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The truth is in here
Th3 Conjuring

Ed and Lorraine are dealing with the demonic possession of a young boy named David. They fight with tooth and nail to get the demon out and succeed, but their troubles only worsen once it takes over Arne's body instead...

The biggest problem with the movie starts in the very opening scene. The openings for the first two Conjurings are really creepy and makes you at unease for what kind of horrors will come next. But here it feels like the same kind of exorcism scene everyone seems to do ever since The Exorcist came out. Except instead of harrowing and unsettling it's over-the-top in the cheesiest possible way.

And that's the kind of "scares" you will get through the whole thing. Not only were the jumpscares far too many, but so easily telegraphed as well. Every false moment of relief you can tell will be interrupted by someone popping up when they turn around or someone grabs them with their rusty claws. I'm not against all forms of jumpscares (I know very well James Wan used them as well), but there has to be some kind of tension, a chilling atmosphere that makes the jumpscares when they do actually happen pay off. It's a sign of laziness the director can't let the audience get a little nervous before they drop the big monster on them. Speaking of the monsters as well, how come that every bad horror movie has really fake-looking digital effects? You're too distracted by how ridiculous it looks to get any kind of reaction out of them. Crooked Man and The Nun both felt real and really got under your skin. The Occultist was a decent villain, and Eugenie Bondurant does a good enough job at making her threatening, but even she is still a victim of occasional poor CGI work.

But what about the story? Does it make up for the lack of scares? There is potential with a case where someone claims to be controlled by the devil after committing a murder, and whether or not you can make it hold up as a legal defense. The legal aspect is so irrelevant to the plot at hand however that the movie doesn't remember to bring it up again until the ending. Instead we're dealing with a mystery where the connections are too loose to be interesting. The weirdest plot twist has to be when they build up Kastner (a former priest) to possibly be connected to a Satanic cult, and then it turns out he's just the stepfather of the woman who turned into a demonic creature. So what was the point of all the scenes between him and the Warrens? Just pure exposition?

There are still a few positives. Ed and Lorraine save this movie from reaching the bottom, and it's largely due to Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga. You love seeing them as these characters, and even though the whole backstory of them falling in love is underexplained (Are they implying their love was forbidden or something?), their chemistry is very believable and makes for some of the few suspenseful moments in the film. When Lorraine has to cover in fear as a possessed Ed tries to strike her repeatedly with a hammer you really feel bad for her since she has to run for her life from someone she loves.

Ruari O'Connor and Sarah Catherine Hook, even though their characters are not all that interesting (Before Arne gets possessed by the devil we don't know much about him at all other than him thinking about proposing to his girlfriend) both do a good job. Julian Hillard is also solid as David, the boy whose waterbed was probably bought at IKEA.

The ending is okay, I guess. A moment of sweetness between Ed and Lorraine. But the real highlight is the credits, where we get to hear an audio tape of the case this movie is based on. Even though I'm not a believer of the occult or anything, that's the only part I actually found creepy, if not for the sounds alone.

I should've known I was in for a letdown when James Wan jumped ship, but I was hoping the change in director wouldn't affect the movie's quality too much, and the tone would generally still be in the spirit of the first two Conjurings.

Instead, this is just another modern horror film without much style or class.

mattiasflgrtll6's Avatar
The truth is in here

Anne is a top student in her class and has a promising life ahead of her... until she gets pregnant after a one-night stand at a party.

Taking place in the 60's, it depicts the story of a girl who's forced to make a very tough decision in a time where you didn't have the freedom to choose. Audrey Diwan does a great job of depicting the social stigma and incredible secrecy Anne is forced to suffer through, just because she doesn't want to let a baby dictate her life. You feel very sad for her situation and root for her to find a way out before it's too late, hopefully without any serious repercussions. The disillusionment she receives from her doctor and friends is upsetting to watch, not to mention she can't even tell her mom (Whose strict parenting is hinted at when she slaps Anne for making a "smartass" comment).

