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Showing posts from December, 2016

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)

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After diving into a documentary last night, I wanted to finish off 2016 with one of my favorite movies of the year and a movie that everyone should see. What is that movie? It is arguably one of the best movies to be released all year, Rogue One!

Plot/ All looks lost for the Rebellion against the Empire as they learn of the existence of a new super weapon, the Death Star. Once a possible weakness in its construction is uncovered, the Rebel Alliance must set out on a desperate mission to steal the plans for the Death Star. The future of the entire galaxy now rests upon its success.

Being the first Star Wars movie to take place outside the existing familial storyline, it was interesting to see what Gareth Edwards would create to fall into this important canonical spot. What I found was an amazing entry that fit perfectly into the given timeframe and created the prequel that many of us have longed for. Rogue One has so many elements that are impressive and more importantly creates an adu…

Killswitch (2014)

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Living in the world of Alien lately, I decided I wanted to go into something different and watch one more documentary before the end of 2016. With that in mind, I decided on the 2014 documentary/drama Killswitch.

Plot/ The Internet is under attack. This award-winning documentary explores the threat Internet censorship imposes on free speech, innovation, and democracy.

In this digital age, no topic should be at the forefront of society than net neutrality. If you are unaware of the importance of this topic, you are wrong and this documentary breaks down the importance of net neutrality in a way that everyone can understand. This is not a partisan political documentary in any way, it does a great job of presenting the information while being open about the infringement being applied by both sides of the political spectrum. The documentary is well made and does a great job at profiling the cases of Edward Snowden and Aaron Schwartz, both polarizing figures of the modern digital age. Yes…

Alien 3 (1992)

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I have taken the past few weeks to revisit some horror/sci-fi franchises and complete reviews on them before the end of the year. That started with Phantasm, and now I am putting the Alien franchise to bed as I prepare for the new entry in May. The next review is my least favorite of the series, Alien 3 from 1992.

Plot/ After her last encounter, Ripley crash-lands on Fiorina Fury 161, a maximum-security prison. When a series of strange and deadly events occur shortly after her arrival, Ripley realizes that she brought along an unwelcome visitor.

As I have said, sequels are always a hit or miss proposition. In the case of the Alien franchise, the first sequel Aliens is a masterpiece, a movie that expands the universe in a positive way and allows the story to grow. Unfortunately, Alien 3 does not have the same effect or quality that the first two films offered to the viewers. In this one, the story left to build upon was totally disregarded, and something new and unpolished was placed i…

Snowden (2016)

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Here it is, post number 1500 at the Ringmaster's Realm. As I said in yesterday’s post, I put a lot of thought into what movie I would review and decided on Snowden from Oliver Stone. To me, this was a very important story that must be told, and there is no one better than Stone to deliver the goods. No matter where you stand on Edward Snowden, he is a hero and should not be subjected to the hatred and ridicule he has faced. In fact, no whistleblower should be treated in this manner and if the United States government was not so corrupt, did not have so much to hide, and did not treat whistleblowers like criminals, this ordeal may not have ever happened. This is a perfect example and a powerful look at the Military Industrial Complex and the globalist community (led by the United States Government) that wants to enslave not only America, but also all of humanity.

Plot/ The illegal NSA surveillance techniques are leaked to the public by one of the agency's employees, Edward Sno…

31 (2016)

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As I was sitting here last night I realized that I was two posts away from hitting 1500 here on The Ringmaster's Realm and was debating what movie I wanted to review for that post. After some debate, I finally decided on a movie I feel that must be seen and truly embraced. While that movie will be reviewed tomorrow, for tonight, I have the 2016 Rob Zombie flick 31.

Plot/ Five carnival workers are kidnapped and held hostage in an abandoned, Hell-like compound where they are forced to participate in a violent game, the goal of which is to survive twelve hours against a gang of sadistic clowns.

Having decided to watch this as one of the first films on the new television, I was unsure of what to expect. Rob Zombie is one of the most polarizing filmmakers out there, and his films often sit in the love/hate realm. For me, I love his material, not because it is artistic masterpiece, but because it is a flashback to some of the no-budget grindhouse flicks from my youth. In this case, the…

Aliens (1986)

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The holiday season is always a great time to catch up with friends and family, but also a great time to revisit some of the classic horror/sci-fi flicks of the past decades. Last night, I finished reviews of the Phantasm franchise, now my plan is to continue with the Alien franchise, with the 1986 sequel Aliens.

Plot/ Fifty-seven years after Ripley survived the moon LV-426, all communications with the terraforming colony on the outpost have been lost. The Company enlists Ripley to aid a team of space marines on a rescue mission to the moon to find out if there are aliens or survivors.

It isn’t often when a sequel may be more satisfying than the source material, but that may indeed be the case with the classic franchise. Aliens is both more entertaining and more diverse than the original Alien. While this may not be by a gigantic amount, it is still the case. This one has all of the elements that made the made the original fun with an awesome soundtrack, a claustrophobic atmosphere, a …

Phantasm (1979)

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Before I could dive into Phantasm: Ravager, I needed to get back into the series by revisiting the classic Phantasm. When I saw it on Shudder, I was excited to reenter one of my favorite horror films. So, without anymore of my babbling here on Christmas Day, the next review it the 1979 low budget classic Phantasm.

Plot/ A teenage boy and his friends face off against a mysterious grave robber known only as the Tall Man, who keeps a lethal arsenal of terrible weapons with him.

