Movie Review: THE MIND’S EYE -micro budget horror movie pays too much homage to Cronenberg to have its own identity, but that’s the least of its problems

The Minds Eye

Man, I wanted so much to like this movie going in.  I hadn’t heard the name of Joe Begos before, but as anyone who’s been following my recent reviews will know, I’ve sort of fallen in love with the indie horror genre.  Go back and read my scribblings on Carnage Park, Darling, Pod, Jug Face, and Southbound and you’ll see that trend develop before your very eyes!  In addition to that, I’ve come to enjoy the screen work of Larry Fassenden, and in particular Lauren Ashley Carter – but I won’t gush here in my review of The Mind’s Eye.

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Movie Review: TRUE STORY – a vaguely unsatisfying true crime story that’s more Dateline than In Cold Blood

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In 2002, Christian Longo was arrested in Mexico for the December 2001 murders of his wife and three children.  In the month or so he’d been hiding out there, he used the alias Michael Finkel.  Not uncommon for fugitives to do that, but in Longo’s case, the name was that of a specific person.  It wasn’t someone he knew – not a neighbor or a friend or a fictional character.  Michael Finkel was the name of a contributing editor at the New York Times who was fired by the paper around the same time as Longo’s arrest for writing a well-meaning, though fictional account of the African slave trade.  When Finkel learns of Longo, he is intrigued enough to contact Longo directly to ask why the accused murderer used his name, of all people.  True Story is the movie adaptation of Finkel’s resulting book that detailed their relationship.

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Movie Review: HOWL – unsubtle and poorly written, this werewolves-on-a-train movie adds nothing new to the subgenre

howl

Stephen King, in his celebrated non fiction work Danse Macabre postulated that the Werewolf was one of the three major archetpyes of horror.  The other two being The Thing With No Name and the Vampire.  In the 36 years or so since he wrote that, horror changed a lot, but these archetypes – as broadly stated as King intended – still hold up more or less.  In terms of recent horror movies I’ve reviewed, Eli Roth’s The Green Inferno is a Vampire movie, and Darling, by Mickey Keating is a Werewolf movie.  I would add one to this list, however, and that is the Zombie.  Sure, many Zombie movies are just that, but their proliferation as the most ubiquitous creature in horror fiction and movies (all you need to do is look at the sheer volume of books on Amazon – every new “writer” seems to produce nothing BUT zombie fiction – and the depressing array of low-budget movies on Netflix to see that) deserves a place at the table – it’s gone beyond being just a play on the Vampire archetype.

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Movie Review: JASON BOURNE – Matt Damon’s return to the franchise is marred by awful writing and by the numbers action.

Bourne

If there’s a worse big-budget action movie screenplay than Paul Greengrass’s Jason Bourne, I haven’t seen it.  That’s not to say that the movie is an out and out stinker, but it comes really close, and for me, it clocks in as the worst of the series.

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Movie Review: PREDESTINATION – unspectacular, but watchable, time travel thriller with a terrific paradox at its heart

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I don’t know of anyone who would say they’re a fan of Ethan Hawke per se, but I think there are very few people who would say the opposite.  I’m in the former camp – I’ve enjoyed a number of his movies and performances, but can’t quite make the leap to say I’m a fan.  He’s kind of like a less-charming Kevin Bacon; solid, but lacks genuine star power.  I’ve yet to see him turn in a bad performance, though, and I really like the fact he’s done so many genre movies in his long and varied career.  Maybe he just has never had the best agents, maybe he just comes across as too cold and detached in many of his movies, I don’t know.

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Movie Review: THE BIG SHORT – terrific procedural about the housing market crash that runs on a great cast, and excellent writing.

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I can’t properly define what makes a movie great to me, can you?  I know some people think a movie is “great” because of the visuals, which used to feel shallow to me, until I started looking at movies in better depth.  Movies are, above everything else, a visual medium – why wouldn’t people think that’s the most important part of the experience?  It’s not for me to get all judgy on what people like in movies, but there are particular elements that appeal strongly to me, and when they’re brought together well, that’s what makes a movie great.  Such is The Big Short.

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Movie Review: THE PURGE: ELECTION YEAR – mostly rubbish third entry in the franchise browbeats with lame political satire.

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To be fair, I only watched The Purge series because old friend, and fellow blogger, Glenn Miller (check out his blog My Little Underground, it’s great!) said the second one was decent.  You can’t eat only one (right?), so in short order I’ve plowed through the series, culminating in last night’s viewing of The Purge: Election Year, and clearly the series has run out of steam.

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