The more weeks that pass by, the more stressed you get.
WARNING: spoilers below
There is a sense of relief when she finally gets to the backalley abortion clinic after raising the money, even though you clench your teeth watching the painful procedure take place.

But as it turns out, it doesn't work and she has to do it all over again. Ouch. Poor Anne. This time her pains afterwards are much worse, to the point where she collapses after the fetus drops out. At least this time someone close by is willing to help out instead of judging her.

As mentioned before in dialogue, she will go to prison if she gets written in for having had an abortion instead of miscarriage. Thankfully the doctor writes down the latter instead.

At the end when she is finally able to resume focus on her studies and potentially ace her exams, the air in your lungs returns at last.

A gripping experience that leaves you with a lot to think about.


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The truth is in here


Sometimes when tragedy strikes we don't know how to react. Is the appropriate reaction anger? Sadness? Hopelessness? Or a mix of all three? We are shown two sets of parents, the first pair (Jay & Gail) belonging to the son who got shot and the other (Linda & Richard) to the son who killed him. Both are obviously trembling with pain and traumatic feelings from the event, but because they are on the opposite side of the debate can't seem to find a common ground.

The conversation starts off in a civil manner, if only on the surface. They are trying to create a good atmosphere so when they finally start talking about the subject they gathered there for it won't be so hostile. But it's clear very early on that there's too much hurt and explosiveness hidden underneath for things to proceed neutrally.

Linda considers showing pictures of her son (The shooter), but changes her mind and shows a jar full of paper frogs he made instead. This hesitation demonstrates that she knows she is walking on thin ice already, but by pulling up the jar is still being direct with not wanting to hide the love that remains for Hayden. This love is eventually what catapults into the conversation becoming especially heated.

Is it fair to expect some form of revenge for your child getting killed? Should the parents of the killer blame themselves for not raising him correctly or neglecting the signs, even when they couldn't have possibly seen the whole picture? The way these questions play out is fascinating as often as it is gutwrenching. Jay starts off as the openminded one while Gail is more sceptical.

But the tables turn when Linda and Richard dismiss any claims of being aware of Hayden's psychopathic tendencies, and even disregard the accusation that he was a psychopath at all. Richard takes particular issue to Jay's angry questioning, and repeatedly states over and over that Hayden seemed to be doing fine and that he was simply lost and confused. This is interesting since before Jay starts losing his patience Richard mournfully said it was his fault his son became a murderer in the first place. It shows how suddenly your mind can switch over to the line of defense when you feel your integrity getting scrutinized.

Linda takes a very different approach. She's probably the only one of the four who never gets legitimately angry, and tries as best as she can to understand the other point of view. She even beats herself up not seeing the signs through Hayden's behavior earlier. How can you piece together an image of someone you held so dear when they did something so unimaginably horrible?

Jay continues to get angrier and angrier, to where he seems only seconds away from throwing a punch, until he breaks down in tears remembering the details of Evan's death. I love how the audio starts fading out as his pain becomes more unbearable to handle, which is how most of us can feel when our minds are stuck in a black void with seemingly no light in sight.

From there on though the atmosphere changes yet again. Having exhausted themselves from yelling and back-and-forth blaming, they are all just too tired to get upset anymore. They start to realize they are not really mad at each other, they are just mad at the pain and suffering that seems to go around in a neverending cycle. Gail is worried that her son's death wasn't even meaningful since the violence that lead to it still goes on.

Linda inquires Gail to share a fond memory of her son Evan. Jay fails to see the point of it, but she agrees. As she starts telling the story we see her face brighten up for just a moment. Reminiscing about Evan's life instead of his death brings a nostalgic glimmer to her eye, almost like she gets transported back in time. But when we think about the past we often have an arm stuck in the present, so this cherished memory manages to become painful too. Gail's voice cracking as she recalls the tale had me on the verge of tears. The mixture of happiness and anguish feels all too real.

Being thankful for her son being in her life at all instead of feeling angry about his death is what gives Gail the strength to forgive the other couple. There's nothing that can bring her son back, so what could vengeance possibly mean to her? Her compassionateness makes Jay relent as well, and understands that maybe he judged them too brashly.

