Friday, July 29, 2016

Gods of Egypt (2016)

Now that I returned from a softball tryout and can settle into starting my vacation, I decided to finish one last film before loading my bags. After some thought about what I had left to write about, I decided on the 2016 fantasy Gods of Egypt.

Plot/ Mortal hero Bek teams with the god Horus in an alliance against Set, the merciless god of darkness, who has usurped Egypt's throne, plunging the once peaceful and prosperous empire into chaos and conflict.

This movie is definitely not my normal selection and was one that I had stayed away from for some time. Now, after watching it, I wish I had not. There was actually a lot to like inside this fantasy epic, and as a fan of ancient Egypt, it was fun to sit through. Yes, it was unbelievable and some of it was a bit out there, but that is perfectly fine within the confines of a fantasy. Overall, it featured an interesting storyline, some solid scripting and characterizations, and enough plot twists to keep it moving. Yes, the CGI was rough and some of the performances were uneven, but that did not detract from the movie in any way. In the end, this was a film that was much better than I expected and a movie that made for a fun evening. If you enjoy fantasy flicks, give it a shot.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Regression (2015)

When I was looking around for something to watch this post weekend, I could not figure out exactly what genre I wanted to hand out in. After some debate, I sat back and decided on the 2015 indie flick, Regression.

Plot/ A young girl is sexually abused by her father. Thus, begins the disturbing tale of a father and daughter torn apart, thrown into the center of a conspiracy that shocks the nation.

I had not seen anything about this flock when I picked it up and had no idea what to expect. What I found was a movie that somewhat took me back to my youth in the 1970s/80s, where fears of overprotective parents concerned with Satanism and political correctness succeeded in ruining the horror industry. While this movie is far from perfect, there are enough moments inside the film to keep it interesting. The storyline, scripting, and atmosphere were solid, the cinematography works and the overall feel is dark. Yes, some of the performances are uneven, and there are a few clichéd moments within the characterizations, but those are not enough to bring this one down. In the end, this was an entertaining flick and something different that the typical cookie cutter reboot. More of a thriller or mystery than straight horror movie, I would definitely give it a shot.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Southbound (2015)

As I sit here tonight having finished my homework earlier in the evening, I decided to get back to the reviews. I know that the majority of my selections lately have drifted toward Sci-Fi; my next selection is nowhere near that genre. Next up for review is the 2015 horror anthology, Southbound.

Plot/ Five interlocking tales of terror follow the fates of a group of weary travelers who confront their worst nightmares and darkest secrets, over one long night on a desolate stretch of desert highway.

Horror anthologies are often fun reminders of my earliest memories of the genre back in the late 1970s and early 1980s. This anthology movie is definitely one of the better ones that I have seen in some time. While Southbound is not perfect, it does offer some solid storylines, decent characterization with believable performances, and a tightly written script that does a great job at crafting a coherent horror film. Yes, the effects do vary in quality and there are a few uneven scenes, but that does very little to bring the movie down. In the end, this is one of the better horror flicks that I have watched in some time and a pleasant surprise. If you have not seen it, do yourself a favor and check it out!

Sunday, July 24, 2016

10 Cloverfield Lane (2016)

After some truly miserable entries, I needed to find something better. I know, I have brought much of this on myself with my selections, but, I am still due for a winner. In keeping with a more Sci-Fi driven theme to get me back into the swing of things, I have chosen the 2016 surprise sequel 10 Cloverfield Lane as my next entry.

Plot/ After getting in a car accident, a woman is held in a shelter with two men, who claim the outside world is affected by a widespread chemical attack.

I will be honest; I thought that the found footage franchise Cloverfield was gone. That is until I saw the trailer for this one. When I rented it, I had no idea what to expect, as I could not imagine what the premise would have to do with the source storyline. After watching this one, I have to say that everything worked tremendously well and this approach to continuing the storyline was perfect. This one featured some outstanding performances within the minimalist cast, a dark and heavy atmosphere, and one of the better storylines to grace the screen in some time. Everything about this film kept me engaged throughout and made me want to immerse myself within the mythos. In the end, this movie really works and is a must see. John Goodman is amazing and the film is one of the best Sci-Fi entries I have seen in some time.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Independence Wars: Insurgence (2016)

After sitting through Shark Exorcist, it would be hard to imagine finding something that would make that movie even more appealing. Fortunately, I did and can say I found something to take my mind off it. Next up for review is the no budget Sci-Fi cheesefest, Independence Wars: Insurgence (AKA Interstellar Wars).

