and entertaining. However, if you are looking for just something for entertainment, you may want to look in a different direction.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Veronika Decides to Die (2009)

As many readers know, I so not usually venture into the world of straight dramas. While I have nothing against them, there is just something more in my wheelhouse that I discover. Sometimes, I do decide to venture down that path if I see something interesting. That was the case the other day, when I came across the 2009 drama Veronika Decides to Die.

Plot/ After a frantic suicide attempt, Veronika awakens inside a mysterious mental asylum. Under the supervision of an unorthodox psychiatrist who specializes in controversial treatment, Veronika learns that she has only weeks to live.

Yes, this is not my usual type of film, but what can I say, I am a fan of Sarah Michelle Gellar, and this one caught my eye with an interesting description. While I have never read the source material, after watching this and seeing the layered characters and storyline, I would like to assume that it is a decent adaption. Everything works in this one, as the performances are solid, the storyline simple yet interesting, and the characterizations and cinematography are both awesome. Yes, there are a few issues with audio, but those are really a non-issue. In the end, this is a outstanding and entertaining drama that has a very smart and focused message. If you enjoy compelling drama, give this one a shot.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

And Jack Says...

Visual writing is one area that I would love to expand on. This is my first attempt at visual poetry -created with the poem And the Walls Came and a great piece of artwork entitled Jack by Nerva1.

Honeymoon (2014)

After taking a couple days off to get in some fishing with the opening of trout season, a ton of homework in my world building class, and my goal of completing NaPoWriMo drowning my creativity, it was finally time to get back into the swing of the blog. While I have a few movies I still want to see, I finally got a chance to catch one that has seemed interesting in different trailers I see, 2014s Honeymoon.

Plot/ Young newlyweds Paul and Bea travel to remote lake country for their honeymoon. Shortly after arriving, Paul finds Bea wandering and disoriented in the middle of the night. As she becomes more distant and her behavior increasingly peculiar, Paul begins to suspect something more sinister than sleepwalking took place in the woods.

When I finally sat down to watch this, what I found was not what I was expecting. Is that a bad thing? Not in this case, in fact, this slow-building horror flick does a great job at developing the layered storyline in a methodical way that allows the atmosphere to build. To pull this off, the performances had to be great with such a small cast, and they were. Between the outstanding performances, building tension, and an interesting story, this one had just the right mixture to be successful. Yes, the dialog was a touch uneven, and there were some head-scratching moments, but those did little to bring this film down. In the end, this is an entertaining trip into the woods that is better than a lot of the larger budgeted films in the genre. If you have not seen it, check it out!

Friday, April 17, 2015

Echoes (2014)

After watching The Babadook earlier in the week, it would be hard for the next movie to come close. While the next flick I chose definitely did not rise to that level, it was at least interesting and somewhat entertaining. What is it you may ask? The 2014 psychological thriller Echoes.

Plot/ Struggling with horrifying, sleep-paralysis induced visions, a young writer retreats with her boyfriend to an isolated desert house. As the visions intensify, she finds herself on the verge of losing her mind.

While I was not expecting much from this one when I picked it up, I was surprised at what I found once I got into it. More of a supernatural psychological thriller than horror movie, this one does have a lot to like. Overall, the acting is solid, the storyline is interesting, with good pacing, and cinematography. Unfortunately, the lead character is relatively flat, the dialog is uneven, and the ending felt extremely rushed, which pulled the rest of the flick down a notch. In the end, this was an interesting indie flick and one that had enough entertaining and atmospheric moments to keep it in the middle of the pack. If you like this genre, give it a shot.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

The Babadook (2014)

Yes, it has been a few days since I ventured into the blog, mostly because I have been stuck at either the softball field or doing homework in my Developing New Worlds class. Of course, I am usually enjoying some type of movie though, as I cannot function unless my mind is transported elsewhere. One movie that I watched that made a tremendous impact was the 2014 Australian horror flick, The Babadook.

Plot/ A single mother, plagued by the violent death of her husband, battles with her son's fear of a monster lurking in the house, but soon discovers a sinister presence all around her.

It has been some time since I watched a movie and wanted it to keep going after it ended. That was the case with The Babadook. While the premise is subtle, the overall storyline is tremendous and effectively draws the viewer in and makes them want more. The atmosphere is amazing, the characterizations outstanding, the emotional performances over-the-top yet believable and the stylized images and sound effects work perfectly within the story. This movie is truly that good. Yes, the accents may turn some people off, but if that is the case, you should not be watching a foreign film to begin with. In the end, this is one of the best horror films to come out in some time and is an entertaining trip into an emotional tale of terror. If you have not seen it, find it, and watch it!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Muck (2015)

Metropolis was an awesome movie, and in many ways, I am still fascinated by how well the restoration of the print translated. However, one can only live inside the mind of a silent film for so much time. Getting back to the modern horror entries, I decided to dive into a slasher for the next review. A clear throwback to the 1980s, 2015s Muck.

Plot/ After narrowly escaping an ancient burial ground, a group of friends find themselves trapped between two evils, forcing them to fight, die, or go back the way they came.

