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Rate the Last Film you Watched

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It's summer and I have a lot of preparations to do for the baby but I'll still have time to watch some movies so here it goes

Tomb Raider

An OK movie but nowhere close to the 2013 game. It basically follows the same plot but falls short of the game in every aspect. 

Alicia Vikander is a good Lara Croft but the supporting cast is meh and I could predict everything that happens in the movie. 

The bad guy is just that : bad Not fleshed out at all. He's evil cause he wants to get off the island. Period. OK.

The mercenaries with him are just canon fodder. 

Plot is simplified compared to the game and much weaker. Also there is too much Rochard Croft (Lara's father) in it. The game is better with him already dead. 

The end leaves things open for an inevitable sequel. 

All in all, a decent movie, I don't regret watching it but I'm glad I watched it at home and haven't paid 8€ to see it in the theater. Will do the same for the sequel. 

6.5/10

 

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Demon House (2018)

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The Awesome: The entire thing is actually based on true events. A popular ghost hunter heard of a very demonically haunted house and purchased it to freely investigate it. Actual incidents that occurred to families living here before the ghost hunter bought the house all have been chronicled through real news reports from small and major networks, you can you tube Fox News coverage of the demon house as the haunting really had people conflicted about the truth. I thought this was going to be just an extended version of one of the Ghost Adventures episodes but it was more than just that at it's core. You can knock Zak all you want but his enthusiasm is infectious and has always drawn me in as he really gets into the investigations and also tries to debunk things using logic and doesn't just want to sell you a haunting. Call me crazy but I always thought that crime rates were probably higher in places were past and current dark practices have been common. I will always believe negative energy will manifest dark activity in humans and animals. The interviews with the people that have lived or experienced the house were very compelling as families, upper law-enforcement, multiple child-services personnel, and many others, really help in assisting the build up to the physical investigating. The interviews are creepy as they give you an idea to what could possibly be in that house. If you allow yourself to be fully immersed and keep your skeptical side in check, you will enjoy this a lot. I really enjoyed the implication that dark spirits gravitate to areas of poverty and human suffering even if some of the most historic violent places never report paranormal activity. Diving into the paranormal and demonic unknown is just thrilling shit. Sadly, an associate and regular special investigator guest of the original TV show is murdered while the Demon House documentary is being made and that adds fuel to the story and really makes you think about just how stable these investigators are mentally. 

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The Good: Learning about the demon house for the first time was cool as I stopped watching the Ghost Adventures show and don't follow the show or Zak on Twitter so this entire story was new to me which added to the intrigue. The in-depth interviews really work well and serve to convince me that some of these people on camera have nothing to gain in sharing their accounts and in fact fall in danger of being mocked IRL by their peers. I mean if your co-worker walked in on a Monday and began telling you how his little cousin climbed a wall backwards while speaking in a different language, you would probably question their sanity. The documentary doesn't come across as manipulative or tries to force you into believing. I liked that in the end Zak locked himself up in the house and is where you finally feel a real sense of dread and fear. Credibility to the Ammon's Family story and demon possessed house tale is aided by the many witnesses involved, from police chief to the priest that performed three exorcisms on the family, it was very compelling.The Child Services Workers accounts really adds credibility to the general haunting since they were called in once the mother was being suspected of child abuse after the kids began going to school with bruises. I did appreciate that they didn't try and fake stuff and they could have done that in a lot but I think is why I appreciate Zak, he may rub people the wrong way but I have to thank him for not forcing paranormal stuff into his documentary. Yes, below I state that I wanted to see more of the investigation and less of the interviews but what if that meant they had to fabricate activity to make the documentary more "real".

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The Bad: If you are not familiar with the TV show and it's host, you might dislike Zak and his special "Yo bro-style" of paranormal investigating and might actually be turned off by him. The payoff let me down since the documentary is 90% interviews and 10% actual investigating, basically the opposite of what we see in the Ghost Adventures series. When you build up a haunted location so much because of decades of activity and with various people claiming the house negatively affected them after leaving it, you would expect so much more evidence and not just small moments of ..."what is that?" "why is he behaving that way?". The house is said to have more than 200 demons living in it and in the three years it took the documentary to be made, we only see a handful of moments that rewarded me for sitting through it. Yes, I didn't want this to come across as just a longer version of the TV show, and if you followed the TV show like I did at one point, the documentary is different enough; but the one thing that makes the TV show worth watching are all the tools and equipment they have at their disposal to debunk or confirm an actual haunting. So as i sat there processing all the information about the nastiness of the house and all it's possible threats, threats and history so crazy that a ghost hunter actually buys the house , I couldn't help but expect to see a tremendous investigation but there isn't. And while the show isn't always filled with paranormal activity, I thought the way this evil demon house was built up to be this incredible place of evil and poltergeist, just falls flat and made me think that the reason why the documentary is 90% interviews and 10% investigation was because of lack of anything being seen. I mean, three years of owning the house in an effort to capture something and while they do capture something creepy, I couldn't help but feel underwhelmed by the entire investigation. I mean, where were the tools they usually use? Surely a house filled with 200 demons would demand you bring out all your equipment and perhaps they did just that and sadly nothing was found for them to put into the documentary so they opted instead for the film to rely on the recounting of the various experiences by people that have lived in that house to count for the chills and suspense. The reenactments that plague the TV show also appear here and are less effective and actually become a distraction as what my imagination was drawing up when the social workers are talking was way more frightening than any visual shown to me.

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The Ugly: The condition Zak claims he acquired by being in the house and doing the documentary is so ridiculous to me and it almost ruined the whole thing for me. I mean, this is a house where damn exorcisms have taken place, priests have probably thrown a lot of holy water around that house but it's Zak that it decides to "attack" and affect him for the rest of his life? I know that we are told of the many ailments people that have come across that house came to experience but what Zak received was special and I can't say I had ever heard of that before. I mean, I love the paranormal and I have watched 1,000's of hours of such material and I have seen the trinity scratches be a recurring theme which seems realistic but I have a hard time accepting that no other paranormal investigator has experienced the same thing? Had they revealed at the very end that a person from the house's past actually suffered the same ailment as Zak suffers, then I would have been all in with that reveal. Instead I found myself chuckling and saying..."you unlucky bastard, you." The part where we learn that a huge movie studio is involved with the Ammons family and has offered to buy the rights to their story. While this does expose how popular the Ammons story is, it also then goes on to re-interview someone that lived with the family and claim that "for the right price, anyone will say anything." That whole sequence comes to early in the documentary and I began questioning the people that had been interviewed. Two thoughts popped into my head, 1) "Are people making stuff up because they have been paid to sensationalize the hauntings?" , 2) "Oh man, I think we are going to see some shit in that house, I can't wait!!." 

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Final Verdict...3/5...Are you a huge paranormal fan with a great and active imagination? If yes, then watch this because there is a lot of things it brings to the table and your imagination will keep you interested until they finally investigate the house. If you never watched an episode of Ghost Adventures, prepare for the reenactments and scary images as they are a staple of the TV show which I always thought was a waste since a dude in a costume isn't scarier than what my mind was conjuring. I am what you would call a "Want-to-believe" person and is why I enjoy those shows. I enjoy the notion of the paranormal and really did like watching this, mainly because despite never really, really, really being blown away by anything on any paranormal show I always convince myself that I will finally see something that will change the way even skeptics think of ghost hunting. I began watching Ghost Adventures, like most people, after I saw the brick footage on their original show. While I think Zak presents everything like a "bro", to me at least he comes across as serious about his investigating. He tries to debunk things first and not always out to prove real paranormal activity and I while I was underwhelmed by this documentary in the end, I appreciate that what we do see seems to be genuine and not manufactured even if it's not a whole lot. So the search to convince me 1,000% that someday someone will capture something more concrete that will change the course of humanity, will have to continue. 

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Edited by Con
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I recently saw "The First Purge." 

I was a bit disappointed. The plot twist wasn't well written. I had this expectation of it to be more intense and thrilling, but I should have known better since it is the pre-quel to the Purge series. You have your typical countdown, alarm sound, people scared and gathering together, and then those who wanted to Purge made their way out to the streets. These were all new actors for me, so it was a nice refresher to start a movie not being familiar with the actors/actresses, so you don't have this bias perception of their acting skills. They did manage to add in some humor throughout the movie, so that was something new.

But Dmitri.. that dark chocolate.. was sexy as fudge, so it made the movie worth while to watch. 

If out of 10 points .. I'd give it a 6.

 

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The Babadook (2014)

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The Awesome: The movie's atmosphere is tremendous. The actress playing the mother, Essie Davis, wow what a performance! I think only Toni Collette in Hereditary has this performance beat. Half way through the film I really began feeling for the mom because her acting is just stellar. I bought into her suffering and stress spiral fully!!!! The book scenes, wow, never will look at a pop-up book the same ever again. Those scenes are terrifying because of the skill in which they were shot. The art design of the book is brilliant and the fact you can own a copy of the book IRL is tremendous. The sound design is super creepy and adds character to the movie. The mental gymnastics I ended up putting my brain through at the end has been great. The line by the mother, "Why don't you go and..." was fantastic and shocking. The post-viewing research and discovery of the meaning behind Mister Babadook really transforms the film and it's ending and really gave my brain things to chew on. Did a great job of making me sympathize with the boy after finding him obnoxious the first half of the movie. The way we see the mother miss out on sleep was done brilliantly as I felt her insomnia or better the feeling that time speeds up for her when she goes to bed. That is a nightmare IRL for me as I love to sleep and being in a situation where as soon as I begin to fall into that awesome sleep state, the alarm goes off and I have to wake up, is just terrifying. The anagram: A Bad Book.

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The Good: Real good moments of dread and spooky moments that do not rely on jump scares for effectiveness. The tension of waiting for the Babadook to arrive is thick as syrup. Really liked the cinematography and set design. The house really conveys what the mother is feeling internally if that makes sense. How real the film felt thanks to the mother's performance, at times it really comes across like a documentary and not a movie. The little boy was annoying but the formula here was to get him to crawl under your skin the way he was getting under his mom's overtired and stressed out skin so you can understand her emotions. I watched this while my wife was getting ready to go out and wife kept asking questions like..."why doesn't she go see a doctor?" She does. And then she asked, "why doesn't she go to a psychiatrist?" She gets that advice too. Then she asked, "why doesn't she go to the police?", and she does, so I appreciated a character that behaved like a real life person would and took realistic steps in looking for help.  I also liked how this movie didn't follow the cliches or the usual horror stuff that makes material like this predictable, we kind of take the path to those cliches but they never materialize.

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The Bad: The little boy had moments where he smiles after he delivers serious lines and it breaks the immersion of the scenes and some moments he overacts. It's not that he is horrible, just some scenes came across as comical because of him. The ending at first really disappointed me because I couldn't figure out why things had been resolved so abruptly and if you don't get invested enough in wanting to learn more because you end up caring for the characters then you probably won't come across the theories on the movie and it's material. If you watch it because you want to see the Babadook and sleep with your lights on, just keep in mind that the scares come mostly from what you form in your head more than what you will see on screen, but you do see the monster, so don't worry.

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The Ugly: Immediately after the movie ended, I really hated the end because although I appreciate not having everything explained to me, I felt like it just ends with some sort of unexplained resolution. Had I not bothered to dig deeper and look for explanations, I would have missed out on what I feel is the meaning of the movie, which elevates the entire thing to another level of good. The CGI in some of the scenes looks cheap and the effect didn't seem to match the tone of the Babadook. The guy that wrote the Exorcist called this the "scariest movie he has ever seen.". 

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Final Verdict...3/5...or...4/5...As you can see i'm giving the film two grades, I've included the spoiler for the higher score below, so if you have never watched it and plan on it, don't spoil it for yourself so you can have the same reaction I had in case you miss it too. The movie is great in many places with its chilling atmosphere and spiral into madness. The performance by Essie Davis is worth the viewing as she really is superb and takes us on this ride. I thought I'd watch this and move on to the next but here I am digging deeper about a film four years old because I feel the writer/director showed us something normal in such a dark, dark way. I recommend it for the burn and  if you have not seen it, don't research it. I knew very little about it and I think it's best that way. 

