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28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
Get to it. Although Martyrs is just disturbing in general.
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"A laugh can be a very powerful thing. Why, sometimes in life, it's the only weapon we have."

Suspect's Reviews



28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
Day 174: October 21st, 2010

GACY



A combination of bad writing, bad acting and bad filmmaking.

Gacy tells the story of serial killer John Wayne Gacy, a man whom many believed to be a noble and friendly man. His death toll is approximately 33 young men, who were found buried in his crawl space.

Reading up on John Wayne Gacy is more terrifying than watching this half baked attempt at telling this man's story. Out of the three serial killer films I have seen,Ted Bundy, Dahmer and now Gacy, I have to say that this was the least interesting, the least inspired and the most boring. I thought Dahmer was pretty boring, but at least that film tried to get in the mind of the character, Gacy doesn't try to do anything except tell the bare bones story, at least what they decided to read about him, and put it on film.

The film makes no real attempt at portraying the man behind the murders. We are introduced to his father abusing him as a child, then apparently he hears voices and kills young men. The torture sequences are tame and the death scenes come off as 'accidents'. You never fully experience the terror this man brought onto the lives of others. The film almost plays out like a comedy, I honestly can't tell if that's what it was trying to be. If so, bad taste, if not, bad filmmaking.

The script is bad, full of ear bleeding dialogue. The actors seem to make no real effort here and the movie itself has a lot of inaccuracies. The film begins with the title card saying that names, places and events have been fictionalized to protect those people. This immediately gives you a bad feeling that the filmmakers have taken the story of Johny Wayne Gacy and purposely distorted facts to make an entertaining and emotional film. Fail on both accounts. It's more of a slap in the face to the families of those who went through this.

The film seemed more fixated on the rotting stench beneath Gacy's house, rather than a cohesive story. I know what that smell was, not the dead bodies, but this excuse for a film.




28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
Day 175: October 22nd, 2010

Hereafter



To connect with the dead...a gift? Or a curse.

3 stories about 3 different people who are touched in some way by death. A little boy loses his twin brother, a young French journalist drowns in a tsunami, to later be revived and finally a psychic who wants to leave that profession behind and try to live his life.

I must admit, Hereafter did not entice me with it's promotional trailers. I thought the film had an interesting premise, but what I saw as far as story telling was something that left me empty and wondering that the film would most likely be left with a hollow hole at the centre. I'm not even that big of a fan of Eastwood. The man makes good films, but I wouldn't say I'm rushing to see his work. I don't know why, but ever since Million Dollar Baby, a buddy of mine and myself have seen every Eastwood film that has come out since, in the theatres. Why? Because it's Clint Eastwood.

Despite not being that interested in the film, I gave it a chance thinking that it could end up surprising me. I was wrong, the film is exactly what I expected and maybe even less. This is a shame because it is an interesting and even thought provoking premise that was nice to see explored, but it wasn't explored deep enough. Eastwood has always had a way with the camera, knowing what he needs and getting the shot, his films have a skillful elegance to them, and Hereafter is another example of a fine director at work. Unfortunately, it pails in comparison to his earlier works and for everything good about it, there are 3 things that are boring.

The film tries to feel depressing, it's about loss and death, but we never get that feeling with the film. I was never depressed or felt any kind of emotional connection to a group of people I'm suppose to be connecting with for the next two hours. This is the biggest problem. The characters are boring, uninteresting and flat. Damon is a saving grace, he gives George a haunted side that craves and requires companionship and isolation, all at once. His role is not enough to save a film that centres just as much screen time on two other characters that bring the flow and story of the film to a halt.

That little boy cannot act and it hurt me to see him on the screen. His pleas for his brother to be okay and still alive hurt my ears. Monotone and emotionless. I get the fact that he doesn't talk much and is shy, but there are little child actors who are able to pull this off. This one did not. There is a scene in which the little boy is about to board a subway, he is 'saved' when his hat flies off. We are to expect that it was his brother doing this and we are treated to the over done, trying to get my item off the ground while people walk by unknowingly kicking it around. I thought Eastwood was better than this?

