Third Person

MV5BMjAwNTk0OTczNV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNTI3NDE2MTE@__V1__CR29,29,953,1442_SX214_AL_

3.5/10

Paul Haggis writes and directs this film with an array of Hollywood’s finest A-listers at his fingertips. When describing the plot of Third Person, i had trouble conjuring up the right words to accurately describe it. The story is spread into three different narratives with the first being a cheating relationship that stars Liam Neeson as an author, Olivia Wilde as his mistress, and Kim Basinger as Neeson’s wife. Neeson is writing his latest novel in Rome while seducing Olivia Wilde off of her feet. He uses Wilde as a forefront for his novel without even caring about her feelings. The second story involves Adrien Brody as a con artist business man type who is in Paris to make a big deal. He meets a mysterious woman (Played by Moran Atias) who needs twenty five thousand dollars to get her daughter back. Brody decides to help, but is left in question as to whether this is a scam or not. The third story (And only decent one in my opinion) stars James Franco and Mila Kunis as exes who are fighting for soul custody of their child. Kunis delivers what i feel is the only solid performance in the film playing opposite of anything she has ever done. She is a down on her luck loser who knows her life is spiraling out of control after the death of her daughter. Kunis was the one bright spot in a film with performances that are easily calling it in. The two biggest problems with this film is that it is too long (136 minutes), and the stories with it’s characters just aren’t interesting enough. You wonder how these stories have anything to do with each other minus some characters passing by one another much like Richard Linklater’s Slackers or Haggis’s 2004 film, Crash. It’s supposed to be a film about love, passion, and betrayal, but it’s all just not interesting enough to last over 2 hours. I found myself having problems even supporting any characters because they were all deceitful in some way. Maybe that was the point of the film, but it also leaves your audience not caring about their fate by the time the credits roll. The three stories aren’t interesting enough on their own and only drag the movie down when combined. There are some twists that happen during the film, but they come and go without being treated like a big discovery or reveal. How are we supposed to care if the movie obviously doesn’t? I have always dug Haggis’s style so i have absolutely no idea what went wrong with a movie director who panned Million Dollar Baby, Crash, and Casino Royale. This definitely feels like a Haggis film, but the endless supply of big time celebrities interracting and crossing stories feels used and abused ten years after his Oscar winning film, Crash. Third Person feels like a 20 minute idea with 115 minutes to fill in, and that time is never given that attention. The cinematography and artistic style of the camera angles were done very well with mostly light tones surrounding the locations of Rome, Paris, and New York. The big twist at the end with the three stories being related isn’t very well explained, and i hope you like symbolism because otherwise you will not understand the big reveal. It felt very easy to predict for me personally because the trailer was a lot more revealing than it probably should have been. I definitely do not recommend this film. It left me feeling tedious and overwhelmed by a story where i had to look for all the clues. I like a challenge in a film, but sometimes presenting the twists with an easy highlighter is much needed. Third Person is an absolute mess of the film. Even a blockbuster cast cannot save it from a disjointed plot and laughable dialogue. It’s a film that tries to be smarter than it really is, and that’s what will keep the audience from ever relating to Third Person. It’s a complicated mess that is best if you stay away from it.

Dumb and Dumber To

MV5BMTYxMzA0MzAyMF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMjMyNjcwMjE@__V1_SX214_AL_