As I mentioned last night in my review, Phantasm is one of my favorite horror franchises and a movie that left a lasting impression on me as I was growing up. When I decided to revisit the remastered version, I already knew what to expect, and it is a movie that can be very polarizing for viewers. There is so much to love in this low budget horror classic, featuring both surrealistic and sci-fi/fantasy elements. Set in an atmospheric and layered storyline, there are many elements that make it a strange ride into …

Phantasm: Ravager (2016)

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As I settle down for the Christmas Eve adventure, I decided to finish a review on one of the first movies I watched on the new television. In many ways, this flick, while an ending of an era, served to be the perfect movie to start my new television with, because it made me also revisit the source material (which will be reviewed soon-maybe tomorrow). This movie is the 2016 entry Phantasm: Ravager.

Plot/ Reggie is wandering through the desert seeking out his friend Mike and the evil The Tall Man. Along his journey; he is hunted down by the dangerous spheres and stumbles upon the gorgeous Dawn. Out of the blue, he finds himself in an institution with Mike explaining that he has dementia and then in another dimension.

Being a fan of the series from the start, I was definitely saddened by the word of the passing of Angus Scrimm, but I knew we would have this last entry to complete the saga. While this one may not be as great as some of the earlier entries in the series, I definitely enj…

Plan Z (2016)

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After spending last night getting caught up on a few of the films that I watched in between trips to Family Video, it is now time to get back into the swing of things. The next movie that falls closer to the horror genre up for review is the 2016 zombie entry Plan Z.

Plot/ One man has a plan for a zombie outbreak, when one occurs it will take all his will to stick to it and all of his courage to change it.

I went into this unsure of what to expect, but was excited by the independent aspects of the film. This was definitely more of a zombie themed character piece than straight zombie entry. This movie definitely had some of the elements that are prevalent within independent cinema, but it also had enough positives to make it at least entertaining. While I do not think, it reached its potential; the atmosphere and performances were at least solid. Unfortunately, the storyline was somewhat thin, the cinematography was uneven, and overall the film lacked memorable qualities that would mak…

The Imitation Game (2014)

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Having spent some time with true stories such as Black Mass, I decided to stay with that type of film for one more entry prior to getting back into horror (which is coming with Plan Z, Phantasm V Ravager, and 31). The final true story is the 2014 biopic The Imitation Game.

Plot/ Based on the real life story of legendary cryptanalyst Alan Turing, the film portrays the nail-biting race against time by Turing and his brilliant team of code-breakers at Britain's top-secret Government Code and Cypher School at Bletchley Park, during the darkest days of World War II.

Being in a mood for true stories, I followed up Black Mass with this one and I am glad I did. This is one of the best biopic films to come out in some time and features a tremendous cast led by Benedict Cumberbatch. This film has a lot going for it including an awesome script, tight cinematography and direction, emotional and solid performances, and true backstory that must be seen. The events played out in this movie (and…

Black Mass (2015)

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I know, I know, it seems like I have been taking quite a few breaks from the blog recently (and I have). Why, not quite sure, but I know that the New Year is almost upon us and I am ready to get back into the swing of things. Since my last post, I got a new television, a 60-inch LG LCD (thanks PIA), and now it is time to get rolling. Next up is the 2015 entry Black Mass.

Plot/ The true story of Whitey Bulger, the brother of a state senator and the most infamous violent criminal in the history of South Boston, who became an FBI informant to take down a Mafia family invading his turf.

When I saw this one, I was interested in what type of performance Johnny Depp would offer. Yes, he is a great actor, but it had been some time since I watched him in something conventional, and this seemed like an awesome story for him. What I found was a tremendous performance that in many ways carried this somewhat flat true crime entry. While the cast and performances were solid, Depp clearly embodied …

Equals (2015)

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With all of the craziness that surrounds us every day, I felt at home watching something based in a dystopian society. Plus, I definitely wanted something different and that is exactly what I found with this one. I imagine this is what Agenda 21 would shape if the future were now. What was that movie? The 2015 Sci-Fi flick Equals.

Plot/ In an emotionless utopia, two people fall in love when they regain their feelings from a mysterious disease, causing tensions between them and their society.

This one was definitely different and a movie that I expected would sit outside my wheelhouse. Fortunately, what I found was something both entertaining, but interesting (at least if you understand the globalist eugenics ideology). While it is not a perfect film with some uneven pacing and sound quality issues, it is a movie that does have a lot to offer. The cinematography and direction do a great job creating a heavy (almost claustrophobic) atmosphere, the performances are solid, and the storyl…

Alien (1979)

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Being back into the swing of some horror flicks this weekend; I figured that it was time for me to revisit a classic. While at Family Video, I saw the perfect film to fill that void. That movie is the 1979 classic Alien.

Plot/ After a space merchant vessel perceives an unknown transmission as distress call; their landing on the source moon finds one of the crew attacked by a mysterious life form. Continuing their journey back to Earth with the attacked crew having recovered and the critter deceased, they soon realize that its life cycle has merely begun.

I know that there are movies that need no introduction or lasting homage, and this is one of those films. Really, there is nothing more that I could add about this classic, except maybe the fact that it holds up tremendously well even after all of these years. Honestly, it is incredible that this movie came out in 1979 and remains one of the greatest and most influential Sci-Fi/Horror films ever made. The cinematography and direction…