The story lines do not intertwine and connect until late in the film. I would have wanted and the film needed them to submerge together sooner. The entire films feels like it is going nowhere but in circles. There is a story, but no plot. We follow these people doing mundane things. For some reason, I expect to be in the minority here. The film comes off as trying to convey important messages of things we cannot understand and thus it becomes a tad bit pretentious. I hate using that word for films, but I'm using it here. The film ends with a connection I feel nothing towards and left me with a confused look. I contemplated what I had just seen, was it really brilliance and I simply missed it? Not in the least, the film tries to be more important than it actually is. I feel like I was turned off right from the beginning with the bogus CGI used in the tsunami. It left me feeling, well, dead inside.

Hereafter is another forgettable film and right after the equally uninteresting and forgettable Invictus, I'm afraid Eastwood is trying too hard now. Both these films feel out of place for a director like Eastwood. He seems out of his element and it shows. Eastwood and Hereafter won't be seeing any award shows this year.




28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
Day 176: October 23rd, 2010

Iron Man 2




More of the same...

People faulted this film for being good, but not great. What the hell, so will I. Iron Man 2 has all the right ingredients to make a great summer blockbuster superhero film, yet the final product is more of what we already saw, minus the heart.

Iron Man 2 has Tony Stark AKA Iron Man fighting off Ivan Vanko, a man hellbent on revenge, as well as a new arms dealer Justin Hammer. For the sake of cramming more characters in sequels, like all sequels do, we also have Natasha Romanoff/Natalie Rushman, better known as Black Widow.

Black Widow, or the eye candy known as Scar Jo, adds nothing to the film for me. This was one of my worries, too much going on. Iron Man isn't overloaded like X-3 was, but it was getting there. The story is the classic revenge tale, with Mickey Rourke as the villain. A role he was only given because of his recent career revival with The Wrestler. If you watch The Expendables, you'll notice he looks exactly the same as he does here. Almost as if they were shooting next door and he wandered onto the set. Ivan, isn't that memorable as a villain (looks don't count). Rourke tried his best, but there just wasn't much there in the script.

The action set pieces are entertaining enough to appeal to a younger audience. The threat level doesn't feel as big, with the addition of War Machine, again more stuff added, it just felt like we were waiting for Iron Man to succeed. The stakes simply weren't high enough for me to really care this time around.

The party scene with Tony in the Iron Man suit, drunk and shooting off missiles in his house was laughable and was just added to have the two character fight each other. Superhero sequels tend to be a but better (X2, Spiderman 2) but this one just dropped the ball a bit. I don't know if the first one set the bar too high or if the filmmakers were just a bit lazy. Either way, we lost out a bit on this one.




Thanks Sussy nice reviews

I actually liked Invictus I have spent a lot of time in South Africa, they love their Rugby
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Health is the greatest gift, contentment the greatest wealth, faithfulness the best relationship.
Buddha



I've yet to see Hereafter. What did you think about CÚcile de France's performance? She's Belgian and received quite a lot of press here for being in an Eastwood film, but from what I've seen from her work, she didn't strike me as incredibly talented...

I agree on Iron Man 2. I too had issues with the bigger-is-better approach. There are too many characters, Ivan Vanko is not a memorable villain, Scarlet Jo is eye candy, we ought to see more of Justin Hammer but didn't. The best action scene was at the race track in the beginning of the film, which was dissapointing to say the least.



28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
Agree 100% on Iron Man 2

As for CÚcile de France's performance, it didn't really do anything for me. I had a hard time understating some of what she was saying at times. I think Damon was the best one out of the bunch.



28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
Day 177: October 24th, 2010

Hostel Part II



Seemed more tame than it should have been.

Hostel Part II flips the genders and now we have three women, instead of men, going through Europe. They stay at the hostel from the first film and soon become victims of the rich man's torture game.

I like Eli Roth, even if I'm that that big a fan of his movies. I didn't really dig the first Hostel and this one doesn't fare any better. The guy is trying his best to re-invent horror, yet he seems to be one of the followers. For me, each decade had some interesting horror films. The 80's had cheesy horror movies and gave us some iconic horror characters. The 90's re- invented the slasher genre with Scream and then we hit this decade and we have what people are calling torture porn. Saw, Hostel and countless other movies that throw victims into the clutches of a mad man who tortures them.

Hostel, for what it's worth, was a little bit entertaining. The third act of the film added some suspense and thrills. Hostel II has none of this. It feels like build up to nothing. There was only one scene that was interesting, the blood bath sequence. Creepy, hot and horror quality. The rest of the film was disappointing. Roth should know that people are going to see this move for those torture scenes, which made the first film a success. This film has none of that.