3.5/10

Twice the rude, twice the crude, and twice the unoriginality plague the latest film that is a sequel to the 1994 smash hit, “Dumb and Dumber”. Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels reprise their signature roles as Lloyd and Harry 20 years later with Lloyd being in a mental hospital after the events of the first film. The original film’s directors, Peter and Bobby Farrelly take Lloyd and Harry on a road trip to find a child Harry never knew he had and the responsibility neither should ever, ever be given. The first movie was mindless, but it had the kind of charms and sarcastic wit dialogue that made you do a double take when hearing the punchline. This movie feels like a complete remake of the first film with many scenes and jokes being recreated. For as many people who said “The Hangover 2” was a remake of the first film, this film is every bit the same to it’s original telling. The film’s protagonists are still dumb, but they are even worse in the sense that this movie does neither of them any favors. Lloyd (Carrey) is a complete jerk in this film. The things he did in the first film made you feel sorry for him because he still had a heart for his best friend. A kind of child like innocence if you will. In this movie, he does horrible things and mocks people, and it gives his character an understanding why no one wants anything to do with him. Harry (Daniels) doesn’t have enough meaningful dialogue in this film to compete with Carrey for on screen time. The first film makes both characters feel equal in screen time, and equal in hilarious moments. This movie is clearly the Jim Carrey show. New actors to the film include Kathleen Turner as the infamous “Fraida Felcher”, Rob Riggle playing two roles as twin brothers, Laurie Holden as the film’s main antagonist, and the big screen introduction to Rachel Melvin as Fraida’s daughter, Penny. Melvin in particular is a welcome addition as she feels a lot like the stupid innocence characters of the first film. How nice it would be to have someone equally as charming for her to bounce off of. The comedy is at many times disgusting with no real punch line for a laugh out loud moment. That’s the biggest problem with this film; no moments that will have the audience clutching their stomachs in laughter. There are a handful of moments that gave me the quick giggle, but nothing that will ever be nearly as memorable as it’s predecessor. I almost feel like they waited too long to make a movie like this. Then again, the original is a movie that didn’t need a sequel to begin with. It’s all a big cash grab for an actor (Carrey) who said he would never be in a sequel to one of his original movies again. After seeing this, i wish he had the strength to hold on to his original morals. “Dumb and Dumber Too” is awful by even sequel standards. The movie knows how paper thin it is by even showing scenes from the first movie in a side by side with a similar scene from the sequel during the post movie credits. If there is one good thing from this film, it makes you want to run home and watch the original movie to have the laughs you waited 105 minutes for during this snorefest. Some people will enjoy this film. I’m not foolish enough for a minute to think there isn’t an audience for this somewhere. I just don’t think anyone on this planet will ever have to think even for a second when they are asked which film is better. I don’t recommend this movie. Instead, i say stick with the original. No matter how many times you watch it, that movie will never feel as paper thin as this pointless sequel.

Ouija

MV5BMTQ1NzcwMTU5MF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwOTE5MzEyMjE@__V1_SX214_AL_

3/10

The world’s of the silver screen and the board game collide in this possession haunt. Ouija tells the story of a group of friends who must confront their most terrifying fears when they awaken the dark powers of an ancient spirit board. There isn’t much of a surprise when Ouija comes up mostly empty in the 85 minute run time it tries to stretch out. The film feels double of this run time mainly because it’s pacing is terribly misconstrued in a PG-13 rating that¬†suffers even further because of it. The film stars Bates Motel’s Olivia Cooke, and this is an actress who is MUCH better than the roles she chooses. This film isn’t as bad as her earlier 2014 film, The Signal, but this film isn’t doing her any favors. It’s a role that is too generic for someone like her to take on. The strange thing is that the movie doesn’t even really do anything terribly wrong, it’s just an antagonizingly boring effort. The visuals that the movie does conjure up certainly is not anything we haven’t seen from better films in the last two years. The dialogue is something on the line of early 90’s teenage shows like “Saved By The Bell”, and it just makes you care less and less about these characters and their survival. The movie’s ending is unforgiving to even the couple of people who are interested enough to stick around for nearly an hour and a half. There was a group of teenagers a couple rows ahead of me, and they enjoyed the film until the ending when i heard one yell “THAT’S IT?”. Even though i hated the film, i was kind of surprised along the same lines. First of all, the evil spirit haunting the group of friends is easily defeated to where any pee brain could figure it out. Lets put it like this, the person who dies second or third in a Friday the 13th film, would breeze through the villain in this movie. Once the spirit is defeated, the film continues on for ten more minutes for absolutely no reason what so ever. The camera cuts to black because it feels like we ran out of film rather than produce a real ending. It’s not as bad as 2012’s “The Devil Inside”, but it gives the whole presentation a pointless film. What’s the saddest about a movie like this is that it will still make a ton of money and inspire ten other films just like it. I think that is the biggest problem with horror films today; they have no reason to strive for better because they have an easily pleasable teenage audience just itching for the next one. Ouija by all accounts is a boring game that (SURPRISE SURPRISE) crosses over to a boring film. I would only recommend it if you absolutely need to catch up on sleep that you have been depraved of. If i want real Halloween scares, i will settle for a heart pounding game of Candy Land. Ouija is shamelessly…….BORING.

Annabelle

MV5BMjM2MTYyMzk1OV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNDg2MjMyMjE@__V1_SX214_AL_