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Spoiler:

 

The reason I am giving this movie two scores is because after learning of a theory regarding the movie, it elevates it’s genius for me. That theory is that the mother is the actual Babadook, holy shit, I never considered that after watching it. If this is the case, then what the writer/director crafted was pure genius. A scene of the mother putting the book together in a flash back would have given us too much information and would have caused me to ignore the Babadook monster threat. And I was fully focused on Mister Babadook the entire time!!

Edited by Con

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GLOW: The Story of The Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling (2012)

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The Awesome: Reconnecting with these fine ladies of wrestling from my early testosterone fueled teen years really brought back a lot of memories of not just them but what was to come in my life entering those teenage years. Just the great revived dormant memories of me coming home late at night after partying with friends and watching GLOW. Learning why the show suddenly just ended without explanation, especially since it was so popular by 1990. Learning about the lives of some of the wrestlers, what they did before the auditions, during their time at GLOW and were they ended up after the abrupt end to their popular show. Reliving my crushes on Colonel Ninotchka and finding out she wasn't even really Russian and my crush on Hollywood. I was so young when they were cancelled that I never heard that Hollywood went on to do Playboy, I do now. The interviews with the ladies were done very well and the reveals of the effects of wrestling on their bodies were sobering. A great human interest story of a group of people that put on a unique and pioneering show. The surprise in the 3rd Act was the thing I was hoping would happen as I watched the 1st and 2nd Acts, but thankfully, I did not have to wait and it was very touching and the build up was great. I love these Where Are They Now-type of documentaries. Really funny how daring and risky some of the skits and story lines were that they got away with. Seeing what the ladies look like after all these years was amazing.

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The Good: Many of the wrestlers are featured and you get such great insight to what a lot of them went through and how some tried to use the show to get acting careers started and some just wanted to be on TV, but ultimately, the ones that stayed were the ones that actually enjoyed the physicality. Finding out that the first casting calls were not for women wrestlers but for good-looking women that had no idea what they were auditioning for. Watching the show being built from the ground up and how it transformed wrestling and gave women's wrestling credibility despite the cartoonish feel to the entire show. I started watching it for the pretty girls when it premiered but ended up really enjoying the wrestling as you could tell they were being trained seriously and the wrestling wasn't great but always fun to see women pile driving each other. Without a doubt, GLOW went on to influence the women of the WWE, perfect example and serious surprise learning that Ivory of WWE fame (1999-2005) was Tina Ferrari from GLOW! My jaw dropped! Reminded me of how the ladies took what they did seriously and defended themselves when audiences implied that they should be doing more "lady-like" occupations when on as guests on mega-talk shows like Donohue and Sally Jesse Raphael. They really empowered women athletes all over the world and while the wrestling is scripted, the bumps, bruises, scratches, and injuries are real. You don't have to like pro-wrestling to enjoy this documentary as it is just a human interest story that involves 40+ people loving to entertain the crowds. Learning about how the ladies adopted their names and alter-egos and how much creative control they had over their characters and costumes. The vintage footage was great and really took me back to those years of my life. 

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The Bad: Some might find the injury to Susie Spirit a bit graphic. But her smile as she walks out of the ring sums up how amazing these women and the show was....all heart. If you hated the show GLOW, then skip this. The beat and song the ladies had to do their flows to in the GLOW rap. I know it was '86 when the show began but I was listening to music with much better beats than the one they used. Some of the girls could flow to the beat but some were cringe-worthy, but that was part of the charm. 

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The Ugly: How corporations just discard our heroes and stars no matter how much joy or inspiration they bring to us. Had it not been for social media, the GLOW ladies wouldn't have enjoyed the revival and the resulting "After-Glow Fan Cruise" and the current NETFLIX series inspired by the original GLOW concept. But try as they may, I doubt highly I can experience the same feelings I had when I watched the original.

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Final Verdict...4/5... I couldn't help but get the same feelings I got at the end credits where we see photos of the real "All American Girls Professional Ball League" players in the movie "A League of Their Own",  except I had that feeling the entire time while watching this. This documentary was just one big reunion for me with these women, I used to watch them religiously. I had forgot all about GLOW and how much I really enjoyed watching them. I was just hitting that age where girls were starting to get my attention, my hormones were starting to fire on all cylinders and here was a women wrestling show full of crotch-grabbing and suggestiveness. I was in love with Colonel Ninotchka and she still looks amazing to me. I'm glad this documentary was made as I never realized how special the show was and how these women possessed amazing drive, fight, and spirit, all things that teenage me never appreciated back then.

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Maximum Overdrive

 

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If you've not seen it you should, it's a shitty movie but fun to watch. I think this is the 1000th or so time I have seen it. It was cool when I was a kid, now it's just cuz nothing better was on to watch

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3 hours ago, JustHatched said:

Maximum Overdrive

 

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If you've not seen it you should, it's a shitty movie but fun to watch. I think this is the 1000th or so time I have seen it. It was cool when I was a kid, now it's just cuz nothing better was on to watch

Love watching that for the classic trucks and kickass soundtrack. 

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6 hours ago, JustHatched said:

Maximum Overdrive

 

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If you've not seen it you should, it's a shitty movie but fun to watch. I think this is the 1000th or so time I have seen it. It was cool when I was a kid, now it's just cuz nothing better was on to watch

10 Sentient Facts About Maximum Overdrive

BY JENNIFER M WOOD

Maximum Overdrive won’t ever go down in Hollywood’s history books as the best adaptation of a Stephen King story. But in some ways, it might be the legendary author’s most personal piece of cinematic output, due to the fact that he directed it (his sole attempt at that career). Yet King has been extremely critical of the film, which sees murder-minded machines come to life.

Though it was also overwhelmingly derided by critics, Maximum Overdrivehas developed a dedicated cult following over the years—and features one hell of a soundtrack. On the 30th anniversary of the film’s release, we’ve dug up 10 facts about the so-bad-it’s-good sci-fi/horror/comedy.

1. STEPHEN KING WAS STUCK ON HAVING BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN STAR.

Stephen King is a man who knows what he wants—and for the lead role of Bill Robinson, he wanted Bruce Springsteen. There was just one problem: Dino De Laurentiis, the film’s executive producer, did not know who The Boss was. “Stephen King wanted an ‘unknown’ actor at that time: Bruce Springsteen,” translator Roberto Croci recalled to /Film. According to Croci, King told De Laurentiis, “‘I can do 10 movies for you, Dino, but I want Bruce Springsteen.’ But Dino said, ‘Bruce who? Bruce who?’ Dino didn’t know. He didn’t know he was The Boss; the man who would change rock music. So Stephen King explain[ed] … ‘I want to direct Bruce. This is my movie and the truck driver is Bruce Springsteen.’ But Dino didn’t care. He just [said], ‘I’ll get Emilio [Estevez], Martin [Sheen’s] son.’ When that moment became official—that there was no Bruce Springsteen—Stephen King couldn’t give a sh*t about the movie. That’s my opinion.”

2. IT WAS KING WHO PERSUADED AC/DC TO CREATE THE SOUNDTRACK.

King has long professed his appreciation for AC/DC and desperately wanted to get them involved in the making of Maximum Overdrive. Legend has it that he wooed them by proving his fandom and singing “Ain’t No Fun Waiting Round to Be a Millionaire” from their 1976 album Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap in its entirety. The band agreed to provide the music for the film, which they released as 1987’s “Who Made Who.” Only the earliest pressings of the album note that it’s the official soundtrack to King’s film.

3. THE HAPPY TOYZ TRUCK IS MODELED ON THE GREEN GOBLIN.

The film’s main villain is the ironically named Happy Toyz Truck, a tractor trailer with a (homicidal) mind of its own. If the goblin-esque mask that sits on the front of the truck looks familiar, that’s because it’s modeled after Marvel’s Green Goblin.

4. THE HAPPY TOYZ GOBLIN IS A REGULAR VISITOR TO HORROR FESTIVALS.

Following the film’s completion, the truck—which was pretty damaged from the shoot—was brought to a salvage yard in Wilmington, North Carolina, where filming took place. In 1987, movie memorabilia collector Tim Shockey snatched it up, thinking it would make a fun prop for the video store he owned (at the time, he had never seen Maximum Overdrive). He then set about restoring the Goblin head and, in 2013, brought it to Cincinnati’s HorrorHound Weekend. Since then, it has regularly been spotted at horror festivals and conventions around the country. You can follow its adventures on Facebook and Twitter.

5. YOU MIGHT RECOGNIZE THE SCORE USED IN THE TRAILER.

King took a very in-your-face approach to the trailer for Maximum Overdrive, making himself the star of it. In addition to promising the audience that he would “scare the hell out of” them, King also took the opportunity to throw shade at the filmmakers who had previously adapted his works, saying that he decided to direct the film because, “If you want something done right, you ought to do it yourself” and that “I just wanted someone to do Stephen King right.” And he made all these proclamations set to the score of Tommy Lee Wallace’s equally maligned Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982). 

6. KING JUST MAY BE THE FILM’S HARSHEST CRITIC.

Despite his many promises in the trailer above, it was King himself who ended up being the film’s harshest critic. While doing press for the film in 1983, King told the Gainesville Sun that Maximum Overdrive was “a moron movie, like Splash! You check your brains at the box office and you come out 96 minutes later and pick them up again. People say, ‘How’d you like the movie,’ and you can’t say much. It’s not like The Big Chill or 2001.”

7. DRUG ADDICTION MAY HAVE PLAYED A PART IN THE FILM’S EXECUTION.

In the mid-1980s, King struggled with drug and alcohol addiction, and was later very frank with how his habitual use of cocaine, Valium, and Xanax impacted his work. He had frequent blackouts and admitted that he doesn’t really remember writing Cujo. As for Maximum Overdrive? “The problem with that film is that I was coked out of my mind all through its production, and I didn’t know what I was doing,” King said.

8. ONE OF THE MOVIE’S HOMICIDAL MACHINES SERIOUSLY INJURED THE CINEMATOGRAPHER.

On July 31, 1985, tragedy struck on the set of the film when a radio-controlled lawnmower that was being featured as one of the film’s sentient machines malfunctioned and struck a piece of wood that was being used as a camera support. Though cinematographer Armando Nannuzzi had wanted to remove the blades from the lawnmower before filming, King reportedly wanted it to be as realistic as possible. So when the out-of-control machine struck the wood, the wedge splintered and injured Nannuzzi so badly that he lost his right eye.

“That splint of wood—my god, the odds were a gazillion and one—that splint of wood then went into Armando’s eye,” recalled Martha De Laurentiis, Dino’s wife and the film’s producer. “For a cameraman to lose his eye … my god.”

Nannuzzi ended upsuing King and 17 others involved in the making of the film for $18 million, citing that they were “wanton and reckless.” The case eventually settled out of court.

9. BLUE VELVET WAS SHOOTING IN WILMINGTON AT THE SAME TIME.

While King was busy shooting Maximum Overdrive, David Lynch was also in town, filming Blue Velvet (another De Laurentiis production). Inevitably, the cast and crew of both movies started to hang out. “They were also shooting Blue Velvet at the same time, so that was all around us, too,” said Laura Harrington, who played Brett. “I remember having lunch with Laura Dern. Several times. And that was very fun, that whole crew of actors. But, of course, they were in such a different mood.”

“Because it was a small community, my night were [spent] together with people like David Lynch, Isabella Rossellini, and others,” camera assistant Silvia Giulietti added. “For me, in that moment, it was normal. Later, when I grew up, I underst[ood] that it was a very magic moment.”