The girls are great too look at, but their characters are irritating. This film tried to show a bit of the other side, the rich torture guys. We get two characters who pay to kill these girls and predictably, one goes soft and the other one looses it. Roth tries so hard to shove the fact that one guy is psyched to do this while the other is hesitant, it's obvious that one of them would flake out. I even called which guy.

Hostel Part II lacks the good parts that made the first one watchable...and I didn't even like the first one. I'm still waiting for Roth to deliver us something truly worthy of the horror genre. Cabin Fever and the Hostel films just fall short of that.




28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
Day 178: October 25th, 2010

The Wolfman



It looked great.

The classic tale of the Wolf Man, is updated. After hearing about the disappearance of his brother, Lawrence comes back home, only to discover that his brother is dead. He searches for the beast that did it, but is bitten. He soon discovers that the legends of a Wolf Man are true.

I know nothing about the original, even if The Wolf Man is my favourite universal classic monster. So I was excited to hear they were doing a revamp on the movie and with a great cast. Then I hear rumblings of trouble on the production side of things, I try to ignore what I hear and go into every movie with an open mind. The Wolfman is not a terrible movie, simply a misguided one.

I must say that the film looks marvelous, the set design, costume and cinematography really shine in this film. They captured that time era really elegantly. Second, the makeup effects from the legend Rick Baker are phenomenal and I hope an Oscar win comes his way. I respect the fact that they went the traditional route and went with authentic rather than full on CGI *cough* An American Werewolf in Paris *cough*. The rapid use of CGI to conquer the monsters of late has grow tiresome. Back then, CGI was the rave, even if it looked cheap and bad. Here, we have a genuine look that feels and actually looks real.

With every werewolf film, you wonder what the transformation sequence is going to look like. I still think that to this day, no other film has captured it quite like An American Werewolf in London has. Sometimes the transformation sequence can make or break a film. The Howling does a decent job, An American Werewolf in Paris does not. I'm sorry I keep hating on that movie, but it really is bad. The Wolfman has their transformation sequence in CGI. No real complaints here. It looks painful, at times a bit fake, but interesting nonetheless.

All the cast involved do their job, no one seems to go above and beyond. You get what is expected out of Hopkins, Del Toro and Weaving. Blunt fills the role of crying woman well enough. Their so called romantic plot between the two is boring, uninteresting and not realistic. It feels like a studio head wanted this in to try and sell more tickets. Again, knowing nothing about the original, I knew who the first werewolf was and the film didn't even try to hide it. The werewolf vs werewolf sequence was interesting, but a more action turn than horror for the third act.

The Wolfman is a mediocre film that isn't really action, isn't really horror. It's full of some brutal killings and blood left right and centre, so some horror enthusiasts will be pleased. I found most of the film to be drawn out and a tad boring. Even the suspenseful chase scenes were yawn inducing. The Wolfman has great technical achievements, but weak story and characters are enough for a pass.





Bright light. Bright light. Uh oh.
I actually liked the "unrated" version I saw on DVD, but it had Max von Sydow and a nice level of romance. I didn't bother to watch the theatrical version which was about 15 minutes shorter I think. Which version did you watch?
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28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
I watched the unrated. I just never buy the romance pieces that evolve out of nowhere and start with the death some a loved one. They always end of falling for the brother/friend...it grows tiresome.



These are really good reviews, thank you!! Keep 'em coming!



28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
Day 179: October 26th, 2010

In Hell



JCVD In Prison

After coming home to a murdered wife, Kyle chases after the man who did it. They get arrested and the man walks away scot free, he comes from a wealthy family and has paid off the judge. Kyle can't stand for this, he shoots the man several times right in front of the court house. The judge takes this as a disrespect to the law and human life, sentences him to life in prison. This is in Russia and the prison he goes to is not really a nice one. The warden hosts fights between the inmates and makes money off of them, Kyle soon finds himself tangled in a series of fight matches with some real mean dudes.

I'm a JCVD fan, so my views on his films tend to be a little bias. I give them a little break because...well....it's a JCVD film. You should know going into a film starring the guy, you're going to get little on the acting side and a lot on the kicking side. In Hell flips this around a little bit. Instead, we get JCVD pulling out some acting chops. He mourns his dead wife, is beaten emotionally and physically and has to deal with the harsh realities of prison. He doesn't go above and beyond, but you will get a little bit more out of him here than his usual fare.