3/10

A couple begin to experience terrifying supernatural occurrences involving a vintage doll shortly after their home is invaded by a satanic cult. Annabelle is the prequel to 2013’s The Conjuring based on the backstory of the most terrifying gag of that film, a demon possessed doll named Annabelle. “The Conjuring” was probably my favorite horror film easily of the last five years because it affected it’s audience psychologically instead of the cheap jump scares that Hollywood horror films have been famous for over the past two decades. “Annabelle” goes back on all of the greatness that it’s predecessor has created. It’s a dull, uninspired, and lazily acted film that adds nothing to the genre, and makes you wish you were watching something better from the films it steals it’s inspirations from. “Child’s Play” came out in 1988, and it’s a film that has one of those premises that is hard to rip it off without people seeing that you legitimately stole from that film. This movie is the exact same premise, possession, and goal of the doll as it’s 1988 counterpart. What i liked about the doll in “The Conjuring” was that she was mysterious and even a little believable in the way that Annabelle never moved or winked or said a word. Her charms were in her abilities to look at a camera and have the audience shriek at the eyes of a demon that she possesses. That is the first thing that this movie does wrong; it gives away her origins for a story that isn’t very interesting. My biggest question coming out of this film is how this doll isn’t classified as police evidence when the authorities arrive at the doorstep of our main protagonists. It’s logic like that which will make the watchers at home roll their eyes. But what makes the viewer really lose their interest in this film is the lack of delivery from how the camera never knows when to cut. There were scenes that lasted 5-10 minutes with beautiful suspenseful music playing to almost ear shattering levels when the scene just ends. I kind of compare this film’s problems to that of “Godzilla” this year, in which it never delivered on the things it was teasing the whole film. We got so many looks from Annabelle that you were just waiting for her terror to be unleashed at any moment. Things eventually start happening towards the end of the film, and it concludes with a brutally nauseating ending that makes you wonder how that was supposed to solve the problem to begin with. I mentioned before that the acting was awful, and boy do i mean it. The actors resemble hardcore pornography actors, and their acting only supports my theory. These two (Played by Annabelle Wallis and Ward Horton) are more wooden than the damn doll is. How is it that the depth of a character who barely moves and doesn’t talk is more emotionally gifted than that of two characters who soak up all of the 93 minute run time? The musical score of the film did give me a little enjoyment with the classic violen infamously known in James Wan films. There is also one scene that i legitimately liked involving an elevator not going to the floor that Wallis needs. I have been getting some recommendations on how i feel about kids seeing the films that i see. I don’t think Annabelle has anything terribly bad in it when it comes to gore. There are some bloody scenes, but nothing crazy. It’s more about the cheesy imagery of the demons that it presents as nightmare candy. With that said, i wouldn’t recommend the film to anyone under the age of 10 years old. The language is clean, the sex is non existent, but the imagery might make the wrong impression on a little one who doesn’t quite know that this is only a movie. “Annabelle” presents characters and situations that easily sets itself up for mocking by the awful “Scary Movie” franchise. The sixth version of that franchise will have enough gags and jokes from “Annabelle” to give the audience another torturing 90 minute film. If that isn’t enough to make you truly hate this movie, then i don’t know what is. I would only recommend “Annabelle” as a rental, but even that is pushing it.

Good People

MV5BMTQxOTk5ODc0Nl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNDA3MzExMjE@__V1_SY317_CR2,0,214,317_AL_

3/10

Young American couple Tom and Anna Reed (James Franco and Kate Hudson) fall into severe debt while renovating Anna’s family home in London. As the couple faces the loss of their dream to have a house and start a family, they discover that the tenant in the apartment below them has been murdered and he left behind a stash of cash-$400,000 worth. Though initially hesitant, Tom and Anna decide that the plan is simple: all they have to do is quietly take the money and use only what’s necessary to get them out of debt. But when they start spending the money and can’t seem to stop, they find themselves the targets of a gang who stole the money. I found Good People to be one of the most ridiculously cliche and boring films of the year. The first thing wrong with the film is the terrible casting job of Franco and Hudson. This film is a shoot em up action style chase movie reminiscent of Luc Besson films, so what made the casting director ever think James Franco was the perfect person for this style? The good news is that he doesn’t play the role as comedic James Franco, but the bad news is that it’s a step back from his role as the villain in 2013’s “Homefront”. This feels like a paycheck collector for both Franco and Hudson as their personalities are practically muted and the two feel like shells of their former characteristics. Besides the casting, the movie is just too slow paced. The action is done pretty well and explosively, but it takes the film 43 minutes of it’s 82 minute run time to get started. I get that a film has to build it’s plot, but it’s SO SLOW within that opening first act. Tom Wilkinson gives the film what little charge it has playing an FBI agent tracking down the stolen money. It’s funny to see Tom’s reactions to our two protagonists explaining their reasons for stealing the money because he looks at them like idiots. That right there is the biggest problem within the film; our main characters are completely stupid. As the title suggests, i don’t doubt that these are good people, but they also are not the smartest people on the block. A man gets murdered in his apartment and their first instinct is to collect cash that they find is obviously hidden. Maybe it’s just because i have watched so many of these films before, but with the house trashed it’s obvious the murderers were looking for something. With Franco and Hudson living upstairs, who do you think is the first door that this gang will knock on? SPOILERS SPOILERS – If this isn’t enough, the ending is by far the most hilarious part of this film. Our couple meets with the gang at Anna’s childhood home to give them the money. It’s an obvious set up that is put together by Wilkinson, but the gang doesn’t know this. When they get there, it’s traps gallore. One guy falls through a floor and is impaled onto spikes, one guy two nail gun shots in the feet, and much more. My first instinct was that this was a rated R version of Home Alone, and by then i was seriously as done with this film as i was ever going to be. In the end, the couple live and are being treated in a hospital when Tom Wilkinson comes by to visit them. He gives them some of the “Lost cash” for them to keep. The moral here boys and girls is that you should always steal cash that isn’t yours. More moral backbone from a film that is too predictable and doesn’t add anything to the genre. I definitely do not recommend this film. Even if you are an action film buff, there isn’t enough of the good stuff here to keep anyone interested. In closing, sometimes good people do bad things, and sometimes they make bad movies. I’m calling out director Henrik Ruben Genz on this one. Terrible film.

