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 Posted:   Oct 14, 2013 - 8:13 AM   
 By:   Solium   (Member)

Nice reviews. I like how you compared the trailers too the film themselves as often those could be very misleading. I'm sort of interested in seeing both films. Though I will probably wait until them come to PPV.

 Posted:   Oct 19, 2013 - 4:05 PM   
 By:   Sirusjr   (Member)

Carrie (2013) - 8/10
Some may say this is a pointless remake. This may be because of some affinity for the original version that is so strong it doesn't seem possible to do any better. While I appreciate the original was well done and has garnered quite a following over time, I can't think of a single movie that I would say should never be re-made. This review will judge the "Carrie" remake for how well it succeeds as a film compared to other films released in the same year, without any comparison to the original. It seems that is all other critics want to do, something I am not particularly interested in.

To make a successful film version of "Carrie," it is important to have talented actresses for both Carrie and her mother. In this regard, the casting was a resounding success. I would probably have gone to see this film solely to see Chloe Grace Moretz play Carrie because she is a fantastic actress. Thankfully, Julianne Moore is fantastic as Carrie's mother and many of the lesser-known supporting actors do a fine job as well.

Marco Beltrami is known for his numerous horror scores and he does not disappoint in "Carrie." Sadly the music was mixed pretty low for the most part but it was always effective and fitting. The music captures the emotions under the film well. Kimberly Peirce does a fantastic job directing "Carrie," and gives the film a modern feel in many ways. Though some might be able to enjoy the original for all the complexity it brings, others will appreciate a fresh look at this powerful story.

"Carrie" succeeds at giving the story a modern feel, while still remaining true to the characters involved. If you are considering checking out this new version of "Carrie," it is worth watching for Chloe Moretz and Julianne Moore alone. They capture the audience's attention every time they appear on screen. If you are open to a fresh interpretation of "Carrie," you will find a lot to enjoy with this version.

 Posted:   Oct 19, 2013 - 5:51 PM   
 By:   DeputyRiley   (Member)

Carrie (2013) - 8/10

Thanks for the great review! I'm terribly excited to see the film. I have a feeling it's going to be terrific.

 Posted:   Oct 19, 2013 - 5:53 PM   
 By:   Grecchus   (Member)

Lincoln, yesterday night. Previously it was a first run through, although this time it was to concentrate more on the actors themselves. That's a very skillful interpretation by DDL. His exchange with Spader was timed to perfection. It forced a larf. But that was the only one in an otherwise decidedly sombre experience. The scene with the telegraph engineers, in which he makes the "amendation" to his original order (directed at Grant) to halt the confederate delegation at Hampton Roads, Virginia, and not to proceed all the way to Washington, was scored. I don't think it really needed music at that point. Of course, later on, Lincoln is able to confirm to the House Of Representatives that no such delegation, insofar as he knows, is in Washington. A stitch in time . . .

 Posted:   Oct 19, 2013 - 6:06 PM   
 By:   mastadge   (Member)

I've been busily working through my 31 days of Halloween since my last update:

V/H/S/2 (2013) (pretty bad)
The Quatermass Xperiment (1955) (pretty good)
Quatermass 2 (1957) (good)
Quatermass and the Pit (1967) (quite good)
This Is the End (2013) (mediocre)
The Stone Tape (1972) (quite good)
The Woman in Black (1989) (pretty good)
The Abominable Snowman (1957) (good)
Carrie (1976) (quite good)
The Rage: Carrie 2 (1999) (mediocre)
Let’s Scare Jessica to Death (1971) (pretty good)
The Night Stalker (1972) (pretty good)
The Night Strangler (1973) (quite good)

Then a brief diversion into space disaster which is kinda-sorta horror:
Gravity (2013) (excellent)
Europa Report (2013) (pretty good)
After Earth (2013) (rubbish)

Then the year's other post-Rapture movie, which, again, kinda-sorta:
Rapture-Palooza (2013) (rubbish)

The Old Dark House (1932) (very good)
The Black Cat (1934) (very good)

 Posted:   Oct 19, 2013 - 9:42 PM   
 By:   Sirusjr   (Member)

World War Z (2013) - 6/10
I was a bit disappointed in this one. Sure it is overall better than most zombie movies but that isn't really saying much. [Far too many zombie movies end up spending half the time watching the characters fight among themselves. It drives me crazy.] Perhaps it is because I have been listening to the audiobook lately but I feel like the film fell short of what it could have been. The film doesn't have enough of a narrative drive that makes much sense.

It seemed pretty silly that Brad Pitt's character was somehow able to figure out the way to hide people from the zombies considering he is not a doctor and these guys at the lab agree to listen to him and go hunting for some viruses to infect themselves.

Most importantly, the film didn't leave me wanting to watch the next one. I have no interest in finishing the trilogy after this one.