10. IT WAS REFERENCED BY THE SIMPSONS.

In 1999, during its tenth season, an episode of The Simpsons in which Homer temporarily becomes a truck driver was titled “Maximum Homerdrive.” While some might just consider it a fun play on a title, it’s actually more meta than that, as Yeardley Smith, who has been voicing Lisa Simpson since 1987, starred in Maximum Overdrive. “I remember chitchatting with Yeardley Smith at some point toward the end of production,” grip Joe D'Alessandro remembered. “She was telling me about some little animated thing that she was going to be doing on this thing called The Tracey Ullman Show. It sounded odd but, you know, that turned out to be The Simpsons.”

Edited by Con
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The other day I rented "Escape Plan" off of Amazon Video starring Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson. The story line was great and the plot twist at the end came out of nowhere. I did not like some of the acting from the villain's character - didn't seem tough enough for me especially that little facial gesture and sound he made right before he died. Arnold had some great comedic scenes which I was not expecting - especially when he started speaking in German. Haha. 

I also rented "Escape Plan 2." WORST SEQUEL. Don't watch it. It drags on throughout the movie although it's pretty much the same story line. Poor acting and too much CGI. They added a new young cast of actors. The only cool thing about that movie is the new prison layout they developed. They added Bautista in there, but he had such a small insignificant role -- his name probably had a bigger role for him than the scene they put him in. I think you see Bautista in the movie like 2 times. I literally dozed off like half-way into the movie. The 1st movie is way better.. they should have just kept it there although I did read somewhere that they had plans for a part 3.

Overall, the first Escape Plan I'll rate a 7 out of 10. No vote for the sequel.

 

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@nkaujrog love your latest dual review, just one thing, in the first one you disclose that the villain dies. Could you please hide the spoilers. To do this all you need is the “spoiler and “/spoiler” brackets at the start of the sentence and at the end. This hides any spoilers. You never know who might want to watch a movie you reviewed. Thanks!  

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4 minutes ago, Con said:

@nkaujrog love your latest dual review, just one thing, in the first one you disclose that the villain dies. Could you please hide the spoilers. To do this all you need is the “spoiler and “/spoiler” brackets at the start of the sentence and at the end. This hides any spoilers. You never know who might want to watch a movie you reviewed. Thanks!  

So sorry.. I just got all into it. Haha. Thanks! :)

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Rewatched this one today... This intro with that amazing theme music just blows me away!!! 50 years after it was done, it is still one of the best Sci-Fi movies ever made!

 

“Two possibilities exist: either we are alone in the Universe or we are not. Both are equally terrifying.” Arthur C Clarke (the story writer behind this movie)

 

Edited by Spinnaker1981
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On 8/10/2018 at 3:29 PM, Con said:

10 Sentient Facts About Maximum Overdrive

BY JENNIFER M WOOD

Maximum Overdrive won’t ever go down in Hollywood’s history books as the best adaptation of a Stephen King story. But in some ways, it might be the legendary author’s most personal piece of cinematic output, due to the fact that he directed it (his sole attempt at that career). Yet King has been extremely critical of the film, which sees murder-minded machines come to life.

Though it was also overwhelmingly derided by critics, Maximum Overdrivehas developed a dedicated cult following over the years—and features one hell of a soundtrack. On the 30th anniversary of the film’s release, we’ve dug up 10 facts about the so-bad-it’s-good sci-fi/horror/comedy.

1. STEPHEN KING WAS STUCK ON HAVING BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN STAR.

Stephen King is a man who knows what he wants—and for the lead role of Bill Robinson, he wanted Bruce Springsteen. There was just one problem: Dino De Laurentiis, the film’s executive producer, did not know who The Boss was. “Stephen King wanted an ‘unknown’ actor at that time: Bruce Springsteen,” translator Roberto Croci recalled to /Film. According to Croci, King told De Laurentiis, “‘I can do 10 movies for you, Dino, but I want Bruce Springsteen.’ But Dino said, ‘Bruce who? Bruce who?’ Dino didn’t know. He didn’t know he was The Boss; the man who would change rock music. So Stephen King explain[ed] … ‘I want to direct Bruce. This is my movie and the truck driver is Bruce Springsteen.’ But Dino didn’t care. He just [said], ‘I’ll get Emilio [Estevez], Martin [Sheen’s] son.’ When that moment became official—that there was no Bruce Springsteen—Stephen King couldn’t give a sh*t about the movie. That’s my opinion.”

2. IT WAS KING WHO PERSUADED AC/DC TO CREATE THE SOUNDTRACK.

King has long professed his appreciation for AC/DC and desperately wanted to get them involved in the making of Maximum Overdrive. Legend has it that he wooed them by proving his fandom and singing “Ain’t No Fun Waiting Round to Be a Millionaire” from their 1976 album Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap in its entirety. The band agreed to provide the music for the film, which they released as 1987’s “Who Made Who.” Only the earliest pressings of the album note that it’s the official soundtrack to King’s film.

3. THE HAPPY TOYZ TRUCK IS MODELED ON THE GREEN GOBLIN.

The film’s main villain is the ironically named Happy Toyz Truck, a tractor trailer with a (homicidal) mind of its own. If the goblin-esque mask that sits on the front of the truck looks familiar, that’s because it’s modeled after Marvel’s Green Goblin.

4. THE HAPPY TOYZ GOBLIN IS A REGULAR VISITOR TO HORROR FESTIVALS.

Following the film’s completion, the truck—which was pretty damaged from the shoot—was brought to a salvage yard in Wilmington, North Carolina, where filming took place. In 1987, movie memorabilia collector Tim Shockey snatched it up, thinking it would make a fun prop for the video store he owned (at the time, he had never seen Maximum Overdrive). He then set about restoring the Goblin head and, in 2013, brought it to Cincinnati’s HorrorHound Weekend. Since then, it has regularly been spotted at horror festivals and conventions around the country. You can follow its adventures on Facebook and Twitter.

5. YOU MIGHT RECOGNIZE THE SCORE USED IN THE TRAILER.

King took a very in-your-face approach to the trailer for Maximum Overdrive, making himself the star of it. In addition to promising the audience that he would “scare the hell out of” them, King also took the opportunity to throw shade at the filmmakers who had previously adapted his works, saying that he decided to direct the film because, “If you want something done right, you ought to do it yourself” and that “I just wanted someone to do Stephen King right.” And he made all these proclamations set to the score of Tommy Lee Wallace’s equally maligned Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982). 

6. KING JUST MAY BE THE FILM’S HARSHEST CRITIC.

Despite his many promises in the trailer above, it was King himself who ended up being the film’s harshest critic. While doing press for the film in 1983, King told the Gainesville Sun that Maximum Overdrive was “a moron movie, like Splash! You check your brains at the box office and you come out 96 minutes later and pick them up again. People say, ‘How’d you like the movie,’ and you can’t say much. It’s not like The Big Chill or 2001.”

7. DRUG ADDICTION MAY HAVE PLAYED A PART IN THE FILM’S EXECUTION.

In the mid-1980s, King struggled with drug and alcohol addiction, and was later very frank with how his habitual use of cocaine, Valium, and Xanax impacted his work. He had frequent blackouts and admitted that he doesn’t really remember writing Cujo. As for Maximum Overdrive? “The problem with that film is that I was coked out of my mind all through its production, and I didn’t know what I was doing,” King said.

8. ONE OF THE MOVIE’S HOMICIDAL MACHINES SERIOUSLY INJURED THE CINEMATOGRAPHER.

On July 31, 1985, tragedy struck on the set of the film when a radio-controlled lawnmower that was being featured as one of the film’s sentient machines malfunctioned and struck a piece of wood that was being used as a camera support. Though cinematographer Armando Nannuzzi had wanted to remove the blades from the lawnmower before filming, King reportedly wanted it to be as realistic as possible. So when the out-of-control machine struck the wood, the wedge splintered and injured Nannuzzi so badly that he lost his right eye.

“That splint of wood—my god, the odds were a gazillion and one—that splint of wood then went into Armando’s eye,” recalled Martha De Laurentiis, Dino’s wife and the film’s producer. “For a cameraman to lose his eye … my god.”

Nannuzzi ended upsuing King and 17 others involved in the making of the film for $18 million, citing that they were “wanton and reckless.” The case eventually settled out of court.

9. BLUE VELVET WAS SHOOTING IN WILMINGTON AT THE SAME TIME.

While King was busy shooting Maximum Overdrive, David Lynch was also in town, filming Blue Velvet (another De Laurentiis production). Inevitably, the cast and crew of both movies started to hang out. “They were also shooting Blue Velvet at the same time, so that was all around us, too,” said Laura Harrington, who played Brett. “I remember having lunch with Laura Dern. Several times. And that was very fun, that whole crew of actors. But, of course, they were in such a different mood.”

“Because it was a small community, my night were [spent] together with people like David Lynch, Isabella Rossellini, and others,” camera assistant Silvia Giulietti added. “For me, in that moment, it was normal. Later, when I grew up, I underst[ood] that it was a very magic moment.”

10. IT WAS REFERENCED BY THE SIMPSONS.

In 1999, during its tenth season, an episode of The Simpsons in which Homer temporarily becomes a truck driver was titled “Maximum Homerdrive.” While some might just consider it a fun play on a title, it’s actually more meta than that, as Yeardley Smith, who has been voicing Lisa Simpson since 1987, starred in Maximum Overdrive. “I remember chitchatting with Yeardley Smith at some point toward the end of production,” grip Joe D'Alessandro remembered. “She was telling me about some little animated thing that she was going to be doing on this thing called The Tracey Ullman Show. It sounded odd but, you know, that turned out to be The Simpsons.”

Love this movie! Thanks for that article those are some interesting facts. 

For some reason Maximum Overdrive is linked to another favorite, Repo Man. Both have great soundtracks and star Emilio Estevez. 

A REPO MAN'S LIFE IS ALWAYS INTENSE!

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The Meg  (2018)KHFIRU6.jpg

The Awesome: It's a Megalodon movie!!! People will learn or hear of the Mariana's Trench for the first time and doing so will learn about Don Walsh and Jacques Picard, two of the bravest men to ever live in my opinion and that is awesome!! I remember the first time I read about the Mariana's Trench it and how frighteningly fascinated I became--- even if I know I will NEVER go Challenger Deep out there! Cinematography looks great. The film looks crisp and clear in scenes above water and that gives you a great contrast when we fearfully go underwater and wish we were back under the sun. The sharks look great and for the most part, the Meg looks convincing. The underwater scenes are suspenseful as we can only see a few feet ahead of us and that adds crazy tension. The beach scene looks gorgeous and the anticipation it builds is great. I enjoyed how they explained the discovery of the lost habitat even if it is a bit far-fetched since this type of discovery would have already been done. 

Tm2LsdO.jpg

The Good: The personal relationships of the thinly layered characters are never explored which is good because we want to see a shark movie not a love story or love triangle. This was a great move because I found myself getting upset at some of the relationship scenes as I kept saying...."you guys know there is a loose 2 Million year-old Megalodon in waters it probably doesn't recognize, while you sit here and small talk." The shark looks menacing and is why you are filled with dread whenever you are waiting for the thing to show. The film doesn't take itself too seriously, so you can overlook some of the Hollywood action stuff. The whale carcasses looked very authentic. The design of the underwater facility was fantastic. I'm no fan of the open ocean but I wanted to tour that facility. The premise is fun and I have always enjoyed the idea of prehistoric animals coming back to life. 

p7Wk5wy.jpg

The Bad: Felt hollow. I wanted more just not sure of what. Maybe the Meg or maybe some blood or maybe a bigger sense of more humans in danger. Some of the actions the crew takes after the first encounter just seems ludicrous. And i have to give the character, Suyin, the worst parent of the decade award. After they know what's down there with them, why the hell didn't she immediately have her daughter removed from the research facility, I mean, come on brah! The beach scene I mention in the awesome section had to be mentioned here because I feel this is where the film really misses it's greatest opportunity to thrill us moviegoers that went to see a Meg eating people. Yes, there are beach goers that get to meet the Meg but no doubt had Eli Roth been left to direct, I can only imagine the carnage we would have rightfully seen and the R Rating that would have made it impactful for us gore-hounds. The helicopter chase scene was cool but contrived and that goes for all the scenes where the crew seems to get some "assistance". You go on an expedition with the billionaire that is funding the trip, shit goes bad and he almost dies, pretty sure that billionaire is the fuck out of there ASAP!! Nope, not our billionaire, greed has turned him into a stupid ass, that is clear. The explanation of how the Meg was able to leave it's habitat was laughable. But that isn't the filmmakers fault that I am a science-whore. While I did appreciate the movie paying homage to Jaws in many scenes, there is one scene where they basically copied Jaws and I felt they could have been a bit more original.