As Above So Below

MV5BMTQzNzg0NDI2MF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMzgxNzY2MTE@__V1_SX214_AL_

3.5/10

A team of explorers search for a lost rock beneath the catacombs of Paris, France in the newest found footage film designed to give you nightmares. As Above So Below is the worst kind of film that you could possibly encounter for an array of reasons. The first is that the plot is actually intriguing enough to get your curriosity flowing. I did a report on the Paris Catacombs in high school, and the caves in them are just begging for a scary movie to be made down there. You get sucked in and then you immediatly regret the decision to spend money on it when you see the presentation. Even for found footage movies, the camera work in this film is awful. Most of the time, you find yourself confused on what you are looking at. It is even more aggravating when a character will say “Look at that” and you can’t tell for one second what is present in front of the camera. It moves around too much and that hurts a film that relies on scary visuals. I won’t say it’s pointless because for once it actually makes sense why everything is being recorded. The main character of the film (Perdita Weeks) is being interviewed for a documentary about her uncovering some great mysteries in the catacombs. Each character is equipped with a helmet camera and it makes sense. What sucks is that we get the feel of constant quick reactions every time a character is scared or hears something. Another thing that annoyed me about the film was just how conveniently these characters figured out mysteries that are a thousand years old. Like i’m sure no one else figured out to touch a tombstone a certain way to get the wall to move, or no one else could figure out the verbal clues given on the walls all around the catacombs. Our characters figure things out like they are sharing the same brain, and it’s aggravating because unless you study alchemy or ancient scriptures, it will all be greek to you. I found myself still stuck on the start of the sentence when these characters have already figured out what moves walls. I mentioned Alchemy before because it’s interesting how much of this film is more about that than Hell and the Devil. I was led to believe that this was a movie about the gates of Hell, but it turns out that it’s more about rocks and the powers that they behold. The film is only 88 minutes and the first 50 or so establishes nothing with no death scenes and not much backstory for the characters. When the film has about 20 minutes left, it starts killing off characters because the movie needs to end soon and we haven’t done much with the threats of this cave. It’s just utterly sloppy. The ending is so frustrating because it’s more of the “Love conquers all” kind of thing. It’s crazy because you wouldn’t expect anything like that in a movie like this. It seriously made me angry the way that this film ends because it’s unlike anything you would ever dream up. I found myself asking how this ending couldn’t have been done 40 minutes prior to this. I won’t give much away, but it’s a solution that was right in front of our characters eyes the whole time. The lone thing i enjoyed about this film was the setting of the actual catacombs. I appreciate that this film was shot mostly in the Paris caves as it shows more on camera than you are used to seeing in documentaries. I just wish the setting had a better story to capitalize on what could’ve been the scariest film of the year. I definitely cannot recommend this film to anyone as it is one of the worst films i have seen in 2014. In closing, if above is anything like below, then leave it as well as this film buried with Paris’s terrible past. The Catacombs hold the remains of about six million people. Hopefully the film won’t affect as many people.

Clouds of Sils Maria

MV5BMjA4NDk0MjA5NF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMjc5Nzk3MTE@__V1_SY317_CR10,0,214,317_AL_