Plot/ Beyond the dark side of the moon, an ancient portal opens, bringing the return of a ruthless alien species to the ill-prepared planet Earth. The aliens attack with devastating destruction, bringing society quickly to its knees.

There are times where I expect to see a train wreck, and that is exactly what I got when I picked this one up at Family Video. As soon as I saw the box, I knew this would be a no-budget knock off the Independence Day franchise, but what I did not expect was how they would twist it into something filled with cliché and ludicrous moments that tried to emulate almost the entire original on multiple levels. Honestly, there were many times I could do nothing but say WOW. The performances trend from bad to worse, the scripting is all over, and the storyline is a mash-up of any idea that was already seen on the screen. Plus, throw in the abduction/zombie outbreak connection and you have a head scratcher for the ages. Yes, there was a touch of humor, but even that I believe was unintentional. In the end, this one clearly sets out to capitalize on the Independence Day wave and offers very little to the viewer. Stay Away!

Friday, July 22, 2016

Shark Exorcist (2015)

Now that I am getting back into the flow of the blog again, it is nice to revisit some of the low budget entries that I grabbed while working on some of my school projects. Now with graduation being less than two weeks away, I am settling in on a decent schedule to keep the momentum flowing. Next up for review is the 2015 no-budget entry Shark Exorcist.

Plot/ A demonic nun summons Satan to a small fishing village, where he takes over the bodies of a great white shark and a young woman. A chain reaction of evil grips the tiny community as shredded bodies wash ashore. A Catholic priest arrives, and he must fight both teeth and temptation on land and sea in order to send these man-killers back to Hell before the tide comes in for good!

This flick was definitely something from the depths of a low budget basement. While I realized before turning it on that it would likely be incoherent and at times full of schlock, I honestly did not expect what I found. Is this movie bad? Yes, yes it is. However, the craziness and disjointed feel with random scenes, uneven performances, and strange storyline made for something that I really could not take my eyes away from. I did this not because it was good, I just wanted to see what would happen next. In the end, I think with a larger budget and streamlined script, this one could have been something that would have fit into the classic exploitation films of the past. Unfortunately, it never meets or comes close to that potential.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Manson's Lost Girls (2016)

Now that school is winding down and I can get back into the blog and catch up on some of the movies, I have watched over the past few weeks (month). The next movie on tap for review is the 2016 made for television entry Manson’s Lost Girls.

Plot/ Linda Kasabian falls prey to the hypnotic charms of Charles Manson and his self-proclaimed "family" during the drug-fueled summer of 1969.

When I saw this one at Family Video, I had no idea what to expect. Honestly, I had never heard of this film and the premise had me intrigued. Once it started, I soon discovered that it was made for television and quite tame in comparison to some of the other similar entries on Manson. While the feel and performances are solid and the soundtrack is outstanding, the overall feel lacks the darkness and tension you would expect in this story. This does not bring the movie down, but it does prevent it from reaching its optimum potential. In the end, this is an interesting journey into the world of Charles Manson and his family. In fact, it could serve as a tremendous primer for anyone interested in learning more about Manson and his followers.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

400 Days (2015)

I know that it has been some time since I entered the blog and I have a ton of movies to write about. Unfortunately, between work, school, and softball, I was too busy. Now with things winding down, it is time to get back at it. Next up for review is the 2015 Sci-Fi entry 400 Days.

Plot/ With their four hundred day mission simulation nearing completion, four astronauts begin to feel that something is amiss.

While 400 Days is not a Sci-Fi classic it is better than I expected when going into it. More of an elongated Outer Limits episode than movie, the idea was interesting even if the execution was not there. The cast was uneven, the action was lacking, and the ending left so much open that I truly have no idea what direction the story was heading to. However, for a minimal cast with a lower budget, the film does succeed at creating at least a claustrophobic atmosphere. Of course, I would have loved more horror elements, but that was not happening. In the end, this one does not live up to the potential it has inside and any viewer would be somewhat disappointed in the overall feel. I you love oppressive Sci-Fi give it a shot; if not, stay away.