Movie Review: EVEREST – an eye opening look at 1996’s tragic descent from the summit

everest

Everest, directed by Icelandic director Baltasar Kormákur (Contraband, 2 Guns), and written by William Nicholson (Unbroken) and Simon Beaufoy (The Hunger Games: Catching Fire) tells the true story of the ill-fated 1996 attempt to ascend Mount Everest that saw multiple commercial guided tours fall victim to a blizzard during the descent.  The movie is based on the book Left For Dead: My Journey Home From Everest by Beck Weathers, a Texan climber who survived the ordeal, but in doing so lost half an arm, all the fingers on the other hand, and the tip of his nose to extreme frostbite.  Weathers is played by Josh Brolin here, part of an ensemble cast that also includes Jason Clarke (Terminator: Genisys), who plays Rob Hall and Jake Gyllenhaal (Nocturnal Animals), who plays Scott Fischer.

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Movie Review: BLAIR WITCH – pointless sequel comes too late, and doesn’t add anything new.

blair

I’m probably not the only person on Earth to wonder why someone thought it would be a great idea to make another sequel to seminal horror movie The Blair Witch Project, especially given that 1/ the original movie was 17 years old when this sequel was released, and 2/ Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2, was a bad movie rushed to capitalize on the success of the original, and failed badly both critically and commercially.  As of me writing this (January 8, 2017), Blair Witch has a worldwide gross of $45M on a $5M budget, making it more successful than Book of Shadows on paper, but the harsh reality is that in terms of present value of money, and ticket prices outstripping inflation, Blair Witch took in far less money from the public.  It may have made a decent profit, but it failed to catch the attention of the public at large.

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Movie Review: THE AUTOPSY OF JANE DOE – supernatural horror movie falters in places, but still delivers

the_autopsy_of_jane_doe

There are worse movie titles than The Autopsy of Jane Doe, I suppose, but it’s up there.  Having said that, it made me notice it enough to find out it was a horror movie starring Brian Cox and Emile Hirsch, which I found a little surprising.  Sure, it isn’t unheard of for name actors to be in horror movies (even B listers like Cox and Hirsch), but it’s rare – especially when the movie has no name talent attached behind the camera, something that generally signifies low budget and low smarts.  By this, I’m referring to the fodder you can see in Netflix’s horror lists – mostly a stream of shit that heads swiftly down the drain.

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Short Fiction: COLD WIND TO VALHALLA

Blazing camp fire at night with orange flames reaching into the sky on an outdoor vacation of adventure and exploration

Like everyone around him, Eddie stood looking up at the TV.  The mood inside Stornoway Airport was a palpable mix of despair and fear that seeped into the very bones and grew like mold.  Even though it was only 4:30pm local time, it had grown dark outside the small terminal, and rain lashed against the windows.  Eddie looked around at the passengers who had traveled with him from Glasgow on the short, turbulent flight.  A tall man comforted his wife and two small children, three teens with earbuds stared vacantly at up the news reader.  The elderly couple who had sat across from him on the plane were locked into a silent debate, pinched mouths making the shapes of words that Eddie couldn’t hear.

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

shelley-poster-1

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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Short Fiction: THIS NIGHT HAS OPENED MY EYES

This Night

On the way back from my appointment at the VA, I stopped by this old antique place. A real chintzy little hole in the wall that I ‘d seen umpteen times, but never thought about. I was bored. Didn’t want to go home right away after hearing that the dosage of my meds had to be increased. Depressing. I thought about Sophia and how shitty I had been to her the last time I saw her. I felt bad. I felt bad a lot, for a whole bunch of things. Ever since I got back from Afghanistan nothing seems connected anymore, not like how things used to be. The VA doctor said upping the meds will help me feel like things are still together, not drifting apart. Continue reading “Short Fiction: THIS NIGHT HAS OPENED MY EYES”