As Above So Below

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

Endless Love

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3/10

This remake of the 1981 deranged love story is anything but a remake. The 2014 version of Endless Love takes us on a completely different road than the original or it’s literature origins. Infact, the only thing similar to those two things is the title and two very small scenes. Everything else is a Dawson’s Creek style re-imagining of what is supposed to be a crazy story. Jade and David are two teenagers who meet during graduation, and David reveals that he has always had a crush on Jade. The two characters are about as emotionless as possible for a story of this magnitude. Jade is the most spoiled and defiant teenager towards her parents that i have ever seen. So much so that it makes it hard to believe this girl is going to school to become a doctor. David has no personality at all. He seems to be stuck between this blank face and a 360 turn in emotions which i will get to later. Every other character though, feels like a model of who they are supposed to represent. There is the snob father of Jade (Played by Bruce Greenwood), the rugged and rough father of David (Played by Robert Patrick) and even the rich mayflower setting. Don’t get me wrong, the setting is one of the only things i liked about this film. The background mixes with a nice folk rock score that perfectly sets the mood for the tale it is telling. Kudos also to the camera people in this film for beautiful shots and shading to represent the moods the characters are going through. The lighting alone is enough to raise the review up one point. The only problem with this setting is that we don’t relate well to the characters. Even David doesn’t seem like one of us. They have different morals and living than the typical viewer seeing this film. So it ends up giving us an anatomy of a stranger. One of the biggest things i look for in a film is my ability to relate to the characters. After seeing the trailer, i was very surprised with the kind of movie i got. I figured it was a remake of the 81 original, so we would get a story similar to 1994’s “Fear”. Instead, this story is a mushy bore that follows into the genre without ever giving us anything new. Midway through the story, the characters change without any warning. The father of Jade becomes a psychopath, and David becomes an emotionally damaged soul based on a frightening past. This happens without any warning what so ever. A couple of things happen towards the end of the film that turn it into an ABC Family movie of the week. The setups and outcomes are predictable and that is the most annoying part of the ending. You feel like you could have predicted what happened in this film just by watching the trailer. The women will probably want to see this movie, and that is fine. What i tell the female readers is that this film doesn’t add anything special. If you have seen one of these films, you have seen them all. I can’t recommend this film as a whole. It’s a book with a lot daring new ground turned into a Nicolas Sparks film. Thank God this love isn’t endless, and only goes 105 minutes.

Vampire Academy

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3.5/10 – Combine “Clueless” with your typical Vampire genre entry and you will have Vampire Academy. The problem with that comparison is that it doesn’t have the memorable lines of Clueless, or the creativity of a 1960’s vampire film. What you are left with is a hip and sexy look at one of the oldest genres in cinema history. This film to me tries to even cash in on some of what made the Harry Potter franchise a success. It creates a cool school where the kids are vampires and carry magical powers. It just doesn’t work when you are talking about something as dark as vampires. I get what producer Don Murphy was trying to do here. He was taking six books in this genre and picking apart the best parts to grab the teen audience into coming along for a ride the same way Twilight did. I think that is my biggest problem with this film; it lacks originality. Zoey Deutch and Lucy Fry star as two vampire teenagers who run away from their high school only to be dragged back after a year on the road. Deutch and Fry are two actresses who i feel could do a lot better in a straight comedy flick. They are too unbelievable to be in this role. They dress sexy, they say the cool lines and they never once seem like they are in danger. I did appreciate the attempt at classifying multiple vampire groups like the Strigori. I wish they would have explored the different families in that respect more and left the teenage lingo out of it. These girls are teenagers and so are their target audience, but it’s just so BORING for anyone outside of that group. The film clocks in at around 100 minutes, and you feel every single minute of it. It’s easy to get lost in the explanation of the families and what powers they possess because the stories carry on and on. There was a nice twist near the end of the movie which i thought was by far the best part of the movie. Other than that, the dialogue is laughable, the CGI is terrible and the fight scenes lack dedication. This film currently holds an 11% on Rotten Tomatoes and it’s easy to see why. I call out directors in children’s movies who treat kids like idiots, so i am calling out the same in teenage genres. I can totally get behind those of you enjoying these books. After skimming through their premises, i can clearly say that they sound like a decent read. But the film dumbs everything that you liked about the books and says sometimes books should just be left alone. I recommend this to the Twilight crowd, but no one else. To those people, i would still wait for DVD.

