Movie Review: DIG TWO GRAVES – half-baked, would-be supernatural “gothic” revenge plot with a grossly uncommitted script

The title of Dig Two Graves comes reportedly from the writings of Chinese philosopher Confucius, who emphasized the cultivation of character virtues and wisdom above action.  It’s debatable whether or not he’s actually responsible for the phrase, which essentially is a warning to those seeking vengeance.  Of the two graves, one is for the quarry, but the other is, metaphorically, for the death of the soul of person seeking that vengenance.  In effect, it’s saying that the cost of vengeance on those seeking it is greater than the sense of justice one expects to come from achieving it.  Upon watching the movie, I mostly disagree with using the phrase as the title.

Continue reading “Movie Review: DIG TWO GRAVES – half-baked, would-be supernatural “gothic” revenge plot with a grossly uncommitted script”

Movie Review: THE GIFT – Joel Edgerton’s one man show can’t escape familiarity, but is still twisty and suspensful

I don’t exactly recall why I didn’t want to watch The Gift theatrically, but there were a few reasons; the trailer was too formula – it reminded me a little too much of Lakeview Terrace, that Sam Jackson movie where he terrorizes his neighbours, which I did watch and found it to be a bit of a potboiler.  The Gift, then, was guilty by association.  Jason Bateman isn’t a particularly noteworthy actor – I’ve seen a couple of his movies, and he’s okaaaay, but I always think of him as Justine Bateman’s brother.  Then there was Joel Edgerton, who’s never really struck me as an actor whose work I have to rush to see – when I have watched him, he just feels like a background character, not someone overly interesting, or possessed of any great technique.  Three strikes, as they say.

Continue reading “Movie Review: THE GIFT – Joel Edgerton’s one man show can’t escape familiarity, but is still twisty and suspensful”

Movie Review: SOUTHBOUND

southbound

If Southbound feels like part of the V/H/S franchise, the reason for that is not just the obvious anthology format, but the fact that some of the same talent is involved.  Roxanne Benjamin who wrote/directed the Siren segment of this movie was a producer on the first two V/H/S movies, and David Bruckner, who wrote/directed The Accident here also directed Amateur Night in the original V/H/S.  In terms of production quality, freed from the stifling “found footage” format, Southbound is a step up, allowing a much broader storytelling scope.  Side by side, the V/H/S franchise is the ugly sister.  It’s a neat coincidence that I watched this back to back with Carnage Park last night – while vastly different, the American southwest setting tied them together.

Continue reading “Movie Review: SOUTHBOUND”

Movie Review: MARTYRS (2016)

martyrs20151

I’m sure you, like me, wonder what the point is in remaking movies.  If a movie was great, what possesses a creative talent to feel it either needs to be updated, or bettered?  If a movie was poor, why not just let it fade into history?  To be sure, I’ve enjoyed a couple of remakes (Let Me In and Funny Games spring to mind), while simultaneously feeling the original was good enough by itself, but for every remake that produces a decent movie, there are many more that are just awful by means of poor realization and needless plot changes.  This kind of “I can do it different/better” thinking leads to work like Tim Burton’s Planet of the Apes and RoboCop (2014) – and this is the case with Martyrs .

Continue reading “Movie Review: MARTYRS (2016)”