AVBXoC7.jpg

The Ugly: Should have been Rated R!!!! A PG-13 rating clearly hurt this movie since you can see where they cut the gore out and it really lessens the impact of the attacks (although an animal this large would probably end up swallowing an adult whole instead of chomping them to pieces). The dialogue is so bad at times that the jokes sometimes don't fit and some of the lines by the supporting cast are cringe-worthy, especially in the 3rd Act. The perception of our main protagonist is that he let people die in a failed past attempt at a deep water rescue so he has to kind of redeem himself in the eyes of the crew that has hired him but dammit if they don't beat you on the head with that plot point. I mean, I don't remember seeing a film where the hero is thanked time and time again. We get it the first time, no need to have people come out of unconsciousness and the first thing they say after they open their eyes is "Thank You, you saved my life, again" to the hero. The love or attraction elements between the characters didn't work for me as I didn't care who was going to love who at the end. I wanted Meg eating humans. No time for love. There are some of the underwater attacks that just shocked me at how bad the science and realism was, I mean, it looks like the filmmakers did some research on whales and sharks and even what we know about Megalodons, but there is no excuse for some huge errors. Here is one that angered me...

 

When large sea animals open their mouths underwater, they create a vacuum and the water around them is pulled into their mouths like a current and anything in that area is being sucked into the animal, it's just simple science, but they put a scene in where the Meg is caught on an anchor or something just as it is about to eat/swallow our hero but is left INCHES away, but the shark is opening it's mouth like a wild dog trying to bite. Imagine a dog on a chain. On land, I can buy it. In the water in front of the mouth of a Meg? That was very, very, disappointing because I'm sure people probably clapped and cheered at that moment while i fully groaned. Also, hard to suspend belief when you see a human out swimming a 90ft Megalodon!! I mean, let's get real here. Seriously. But the thing that really fucking pissed me off was that for 95% of the film we think we are dealing with the Meg but it's just baby-Meg, Mega-Meg the shark I actually paid to go see only shows up in the last 20 minutes of the film!!

GrI1pEe.jpg

Special "Does the Yorkie Survive?” Hatch Spoiler:

 

Hatch, it looks like it doesn’t....at first. But it does.

Final Verdict...3/5....Really wanted to give this 2/5 but there was some real effort put into this by the filmmakers. It doesn't take itself too serious, which works and doesn't work for this type of movie. What makes Jaws such a classic, besides the shark, is that there is perfect balance between terror, suspense, comedy, and story-telling. Nothing in Jaws seems beyond the realm of possibility. But this is supposed to be a film about a 2 Million year-old species that has found itself in a new habitat with the whole ocean to explore and somehow not only does it stay relatively local, no one else besides a few other boats see it and never alert the local governments or military. And while thankfully we don't get a King Kong ending, I had a hard time accepting that this crew could really think they could take this animal down by themselves. If you fear the vast ocean and sharks, I recommend it because it works on that “popcorn movie” level. 

5n5Oioc.jpg

Edited by Con
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45 minutes ago, Con said:

The Meg  (2018)KHFIRU6.jpg

The Awesome: It's a Megalodon movie!!! People will learn or hear of the Mariana's Trench for the first time and doing so will learn about Don Walsh and Jacques Picard, two of the bravest men to ever live in my opinion and that is awesome!! I remember the first time I read about the Mariana's Trench it and how frighteningly fascinated I was even if I know I will NEVER go Challenger Deep out there! Cinematography looks great. The film looks crisp and clear in scenes above water and that gives you a great contrast when we go underwater and wish we were back under the sun. The sharks look great and for the most part, the Meg looks convincing. The underwater scenes are suspenseful as we can only see a few feet ahead of us and that adds crazy tension. The beach scene looks gorgeous and the anticipation it builds is great. I enjoyed how they explained the discovery of the lost habitat even if it is a bit far-fetched since this type of discovery would have already been done. 

Tm2LsdO.jpg

The Good: The personal relationships of the thinly layered characters are never explored which is good because we want to see a shark movie not a love story or love triangle. This was a great move because I found myself getting upset at some of the relationship scenes as I kept saying...."you guys know there is a loose 2 Million year-old Megalodon in waters it probably doesn't recognize." The shark looks menacing and is why you are filled with dread whenever you are waiting for the thing to show. The film doesn't take itself too seriously, so you can overlook some of the Hollywood action stuff. The whale carcasses looked very authentic. The design of the underwater facility was fantastic. I'm no fan of the open ocean but I wanted to tour that facility. The premise is fun and I have always enjoyed the idea of prehistoric animals coming back to life. 

p7Wk5wy.jpg

The Bad: Felt hollow. I wanted more just not sure of what. Maybe the Meg or maybe some blood or maybe a bigger sense of more humans in danger. Some of the actions the crew takes after the first encounter just seems ludicrous. And i have to give the character, Suyin, the worst parent of the decade award. After they know what's down there with them, why the hell didn't she immediately have her daughter removed from the research facility, I mean, come on brah! The beach scene I mention in the awesome section had to be mentioned here because I feel this is where the film really misses it's greatest opportunity to thrill us moviegoers that went to see a Meg eating people. Yes, there are beach goers that get to meet the Meg but no doubt had Eli Roth been left to direct, I can only imagine the carnage we would have rightfully seen and the R Rating that would have made it impactful for us gore-hounds. The helicopter chase scene was cool but contrived and that goes for all the scenes where the crew seems to get some "assistance". You go on an expedition with the billionaire that is funding the trip. Shit goes bad and he almost dies. Pretty sure that billionaire is the fuck out of there ASAP!! Nope, not our billionaire, greed has turned him into a stupid ass, that is clear. The explanation of how the Meg was able to leave it's habitat was laughable. But that isn't the filmmakers fault that I am a science-whore. While I did appreciate the movie paying homage to Jaws in many scenes, there is one scene where they basically copied Jaws and I felt they could have been a bit more original.

AVBXoC7.jpg

The Ugly: Should have been Rated R!!!! A PG-13 rating clearly hurt this movie since you can see where they cut the gore out and it really lessens the impact of the attacks (although an animal this large would probably end up swallowing an adult whole instead of chomping them to pieces). The dialogue is so bad at times that the jokes sometimes don't fit and some of the lines by the supporting cast are cringe-worthy, especially in the 3rd Act. The perception of our main protagonist is that he let people die in a failed past attempt at a deep water rescue so he has to kind of redeem himself in the eyes of the crew that has hired him but dammit if they don't beat you on the head with that plot point. I mean, I don't remember seeing a film where the hero is thanked time and time again. We get it the first time, no need to have people come out of unconsciousness and the first thing they say after they open their eyes is "Thank You, you saved my life, again" to the hero. The love or attraction elements between the characters didn't work for me as I didn't care who was going to love who at the end. I wanted Meg eating humans. No time for love. There are some of the underwater attacks that just shocked me at how bad the science and realism was, I mean, it looks like the filmmakers did some research on whales and sharks and even what we know about Megalodons, but there is no excuse for some huge errors. Here is one that angered me...

  Reveal hidden contents

GrI1pEe.jpg

Final Verdict...3/5....Really wanted to give this 2/5 but there was some real effort put into this by the filmmakers. It doesn't take itself too serious, which works and doesn't work for this type of movie. What makes Jaws such a classic, besides the shark, is that there is perfect balance between terror, suspense, comedy, and story-telling. Nothing in Jaws seems beyond the realm of possibility. But this is supposed to be a film about a 2 Million year-old species that has found itself in a new habitat with the whole ocean to explore and somehow not only does it stay relatively local, no one else besides a few other boats see it and never alert the local governments or military. And while thankfully we don't get a King Kong ending, I had a hard time accepting that this crew could really think they could take this animal down by themselves. 

5n5Oioc.jpg

 

Guess I'll wait for it to hit Netflix then. 

 

Post a spoiler for me @Con, does the yorkie live?

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6 minutes ago, JustHatched said:

Guess I'll wait for it to hit Netflix then. 

Post a spoiler for me @Con, does the yorkie live?

If you like films like Lake Placid and just animals gone crazy, you have to go watch this because the theater experience is the best way to get the scope of the size of the animal. If you can get a discounted ticket, go to the cinema, it's one of those almost B-movies that benefits from the big screen. Just don't expect to be blown away by the action the way you hope to be. It's silly but okay. I was hoping it was silly but good. I think anyone afraid of the ocean like myself, should definitely watch it on the big screen.

And Hatch, LMAO, you crack me up; the last two images I posted were to illicit sympathy and you only asked about the Yorkie not the little girl. :D  I think you should watch it just to see if the Yorkie makes it. hahahaha I'll go back and post a custom spoiler just for you.

 

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Summer of 84  (2018)

Mb0hJCV.jpg

The Awesome: The ending was an unsuspected surprise. The chemistry of the characters works and helps cement that 80's kids-adventure feel it goes for and it does that well as my inner-teen went along for the ride trying to solve the mystery but also asking myself "what would have 14 year-old Con done ?". The performances are very, very convincing by everyone and I like that the characters are somewhat fleshed out and their family lives are hinted at making you get why these boys hang out together. The role of Officer Mackey impressed me the most as he is the main suspect in the film and at the same time his subtle performance really conflicts you when trying to decide if he is the killer or not, he does a superb job. The kids also do a tremendous job, especially the main character as he has to convince us of his paranoia while maintaining courage in trying to prove his cop neighbor is the killer. The direction and cinematography were superb and both added to the story and did not distract or rely on slick camera movements to convey the suspense and there is a lot of suspense as we wait to see what Davy and his friends discover. Some elements of the 3rd Act really surprised me and probably gave me the biggest entertainment jolt as many aspects were unexpected. I liked that it kept me guessing who the killer could be even as the main character is beating you on the head to believe him. The scene where we confirm who the real killer is was really suspenseful and the reveal is pretty good and deliciously creepy.

GimO58q.jpg

The Good: The film nails the 80's feel and while relies on it heavily at the start, it eventually tones down and doesn't become a distraction. The music is great with a combination of 80's hits and a synthesizer theme that when done right, adds to the films scenes and at times makes you forget that you are watching a horror film. The characters don't do anything silly like we see in most horror-suspense films like this and I thought their dialogue, while silly at times, was realistic for their ages. The movie plays like a harmless coming of age tale wrapped in a mystery and for the first two acts it feels light with touches of suspense but when the third act arrives it reminds you that it's still a horror movie. The direction was very good as the camera angles and placement really add tension to the storytelling and make the suspenseful moments terrific. The cinematography is superb as everything is crisp and we don't have to put up with scenes where the cameras are moving and we can't see shit. Reviewers are comparing this to Stranger Things, I never watched that show, but this reminded me of the movie "Fright Night" where a high school teen thinks a vampire has moved next door, this had that 80's feel to it and I enjoyed that a lot. I liked that it accurately shows what it was like to be a teen in 1984 with no iPhones or the tech teens possess today and is why I chuckled when they pull out an encyclopedia to find out what sodium hydroxide is used for.