I Frankenstein

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3/10

This movie had the ability to be so much better than it was. Aaron Eckhart’s latest role puts him as the creature himself from the famous legend. First of all, i had no idea Eckhart was actually playing the creature. I was led to believe he was Dr. Frankenstein. It is this casting alone that has a lot to do with what is wrong in I,Frankenstein. From anyone who has read the Frankenstein novels to anyone who has seen the countless number of films, they know what the creature is supposed to represent. He’s a tall, slow and practically brain dead science experiment that returns from the grave. The character that Eckhart plays is the EXACT opposite of those things. He’s quick, intelligent and even a master swordsman. This Frankenstein can do it all, ladies and gentlemen. Don’t get me wrong, i love Aaron Eckhart but the man clearly doesn’t belong in this role. For those of you who say this is a new take on an old tale, you would be wrong. They even talk about the events of the past films/books at the beginning of this movie.This film just picks what it liked about the Frankenstein story and leaves out the rest. Besides this, the film has cheesy CGI and laughable death scenes that haven’t been seen since Van Helsing. Frankenstein is in the middle of a modern day war between gargoyles and demons. When a demon dies, they float to hell on a fire streak. Ya know, because fire represent bad. When a gargoyle dies, they float to heaven on a beautiful blue streak. Because blue equal good guy. I hope i came off sounding like a moron in those last sentences, it was intended. That’s not to say that this film doesn’t have good ideas. The story of the creature in the middle of this war had the ability to be a great after story, but because it never feels like Frankenstein we are never fully invested. The scenery is something straight out of an Underworld movie. There is nothing wrong with that, as i always felt Underworld had some beautiful landscapes with great shading. The fighting choreography is also beautiful in sync. They definitely had great intensity with every fight from countless amounts of gargoyle and demon armies. The ending is laughable (Unintended) and takes away from any creative buildup that the movie gains in the first 80 minutes. Coming into this film, i wasn’t expecting much from it. I was a little wrong in that regards. I, Frankenstein is a film that isn’t quite the monster that critics have dismissed it to be. There is a little something there behind the dead eyes of a nonsensical script. With the right casting and a little less overbearing CGI, this film could have been near the top of the list for January releases. I would recommend this film to a very small audience, and that is the people who have seen and loved every Underworld movie. I think you will get a kick out of this movie. If it’s your intention to see I,Frankenstein, wait until the dollar theaters.

The Nut Job

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3.5/10

This is the angriest i have been at a film in a long time. The continuing trend of Hollywood studios treating children like they’re idiots, continues with The Nut Job. This film is the equivalent to a cheesy joke told at a party with friends. It’s an unfunny and uninteresting mess.The film stars a couple squirrels (Will Arnett and Katherine Heigl) who are literally fighting over nuts to feed a park of other animals. The biggest pain in the film is how many times they use the “Nut pun” OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER again. I think the audience understood the first time that nuts is a dirty pun that you can use as a sexual innuendo. It’s childish the first time and mind numbing by time 1,456. The voice acting is what gives this film as high of a rating as it is. Liam Neeson is outstanding once again. This time he is a villain who is the park’s leader as he is harboring a secret plan to starve them all out. Neeson is one of those actors who doesn’t need a face to truly grasp the emotion that he is delivering. Even in a script this stupid, he finds a way to make his character menacing. The 3D is totally useless. There is absolutely no reason that this film had to be in 3D except to make Pixar own even more of your wallet. There is one part in the film that didn’t make sense to me, but by the film’s end it was put in there just so the bad guy could be defeated. Another villain who is a human is blessed with the ability to hear dog whistles. This talent hurts him as he holds his ears in agony every time it’s blown. It’s never explained why or how he has this ability but it sure enough shows you why it was put in the film at the end of the movie. If it wasn’t for the voice work and Pixar’s excellent animation, this film would have been worse than the latest Paranormal Activity. It was THAT bad. I will recommend this film for kids, but even the ten or so kids in the theater i was in were getting bored with it. I caught several glances of them kicking the chairs in front of them. One even played games on his mother’s cell phone. The kids will like it, but only the hardest of die hard Pixar adults will like this film. I have yet to even explain the worst part. That is saved in the closing credits of the film. The film’s theme is Gagnam Style by Psy, and sure enough he makes an animated appearance dancing on the side of the credits. If 80 minutes of torture won’t make you roll your eyes, Psy’s 2 year old dance on the side of the screen will. It’s great to have a song in a children’s movie (yelling) THAT THE CHILDREN CAN’T UNDERSTAND THE LANGUAGE!!!!! Save your money and go see Frozen if you haven’t seen that. If you have, see it again. See it 400 times before this

Paranormal Activity : The Marked Ones

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3/10

What can you say about this film that hasn’t already been said about the previous four Paranormal Activity films? Every time i write a review for one of these, i feel like i am just copying and pasting myself over and over again. The Marked Ones is the 5th film in the franchise. In this film, a boy named Jessie has graduated high school, but finds himself going through some frightening changes before his 18th birthday. After the death of his neighbor, he finds out some eerie things about his past. Lets get the good things out of the way. There are some better characters in this film compared to the other four films. That doesn’t mean 1. They make smart choices or 2. that you care about their survival. These films after all are the cheapest and most satisfying way to make a movie. They cost about 2 million dollars to make, but always see at least 20x the payback because they know cheap horror fans will see them. I also felt the ending had a decent concept but a terribly flawed execution. I won’t spoil much more about this film except that their is time travel. What is going on lately with horror films and time travel? After 2013’s Insidious Part 2 did a similar concept, i guess i can now look forward to Jason traveling back to 1974 to kill the Super Bowl Champion Pittsburgh Steelers. Wait, that actually doesn’t sound like a bad idea (wink wink). Anyway, The Marked Ones has all of the favorites that are included in these cheap movies; terrible acting, awful dialogue and the worst decisions made throughout this whole series. The film does connect decently with the past films, but it’s not enough to make me care. I am someone who actually did enjoy the first Paranormal Activity, but ever since it’s been a cheap knockoff of that one with small tweaks for originality. I wish horror movies would get back to the old days when a scene was built and built for a big payoff,not just jump scares. Don’t buy a ticket to Paranormal Activity : The Marked Ones. Lets show the studio that they have to quit making a cheap effort to satisfy smarter fans. In closing, if you liked the other Paranormal Activities, you will enjoy this one. Everyone else? You aren’t missing anything