3/10

The worlds of art and life immitate each other in this story about a celebrated actress who accepts a different role in a play she starred in 20 years earlier. Juliette Binoche is Maria, she picks and chooses the roles she accepts very carefully, and shows she stands for something with the projects she undertakes. She is traveling with her personal assistant Valentine (Kristen Stewart) to accept a lifetime achievement award for the playwright and director who launched her career. On the way, they learn that the celebrated director has passed away. At the gala, an up and coming director offers Maria the chance to star in a reboot of the play that made her famous, this time portraying the part of the older woman that the young woman in the play seduces and destroys. Maria reluctantly accepts, and as she attempts to find her way into the other character, she learns more about her new young co-star Jo-Ann (Chloe Grace Moretz), a talented but troubled teen the tabloids have made a fixture for her tantrums and bad behavior. “Clouds of Sils Maria” is a film that has been getting a lot of critical praise on review websites like Rotten Tomatoes (90%), and IMDB (4.8/5). After watching it, i can say that i am in the minority of those figures, as i felt the film that was stylistically shot lacked anything in terms of emotional substance or release. A huge problem facing this film is that we are left with more questions leaving the film than we were going in. Binoche was good as Maria, and it was quite interesting to see her play a dominantly english speaking role, as i have only seen her in French films. Her character hides a lot inside mostly due to her life in the public eye. For instance, it’s clearly obvious that she has legitimate feelings for Valentine, but the movie never explores this possible romance between the women even though it’s staring us in the face the entire movie. SPOILERS – Valentine disappears with twenty minutes left in the movie, and we never find out what happened to her. Did she quit as Maria’s assistant because she couldn’t have her romantically? Did she fall off a trail ledge and die? NOTHING IS GIVEN. Stewart is OK in this role, but once again i had trouble believing anything she said. I think she has the ability to be a great actress, but she has to get lost in the roles she takes on. Most of the scenes are Binoche and Stewart practicing lines to this play that we never get to see the entire film, and it’s in those pulse draining moments that we learn absolutely nothing about these characters except the feelings they have for each other. It’s funny because i watched Binoche for over two hours and still felt i knew nothing about her personally, and everything about her as an actress. If that’s what director Olivier Assayas was going for then fine, but it doesn’t make for an exciting movie when 80% of it is stage preperation. Chloe Moretz is in the movie for maybe a total of ten minutes, THAT’S IT!!! Considering the dependancy of this play relies on her negativity to stay out of the tabloids, i expected we would get more from her. She plays a character similar to Lindsay Lohan or Amanda Bynes, and there was one scene that made me want to stop the movie despite having an hour left. Moretz is being interviewed at a podium over some recent DUI problems she had and her answers are making the press laugh with every one given. The laugh track used in post production is absolutely terrifying, and this film loses any seriousness it gained with the beautiful landscape shots of the Sils Maria mountainside. The biggest cavity this film has is a scene when it is mocking the superhero genre of Hollywood. This scene seems to be nothing, but pretentious commentary from the director as to say these movies are a stain on Hollywood. They show a clip with Chloe Moretz portrayinng one of these superheroes, and it’s terrible even for parody standards. The clip shows Moretz with a leather suit and red wig, and ZERO special effects. Is Assayas foolish enough to believe for a second that The Avengers or X Men looked even remotely this bad? Don’t get me wrong, i’m not a backer for superhero films. I have more than had my fair share of problems with the genre in the last five years, but if you say the genre stinks and your parody is worse than what does that say about your movie? Even worse, these scenes feel like they come out of nowhere and don’t meche anywhere close to the first hour of the movie. The plot of this movie is contrived and nonsensical, and i have no desire to recommend this film to anyone. 90%? 90%? 90%? I respect others opinions, but how did a movie this amateur seem acceptable to so many people? This was easily one of the worst films i have seen in 2014, and if my words mean anything to you, you distance yourself from it like a plague

Lets Be Cops

MV5BMjI3MDY2ODQwNF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNjUzNjE4MTE@__V1_SX214_AL_