 Posted:   Oct 22, 2013 - 1:41 AM   
 By:   Ron Hardcastle   (Member)

Today I finally got around to watching 2009's "Chloe" with Julianne Moore, Liam Neeson, and the almost ethereal Amanda Seyfried, directed by Atom Egoyan. And I was quite riveted to it, never once wondering how much time was left before it ended. It went in an unexpected direction (for me), and I wasn't 100% happy with the resolution, but I very much recommend it.

 Posted:   Oct 22, 2013 - 1:59 AM   
 By:   Michael24   (Member)

World War Z (2013) - 6/10
It seemed pretty silly that Brad Pitt's character was somehow able to figure out the way to hide people from the zombies considering he is not a doctor and these guys at the lab agree to listen to him and go hunting for some viruses to infect themselves.

To be fair, it was just an idea. He didn't really know whether or not it would work (it could have just as easily failed and killed him), and everybody was so desperate for some kind of solution, they were willing to try anything and agreed to give a try.

I thought it was a terrific film, abandoning all the usual cliched crap we normally get in zombie movies and officially raising the bar for the genre. I can't wait for a sequel.

 Posted:   Oct 22, 2013 - 8:23 AM   
 By:   Ron Pulliam   (Member)

"Oz the Great and Powerful" on Sunday night.

It took most of the film, but James Franco finally started to have some resonance as the Wizard (or, rather, the wizard he thought Oz needed).

Overall, a really good film.

 Posted:   Oct 22, 2013 - 10:11 AM   
 By:   Ron Hardcastle   (Member)

Ron P:

Re: "Overall, a really good film." YIKES! I simply could NOT get into that movie, and found James Franco, an actor I normally like, soooooooooooooo unlikeable that it derailed the film for me, which was very disappointing, because I honestly wanted to like it.

 Posted:   Oct 23, 2013 - 9:06 AM   
 By:   OnlyGoodMusic   (Member)

Schindler's List (1993) was shown on TV twice in one evening, with only a short break in between. I ended up watching it twice - after which I went on Facebook, called up all sorts of right-wing party profiles and started insulting them and their members, which is how spent the better part of the night.

So, basically, the film works ... wink

 Posted:   Oct 23, 2013 - 10:15 AM   
 By:   Sirusjr   (Member)

I thought it was a terrific film, abandoning all the usual cliched crap we normally get in zombie movies and officially raising the bar for the genre. I can't wait for a sequel.

Yes the lack of cliches really was quite nice. Not having to deal with a bunch of morons who can't stop arguing with each other while there are zombies out there. Still, I'm finding the book much more engaging right now.

 Posted:   Oct 23, 2013 - 7:20 PM   
 By:   Sirusjr   (Member)

So I decided to write up a full review of World War Z to flesh out my thoughts a little bit more.
World War Z (2013) - 6/10
I wasn't very excited when "World War Z" came out. I wasn't exactly sure why anyone should care about Brad Pitt's character, or why the focus should be on him in the narrative. Once I started listening to the audiobook I started to recognize why people were complaining that the film was a complete departure from the book. I realize that the book is quite difficult to make into a film because of the perspectives through which we are exposed to The Zombie War. The book presents the story from the perspective of many different people around the world. It explains how different countries reacted to first the news of a zombie outbreak and then the attacks. Though I haven't finished listening to the book yet I would suggest that anyone who enjoyed this film go read or listen to it. Sadly, the intellectual approach to the story that so engrossed me in the book did not come through in the film. In order to present the fast pace Studios believe modern audiences require, the story turns into a typical globe-trotting thriller. Perhaps the studios will redeem themselves in future films, but I am not getting my hopes up.

After a thrilling opening sequence, Brad Pitt's character sets off on his own to search the world for some answers. There are plenty of well-shot zombie attacks and some particularly engaging segments in Israel. However, the film didn't have an overarching narrative to hold it together. Part of the problem was I didn't really care about Brad Pitt's character or find it very believable that he was some experienced UN guy who had some unique abilities to do what he was doing. There were some typical zombie tropes that I was glad to see absent here. Most importantly, I was glad that we didn't follow some random group of people who didn't like each other and spend the whole film arguing like children (as you see in pretty much every major zombie film, and the film I will review next that is not a zombie film but close enough).

Musically, the film's horror aesthetic is enhanced by a powerfully dark orchestral score by Marco Beltrami. The music doesn't have any core themes but always manages to establish the immediacy of the zombie threat without resorting to synthesizers or electric guitar. "World War Z" provides some solid zombie action in a way that avoids many of the typical problems with the genre. Sadly, it has problems of its own that kept me from enjoying it fully. While the movie isn't a complete waste of your time, I suggest reading the book instead, or getting the audiobook to listen to on your commute.

 Posted:   Oct 24, 2013 - 6:47 AM   
 By:   Bill Carson, Earl of Poncey   (Member)

Castle Keep.
More heavier going than i remembered - and the relentless imagery of the art is a bit overdone - but film had some wonderful and cleverly surreal moments thrown in.

 Posted:   Oct 24, 2013 - 7:04 AM   
 By:   mstrox   (Member)

I asked in the old thread but it got buried in another discussion: does anyone use ? I started using it recently to track what I watch, since it seems to be gaining popularity and a few of my friends are using it now too.