MsvOFcJ.png

The Bad: At times the synthesizer score wants to dictate what you should be feeling and that is always a cheap gimmick that is not needed if the set-up to the scene is strong. Most of the reviews I have read post-viewing mention this as a rip-off of Stranger Things, but that is inspired by the 80's films that came before it so while I'm sure Stranger Things is great, that is also a rip-off of something else. Every story under the sun has already been told in one way or another. If you are a person that needs their horror movies to get into the horror as soon as possible, you will be disappointed in that element here as it takes a while before you get the payoff. The character of Nikki...the actress does great but the character is Davy's ex-babysitter, she is older, cooler and she is a DJ, so would she really want to hang out with these boys and even head into the love interest zone, oh and she is also in the more blatant jump-scare scenes, but that is part of the 80's horror movie device charm too. Could have used a little more gore. At times the 80's themes seem pasted and not 80's organic as in other movies like this. 

f4keU33.jpg

The Ugly: The parents of the children of this town are by default the dumbest and most negligent parents ever. How can a sleepy quiet community know of missing children in the area and still leave their doors unlocked but worst than that is they still allow their children to play outside, especially playing what seems to be the popular nighttime hide-and-seek game!! And there is where Davy's parents take the cake as they don't care that their kid could be in danger of being abducted by the confirmed serial killer in their community and instead only become strong parental units when they feel they have to discipline their son. Some of the elements of the ending, while I thought the ending was awesome overall, there are a few holes and is when I found myself asking, how could this be possible, and while I could make sense and justify some things, If you dislike third act plot holes, then you will scratch your head at some of the crucial things that aren't explained and that is a let down as most of the movie uses small hints throughout and this was one of those moments it could have used some because once again, the community does not act accordingly to what has happened and that lack of communication really disconnected me for a bit. I know it's just a movie, I'm just pointing out the stuff they could have tweaked that would have made it better.  

nXxO8rj.jpg

Final Verdict...4/5...I enjoyed watching this as many aspects of it were done very well. The chemistry within the cast and performances really made this worth watching. I knew I was watching something I had seen before but it has it its own 80's vibe and interesting tone. A little slow in the middle but the actors keep it interesting. I'm giving it a high score because on top of it being well directed, I really liked parts of the ending and just the ending in general was a bit unexpected, although you'd  have to consider the genre and let some things slide. It did well at what it aimed to do and do recommend it, especially if you were a tween in the 80's as you'll probably appreciate the references more. The best way I can sum this movie up is that it's a fun, somewhat 'safe' coming-of-age horror film...and sometimes that isn't a bad thing. 

An9zYYY.jpg

 

Edited by Con

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@Con I love a good shark film but the Meg definitely missed the target. 

You’re right about the gore. It was almost completely lacking. It definitely needed more blood and more boobs. 

The acting was cheesy enough and the one liners were bad which is a plus for this kind of film. 

What really let it down is the lack of body count. 

Too many people survived. It should have only been one or two at the end. 

The hot girl surviving to the end is definitely not fitting with the shark film genre. She should have been eaten while topless. 

They missed a huge trick by not having the Meg take out the helicopter while it was close to the water. That would have been an epic shot. 

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5 hours ago, Squirrel said:

@Con I love a good shark film but the Meg definitely missed the target. 

You’re right about the gore. It was almost completely lacking. It definitely needed more blood and more boobs. 

The acting was cheesy enough and the one liners were bad which is a plus for this kind of film. 

What really let it down is the lack of body count. 

 

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Too many people survived. It should have only been one or two at the end. 

The hot girl surviving to the end is definitely not fitting with the shark film genre. She should have been eaten while topless. 

They missed a huge trick by not having the Meg take out the helicopter while it was close to the water. That would have been an epic shot. 

Oh me too. I fear the ocean so shark movies get my attention too. And yes there should have been a little more gore, well placed gory moments could have elevated the visceral thrills for sure.

 

yes the body count seems to be implied more than anything and even then it’s very few deaths and not one is really memorable. That is what this movie truly lacked, those “Holy Shit” moment besides the “Holy Shit that shark is big” moment. Even just one scene of the thing biting down on someone and having their eyeballs pop out from the bite force. Anything like that would have given us that one moment that really makes it worth watching. The reason we don't get topless women being eaten is because of that stupid PG-13 rating. 

Like I said in my review, it lacks something that would have made it epically fun instead of just ‘okay’ for a Megalodon movie. 

Edited by Con

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I just trudged through the Osiris child. I think it was the worst movie I have ever seen in my entire life. Absolutely no redeeming qualities whatsoever. I think the only reason that I finished watching it, was to see exactly how bad this movie could become!

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The Predator (2018) 

ZYrTlts.jpg

The Awesome: The throwback Predator was awesome in appearance and movement. The use of the original score really transported me to that feel of the original and was really a highlight of my experience. The first time we see the boy trick or treating with the Predator mask on was hilarious and I wish his walk down the street was longer. The scene towards the end of the film where the boy sees his dad kill a man, the dialogue and the way it was delivered really captured the spirit of the original for me and I wished the entire movie had been written the same way. 

TBOnTji.jpg

The Good: We get to see more of the Predator tech, like the new filters they use to hunt, just don't expect tons of it. I did like getting more insight into their backgrounds and motives beyond just being hunters of men but only to a degree. The attempt at trying to elevate autism as the next evolution of man instead of a deficit was honorable. Some kills were Predator worthy for sure and some had good gore. The character Treager has some good moments thanks to the actor's performance. The Nebraska character and actor were the best part of the "Loonies". They should have made this a buddy movie in the third act with just Nebraska and the lead character to fight the Predator. If you never saw any of the Predator films, specially the original, then you might like this as a sci-fi movie and might even overlook the things I couldn't. The third act picks up in pace and begins to resemble a Predator film but by this point, I didn't care who lived or died just how much popcorn I had left in the bucket. 

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The Bad: The script. Even if you never saw the first one, you'll probably think some of the jokes are way over the top and the real crude ones are awful. One tourette syndrome inspired joke at the beginning just goes on way too long, and I didn't find hearing the word pussy being said 20 times to be all that funny. And that brings me to the comedy, this was written almost as a comedy with a Predator thrown in, while in the original, the jokes fit and ended once the action got serious, here they go on and on and on and not in that 'Predator-way' but more in 'The Hangover-way' and I would have preferred to have been shown why these guys were deadly. For example, in the original I didn't want Sonny (minor character) to die, in this I couldn't wait for everyone to die so I could go home because I didn't care about them winning. Some of the outdoor scenes in the First Act just shouted "sound stage", especially when they use wide-shots and that is on the lighting department and Director. The movie never finds it's tone and that is never a good thing.  They give the hero some of the alien tech and then forget to make him use it in smart ways. The exposition is horrible in this movie, I mean, horrible. It comes to us through character monologue and then there is exposition that we are supposed to accept because the child is autistic and can somehow understand Predator technology, but just in general that narrative is confusing and ultimately never made sense to me. Hearing that studio interference created riffs in the creative process and maybe that is what went wrong but I can't fully blame the studio for everything I disliked about it.

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The Ugly: A lot of shit does not make sense. I don't even know where to start. The story, it presents these interesting elements with the child and his condition but at the same time why would any parent of a bullied special needs child (whose father is always at work) allow him to go trick or treating all by himself and then what occurs during the trick or treating is so absurd because it is played for laughs but it mocks what the boy dislikes about his father and would have worked for me had it occurred to his mother who should have been trick or treating with him in the first place!!!! There is a scene where our heroes jump on a moving alien ship to try and find a way inside...by the way the ship is a bit damaged so it is not flying at 100% and yet these guys are hanging on for life and the shit just comes across stupid but it gets worse than that as the Predator activates the ship's force field and one guy ends up inside it and the other two outside it...the sacrifice made doesn't make any fucking sense!! Or they expect the viewer to know Predator spaceship mechanical engineering to make sense of what you are seeing. The CGI is fucking bad. If you are going to make the main monster CGI and your budget is $88M, use $80M on the CGI monster. The monster I speak of is the actual THE PREDATOR the title refers to, its the 13 foot version of the Predator species and it looks like fucking shit and moves like CGI shit and the CGI blood is even worse as it looks like cheap CGI blood. It is so bad that when im supposed to be in awe and wonder, I was fully disappointed and from that point I really didn't give a shit what was going to happen and just wanted the movie over because this wasn't a Predator movie made for me, the Predator fan that wanted more of the same just a little different from the original, this was a Predator film that was trying to be a Marvel movie and it failed miserably for me. The fucking scene where the Predator uses a dismembered limb as a prop to let the human driver know, everything is thumbs up in the back of the van, yes, you read that bullshit right, that kind of shit in a Predator film????!!!!!!!!!! The Predator dogs...sound like a great idea, I want to see them too, until they show up in the shitty CGI and then one of the dogs gets domesticated!! WTF!! It doesn't even make sense because it just happens. Any time the Predator(s) are injured or incapacitated it is always because someone falls or trips, yes, the Predators are fought using LUCK and slapstick in this movie. The master Predator comes to Earth for a reason but then gets a side mission out of nowhere? and while they explain why he ultimately wants to capture one of the protagonists, what could any human DNA possess that the already vastly advanced Predator species can use to make their species more powerful? They already are smarter, stronger, have advanced tech, they travel from galaxy to fucking galaxy, why just leave the Predator for what he is...a TROPHY HUNTER!!! Don't add motives to the Predators that ultimately do not make any sense. We have nothing to offer the Predator species. The very ending is so cringe-worthy it's ridiculous...and then the last lines spoken right before the screen goes black to end the film really helped me get the fuck out of that theatre before anyone else got up. One of the things that stood out was in the beginning of the film a scene in a forest, something crashes and leaves small fires all around, what I couldn't help but notice was how uniformly those flames all flickered, perhaps . Could the prop guys have made the flames each a different height for realism? I mean, that set the tone of the film for me. The fire looked like generic prop fire , causing the entire shot and scene to look amateurish. Most people probably didn't even notice that but I sure did. I couldn't help not notice. The flame props did get better as the film went on. I checked. Hahaha

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Final Verdict...1/5... I didn't want a carbon copy of the original movie I absolutely love, but I didn't expect a near parody.  I actually had watched and read many of the negative reviews and said to myself, I have to go see this for myself, and can't get over how bad I thought this was executed on so many levels. I had very low expectations and was disappointed even more than I thought. A guy that acted and wrote for the original to make this version is just hurtful. I'm hurt. Take all the things that worked and that you love about the original Predator...now remove all those things while adding more lore to the Predator that no one is asking for...I don't want to know what the Predator does on vacation, I just want him to hunt the most advanced species' in the galaxy and occasionally be defeated. I wanted to see why these "loonies" had a chance to defeat the Predator, not how funny they could be in one room together.  I found the movie to be a hot mess with little redeeming qualities and maybe that is my inner Predator fan talking but it's that inner fan that got me out of the couch and into the cinema to go give this movie a chance. I wanted to like it. I tried to find things that made it worthwhile but as you can see the bad outweighs it by a lot. I get that they tried some new things but they just don't work for me. I wanted a Predator movie set away from the jungle, where a misfit group find themselves hunted by an alien trophy hunter and by using their kickass skills have to survive this thing. That's the movie I wanted to see. I got a different movie with some Predator(s) elements sprinkled in it instead. Despite the negative reviews, I still went out of respect for the franchise but I was fully disappointed and only slightly entertained. Even in fantasy, I need some things to make sense or my brain disconnects and that is what happened here. 

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New Predator Lore Spoiler Con Summary:

 

The new ideas were laughable at best. For starters, the child wasn't superior compared to the Predator species, he was superior to other humans because he could work the alien technology, so making the Predator want his DNA because he was next-level "human" smart is hilarious and does not make sense. Secondly, the entire idea that the Predators want the best human DNA to mix with their own before they move to Earth after climate change has wiped out humans is absurd on so many levels. Autism being presented as the next level of human evolution is admirable except the way it's presented here was just sloppy. Now had they hinted that the kid was so genius that he was working on solving climate change in his bedroom and is why the Predators not just wanted his DNA to make themselves smarter but also wanted him dead since the kid was going to ruin their plan of inheriting the runaway-greenhouse earth, THAT would have made more sense. Imagine that in the movie. That is how I would have fixed that narrative. "But where do we fit a scene of the boy solving climate change?" Well I would have rather seen that scene than the "She's so pushy" stupid scene that goes on forever. I like expanded lore but when it is done properly and not botched like it was in The Predator.