Oddly enough I think Richard is the one who is gonna have the hardest time letting this go. At the end he's friendly just like the other three, but feels very eager to leave as soon as possible. Maybe he's not quite sure yet if he's processed all that has taken place and needs more time to think.

Linda on the other hand sticks around for longer and comes back to tell a story about Hayden. Unlike Gail's, this one isn't nostalgic or happy at all, but rather a recollection of the most suspicious behavior she saw him display. The regretful look on her face when she says she wishes Hayden would have hit her after telling her to leave him alone almost broke me. She might never fully come to terms with who her son really is, and is trying to apologize for not paying more attention to the way he was changing.

Religion also plays a role. When Jay intently starts listening to a church choir singing upstairs, he gets filled with the spirit of forgiveness. It gives a momentary peace of mind in his heart, like everything is going to be okay in spite of what has happened. When Gail starts holding his hand I also feel the bond between them strengthening. They are no longer bound by the loss of their son, but instead by the love that made them connect with each other in the first place. A beautiful way to end the movie.

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The truth is in here
THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS THROUGHOUT. (But also, do you really care? Nobody in their right mind should watch this.)

The Bubble

Despite the limitations of a global pandemic, ambitious director Darren Eigen wants to make a new sequel to the Cliffbeasts franchise, something to take people's minds of their troubles. Actors from all walks of life join the project for their own personal reasons, Carol for instance desperately needing a career revival after the flop Jerusalem Rising. But once the production kicks off they start to realize they've made a huge mistake.

It's hard to know where to start with this film. It's a disaster on every single level. I praised Judd Apatow's previous outing The King Of Staten Island for not only its humor, but containing real heart and multifaceted characters.

The Bubble is the polar opposite. Almost every single character is either too one-note to catch your interest or unlikable to the point where you don't care about their journeys. In fact, it doesn't even seem to have an arc for most of them.

Dieter hears that he's a terrible actor, but it's never expanded upon beyond that rant. He's supposedly looking for love, but most of the time he's just on drugs or behaving like a sex addict.
Dustin constantly complains about the script, which is simply treated like a running gag. He also has a dipshit son we don't care about and a wife who's more bipolar than a polar bear. Sean is the only one who genuinely enjoys working on the movie, yet for no reason whatsoever he runs away from the project just everybody else at the end.
And don't get me started on the horribly cringy Tik Tok star Krystal Kris. Why is she there to begin with? Nobody is more than a plot device or one-note stereotype.

The plot is an absolute mess. Every actor is kept hostage on the set for reasons that at best come off flimsy, and it keeps going off in every random direction with no rhyme or reason. You never feel like you're watching a story, it's just a bunch of random stuff that happens, none of it entertaining or compelling in any way. Even the scenes of the fictional Cliffbeasts 6 feel like Saturday Night Live sketches left on the cutting room floor.

But the worst, the absolute worst part of all is the humor. It is genuinely hard to believe this is coming from the same guy who gave us the scene of Steve Carrell waxing his chest, "Know how I know you're gay?" and Jay Baruchel's hilarious traumatized reaction of witnessing a birth. COVID must have made Judd completely forget how to be funny, since nearly every single joke in here reeks.
I can remember one single part that was legitimately funny, and we already saw it in the trailer. Other than that, we get lazy jokes about the virus, people Tik Tok dancing left and right, drup trips that are actually boring and people screaming as loud as they possibly can. This is the pits.

