Movie Review: THE QUIET PLACE – to hell with the Rotten Tomatoes rating, this generic PG-13 horror movie is mediocre with flashes of abject laziness.

I have to say, when I saw the trailer for A Quiet Place a few months ago, my reaction was pretty muted.  It looked like it might be okay, but nothing that was going to make an impact either at the box office, or a lasting impression in the minds of those who went to see it.  Well, I can tell you that as far as Your Humble Narrator is concerned, I was spot on, but I’m clearly in the minority with my opinion, just like how I was with Veronica, a mostly blah horror movie with a legion of fans that loved it.  There’s no right or wrong opinions about movies, and I’m not so inclined to question the taste of people who like movies I don’t,  but I just can’t understand the high ratings for this movie.

Continue reading “Movie Review: THE QUIET PLACE – to hell with the Rotten Tomatoes rating, this generic PG-13 horror movie is mediocre with flashes of abject laziness.”

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Movie Review: ANNIHILATION – interesting, but an ultimately ponderous and pretentious exercise from the writer/director of Ex Machina

There was no way I was going to miss this movie – for two reasons, actually.  The first being that my daughter usually beats me to the punch on new releases and I needed to see this one before she did just cuz.  The second being Alex Garland.  Now, I haven’t seen most of Garland’s work, but I liked Dredd a lot, despite it mostly being a RoboCop movie in disguise,  and I flat out loved Ex Machina., which was, if memory serves, my favourite movie of 2015.

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Movie Review: THE RITUAL – Good, but feels like a mashup of other movies, and the ending is a lot weaker than it should be.

Literally, everyone I knew who had seen Netflix’s The Ritual urged me to watch it.  Not one person had anything bad to say about it – I was planning on watching it anyway just from catching the trailer, which intrigued me, but mostly because while watching that same trailer, I felt I was seeing a few already familiar movies.  I finally got around to viewing it, and it turned out mostly as I expected: good, but far from great, for a  number of reasons.

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Movie Review: THE BLACKCOAT’S DAUGHTER – as far as directorial debuts go, this is pretty striking, unfortunately, the reveal is a cheat.

Osgood (Oz) Perkins is a new name on the scene, but not an unfamiliar one.  He’s the son of Psycho star Anthony Perkins, so it’s fair to say that unlike other first time moviemakers a lifelong connection to the movie business ingrained within him some valuable moviemaking tips.  It shows here in his first movie, which is a taut, suspenseful indie horror, starring Emma Roberts (American Horror Story), with fine supporting work by Lucy Boynton and, in particular, Kiernan Shipka.  It’s well directed for sure, but the story itself depends on one particular conceit that doesn’t work,  It’s a giant black hole and for me, the entire movie collapsed into it.

Continue reading “Movie Review: THE BLACKCOAT’S DAUGHTER – as far as directorial debuts go, this is pretty striking, unfortunately, the reveal is a cheat.”

Movie Review: MOTHER! – Darren Aronofsky returns with a terrific, polarizing, dizzying, genre-confounding tale heavy on allegory that will command your full attention.

Three people told me the same thing about this movie.  It’s super weird, and I wouldn’t like it.  Now, I’m the guy who devoured the recent Twin Peaks and enjoy things like Bottom Of The World (though admittedly, Jena Malone was the main reason I watched it!), so weird … kinda my thing, right?  I could never get a straight answer to why, though.  The other thing they told me: you need to go and see it!  So I did, partly to recover from the system shock of Kingsman: The Golden Circle!

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Movie Review: A CURE FOR WELLNESS – what starts as an intriguing, Shutter Island type mystery, ends up a sloppy, overplotted mess.

I saw two movies this weekend, both undone by serious overplotting.  I’m reviewing A Cure For Wellness here, but I’ll get to The Mummy all in good time.  The difference between these movies is that The Mummy is mostly bad throughout, and for a number of reasons.  A Cure For Wellness doesn’t become bad overall, but the plotting ruins what starts as a good movie.

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Movie Review: SHUT IN – a good performance from Naomi Watts overshadowed by the spectacularly bad “WTF?” reveal.

Image result for shut in poster

If there’s one single thing about movie marketing I absolutely cannot stand, it’s the bait and switch.  It usually happens when either the studio knows they have a dog on their hands through test marketing, or they find themselves with a movie on their hands that defies a target market.  I remember there was a big stink from fans of the 2012 movie John Carter, based on the John Carter of Mars series of books by Edgar Rice Burroughs, because of a weak and ineffective marketing campaign.  The trouble here was with the movie, a wretched piece of badly written drivel.  When movies can spend close to $100 million alone on marketing, sometimes a movie is just so poor that the studio cuts its losses and declines to throw good money after bad.  An example of not knowing who to market to is the recent movie A Monster Calls, with an ad campaign that tried to appeal to the same crowd as those who loved The Iron Giant and The BFG.  Last night’s movie, Shut In, is a classic example of marketing bait and switch.

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