3.5/10

Two friends unsatisfied with the way their lives are going decide to take matters into their own hands portraying Los Angeles police officers when they are anything but. The movie stars New Girl Tv stars Damon Wayans JR and Jake Johnson as the comic duo. Lets Be Cops does nothing for their comedic chemistry that is shown on their TV show. Not much comes out in their portrayals of Justin and Ryan. The film itself wasn’t funny, terribly paced, and completely didn’t make any kind of sense in even the furthest stretched minds. For instance, Ryan was a college football star quarterback for Purdue University (Located in Indiana) yet they have a college reunion in LA. Did everyone decide to fly across the country for a college reunion or is this movie stupid enough to think it or we believe that Purdue is in California? That is just the tip of the iceburg with the absence of reality in this movie. Another factor is that if you can get by the fact that these two can portray cops and not get caught, they respond to every operator mission without calling it in. The cops never run into them while they are at the scene or the real L.A.P.D never stops to ask themselves how this call got answered when it wasn’t radio responded to begin with. The film was 100 minutes long, and that was way too long for a story that is entirely too easy to begin with. The movie’s awful pacing tells us everything that we need to know about our characters, the story, and the villains within the first half hour. The other 70 minutes drag without anything that remotely resembles a laugh in the slightest way. It’s sad that this is the debut of these two stars who have made such an impact in the TV world. Wayans in particular deserved a much better script with a title that is anything but generic. The one positive that i took from this movie was the performance of Rob Riggle. He is an actor who usually sticks pretty close to the same loud comdedic schtick in all of his movie, but Lets Be Cops saw him take on the role of a 90’s action star. It was such a fresh look for a character who makes you smile every time you see him on screen. You smile because you are used to getting ready to laugh for anything that comes out of this guy’s mouth. In this movie, they let him play the straight man without demeaning his character in the slightest way. Because our two main characters are annoying and fearful, Riggle is actually the guy we find ourselves cheering for. The rave reviews stop there however because Lets Be Cops is just a terrible movie. What frightens me the most about this film is that New Girl enthusiasts will see the movie and even enjoy the movie because Coach and Nick Miller are in it. I challenge you the viewer to demand more out of a comedy that had every chance to be enjoyable and just wasn’t. If you are paying attention, you the viewer will see lots of hilarious setups and payoffs that you have already thought of in your head. What happens is opposite of what you think, and it’s a lot less humorous of a result. The ending is terribly predictable mainly because we have seen this kind of zero to hero movie played out hundreds of times. There are some cameos that add a drip of comedic water for an audience already thirsty beyond it’s needs. Overall, i don’t recommend this movie at all. As i said before, New Girl fans will watch it and like it for it’s stars, but it’s just not a good movie at all. It’s sloppily made and just too long to push a genric story that comes off more as an action movie because it certainly isn’t funny. Instead of being cops, Wayans and Johnson should’ve aimed to be entertaining. Maybe then it wouldn’t have been one of the worst comedies of 2014.

Sex Tape

MV5BNDYzMzg5OTA0Ml5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNjQzNzExMjE@__V1_SX214_AL_

3/10

After getting finished with Sex Tape, i couldn’t help but compare the film to that of an actual porno movie. No, not for the charming reasons you are probably thinking, but because it’s like after you watch one scene you feel like you have seen them all. Jason Segal and Cameron Diaz try to rekindle the kind of chemistry they shared on Bad Teacher in Director Jake Kasden’s newest film. Kasden also directed Bad Teacher, so it’s completely understandable why he cast Diaz and Segal as his main characters in this film that is neither funny nor intelligent. I am not an idiot to think that a movie called “Sex Tape” is going to have much going for it at all, but the biggest problem i had with the title is that the movie is very tame. There has been a lot of commotion for seeing Diaz’s butt in this film and it didn’t really give me anything that i felt was noteworthy. Compared to what we see on our own TV’s nowadays, a naked butt hardly turns the gears. The couple in question make a sex tape to spice up their boring marriage. They find out the next day that they send the tape out to other people because it is synched into Segal’s Ipad and all of his friends have his former Ipads, so it sinks to them as well. This concept alone is a little far fetched, but it’s the things that are right under your nose that make you really scratch your head. For starters, how could he give his friends all of these devices and yet still not un-sync the things that connect to his own Ipad? How does he afford all these Ipads when he either doesn’t have a job or doesn’t work many hours? Either way, the film never tells us what he does. Another question is how he knows all of this about technology and about the Ipad itself, but doesn’t know that you can erase the file from going to other synched pads by erasing it from the master Ipad? It’s logic like this that made a film with terrible acting (another porn cliche) and awkward dialogue even worse. I would say that the film is dirty enough that no kid under the age of 16 should be watching it. One thing that completely took me out of enjoying the film any time i tried to get into it was the constant advertisement for Apple and their products. For those of you who read my reviews often, you know i absolutely hate when a movie whores out it’s products just to make a quick buck. This movie is absolutely no exception because it gives us times where the plot freezes to describe what the new Ipad does. One line in particular is Segal talking to Diaz saying “The new Ipad’s have amazing cameras, and the options are so versatile”. This film rivals only Spider-Man 2 as the film with the most shameless plugs of the year. One thing that will always find me on the negative side of a review. If there was one thing i enjoyed about the film it’s Rob Lowe. Lowe is cast as Diaz’s squeaky clean boss, but when they have to go to his home to get his Ipad they find that there is more to him under the collar. It’s hilarious to see Rob cast as a hardcore rock rebel with paintings of his face hung up around the house based on Walt Disney movies. The scenes with him were the only ones that gave me an honest laugh, and this film definitely could’ve used more of that. Rob Coddry and Ellie Kemper also appear as best friends of the main couple, but they don’t have enough to do, and when they do appear it just feels too forced. On a side note that has absolutely nothing to do with the movie, could someone find out if Jason Segal has botox treatments done? his upper lip looks like he got out of the dentist’s chair before the numbness wore off. It bothered the hell out of me watching him talk through the whole movie. The verdict? With neither the dedication to embrace its dirty premise nor enough laughs to function as a worthwhile rom-com, the flaccid Sex Tape suffers from cinematic impotence. Skip it