The acting is a mixed bag, though maybe not all of it is their fault given the awful material they had to work with. Even those who've been good in other projects are mostly mediocre or even downright bad. Leslie Mann gives a performance that mistakes being obnoxious and yelly as being funny. Karen Gillan has little else to do but complain about how bad the working conditions are, which makes her performance one-note. I also couldn't care less about her boring fling with the pretentious superfan Zaki.
And I won't fault anyone for loving their daughter, but Iris Apatow makes me cringe every second she's onscreen. She feels like a newcomer making her first awkward baby steps, except she's already had lots of prior experience. The fight scene between her and Galen Hopper near the end was utterly embarrassing.
Keegan-Michael Key and David Duchovny seem to enjoy themselves, but even they can't lift this up to watchable levels. One of the few chuckles I got was simply because of how the line was delivered, not the line itself. This is a huge lowpoint for both involved, and I sincerely hope their talents get utilized better in the future.

Even the music sucks! Every part of the soundtrack is too over-the-top and largely consists of bloated pop songs that you'd shoot at the radio if you heard them come on. Plus what the hell is up with all the Tik Tok sequences? They give such a gross sense of cheapness, especially when the aspect ratio gets cropped to make it look like a legitimate Tik Tok video. Social media doesn't automatically equal funny, you have to put some actual thought into incorporating it or else you make a total ass of yourself.

And lastly, despite the thin plot and lack of tension or stakes, this thing still runs at over 2 hours. This movie is tiring after 30 minutes, so imagine having continue sitting through it after that point. The pain is so bad I'm just waiting for Leatherface to burst into my living room and put me out of my misery.

Don't waste your time on this phoned-in trash, not even for free.

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The truth is in here
D-Day, the Sixth of June

We start off right in the middle of a battle. One of the men seem a little distracted, thinking about his girl back at home. This man is the American colonel John Wynter, who's engaged to Valerie, but was forced to leave for battle. Then we cut to another man, Brad Parker. As it turns out he has a connection with Val as well, having an affair with her while John is away. Who will be able to keep Valerie's heart in their hand at the end?

This movie has gotten some flack due to not really having much to do with D-Day, despite what the title suggests. However, since I had read up on this beforehand I was willing to give the movie a shot just as a romance drama instead. How well does it work?

To start with the positives, Dana Wynter has a delightful innocence to her that makes her very charming. Robert Taylor is all right. Not a groundbreaking performance, but he and Wynter have a solid chemistry together.

My favorite scenes however involve Col. Alexander Timmer. He's a fascinating blend between bravado and a sense of underlying anxiety, trying to put on a hard, cocky surface while having to deal with sheer horror every time he's out on the battlefield. It's hinted that he might be an alcoholic since he always mixes vodka in with his coffee. The banter between him and Brad is enjoyable, and although his exit from the film is rather underwhelming I still got to develop a good deal of empathy for this guy.

John Williams as Val's father Russell doesn't have much screentime, and his development is told more than it's shown, but he has a solid presence with the little material he gets.

The tone is generally pleasant and light despite the background of a brutal war, with a romance that doesn't seem to contain much conflict. And that's where the problems start.

While this makes for an easy watch the story really would have benefited from some higher stakes. Brad and Valerie are both married, yet from how little they fret about the nature of their relationship you never feel any tension through most of it. Dana seems completely enamored with John at the beginning, yet later on she says she's just with John to make him feel secure, suggesting she doesn't love him deep down. This doesn't make much sense. If we had been shown earlier that the relationship between them is flawed this would've been easier to buy into.

WARNING: spoilers below
What's worse is that Brad is married himself, yet we never see his wife at all. The only thing we learn is that she becomes aware at some point he's cheating on her. I feel like they made his wife a shadow figure so he wouldn't come off as unlikable, but it also makes his character more shallow.

When John eventually returns home you think things are finally gonna get dramatic as he finds out about Val cheating on him, but the filmmaker seems unwilling to focus on his feelings too much as we only get a mild shocked expression on his face, even becoming friends with Brad by the end.

These nagging issues take away from the emotional impact when Valerie makes her choice to stay with John instead of Brad. It's a shame since Wynter does a great job at depicting her inner torment having to make such a difficult decision. It highlights how much more heartbreaking this could've been if the story would've had a bit more depth throughout.

Overall, I end up having mixed feelings about this movie. If your standards are not too high and you just want a good ol' cheesy romance this might do the trick, and for the most part I can still say I had a decent time watching this. Still, it's hard not to think about the opportunities missed.