Here are two YT spoiler reviews that sum up everything I felt. Don't worry...I spoiled the film before I watched it and it took nothing away from how bad it really was for me:

 

(the rant for above vid starts at 6:00) (the vid below is a more detailed walkthrough of the movie, it's great)

Edited by Con

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I watched the new Jurassic World movie. While I like all of the Jurassic Park/World films this one IMO is the best one since the 1st one. The last world movie was ok but kinda sucked so my hopes weren't high for this, but it worked out.

 

 

Watched Goodfellas again also, great movie

 

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Documentary on netflix. Incredible to see the lengths artists will go to in the pursuit of art. Fascinating watch 

 

 

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Twin Town (1997)

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The Awesome: A cult classic!!! This film is hilarious in so many ways. Great little story. The performances were brilliant, brilliant! Everyone does a great job and Keith Allen as Emrys almost steals the film and he is on screen for just a few minutes ---the acting was so top notch that at times I felt that I was watching real people and not actors.The setting of the movie gives it such an authentic feel. The cinematography is fantastic as every scene is framed with attention and every scene tells it's own story. Take the scene where we meet the twins family...the scene starts out with an uptempo beat as we see the outside of their home, but we also hear what sounds like choir singing and piano, so I thought the combination of the music was like an experiment by the filmmakers, but it turns out that it's the electric keyboard the mom is playing, LMAO, except I'm not sure if it's broken and they cannot turn off the preset beats that come installed in them so they just sing and play choir music over it. I just found that so funny and enjoyed my brain trying to sort out what it was hearing at the same time that my eyes are taking in the scene imagery. The dialogue is hilarious throughout the entire movie and never feels forced. I loved the foreshadowing and the contradictions as you are led to believe one thing and then are shown the truth and many times those reveals are hilarious. Like when we find out what actually goes down at the Executive Spa after hearing about it from the beginning I believed it was one thing but turns out to be another. I love things in movies like this: So we meet Terry (Dougray Scott) ...now we know he is unhinged and dangerously ambitious, proof of that is his desire to become the "Scarface" of Swansea, hahahaha...his partner in crime, Greyo (Dorian Thomas) says this to him when Terry buys WAY too much product.... "This isn't fucking Miami, Terry, this is fucking Swansea, we're in the third fucking division."...HAHAHAHA.  I love the richness of that Terry character, he lives in a small city but has HUGE city Scarface dreams! (but then again, he criticizes the poetry with the same message, it's little things like this that made this movie a bit cerebral while being hilariously insane). The movie was shot on location in DC's hometown! 

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The Good: I feared the accents would be hard to understand but I understood everything being said, except obviously the inside jokes about the region and other jokes, like I think they made fun of Fiat cars. The soundtrack is perfect as it almost becomes a character on it's own. The twins are so fucking outrageous and really make the story believable since their behavior is consistent. And when they have the somber moment, they were really convincing and showed a different side of them, briefly. Everytime twin Jeremy (Rhys Ifans) came on screen I would say to myself, I know that face, and sure enough today I confirmed that he also played "Adrian" in Adam Sandler's Little Nicky.  I really enjoyed the unexpected dark tone it takes in the last act but it all makes sense considering all these personality types and their motivations. I enjoyed the twists throughout the film and the unexpected was always funny or poignant. I really love movies where you put big city crime in a small city setting, which instantly boosts the risk of being caught or seen. There are so many thematic elements in this movie but one that I liked the most was the comparison of the crimes and how some people manage to hide them because of their societal status. The movie is funny and very well written, it really had me caring and liking all the characters. The ending is brilliant and I really appreciated how it's presented and how it all comes together. 

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The Bad: You may not want to watch this with minors around since there are some explicit simulated sex scenes, not many, but they come unexpectedly so you won't have time to always prepare for them. This isn't bad on the movie's behalf and more on my fault, but I'm sure some jokes went over my head, but again, that is not the filmmaker's fault. 

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The Ugly: This isn't mandatory crew viewing.

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Final Verdict....5/5....Honestly, I had no idea what to expect going into this but I was intrigued by DC's fave movie clip post and after learning that it was shot in his neck of the woods........I just had to watch it out of curiosity and I'm so glad I did because I laughed so hard and really had a blast giving up on guessing what was  going to happen next which i normally do when I'm watching a movie. So there is a character that suddenly wants to be Scarface and he behaves in such an unrealistic manner for someone who should probably be trying to fly low on the radar,  but then it's revealed why he has no care in the world and it's brilliant---- it's little things like that which are sprinkled throughout the film that really has me liking it so much and maybe i'm just looking too much into it but I found so many underlying themes that made it more than just some dark comedy set in an interesting place. The acting really is superb. The direction is stylish without losing it's hometown charm. The story is both funny and dark. From a wannabe Scarface to an aspiring full-time Karaoke professional, there is so much to laugh at that I can't wait to rewatch it since in this first viewing I focused hardest on dialogue as not to miss anything, so I will probably see and hear things I missed the first time. A sequel was in the works but it has encountered legal issues and can no longer be considered a sequel but a companion piece. I believe production will resume in 2019.  Either way, sign me up, I'll be buying a ticket to it for sure.

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Edited by Con
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I had my name down for extras in the sequel/companion, but haven't heard anything yet.

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As Above, As Below (2014)

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The Awesome: Set and shot in the Paris Catacombs!!! The first thing that stands out is how crisp the cinematography is for a found footage film. I just always expect grainy found footage in these type of films, but here it's high-def from the first interview to the very end. Found footage film that feels fresh and I think it's because of how clear the footage is compared to other entries into the genre, where they muddy the camera lens making it even harder to make out what you are seeing when the camera is moving around during say a chase scene---none of that shit-on-the-lenses gimmick here and while there are the usual camera disorientation, it isn't jarring or annoying as it's kept to a minimum. We all know that sound design is of the utmost importance in horror and here the sound design is fantastic, it's tremendous!!  the sound becomes more haunting as they go deeper and did make me feel uneasy on many occasions. I originally I thought the film was entirely shot in a studio and was going to give massive credit to the set designers but have learned that the film was allowed to shoot in the actual  systems of the Paris underground catacombs, that's awesome, so credit to the set design who actually added props around the real catacombs, like the scene where they have to climb over the bones, the real place is a hallway and what the filmmaker did was fill the hallway with the bones and added a wall so it looks like the small tunnel they have to climb over!!!!! As the group continues to go lower and lower down the catacombs, the scenes get more spooky and tense, I mean your senses are instantly heightened as you anticipate the horror and here is where this movie excels, the tension of the location forces you to pay attention. The acting by all the performers was very good and all were very convincing in dialogue and behavior, none of that, "I will walk off and explore on my own and catch up with you later"- nonsense we see in movies of this type; (until it's needed). The Lara Croft meets Blair Witch meets Dante's Inferno meets found footage aspect was interesting and elevates this entry into the found footage genre as more than just ghost hunters with a camera. I LOVE The Divine Comedy/Dante's Inferno, I read random Cantos all the time so when the film enters that sort of descent into the levels of hell, I could not contain myself at one particular death that was certainly inspired by one of the levels in Dante's Inferno. The ending is fantastic, but that is my opinion as the end created more questions of the good kind and also leave a lot to interpret which none of it could be wrong...let your imagination flow.  One scene where sound is altered had me believing i was experiencing the technical difficulty IRL. The scene where Benji (Edwin Hodge) gets stuck is fucking amazing and anxiety inducing, that actor did a terrific job convincing me that he was stuck. I don't have a fear of claustrophobia but have found myself having a hard time to breath once on an amusement ride and I seriously panicked and was close to losing my mind and yelling for the ride to stop. Watching Benji in that scene gave me that reaction, although I was telling myself, let's see how convincing he is going to be, I still felt the anxiety of the moment. 

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The Good: The pacing is just right as the characters are forced to keep moving and at no time did I find myself saying, "okay just find a way out people, so this movie can end already."  Even the slow moments in the beginning serve to show the main character's obsession and like Heather in The Blair Witch Project, you just know she is going to be responsible for bad shit that is going to happen to people that join her on the treasure hunt. You want a film like this to be spooky and suspenseful and you do get both things. Great sense of dread and danger around every corner. At no time do you stop to wonder, "how did they get that camera angle???", because they manage to show us how all the camera shots we will see later make sense. Also, when stuff really starts happening, at no time do you ask yourself, "why are these people still recording?", because again, it's set up intelligently as only one hand-held camera is taken down with them and even when that camera is dropped and as your about to  ask yourself, "now how the fug did the footage in that camera make it out of the catacombs?", the filmmakers present a solution. The archaeological puzzles and riddles are all great, especially the astronomy one since they have to take into account the time the riddle was created and the celestial knowledge of the people writing it, so you better know how many planets had been discovered or you probably will fail the test and die. This film led to many debates and discussions when it was released and I probably avoided watching it because I figured it was just another bad low-budget found footage movie with horrible camera work, boring narrative or lame ending, and I was wrong! I love reading about the different theories posed by fans regarding the film and has me digging deeper into so much about this movie. I loved the treasure hunting aspects of it as they were done well, for the most part. The dialogue was okay for most of the movie, there is only one scene where one of the characters asks the stupidest question ever as something is happening. Besides that, I felt the dialogue was realistic for the situations they find themselves in. I enjoyed their trip through the catacombs as there were so many obstacles and dead ends that I really felt how helpless their situation becomes. Kudos to the filmmakers for allowing a character to survive where normally that  type of character is always killed. The piano scene was great as it not just sets up an eerie moment but also hints at what is starting to occur. As they are forced to explore the catacombs , we hear the sound of something that should not be down there and while creepy at first it ruins the immersion, but it will all make sense in the end. All the practical effects worked and the injuries sustained by the characters all look genuine, so credit goes to make-up effects team too.

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The Bad: While the film is filled with all out tension, it lacks that powerful gut-punch. We never are truly frightened by the things we see in the third act, we are disturbed by them but never truly afraid or shocked. So the terror or horror isn't overwhelming, the imagery isn't going to give you post-trauma, it will spook you but never revolt you or make you say a prayer to the god.  There is one archaeological puzzle involving a poem that when you analyze the scene, doesn't make sense because there is no way something like a poem written in one language remains the same when translated into another, no way say a, rhyming Japanese limerick translated into English would rhyme the same way...or that would be one hell of a poem! So they kind of dropped the ball there and most people won't catch that but I did because the movie had me looking out for symbolism and clues at every corner. I was a little confused when certain things start happening because it borrows from other things I've seen in movies and I wasn't sure if we had entered a different dimension, Hell, Haunted catacombs, or just a collective hallucination. While I consider the ending to be awesome, I also wish there was more of a haunting conclusion before we Fade to black.  

Ending spoilers:

 

What I mean is the ending left me asking, are they back to regular dimension? Paris in an alternate universe? A version of Hell that the title of the movie has been implying the entire time, that Hell looks just like where you live right now, just expect fucked up shit and don't expect shadows and things from hell to be have boundaries like they do on Earth. I would have loved for a last shot of us zooming out and seeing that they have escaped but to just a small patch of Paris and nothing but deep crevices or canyons around the small patch of land hinting that they are in Hell and once they get to the edge of the city, they will discover that they aren't on Earth, I just thought that would be more haunting than just the survivors walking away. 

I also was not a huge fan of Scarlett running back to where she finds the stone, I appreciated the spooky moments when she does that but I felt it was kind of silly because she remembers exactly the path they took and I understand the whole 'your mind sees what it wants' element and I know it was necessary she go back in order to solve how to get out of that entire place, but that whole scenario didn't work for me as she had the ability to fight the demons or whatever they were but the guys did not have that ability and it felt like it was too easy of a task when you consider that she had to go all the way back from where they came from....a bit ridiculous. 