The Signal

MV5BMTA2MDc5MDQ2MTVeQTJeQWpwZ15BbWU4MDY4Njc3NDEx__V1_SX214_AL_

3.5/10

Never before has a movie left me with such difficulty to write a review. I absolutely despised this film for so many reasons that i worry i won’t get them all out in this writing. The Signal is the story of three college students who are on a road trip across the west when they experience the hacking of a computer genius who reveals that this person already has taken over the cameras on their laptops and is currently watching them. The trio decide to go after him only to find themselves in the middle of an isolated area with alien activity. They are taken to a secret lab that has it’s share of hidden agendas, and the students are experimented on there. Beyond that, i can’t explain to you much about what i understood about this film, and that is the biggest problem that The Signal suffers from. It’s a great and original idea on the surface but it’s so poorly executed that director/writer William Eubank probably won’t be writing the screenplay in his next movie. So many things are so poorly explained that the viewer will have more questions coming out of the 90 minute run time than they did going in. Another big problem is that this movie lacked the science in the phrase science fiction. We just don’t get enough shots or talk in the world of the alien intelligence. How can a film whose trailer was flooded in extraterrestrial talk have so little of it in the movie? The performances sadly are nothing to write home about. Laurence Fishburne is probably the best as a soft spoken scientist named Damon who has many conversations with group leader Nic (Brenton Thwaites). Fishburne is pretty much on sleep mode throughout the whole film and that is a shame. If this film had the great moments from a top leading performance it could’ve at least broken into territory that this film never had a chance of reaching. Olivia Cooke has stolen my heart since premiering on Bates Motel, but she just doesn’t have enough screen time here to make a difference. She was the lone good spot in The Quiet Ones but that is because the director knew where his talent was stacked. It’s almost insulting to see her take a back seat to two actors (Thwaites and Beau Knapp) who can never generate a solid emotion from the audience. As for the film’s pacing, it’s so completely boring. The chase scenes in the laboratories even feel too rushed to ever give us the time to invest in the safety of these characters. It feels very artificial without any kind of intelligence. The big reveals at the end of the film aren’t very shocking at all because it doesn’t make the viewer feel like they have earned the money they just spent on this trash. The secret of Fishburne’s character is something that is so childish and poorly written that it reminded me of the reveal of BENSON (Ben’s Son) in I Still Know What You Did Last Summer. Just awful. When my Mother asked me why i didn’t like the movie i told her because i couldn’t explain what just happened. If i can’t explain anything and leave the theater with some legitimately good questions towards the film, how can i ever say i enjoyed it? Besides the idea of the college kids being the gateway from us the humans to the other species, this film builds the tension decent enough, it’s just a shame that the payoff is never big enough to warrant the trouble. The lighting is excellent, the camera work is very stellar with lots of excellent editing in the form of flashbacks from the characters mindset. Overall, what really upsets me the most about this film in general is it’s wasted potential. More answers and less with the characters on mute could’ve pushed a winner out of Eubank’s script. Instead, we’re left abandoned in the desert without any signal of hope.

Deliver Us From Evil

MV5BMjE2MDMwNTY2MF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMjQ5MDE5MTE@__V1_SX214_AL_

