Movie Review: SHELLEY – low-key Danish horror with good performances, but runs out of steam at the end.

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I don’t speak Danish, so part of this is on me, I suppose.  I’m guessing that the likelihood of anyone reading this understanding Danish is sufficiently low for me to say that I would have turned the movie off due to lack of comprehension … the trouble with Shelley is that the movie is mostly in English, so I naturally expected that to continue.  That turns out not to be the case, so the third act continues in unsubtitled format – at least the copy I was watching.  It isn’t a total deal breaker, as the narrative is conveyed well enough by the visuals and direction.  Nevertheless, it would have been nice to have understood the spare dialogue that comes in the third act.

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Movie Review: DON’T BREATHE – Doesn’t live up to over-hyped expectations, but worth watching.

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I’m not exactly sure when or why I started disliking Stephen Lang.  I haven’t seen a lot of his work, and I didn’t recall him being in Manhunter all those years ago, but there was one movie I actually hated him in, or a TV show, or something.  No idea, though.  I know it was before Avatar, a movie that most people now, thankfully, regard as being mostly crap.  I think it’s something stupid, like his face.  I always have this feeling that he looks childish and petulant whenever I see him – like I said, stupid.  And it’s because of him specifically that I avoided watching Don’t Breathe.  I won’t go out of my way to never watch a movie Lang is in, though – the only moviemaker I refuse to watch these days is Kevin Smith, and my dislike of Lang is nowhere near that bad.  Whatever.  I ended up watching Don’t Breathe at the weekend, so here we are. Continue reading “Movie Review: DON’T BREATHE – Doesn’t live up to over-hyped expectations, but worth watching.”

Movie Review: LIGHTS OUT – another vengeful female ghost movie, with an interesting premise undone by lack of scares.

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What is it with Hollywood’s propensity to use the “evil/vengeful female ghost” archetype?  Offhand I can think of Mama, Crimson Peak, both Conjuring movies (technically, the nun in The Conjuring 2 isn’t a ghost, I know), The Woman In Black, The Grudge, etc.  There are male ghosts in movies too, but if you bet on the gender of the spirit in any upcoming ghost-themed horror movie, you’d get long odds on male.  Such is the case with Lights Out, a movie that promises a lot more than it actually delivers.

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Movie Review: GHOSTBUSTERS (2016) – dumb and unfunny, this reboot doesn’t deserve the fanboy rage, or your time.

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Hands up who remembers the tidal wave of vitriol that greeted Paul Feig’s announcement that he was going to reboot Ghostbusters with an all female cast?  C’mon now, it was only two years ago.  I remember it quite well because of the perniciousness of the hatred.  It’s hard to write a review of Feig’s movie without mentioning that phenomenon.  It’s well documented if you feel like checking it out.  I don’t want to speak too much of it, but it reminded me of the same brave souls who took to the internet to issue death threats against critics who slammed The Dark Knight Rises – a movie that deserved all of the criticism that came its way.  On a personal level, I recall being in a crowded theater when Benedict Cumberbatch’s character was revealed to be Khan during Star Trek: Into Darkness, and a guy who was old enough to know better loudly exclaiming his displeasure with some expletives.

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Move Review: THE CONJURING 2 – great production design, but few scares to be found here.

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When it comes to supernatural claims, I’m both a skeptic and a cynic.  I’ve never experienced anything weird that can’t be explained by natural phenomenon, and I firmly believe that as widespread as claims of the supernatural are, the fact that science hasn’t found one shred of evidence to back any of them up says it all for me, but there are plenty proven examples of fraud and deception.  The cynical side of me is all too ready to dismiss a claim of having seen a ghost as nothing more than attention-seeking lies.  While doing some research for this review of The Conjuring 2, my position on the above remained intact.

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Movie Review: TAKE SHELTER – Another great Michael Shannon performance highlights Jeff Nichols’ intriguing movie

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A few months ago, I watched Midnight Special on the recommendation of a friend, and I liked it.  I’d never heard of Jeff Nichols before that, but I was impressed by everything about the production, despite not being overly wowed by it.  It’s definitely one of the best movies I’ve seen this year (to put that in context, I think I’ve watched about 30 – 40 movies so far in 2016.  It’s October 8th, as I write this), and it’s clear to me that Nichols is a name to watch.  His upcoming movie Loving, starring Joel Edgerton seems like a risky outside-of-his-box move, and feels like it Oscar-bait, but I’ll trust the guy based on the two movies of his I’ve watched now.  Other than Midnight Special, last night I watched his 2012 movie, Take Shelter.  I said Loving was outside of his box, and that’s based on seeing these two movies.

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Movie Review: RITUAL – indie horror that’s long on talk, but worth watching.

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Finally got around to watching Mickey Keating’s Ritual last night – have a look at my reviews of his other movies (Carnage Park, Darling, Pod) if the mood grabs you.  If you do, you’ll find I’m mostly a fan of his work – I’m appreciative of how prolific he is too.  In terms of movie production, the only person I can think of who is that busy is Clint Eastwood.  It took me a while to find this movie, and although I generally avoid reading other people’s reviews, I was unlucky enough to stumble across a number of negative ratings on the web.  I’m not exactly sure why.

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