Archive for movie gem

Movies I Almost Missed…

Posted in Movie Reviews, Opinion with tags , , , on October 4, 2016 by ThommyMac

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Let Us Prey (2014)

There are so many GEMS out there, for many reasons, I almost didn’t see. A fair chunk I had passed by because of who the “stars” were. As I mature in my movie enjoyment, I have quit "not seeing" movies because someone I consider a dud is in it. These entries come from a list I had created over at the inimitable IMDB.com. The list was getting long enough to where a movie’s numerical place doesn’t mean much of anything. Sometimes forced to watch it for social reasons, I have been surprised by all of the flicks I would like to cover. I want to give credit where credit is due. Not all of the films I want to cover are great but I feel ALL are worth watching. The short descriptions are courtesy of the aforementioned IMDB and are no doubt copyrighted. As you have probably guessed, the accompanying critique is courtesy of yours truly. I will try to post a new one weekly before or immediately after Shabbat. It will depend on the time Shuls starts and when I get to the synagogue. I have to revamp\re-write so as to never have any spoilers, even if the movie being discussed is 50 years old. If I ever do slip, write me at raran2099@outlook.com

IMDB says “Held in a remote police station, a mysterious stranger takes over the minds and souls of everyone inside.” (92 mins.) with the tagline “Darkness shall rise.”

Director: Brian O’Malley Stars: Liam Cunningham, Pollyanna McIntosh, Bryan Larkin, Hanna Stanbridge

This is a very clever film, if a bit on the disturbing side. It has great dialogue, above average acting, and is definitely a movie worth the hour and a half it takes out of our finite time in this thing we call life. It shows how great writing, solid acting, and a talented crew can make the very most out of a budget. That is starting to be a theme with me, I think. It’s hard to discuss this one without giving anything away. OK, being a wannabe writer all my life, I ended up hanging out with the bohemian crowd most of my post-Army life. I don’t wanna sound like a politician but I do want to get a couple things out of the way. A HUGE chunk of the bohemian crowd is gay so it stands to reason a healthy of my friends is gay. You’ll notice I didn’t say “Gay friends” because a person’s sexuality is so off the radar with me but I don’t want to catch any heat for honest observations. The same goes for blacks. I grew up in a black part of Pittsburgh so a large percentage of my friends are black. Growing up that way didn’t make me talk like Justin Timberlake but it did open up this metal head to some awesome Motown as well as R&B stuff. Notice I didn’t say “African-American” because all my black friends HATE that term. OK, I just wanted to get that stuff out of the way early in what I hope turns out to be a series.

Guess what? There WAS a reason why I brought that up. I have to stress to any gay writers out there, realistic hetero pillow talk sounds NOTHING like what you read in Penthouse. I’m not into talking about sex with anyone but my partner but I imagine hetero pillow talk and gay pillow talk is very similar, depending on what’s your bag as a couple. So, friends who end up watching this, the scene with the couple having sex early in the flic actually does establish some stuff and is not indicative of the conversations ahead. Those all seemed very believable. Well, I found them believable given the circumstances. SO its pretty much a clever script and solid acting overcoming a tight budget. Good direction and cinematography as well. There are some really disturbing moment but these moments are earned, not just simple gross out like, I dunno, “Cannibal Holocaust” or something. So check it out. I watched it on Netflix. As thrilled as I am to get notes from readers, do not point out how few stars anything I review has garnered. Pieces of sh1t like “No Strings Attached” gets more stars than whatever? Pfft.

Movies I Almost Missed…

Posted in Movie Reviews with tags , , , on September 17, 2016 by ThommyMac

 

There are so many GEMS out there, for many reasons, I almost didn’t see. A fair chunk I had passed by because of who the “stars” were. As I mature in my movie enjoyment, I have quit “not seeing” movies because someone I consider a dud is in it. These entries, hopefully the 1st of many, come from a list I had created over at the inimitable IMDB.com. The list is getting long enough to where a movie’s numerical place doesn’t mean much. Sometimes forced to watch it for social reasons, I have been surprised by some. Not often, but credit where due. Well, not all are great BUT ALL are worth watching, anyhow. Short descriptions are courtesy of the aforementioned IMDB and are no doubt copyrighted. As you have probably guessed, the accompanying critique is courtesy of yours truly. I will try to post a new one weekly before or immediately after Shabbat. It will depend on the time Shuls starts and when I get to the synagogue.

OK, the first one will be one I just finished watching the other day on Netflix. It is the sadly under rated

Robot Overlords (2014)

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IMDB says “Earth has been conquered by robots from a distant galaxy. Survivors are confined to their houses and must wear electronic implants, risking incineration by robot sentries if they venture outside.” With the tagline “Robots Never Lie”

Even though no one ever went broke underestimating the American public, the success of the “Transformers” franchise mystifies me. I mean, I understand spectacles and bombast in a big theater with a 40,000 watt sound system, but come on. What about writing, story, acting, talent? I hate to sound like some milquetoast from the Village or someone whining but I really sympathize. I mean, dismissing the silliness and bad science, Independence Day was a BLAST. Great cast, no winking at the camera, pacing, and the telling of the story was 1st rate. I use that example to show I am not turning my nose up at anything that is successful nor do I have the pretentious “I only watch indies, or foreign films” attitude. Geez, I don’t want to use up what few good sentences I come up with on one film. I mean, I wish I had talent like Stephen King or James Clavell to illustrate a mental image clearly but with wit.

So we start off with some exposition. Not a crawl that lasts as long as some bad Biblical epic, just a couple sentences to establish where we are. I’ve always been partial to the school of thought that the secret of a compelling science fiction or fantasy story is the characters, not the back story\universe it exists in. The back story\universe can be compelling and make it unique but it’s our connections with the characters that drive a story home. The dad freaking, the reaction of the powers that be, and what it does to the kid held the interest that had been grabbed by the premise.

It’s kind of obvious that the budget was balanced between Sir Kingsely, the hottie from the X-files who is aging exquisitely, and then the CGI. This turned out to be a wise decision that works all the way through the flick. As long as Gillian Anderson stays away from any plastic surgery (or sticks to minimal EXPENSIVE stuff) she’s going to age like the still jaw-dropping Jessica Lange. Some unsolicited advice from a very hot blooded guy in his early 50s, don’t try to compete with the teeny boppers. The only ones who find them sexy are their age group and creeps. I filed this flick under substance over style, I just wish I had learned more about the mediators.

OK, I will say it. I, for one, would like to welcome our robot overlords. -T