3.5/10

One of the things i hate the most about reviewing films is when i feel like i have watched the same movie for the 34th time. This is a result of watching the latest possession film directed by The Exorcism of Emily Rose’s own Scott Derrickson. The film stars Eric Bana in the real life story of New York Police officer, Ralph Sarchie. Ralph works in the paranormal crimes unit fielding calls to the darkest and most satanic of New York’s citizens. He himself does not believe in God and this what blinds him from his work being brought home to him. Soon, his wife and child experience paranormal activity going on in the house that includes toys coming to life (Poltergeist) and children’s voices being heard in Ralph’s head (An American Haunting). That is the biggest problem that makes this film one of my least favorite of the year, it has no original direction. There are some cool albeit laughable effects that happen with the makeup and props department, but none of it feels like anything we haven’t already seen 100 times. Just in the last couple years alone we have had The Quiet Ones, Paranormal Activity films, Sinister, Insidious one and two, The Conjuring, and Devil’s Due. This genre is being completely overrun and as a result it is making every film worst than the last. This film is full of goodies when the Scary Movie franchise wants to make their 14th film in that series. You can’t even be legitimately scared anymore of any of these gags because they set themselves up for an easy parody. Deliver Us From Evil is terribly over acted, and that is sad because Bana is a decent actor in a film that suits his style of acting. This definitely isn’t it. Olivia Munn is in the film for about five total minutes, and that is a shame because i feel like the relationship between husband and wife would’ve impacted how we as the viewers cared about them when they got in trouble. Edgar Ramirez plays possibly the worst priest i have ever seen in my life. He drinks, he smokes, he has sex, and he curses often. I get that the bad ass priest routine is 2014, but there is nothing about this guy that makes me believe for a second that he is a priest or that he studied for this role. The only character i even remotely enjoyed was the goofball of the film, Butler played by Joel Mchale. He almost stops to look at the screen to laugh with the audience on how ridiculous some of these scenes really are, and nobody does sarcastic humor better than Mchale. The atmospheres are well done, but the pacing of the scares ruin any kind of momentum denying the audience to ever remotely scream out in terror. The story itself is also easy to get lost in. I followed pretty thoroughly and there were still parts that i had to go back and remember about because so much gets thrown on you at once. By the time the ending hit, i was so bored out of my mind that i could care less what happened with the ending. The ending though is something we need to talk about. SPOILERS SPOILERS!!!!! So in the final 20 minutes of the film, Sarchie’s wife and daughter are kidnapped by the possessed guy Sarchie is hunting with the priest side by side. They arrest the possessed man and are asking him questions while he is still possessed. There are two stupid things with this scenario. 1. Do you really think a man supposedly under the possession of Satan is going to just hand over the woman and the girl? And 2. Why would a man possessed who has killed everyone he has encountered up to this point keep these two alive? I didn’t realize that possession was all about kidnapping and stupid setups for the convenient ending of Sarchie finding them. Perhaps the worst thing about this movie isn’t even anything i mentioned above but the film ruins the music of The Doors for me. It is played throughout the movie to the same effect that Quiet Riot plays in The Quiet Ones or The Rolling Stones play in Fallen. DAMMIT!!! That’s two more possession movies that this film rips off. Deliver Us From Evil suffers from the purest of all evils; evil script, evil acting, and an evil 109 minutes that i will never ever get back.

The Quiet Ones

MV5BMzM5OTQxNTQwNV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNjE4NzMxMTE@__V1_SX214_AL_

3.5/10

Hammer Productions return with the latest film in the possession genre, The Quiet Ones. It stars Jared Harris as a college psych professor in the 70’s who leads a paranormal study about a supposed possessed woman on if she is really haunted or terrifyingly disturbed. I can’t really say this film was a disappointment as i didn’t expect much out of it. I can truly say that i didn’t think it would be as bad as it was. Director John Pogue definitely brings the Hammer feel with him as this film is beautifully produced with that 70’s glossy camera kind of feel. I think that the setting is what people are going to remember the most about this film years from now, and that could be a good thing as most of the other parts of this film are a complete waste of your time. The movie relies on the cheap kind of scares to move it’s audience. It’s the exact reason why i loved recent horror films like The Conjuring and Sinister. They didn’t rely on jump scares with loud frightening sounds out of nowhere to scare the audience. That is one thing that is constantly annoying about this film; the audio is set to 11 on the amplifiers. I worried about going deaf before i even remotely got scared. The film also recites the 2014 horror movie problems with not knowing how to end it’s film. The ending we get is the same one we got in Devil’s Due, and it’s just extremely lazy. What happened to closure (good or bad) in a horror movie? The script itself is very sloppy with random scenes coming out of nowhere to see what sticks. It seems that this film was written with just a series of ideas and not a story to bring them all together.This film has a lot of CGI problems in the form of fire and a Ghostbusters looking creature coming out of a character’s throat. When the ladder scene happens, it almost looks like something out of The Thing. The problem is that this is 2014, and computer effects should not be looking that bad. Besides the setting, the only other thing i enjoyed was the lead 3 actors, Harris, Sam Claifin and Olivia Cooke. Harris is just too good for this film. His dialogue is charming, witty and very fast paced. He is years ahead of the writers of this film. Claifin is the character we learn the most about as the movie goes on. He is the one we can relate the most to, and this is because of his pity for this girl who is the subject of no sleep and many brutal tests. Cooke is outstanding as the possessed woman, Jane Harper. She quickly won my respct in Bates Motel, and she puts a lot into a possession victim. That isn’t always the easiest role to play, as you are playing a role that is being controlled by an entity that you have no idea how to control. She gives Jane a sweet side that hasn’t been emotionally represented this well since Emily Rose. The Quiet Ones is a film that sets itself up like a Frankenstein creature that never comes to life by the final act. It’s good for performances, but could be so much better if it had a complete story to go with it. Not recommended.