Second, the film leaves his splits, 360 spin kicks and other high flying acts at home. In Hell goes for more realistic and gritty fight sequences. There are some moves that belong in a wrestling ring, but for the most part, these guys look like they are beating the living crap out of each other. It makes the viewer feel more for the character, he's not some martial arts guru, he's a guy fighting for his life. Again, it tends to humanize the character a bit and connects more with the audience.

As far as a JCVD film goes, I would rank this one as one of his better efforts. as for as prison movies go, I'll let it slide a little bit. He of course befriends the one guy people seem to be afraid of. The guards treat him worse than the other inmates and he is thrown into isolation more times than we can count. Predictable and cliched prison bits, but it's expected. You can guess how one big fight scene will go down because of the way he interacted with the guy while thrown in isolation, so the film doesn't throw any surprises our way.

It's also tame on the escape scenes. There are a few, and it never feels like we are on the edge of our seat, wanting them to escape. This is a feeling you need to get from the audience when characters are trying to flee for their lives, this film manages to side step this.

In Hell is a surprisingly decent movie, I'm sure if it starred anyone other than JCVD I would give it a negative review, so take that whichever way you want to.




28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
Day 180: October 27th, 2010

Finding Bliss



The good movies are coming...I promise.

I rented this movie for a few reasons, neither of which was because I thought it would be good. One, the cover of the dvd said "It's Boogie Nights for women", the second was that it was about a recent film school graduate who gets to work in the porn industry. Why? Well, not only to pay the bills, but so that she can use the studio at night and edit suites to make her own damn movie. Hmm...interesting.

Well, the film is really a direct to dvd quality film. You can immediately tell, if you couldn't from the cast: Leelee Sobieski, Denise Richards, Jamie Kennedy, Kristen Johnston and then some porn stars. It was written and directed by a woman, so the film is her basically a woman's view of the porn industry. Which is why I should have known that the big nude scene would involve a male and not a female. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, Jamie Kennedy shows off his junk. I was not impressed.

Obviously working as an editor on a porn movie during the day and directing your own movie at night will take a toll on you, it does for our lead character. She falls for a guy who is directing the porn, why? Well, because every script needs some kind of romantic bit to it to attract the audience. Otherwise, these two people would never hook up. The comedy is tame and hardly funny, the drama has been done to death before (her parents find out and disapprove) and she says some things that her friends find out about and then...boom, she has no friends.

The real reason this film fails is because not only does it lack humour, but it lacks heart. The film feels cold and dead inside, not a good sign.




28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
Day 180: October 27th, 2010

Unknown



November....it will be a good month.

5 guys wake up in an abandoned warehouse, sick and with no memory of how they got there, who they are and even why they are there. With time running out, who can they trust and how can they work together to find a way out.

I like a good mystery film. Something that makes you think, or try to figure bits and pieces out before the ending comes. Unknown came off to me as that type of flick. A bunch of people wake up not knowing who they are, where they are or who to trust? Count me in.

For the most part, the film did what I hoped it would. It gave me a problem that I had to solve, a problem that the characters themselves had to solve. It also had a pretty good cast, I knew everyone in it and I actually like the people in it too. Then as the film began to come to it's final conclusion, it became full of too many twists and turns that it lost it's own footing. You know those films that should have ended, but then for the sake of it, throw one last twist in there. Unknown is that type of film. I could have been happy with the film ending the way it was going, then it just had to throw one more twist in, incase people thought they had it all figure out.

I would have preferred a more depressing ending myself, but instead we get a mildly happy one. James Caviezel, Greg Kinnear, Joe Pantoliano, Barry Pepper, and Jeremy Sisto star as the people in the warehouse trying to find a way out. Other stars such as Peter Stormare and Bridget Moynahan are doing things outside of this place. Piece by piece, more information is revealed to us so we get to see the bigger picture. Nolan does a great job of this in his films. The big picture in unknown, is not that big. Instead it's pretty boring.

We eventually find out that two of them are being kidnapped and held for ransom, the other three are the kidnappers. But who is who? Joe Pantoliano is tied to a chair for most of the movie and Jeremy Sisto is handcuffed the entire time. The man has little screen time and the little bit he does get, is him sitting, handcuffed to a railing. The pieces to the puzzle, some are interesting, some aren't. The big picture isn't as good as one would hope.