D-Day, the Sixth of June
This movie has gotten some flack due to not really having much to do with D-Day, despite what the title suggests. However, since I had read up on this beforehand I was willing to give the movie a shot just as a romance drama instead. How well does it work?
That's a good review, and I think the above premise you wrote works especially well to help think about this film in a different light. There's more to it than just a film not entirely about D-Day.

D-Day, the Sixth of June...thanks for posting that review. I'm going to be watching this movie soon as I'm done with my current mini series. I'd never heard of D-Day, the Sixth of June before seeing your review but I did recently see Dana Wynter in Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) and last week I seen her on an episode of the old The Love Boat tv show. So I'm keen to see another movie with her in it and I'm a sucker for a good drama-action-romance movie, which is why I'm so fond of 1950s movies.

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The truth is in here


Caligula was known for being a particularly cruel emperor during the Roman Empire. He was unpredictable and would subject people to unusually sadistic punishment whenever he so pleased. We like to think of those times as being far behind us, that something like that could never occur in modern times.

This movie shows that the spirit of Caligula living on in other ways. All throughout there is a bleak and pessimistic tone. All of the victims have no way of escaping (and those who try get captured or shot right away), the rules constantly change and contradict themselves no matter how much they try to comply, and at the end if the day you are just a puppet. Simply there to abide and subject yourself to these captors' sadistic desires.

We see only brief glimpses of these teenage captives sharing a smile or two, and finding a little comfort in each other. In one scene two of them forced into a marriage, having to showcase their "wedding night" in front of a crowd try to enjoy it the best they can. But since even a little bit of genuine intimacy is forbidden, they get interrupted and violated. That small bit of free will, however insignificant, taken away once again.

As the story progresses the punishments only get worse and worse in nature. The girl being reminded of her mother's death and instead of having people console her only getting humiliated more by having to eat someone's shít is the most heartbreaking and disturbing scene in the entire film. It's actually less gross than the dinner scene later on where everybody gets served the same kind of meal, but the sheer nonchalance and downright pleasure the man get from making this girl's grief worse demonstrates the total lack of humanity this place shows. How can you soften a heart that gets off on people crying their absolute guts out?

Throughout we also have Signora Vaccari telling erotic stories. Though to call them erotic is almost insulting to actual eroticism, since most of them are either weird, gross, creepy or all three. Of all the leaders she is the least involved in the rituals themselves, but it's evident she gets a sick pleasure out of them as well, and sometimes even inspires the others to come up with new ones. We get a little bit of backstory from her, which only serves to make her character more unsettling. Her mother is the only one who seemed to show some concern for her wellbeing, which Vaccari responded to by brutally murdering her. If that doesn't tell you what a cold heart this woman is, I don't know what will.

The final punishments we get to see are torture-related. Tongues getting cut off, parts of the body getting burned, someone having one of their eyes gouged out... all while being subjected to more sexual humiliation at the same time.

There is a political undercurrent underneath all the shocking content, with dialogue touching on philosophical ideas of fascism and anarchy. I've got to admit some of the message might have gone over my head, but given the director's constant struggle with authorities and the horrible fate he suffered after the movie was finished, I get the feeling all glimmer of hope he had for a happier world had all but vanished. Cruelty is rewarded, and the victims' screams become muffled as their voices are never heard. One of the captors asks the other if he doesn't feel any empathy for the homeless or poor who barely have enough money or resources to get by. His answer? That it doesn't matter what they're going through as long as he can enjoy his own lot in life.

By the end, there are no emerging heroes, no victory, no defeat and no remaining hope. Surprisingly however the last scene is a quieter and less harrowing moment. Two boys are standing guard by a window. One of them puts on some music. They put down their weapons on the floor and start dancing. Despite all the pain and misery they've been through, they are suddenly present in the moment. Suddenly at peace, as if they've been cleansed of all the trauma and worrying. That dance is probably the last bit of happiness they will share.