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The Ugly: If you hate found footage movies, hate slow burns, and suffer from claustrophobia should skip this because you will not appreciate it. The over-saturation of poorly shot found footage films is what prevented me from watching this back when it was released and many horror fans probably skipped it too and that is probably a shame. We learn early on that the main character, Scarlett (Perdita Weeks), is a professor, she has multiple academic degrees, speaks six languages and two dead languages....yet amazingly and incredulously she doesn't speak the language that seems to be the most important to speak since it's the language the inscriptions are written in!!! How can you tell me she is this incredibly smart and impressive person and then omit from her knowledge the most important language in her profession!!!!! You see, if she spoke Aramaic, then we would not need the character George (Ben Feldman) since his main role was to translate the Aramaic, but then don't tell us she speaks all those languages but needs George cause she doesn't have time to learn it? and speaking of his character, I hated how he tells us he is NOT going to participate in the treasure hunt, but yet there he is at every turn. He tells Scarlett early on that he is not going to help her but then he follows her up to the point where they are going to illegally enter the catacombs, and of course something happens (which was executed poorly for a cheap thrill) and George ends up going with them after telling us he wasn't...I get the light humor in it but I would have rather heard him talk about more interesting facts since these guys are adventurers.

Museum Artifact Spoiler:

 

Here is one thing I really disliked early on...the scene where she is helped to enter the museum holding the tablet she needs to read, it's one thing to go to someone's home and take a picture or painting off their walls and inspect it--- it is a whole other thing to remove things on display from a museum!! And not only does Scarlett remove an ancient Tablet from it's display, she then throws chemicals on it and burns them to reveal a hidden message on the back of the Tablet!! You might get away with that in a private museum or a private collection but at a museum in Paris, after hours too???!!! Literally anyone who had been searching for the treasure/stone could have walked into that museum and just took the Tablet years ago. 

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Final Verdict...4/5... As soon as the movie was over I had originally given it a 3/5 but did some research and it elevated the score as I clarified somethings for myself because this movie shifts in tone somewhat and if you go to the bathroom at the wrong time, you may come back and be like, "what the f' is happening?". I really liked what the filmmakers tried to do with the story and the found footage formula. I liked the concept of the entire thing and thought it was told in an interesting way. It is never revealed why we have the found footage (as we usually see in other movies in the genre) but it never comes close to even mattering. The location is fantastic and the Dante's Inferno nods really had me excited and went a long way in making me really enjoy this more than I would have and is why I ended up giving it such a high score. The acting is very good for a found footage film and only wish it was gorier and more "demonic"...like stuff is spooky but nothing that would give me nightmares and that is a shame considering where we are told they are travelling through, a missed opportunity honestly. There are some really good scares but nothing overly frightening visually. I had a fun time watching this and processing everything afterwards and really am enjoying the fan theories out here about the movie. If you like Blair Witch Project and Dante's Inferno like me, don't miss this, so I can have someone to discuss it with, even if you don't end up liking it at all. This is the closest thing to a live version of Virgil's descent into the Inferno and that alone was worth the watch. Just wish it was scarier and I don't mean by using cheap jump scares...I wanted that whatever was down there would be burned into my subconscious, the location and story were, just not the things that were producing the fear of the unknown.

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Would you go that way??? You would, if you didn’t have a choice!!!

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Edited by Con

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Ghost Stories (2017) 

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The Awesome: Scary. Genuinely unsettling moments. I usually don't allow myself to get spooked while watching a movie and it usually takes a lot for it to happen, everything has to be right, the music, the visuals, the story, and especially the realism that something like what is on screen can actually happen to me and this film gave me all those things at the most important times. Once the stories begin the atmosphere just cranks up to 11 on the dial! I watched this with headphones and couldn't help but go with the jump scares and full atmosphere,  I mean, the watchmen story, holy fuck...i was fucking on the verge of looking away a lot...I was unsettled despite being safe in my house and that is credit to the set design, direction, sound, lighting, and again the atmospheric elements. Also the end of the watchmen story creeped me out because it made me think profoundly about what a serious encounter might really be like and what could make it even creepier...well let's just leave that for the spoilers below. The very last shot in the film was a brilliant touch as I wondered the entire time what the significance of that particular recurring shot and it's really heartbreakingly good.

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The Good: Having myopia, I often see things in the dark that aren't there, so when they set up scenes where you think you see something and you are not sure what it is, it really hit home. The acting was very good and becomes even more impressive when everything is revealed. The way the story begins to unravel right in front of my eyes was just absolutely unexpected with twist after twist in the last act, it elevated this in score for the mind-numbing end that worked for me. The end is nothing we haven't seen before but i felt it was well done and it just ties all the creepy together. Cinematography is excellent as each scene pops and the locations are used to ultra maximum effect. While the first two cases are set in very creepy locations, I felt the most unnerved in the last Case as that gray sky of Yorkshire and the frigid setting adds so much character to the eeriness of the tale as it forces you inside when you rather really be outside. All the actors were great but kudos to Alex Lawther as Simon Rifkind, as his characterization makes the brief moments of comic relief natural and believable. The concepts and ideas are fantastic, like giving our ultra-skeptic main character three paranormal cases that no one has ever managed to debunk. The sound design got to me at times from notes being used as jump-scares here and there, but just the ambient sounds were clever and unnerving. I couldn't tell some of the actors came from comedy backgrounds at all. The makeup for the character Callahan/Kojak, (Jake Davies) was brilliant and the actor absolutely killed it with that performance...it's haunting at the perfect time, where your mind is trying to put things together but you can't focus because of that character on the screen.

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The Bad: Some will say the ending comes out of nowhere, but hear me out. I began watching this on a night where I probably underestimated how tired I was, so by the time the last case is presented, I only managed to watch fragments and then I woke up just in time for the end. I thought to myself, that looks like it made no fucking sense. My initial verdict.....Scary but blah. The next day, I remembered not really watching the last case our main character has left and i did like what had come before so I watched the full third act/ending while fully awake and while I usually despise endings like this, I can't this time. This time I loved this type of ending. But if you didn't pay attention and or lost interest halfway through the film, you might miss the fun devices sprinkled throughout that add to the unusual payoff. And maybe you caught everything and just hate the ending, well you certainly aren't alone, but I had fun with the ending. This is a movie that demands you pay attention if you really want to go along for the full ride. I've read reviews that I think miss what is the true and ultimate horror in this movie. If you are not paying attention at the end you could easily miss some of the exposition through dialogue, in other words, if you watch the last act on mute, the conclusion will make no sense. There is a moment in the last case where the full reveal probably wasn't needed as even a shadow would have sufficed instead, that scare didn't connect with me the way i'm sure the filmmakers intended and I would have done the following instead to make it more satisfying:

Con's Director Spoiler:

 

I would have written that the mother jumped off the hospital roof after giving birth and then just give her a bloody smashed /fractured face instead of the makeup they gave her when she appears, plus how can dying while giving birth make someone look like what they came up with? And then they give her like 5 seconds of screen time.

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The Ugly: This movie is filled with jump scares of all kinds and I usually hate that crap but here, I think they are almost necessary at times just to keep you on edge, plus if you really want to be scared while watching horror, you have to leave the tough guy act behind and allow yourself to immerse your inner-child, but if you really hate jump scares because your heart can't take them, skip this. No gore, the film doesn't suffer for lack of it, but as a horror-hound, I cannot leave that unnoticed. Missing watching this in theaters when released here in the USA. 

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Final Verdict...4/5... It's a beautifully shot and told anthology. I just can't recall a movie that forced me to love the ending because it simply earned it. I loved that I keep typing things and deleting them as not to spoil anything which tells you that all the good things you have to watch for yourself. The movie certainly borrows elements from other films in the genre but does them very well. If you enjoy quality jump scares and want to test your inner tough guy or girl, check this one out. Have patience and hopefully and happily you'll have your mind sand-blasted for a few minutes. Turn all the lights off and phones off...and just immerse yourself. Special thanks to @LimeGreenLegend for the recommendation.

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Final thoughts spoiler: clicking here will absolutely ruin the movie and ending for you....

 

I didn't give this a 5/5 because it probably loses some impact after the fifth viewing and is one of my requirements for a perfect score, but I will plan on watching this a few more times just to absorb everything. I was truly haunted by some of the imagery, like the fingers in the mouth which I thought it was creepy in itself but the true meaning of those moments is actually more frightening to me. So hard to review this film without spoiling the great stuff. I loved how I thought this film was heavily flawed with scenes and images that did not appear to have any significant meaning or direction...but that is all on purpose. Some reviews mentioned that the cases aren't really solved or have a satisfying conclusion but one has to accept that nothing we saw in the first two acts matters...mickey mouse could have popped out of the shadows and it wouldn't have mattered at the end since everything was a figment of the main character's imagination, so what appears to be fragmented really isn't and expanding on those cases would ruin the conclusion. The hints are dropped right in front of your face and could be missed if you look away, I originally missed the scene in Case 2 when he enters the home and as he is heading upstairs, we see a pair of legs walk by in that certain clothing, I must have looked down at my phone and missed it and perhaps I wouldn't have solved the movie but I would have considered it. Thinking back at what I saw and how spooky things were, the actual truth is scarier to me. We don't know what is in the minds of the medically brain-dead and worse, what if in that condition the mind would haunt you daily and there is nothing you can do but relive your nightmares everyday. 

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Edited by Con
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Great review, as always, @Con

If you want another surreal British horror film that you maybe haven't seen, try Under The Skin.  It stars Scarlett Johansson and is unrelentingly grim, creepy, and ultimately depressing.

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5 minutes ago, LimeGreenLegend said:

Great review, as always, @Con

If you want another surreal British horror film that you maybe haven't seen, try Under The Skin.  It stars Scarlett Johansson and is unrelentingly grim, creepy, and ultimately depressing.

I want to open a spoiler discussion thread so we can talk about Ghost Stories and all these other movies you guys are recommending to me. I thinks that would be okay.

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Halloween (2018)

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The Awesome: Best of the sequels. Michael Myers looks good in every scene. The kills get more brutal as we move forward. The music is perfect because thankfully we have John Carpenter handling the music which is better than some new guy creating some other imitation. Great atmosphere in some scenes. All the easter eggs nods to the previous sequels, I mean, we even get to see a van with the name "Resurrection Church" on it. I loved Michael's first on-screen kill as I didn't expect it. Jamie Lee Curtis does a great job returning as a granny-Laurie Strode and I appreciated exploring her PTSD from what she experienced back in 1978, the dynamics of the resulting mental anguish and how it affected Laurie as a mother raising a daughter after her near death experience. The scenes where we follow Michael around the neighborhood were superb and highlight of the direction. Some of the cinematography was slick and very effective, like the gas station scene from the trailers, that lighting and gritty color palette really adds to the grimness of the scene. The other scene that was great was the light sensor scene, really one of the bright spots. There was one kill inside a home that was pretty damn traumatic and most of the kills we get to see are pretty intense.

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The Good: This review is just my opinion and if you liked it the movie or want to see it, you should. This remake had that Halloween-movie feeling thanks to the soundtrack and some of the great nods to the other films although it ignores those in this new universe. Sound design was a highlight. The practical effects were pretty good. The Michael Myers mask looks cool after 40 years. Some of the scenes recreate the original almost frame by frame and I liked the nostalgia. Jibrail Nantambu as Julian almost steals the entire fucking movie because his acting is so good in the short time he is on screen and it was a moment in the film where I felt some actual script magic between him and the babysitter and felt that the film should have centered around them instead as I would have really cared for the both of them, they were that good! The subtle shots of the graphic violence at the start are cool as we get just glimpses of the bloody faces, etc. It's not full of needless comedy like we get in The Predator....thank the movie Gods for that. Michael Myers was menacing for most of the movie.