Unknown is something that I would recommend renting, not a purchase type of film.




28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
Day 181: October 28th, 2010

Day Watch



Again...too much going on.

A sequel to Night Watch, which came out roughly three years earlier than this one, sees the main character, Anton, caught...again, in a battle between light and dark. This time there is a mysterious chalk that can alter time, giving the person who wields it unlimited power. Anton is also being accused of killing one of the dark people, which would break the truce they have. So there is a mad search for the guy, but he switches bodies with a female co-worker to hide from those who are known as the dark ones.

Yup, I had no idea where this movie was going. After watching it, I'm still confused as to what exactly happened. I prefer Night Watch because it set the world up better and introduced us to the things. The problem with this film and the first one is that there is simply way too much going on. Both of them are based on books and you can tell because there is a lot of backstory and detail in these films. If you don't watch them within a relatively short time period between each other, you might get lost. I sure did.

The film is way too long, clocking in at 2 hours and 30 some odd minutes. Even longer if you watch the unrated version. Maybe I wasn't in the right mood, but it felt like a chore chugging through this film. I completely forgot there were vampires in these movies until one character flat out asks another if he is one. I applaud the world created here, it has some interesting mythology attached to it, but I can't help but think things would be better explained if it were stretched to three movies instead of two. I realize they are doing a third one now, but it is with different characters and a different story.

The ending ties things up with the first one and it's always lovely to see a film do that. Day Watch is interesting, but maybe a little too interesting. So much that it tends to drag on and bore the viewer at times. Things happen so fast that it's hard to keep up with what's going on. Which is interesting, very few movies have so many things going on at an alarming rate that it drags, yet Day Watch just so happens to be able to do this.




28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
Day 182: October 29th, 2010

THINNER



I curse you...Thinner.

Ever since I saw this dvd in a jumbo video when I was a kid I wanted to see it. I thought the cover was cool, you could see the man's skeleton. The idea of a man getting thinner and thinner every day until he withered away to nothing but skin and bones was a story that interested me. Not to mention that it was based on Stephen King's story.

Fast forward about 13 or so years, maybe more. I've finally gotten the chance to watch Thinner. Much like another film I always wanted to see when I was a kid, Bad Moon, Thinner obviously did not live up to my childhood expectations.

I knew this going in, it was going to be a bad movie. I thought hey, maybe I'll get to see some nice make-up effects and probably a good ending. Negative on both accounts. From what I hear of the original, it was suppose to be darker, instead they went with a comedic route. I also expected his thinning body to be more apparent. The makeup used for him in the beginning to make him fat is painfully obvious. I guess I was expecting too much from this aspect of the film too.

The story goes like this, the guy is a big shot lawyer. One night he is receiving oral sex from his wife while driving a car and he kills a gypsy woman. A judge and a cop get him off scot free, which leads another gypsy to curse him thinner, as well as the judge and cop, who get their own little curse.

Thinner is a forgettable film that works better on paper than on film. I will say this though they did manage to make an actual film out of the story. I did not know how they would be able to make it interesting, but he searches for the gypsy to un-curse him. So there is a bit of excitement, as he goes looking for these people.

Still, not enough to warrant a happy ending for the viewer.




28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
Day 183: October 30th, 2010

Night of the Demons



The badness made me like it.

Horrible acting, bad ADR and an obvious man wearing a blonde wig doing a stunt for the lead female. These things make Night of the Demons a classic 80's horror film, when it should have hurt it's chances of me enjoying it. Weird how sometimes these things will make me hate a film and appreciate others. I guess it has to do with tone, genre, the film's goal and the decade it came out in. Don't ask me why about the decade...

Night of the Demons is about a group of kids who go to a house that use to be a funeral on Halloween night. For some strange reason demons wake up and possess the teens. One by one they are attacked, killed and possessed.

The movie is full of stupid and unlikable characters, so seeing them die wasn't a biggie. There's only one gruesome scene to note off, one character gets his eyes poked out. This film has it all, death, bad dialogue, bad acting, low production values and nudity. The corner stone of almost every cheesy horror film that came out of the 80's. Night of the Demons spawned 2 sequels, and most recently a remake with Diora Baird....*drool*

Classic horror fans might get a kick out of this one, if they can appreciate and or love the horribleness that one can expect from an 80's horror film.