This is an interesting flick that transported me back to my teen years and the direct to VHS no-budget horror of the 1980s. In fact, in many ways, that is exactly what this movie is, a no-budget kickstarter funded throwback slasher, and because of that, many will be unable to understand the draw to the film. While the film is nowhere near a masterpiece, it fits into the genre featuring all of the elements that made me want to run to the video stores in the 1980s. There are random murders, nonsense dialog, uneven cinematography, boobs, cardboard characters that make terrible decisions, unreal killers, and did I say boobs? Honestly, this one will in no way be mistaken for a masterpiece, but it could have easily been a cult classic had it been released during the era of big boxed VHS slashers. In the end, this movie will not appeal to the modern horror fan that thinks that the slasher craze started with Scream. However, if you are a child of the 1980s and remember some of the schlock filled slashers that made that decade great, you should enjoy this as much as I did. Not for everyone, but it does have some entertaining moments and will be enjoyed by some audiences.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Metropolis (1927)

Every once in a while, I enjoy looking back at some of the more significant films in history; especially the ones that have stood the test of time and continue to influence filmmakers today. This weekend, I decided to venture back into the 1920s, and revisit the 1927 Sci-Fi epic Metropolis.

Plot/ In a futuristic city sharply divided between the working class and the city planners, the son of the city's mastermind falls in love with a working class prophet who predicts the coming of a savior to mediate their differences.

I sat down the other day and decided to watch the restored version of the classic Fritz Lang classic, Metropolis, and was captivated even more by this Sci-Fi masterpiece. If you have already watched it, you should completely understand where I am coming from. Everything about the movie is perfect from the over the top acting, amazing set design and effects, to the strange atmosphere. Most of all, the storyline is tremendous, and for 1927, could almost be viewed as a touch prophetic. In the end, this masterpiece is Sci-Fi history has not only influenced many modern films, it set the benchmark for how great science fiction movies could be. Yes, it does have a longer run time, and you will have to read between the lines, but it is a movie that must be seen by any Sci-Fi fan. If you have not seen the film, you are missing out. Check it out!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Interstellar (2014)

Yesterday, I found myself stuck at the softball field for the first scrimmage of 2015. Of course, I realize that was the first of what will be many more over the next couple of months, and I am OK with that. Now it is time to get back to the blog. Next up, is a movie that I had waited to see for some time, 2014s Sci-Fi epic Interstellar.

Plot/ In the near future, Earth has been devastated by drought and famine, causing a scarcity in food and extreme changes in climate. A team of explorers travels through a wormhole in an attempt to ensure humanity's survival.

Interstellar was one of the few movies that I was disappointed to miss in the theatre. Now, having viewed it, I definitely want to kick myself in the ass for not making more of an attempt. This Sci-Fi epic is one of the more thought provoking movies I have seen in some time, and in many ways will stand the test of time. Not only is this movie well made, with beautiful cinematography and a brilliant soundtrack, the acting, directing, and effects create a perfect atmosphere. More importantly, the storyline is layered in such a way that the arcing love story is woven into the darkness is tremendous and full of emotion. In the end, this is a movie that must be seen and embraced. Yes, there are some I believe moments, but those are definitely easy to overlook and should be. If you have not seen it, what are you waiting for? Find it, and check it out!

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Cthulhu Surge, et libera nos,

Since this is National Poetry Writing Month and there was a mention of a cult today, I ask, is there any more famous literature cult than the mythos created by H.P. Lovecraft and Cthulhu? Personally, I think not. While I may never reach a point of anywhere near the creative genius of Lovecraft, it is sometimes fun to try.

Cthulhu Surge, et libera nos,

The murky depths surround me
The sea of life poisoned by the uninitiated
Virtuous beliefs, now forbidden
The ancient temple crumbles
Darkness and despair abound
The cult leader rises in front of the mass
His followers prostrate to the false idol
Mocking the godliness of the Great Old One
Defiling ageless texts
Alas, the Necronomicon burns

The echoes stir the seas
Earthquakes touch the mountains; shake Innsmouth
Voices join the chorus of thunder
Lightning dances

Vocate ad Vetus Ones
ut resurgat
Da nobis absolutio
nos tibi cthulhu

R'lyeh calls, oh great and righteous one
Rise again and walk among us
The dying embers of life call to you
Your golden sanctuary tainted by the malefactors
I may not be as pious as thou art
My sins sentencing me to an eternity in exile
Yet, my faith in thy greatness never wavers
Protect me from the unrepentant
Free me from the despair
Cthulhu, I call to thee

The Culling (2015)

After suffering through Treehouse, I decided that I could find something at Family Video for the evening. Unfortunately, my selection this holiday weekend was slim. After some debate, I decided on the 2015 supernatural thriller, The Culling.

Plot/ A terrifying supernatural thriller in which a group of college friends on a road trip find themselves fighting off dark forces at a remote farmhouse after a chance encounter with a strange little girl.

So, I am batting a thousand this week on movie choices and reviews. This one, while it may not sink to the deep depths of the last review, is definitely close. While I am all for low budget indie horror, I at least hope to find some originality trapped inside and The Culling had none of that. The characters were cardboard; the storyline full of cliché, the acting uneven at best, and the pacing was way off. Even the effects were below the line for a typical low budget horror flick. In the end, The Culling is an average to below average horror flick that really offers nothing new. Unless you have no other choice, stay away.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Treehouse (2014)

So, it has been a few days since I added something to the blog. Unfortunately, this part of the year is always difficult and my schedule is all over. Am I still watching movies? Absolutely. However, I do not always have the time to kick back and relax with my computer. Next up for review is the 2014 horror/thriller Treehouse.

Plot/ A teenage boy discovers the perpetrators of several brutal kidnappings in his hometown.

Usually, I would just gloss over movies like this and not give them any type of review. Unfortunately for me, I have been neglecting the blog, and need to get back into it. Sadly, there is nothing but a couple of decently shot scenes for it to hang its hat on. The scripting is poor, acting and dialog uneven, there is no atmosphere or scares, and the ending has to be one of the worst I have seen it decades. Honestly, this one is definitely bottom of the barrel. In the end, there is nothing entertaining in this movie and it is hard to watch. Unless you have nothing else, stay away!