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The Bad: The opening sequence seemed so promising in the trailer and it is a tense scene, especially when they tell the podcaster he must never pass the yellow line, so we see his foot at the very edge and we get the sense that if you cross that line, you fucking dead. So tell me why as that scene goes on and the podcaster pulls out the mask and begins screaming at Michael and his arm holding the mask is WAY OVER THE YELLOW LINE and the guards just stand there?...I felt like the only person that noticed he was over the line and you wait for an awesome payoff to the scene and instead we abruptly cut to the opening titles, the sequence didn't work for me at all. Now the titles were cool because they tried to mimic the original credits with the black background and the orange letters but this time there is a deflated pumpkin that is inflated as the opening credits are rolling and my wife told me it was a decomposed jack o' lantern in reverse time lapse but I thought it was a beach-ball like pumpkin being inflated instead and I thought it looked stupid. The movie is filled with small scenes that are so unnecessary, like the scene with the doctor and sheriff driving around looking for Michael and the scene is written just so the doctor can tell the cop, Michael is property of the State and must not be killed or harmed. That line of dialogue could have been said in the previous scene that had Laurie being introduced to the new doctor by the Sheriff and what frustrated me was that moments before the doctor meets Laurie, Laurie is telling the cop why she wanted Michael to escape and it is in direct contrast to what the doctor wants and it was a perfect moment for the doctor and Laurie to have some tension between them and it's these missed opportunities that could have eliminated those short throwaway exposition scenes and in that case could have really added some flesh to the twist we are given that actually goes nowhere and came across as fucking stupid instead. Again there are so many tiny plot lines, like every character gets one and then most of them don't help in moving the story forward. The teen party break up scene was so clunky and only served to eliminate the cell phone element which could have been simpler and again, freed more time to dedicate to a Michael Myers kill scene instead. I wanted a minor character that was part of the city government to die because I just found him obnoxious every time he was on screen but I didn't get that satisfaction. 

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The Ugly: What appear to be some of the best kills are all done off-screen. The writers wanted me to dismiss the other films and interpret this as the direct sequel to the original, okay I'll bite, but then they carelessly give us exposition and narrative throughout but the biggest sins come against Michael Myers as they write his behavior so inconsistently and then flip-flop that inconsistency, making it even worse. Too many micro scenes with exposition that could have easily been delivered in a previous scene(s), which would free up time for more Michael Myers moments who I feel should be the main attraction of the series. I get what they wanted to do with Laurie Strode's character but they really turned her into Sarah Connor a bit too much. Because of the not fully developed new ideas and concepts, the third act seems to have been written in reverse to fit the narrative because I found it a bit absurd how the final confrontation is set up, since honestly, there was never an indication that Michael Myers was looking for Laurie specifically at all and Laurie seems to be the one with the obsession for the boogeyman instead. Why poke the bear? It made no sense and while some might enjoy the little role reversal moments, I wasn't a fan. I only want to see Michael doing Michael things in my Halloween movies. There is a major twist I was not expecting and I really hoped it was going to make it into my "Awesome" list but ultimately it's so bumbled and disjointed that had it been done right, it would have added some much needed explanations shedding light on not just the new Michael Myers personification. I hated that we have come to know Michael Myers not as a man but a force of nature, well According to this movie, Michael Myers is now 65 years old human being with no superhuman abilities, who has been sitting in a mental facility for 40 years---- I guess someone forgot to let the cells in his body know he had aged and that's thanks to the brutal inconsistent writing. I know you have to unplug your brain while watching slasher movies but when the writers bring something up making you pay attention to it and then expect you to just throw it all away, that shit is not good. The doctor's character was such a wasted opportunity in so many ways. The final act is so contrived and due to the mandatory sequel this film is designed to generate, it contradicts the heart of the movie itself. There was one moment during the film that I honestly felt like i was watching a crime show on the A&E Network, that is not a good thing AT ALL!! I felt that way because the way it's structured and shot just gave me that familiar vibe from those crime shows. I think making the entire community aware that a killer is loose takes away from why I loved the original...no one was aware a killer was loose and that added so much tension to everything we saw on-screen in the original. 

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Final Verdict...2/5... First let me say this...ask anyone that knows me IRL and they will tell you, no one gets more excited than me when the conversations are about the Predator, Friday the 13th, and Halloween films, so when I hear about these remakes I expect the worst but hope for the very best and I temper my expectations but what I don't do is force myself to like new things because I loved the old things. I didn't find the action in sync with some of the story elements and that really hurt my experience. I tried to just enjoy what was on screen as a fan of the slasher genre but as the audience don't ask me to think cleverly and then make things convenient for yourself. I went to Halloween for the mindless kills and thrills and while I did enjoy the effective suspenseful moments and violent kills and do appreciate the efforts on behalf of the filmmakers and writers to try and give this a fresh feel, I just couldn't get past the inconsistencies in their storytelling. Maybe on the rewatch the score might go up as I learn to appreciate what I did like and what entertained me. But going with no expectations and still being let down by the logic and while not as bad as in The Predator, I thought they made a mockery out of one of my favorite killers of all time and while I could look the other way while you tweak things I've come to know, the new Myers tweaks don't clarify anything and instead had me working to make sense of stuff when I should have just been enjoying Halloween/Michael Myers kills.  Danny McBride Says Michael Myers No Longer Immortal in “Halloween” 2018........well then write the consequences appropriately, Danny!!!

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Con's Spoiler Summary: This is for those that have watched it and want to know why my score is lower than theirs.... 

 

Here is why the things I liked about it don't surpass what in my opinion were the things I didn't like: I will start with the scene where new Loomis is introduced to Laurie by the Sheriff. This is when Laurie says this line...."Oh you're the new Loomis.", when we as the audience could already piece together that the doctor was the Loomis-like character thanks to the almost identical body type, clothing style, and dialogue. I coped with it by telling myself, she said that from a feeling of deja-vu. But in reality, that line could have been given to the Sheriff instead, pointing out that he reminds him of Loomis since the Sheriff mentions in other scenes that he was on duty the day MM was.....(ughhh)....arrested back in 1978. I felt that when Laurie says it, it comes across as she is telling us something we already knew. Also in this scene is where they could have used the exposition from the unnecessary sheriff and doctor ride where the doctor says MM is state property and has to be apprehended. Delete that scene and have the doctor say it at the moment when the Sheriff introduces him to Laurie, that would have added some real tension between Laurie and the Doctor as she wants MM dead and he wants to protect him....which by the fucking way, CONTRADICTS the Doctor's behavior when he fucking drives MM to Laurie's bobbytrap house....is it me or does that make any fucking sense?? The Doctor kills the Sheriff to save MM and then drives him to the now armed to the teeth Laurie Strode in her domain???? What the fuck!! is exactly what I thought as I watched that on the screen. I had to stare at the EXIT sign in the theatre to snap the fuck out of the stupidity. Why not have the Doctor just drive away with his patient he loves so much and make that the ending of this shit-crater??? well because then we wouldn't have the absurd set up and parts of the ending that I will expand on below.

Okay, moving on...MM is now a geriatric normal guy that 1) has no relation to Laurie except she got away from him back in 1978.  2) he is just a serial killer and not the force of nature that explains his near invincibility in the original.

Then please tell me why for 1) I would think MM has been thinking about Laurie for 40 years when the only people they show being obsessed are Laurie and the Doctor. MM drove to Haddonfield because it's the only place he knows and is the same neighborhood where I think Laurie's daughter lives for convenience of the plot, I guess. But MM never looks for Laurie and instead is just killing whoever is in his path. They look for him and actually bring MM to Laurie, which brings us to the ending stuff.  I get the ending was a trap setup and all that but what is the point of having MM there? Was it because the Doctor wants MM and Laurie to talk things out?, I shit you not!! Remember there was a scene where the Doctor pleads with Laurie to help him find MM and he says to her something like, "Here is your chance to tell him anything or ask him anything."  and the abduction scene, I believe the Doctor tells the Granddaughter he is the one that caused the bus crash that allowed MM to escape because he wanted MM to reunite with Laurie...i'm pretty sure that was in that scene. So that  all tells me that the only reason the Doctor would drive MM to Laurie's boobytrap house was for the two to have that heart-to-heart talk, It's stupid on all levels, I'm sorry.

For 2) they tell us he is now mortal and by default loses his super-human strength right? Well Yes and fucking No, you see the filmmaker couldn't decide which version of MM to stick with and instead presented a combination of the two MMs as incredibly in some scenes the 65 year-old killer can lift people with just one arm, take out two cops in a gruesome way, that we don't get to see, thanks for nothing!!!, he is shown basically ripping apart what looked like a sophisticated-mechanical and probably hydraulic trap door with his bare hands, he doesn't die, but gets knocked out when he is hit with a car, gets shot in the neck, is stabbed, has part of his hand shot off....(You might be saying, "But Con, none of that makes him superhuman.") Okay, then explain how he stomps on an adult human skull and smashes it like a tomato? Have you any idea the forces required to do what we see him doing in one swift action....... but he is just a human now, right Danny McBride?...oh wait, I left out the most absurd thing in that whole shit-volcano, just moments after we see MM rip away the trap door, we are then shown him and Laurie in hand to hand combat, where he is holding her arm back from stabbing him and she is doing the same thing to him!!!!! Was that the fucking ACTIVIA benefits because either Laurie has matching strength or suddenly MM is back to nursing home strength and cannot snap granny-Laurie's arm in half? Why would they flip flop MM's strength in the same scene or at all? Damn, that was depressing to watch. 

The opening scene was just a loud fucking mess as why would a mental hospital allow a podcaster to taunt and instigate one of their most dangerous patients? But even before that, who would give them the mask used in the murders? I can go borrow the cleavers that Jeffrey Dahmer used because I'm making a documentary about him? I doubt that, but I managed to overlook that since we needed the mask back for the movie to work but I wasn't a fan of the way MM acquires it....in broad daylight. I think had they instead took the concept from the deleted shower scene and had MM put it on an already dead male podcaster and have him enter the bathroom where the female podcaster is in and make her think it was her colleague pranking her but, surprise, it's MM and he tosses the dead man aside and kills the female podcaster, then we see MM walk over, remove the mask from the dead man, revealing a smashed eye-socket and jaw, as MM slides the mask on his face for the first time in 40-years in that decaying gas station bathroom. That scene demanded the mask coronation, instead we get it outside in the car trunk like he is a soccer-mom or something.

The lines .... "I got peanut butter on my penis." , "Oh you are getting dry-fucked tonight." "I like a good vietnamese wrap for dinner"...or whatever those cops were talking about and speaking of those two cops, the writer's missed an opportunity to give those cops some foreshadowing dialogue like have one say stuff like, "I wish MM would show up, I would carve him up like a pumpkin.", imagine that dialogue to then go with his head being the one carved out in that reveal. Anything was better than them talking about their dinners. Speaking of that Man o' lantern, that was my favorite image in the entire film, the human jack o' lantern, it looked fucking amazing, but why not show us MM in the woods after killing those cops, show us MM plunging a knife into the decapitated head and doing a carving motion or show him with the already hollowed out head and have him shoving a flashlight into the severed head through the neck, you wouldn't have to show the gore just show it from behind, this way when we see the head later, the impact is more terrifying. And as you can see, I didn't even speak about how MM was able to stage those bodies in that car outside the home without anyone noticing. lol. I rewatched the original the following day and I was reminded why I really like that movie....no one knows a killer is in their neighborhood. That bothered me about the new one, I felt that everyone in the community was aware of the killer and that took away the amazing tension that is the pulse of the original....the fact that no one knew a killer was loose. Even Dr. Loomis tells the Sheriff why he shouldn't alert the community....."They will see him on every corner."  and somehow that just made sense in the original. The new one felt like one huge social media posting once MM arrives into town, except no one told the school to cancel the damn Halloween costume dance. Damn, shit-comet.

All those things are the reasons I could not give this a higher score than a 2/5 at this time.

Edited by Con
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