MASTAGE - thanks for recommending this - I joined and it's a lot of fun - the exact kind of obsessive log/massive timesuck that I like. My user name there is mstrox if you want to share film exploits.

 Posted:   Oct 27, 2013 - 4:52 PM   
 By:   Sirusjr   (Member)

The Counselor (2013) 10/10
In an early scene in the film, we watch as a cheetah chases down a jackrabbit in the desert. This serves as a foretaste of what is to come. To me the cheetah represents the character played by Cameron Diaz. She is so graceful and yet so powerful at the same time. Carmack McCarthy wrote a number of dark novels. Film buffs are likely familiar with the 2007 film "No Country For Old Men" . It blew viewers away when it came out with its uncompromising look at the dark side of humanity. "The Counselor" is similarly dark and yet more poetic in its cinematography, writing, and pacing.

Besides Cameron Diaz, the film has a number of well known actors and actresses who might independently draw viewers. Brad Pitt, Javier Bardem, Michael Fassbender, and Penelope Cruz are joined by Natalie Dormer to round things off. Each delivers a performance worthy of praise. Add to that the amazing cinematography, pacing, and writing and the film is nearly a masterpiece.

Daniel Pemberton wrote a solid atmospheric score that is used sparingly and fits the film perfectly. The music enhances the tension and always matches the mood. I should note that there are a few violent deaths and sex scenes that might shock the sensitive though the violence is largely restrained and tasteful compared to the excessive gore we see far too often. If you enjoyed other films based on books by Carmack McCarthy, you won't want to miss "The Counselor" in theaters. It has a certain tension that you can feel from the start and never lets go.

 Posted:   Oct 27, 2013 - 5:01 PM   
 By:   Mike_J   (Member)

I just got back from Captain Phillips. Superbly made movie and incredibly gripping.

It lags a bit towards the end but overall its a fantastic movie and once again proves why Hanks is at the absolute top of his game as an actor.

 Posted:   Oct 31, 2013 - 9:37 PM   
 By:   DeputyRiley   (Member)

Halloween Edition!

(no time for any kind of review; very tired and still have some Roseanne Halloween episodes to squeeze in before bed)

Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982) -- (revisit) -- 6/10

Prince of Darkness (1987) -- 2/10

Christine (1983) -- 7/10

The Conjuring (2013) -- 8.5/10

It's been a great Halloween watching movies and TV! smile

 Posted:   Oct 31, 2013 - 11:36 PM   
 By:   Michael24   (Member)

Evil Dead (2013) - 2/5

Not as bad as the remakes of Halloween, A Nightmare on Elm Street or Friday the 13, but takes a number of missteps and fails to leave an impression once it's over. Director Fede Alvarez is more concerned about playing with his special effects, to the deterrent of his characters and story. Aside from a few typical (but effective-in-the-moment) jump scares, it's never really scary, or as creepy as the original. Even the infamous "vine attack" feels too afraid to go anywhere and is nowhere near as disturbing as Sam Raimi's.

 Posted:   Nov 1, 2013 - 4:21 AM   
 By:   Francis   (Member)

Insidious Chapter 2 (2013) 9/10

I loved 2010's Insidious, yes, it ripped a lot from Poltergeist but in its last reel went beyond it, the quest to the other side/the further/... whatever you want to call it, was such a great visual treat and concept and such a good pay off to the slow build up that preceded it. I watched it again this week to prepare for the sequel and just love the universe it creates with its haunted characters.

I saw the sequel last night and I absolutely loved it. It manages to take the excitement of the last reel of the first one and drive it through. If you plan on seeing Insidious 2, make sure you've seen the first one as this one picks up more or less immediately after the events of Insidious and not only broadens the backstory of the demons of the first one, it also ties in with prior events of the first movie.

I absolutely love Lin Shaye as the medium and she steals every scene she's in. Aside from the family unit, the supporting cast is so strong for this franchise. There is also a nice balance between scary stuff and moments of comedy to counter it. But for the most part the tension is so high (thanks to Joseph Bishara's excellent score) that I got the chills on many occasions without being shocked or frightened, but just from the premise or setup of the scene alone. I love when horror movies do this from the onset till the last frame!

Mark Kermode generalized 'Insidious 2' as a 'quiet, quiet, quiet, bang' type horror movie and couldn't see horror fans liking these movies, claiming it was more catered toward the general audience ('cattle' he named them) who aren't familiar with the genre. I disagree wholeheartedly, as a fan of horror movies this franchise has so much to offer, definitely not just bangs and things jumping out, though I wont deny it has its fair share of that. But where Insidious 2 to me excels is with the many setups, the universe and clever symbolism it creates to keep you believing the premise and the many pay offs, and it uses so little gore and violence to achieve it. I do attribute this to director Wan's style and storytelling. His 'The Conjuring' earlier this year was ok, but this one had me on the edge of my seat all way through. Couldn't have wished for a better horror experience on Halloween smile

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