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The Lodge (2008)
The Wrong One
Went looking for the 2019 movie, found this one. It's already wasted enough of my time so I'll keep it short: it's bland and has nothing to offer, genuinely watch anything else.
La influencia (2019)
There is some good here, the different cultural ideas of the horrific makes the film feel more original than a lot of mediocre modern possession horror. There are some real points here about parental abuse and how it can be covered up and passed on.
At the same time however it is all over the place. The narrative structure swerves all over the place and the message, tone and overall horror is kind of lost in a confusing haze.
Overall this movie is definitely not trash, and there is some good to be found, it's just a bit messy, so if you are used to well thought out and clear cut narrative then you'd probably want to avoid this one.
Social Animals (2018)
Kill Your Dreams
The level of pessimism in this movie is likely to turn many people off. It basically boils down to a film for people who's lives didn't turn out that great and how that is just life. This viewpoint is helpful for those who are in the situation, but for anyone who does have a good job or relationship it just seems a bit snarky.
It comes down to whether your philosophy is one of live and let live or if you think there is actually a good way to live your life and a bad one. There are some funny scenes and the acting is all pretty decent.
Overall whether or not you like this movie will come down to the tone, if you like the pessimistic but accepting of the negative outlook that this movie has it isn't half bad, although the ending might put off those people who are fans of real life situations where nothing is resolved.
Better Than Justice League...
And there is barely any Justice League in it. Honestly if they had left the resurrection of Superman for its own movie it would have worked a lot better. Here the opposite is true, combining both the death and return into one long movie works a lot better.
I honestly can't imagine the Death part working on its own, barely anything happens before the end besides drama that we have already seen the conclusion to a hundred times, and the second part on its own would surely be far too convoluted. So we'll done to DC for making this narrative into one part. It just makes sense.
Overall this arc is a complete film, although they probably could have shaved down some of the conversations, especially with Lois Lane, who seems to be there to pad out both separate movies, but most of her stuff doesn't need to be here when combined. Good story, drags a bit.
Gingerdead Man Vs. Evil Bong (2013)
Cheaper than Cheap
I've seen all the other Full Moon offerings of Evil Bong and Gingerdead man and so when I say this is a cheap waste of time know it is as a fan of these types of cheesy schlock movies.
The main problem is that so much of the runtime is taken up by flashbacks and exposition, there is barely any actual new interactions with the characters you might care about.
It is all tease and no substance and it is a letdown since they could have gone all out in a mess of schlock, but instead it is the tamest and lamest of the bunch. Disappointing.
Space Cop (2016)
Too Much Ham
Intentional schlock that has fun with itself and has a good character dynamic that could be worked into a serious movie and make it far better.
The only problem here is that because they are trying to be intentionally schlocky things get a bit too hammy. Fake bad acting and camera winks aren't as enjoyable as actual overacting and real attempts at coolness that are ridiculous. The Room wouldn't be The Room if it was done on purpose.
Overall if you are a fan fo RLM then there is something for you here, and the story is better than most other films of a similar budget, but it probably would have worked better if they had played the whole thing actually straight, rather than fake winky straight while always letting you know that they know how schlocky it all is.
Get a Job (2016)
Subversive and Ironic... Or just not very good?
This is a mediocre comedy with a ridiculously stacked cast. Not since Movie 43 have there been so many great actors in a comedy that is just plain not funny. Although in this case it is not because the film is outlandish and crude, it is just kind of dull. The stellar actors in this movie get nothing to do for the most part and it reads more like a paint-by-numbers early 2000s comedy where it seems to be giving out scudo-philosophies on life, while mostly getting things wrong and not really saying much of anything of actual note.
Here is the thing though, it's a film about the compromises that promising people make for money and what is expected of them and when you look at the cast and the quality of the film you realise that it is a perfect metaphor for the themes of the movie. Did the filmmaker intend to send a message about the compromise of growing up and working with the movie itself?! If so then it is a subversive masterpiece that they slipped by studios to become a real life example of the modern day problems it is supposed to highlight.
Overall I don't think this is actually the case, you can still take it as an example of how great actors get roped into doing a bland script through promise of money and meaning, but apart from that it is only one to watch for the cast, just don't expect to laugh or really feel much of anything by the end. Solid 'Eh'.
This movie is very much of its time and is probably more something to watch with a few friends and a running commentary. Otherwise while it has some fun quirks to it, there isn't much that really makes sense or is compelling.
What it has going for it is some originality. The way it is told from mostly the killers perspective as he views others and we get a view into his life with his journals is a great idea, however it is underdeveloped and doesn't really pay off in the end.
Overall there is some fun to be had here and with better writing this could have been something very interesting. As it is, it is some very schlocky 80s camp and that's not too bad if that's all you are looking for.
Kiss of the Damned (2012)
A Certain Taste
This movie harkens back to a lot of vampire movies from the past, in fact it wears them on its sleeve. Therefore if you are a fan of 70s movies of a similar style or perhaps the more modern efforts of Only Lovers Left Alive and We Are the Night then there probably is a lot here for you, I'm not really a fan of any of those so I wasn't of this either.
It's a problem of indulgence, the film cares more about giving the viewer a vicarious feeling of power and desire above and beyond any type of interesting character work or cohesive story. Things just happen, and not in a 'well at least it's a true representation of everyday life' kind of way. There are lots of attractive people doing lots of seductive smouldering, and if that is all you want then you will probably love it.
Overall the movie isn't terrible, it just wasn't for me. At no point did it pull me in or get me interested in the world, they didn't even really go into that much about the lore despite seeming to have a whole social class of vampires with some vague organisational skills. Still if you don't care and just want to watch sexy vampires being sexy and the same tired "our vampirism is a curse/we are better than humans" dynamic, then knock yourself out.
Blood Dolls (1999)
This movie has and is far more fun than anyone has any right to expect. It doesn't follow any set formula and just does its own thing. None of it really makes sense or has context, but at no point does it try to be anything serious.
This is what schlocky cinema should be, you'll never be taken seriously as a real movie so why not have some fun with it?! Have a protagonist with a shrunken head, have a feminist rock band in an electrified cage, have offensively stereotypical murder dolls and acknowledge that this is purposeful in the first five minutes of the movie!
All of these things appear and more, it is a bit of schlocky fluff, but it knows what it is and uses its lack of rules to make something fun and strange, give it a watch!
Family Weekend (2013)
Between the Lines
This quirky comedy is generally pleasant and tells a good enough story about a disfunctional and nonconformist family on the brink of collapse. It's funny in places and the pacing is pretty good.
The only real thing that is questionable is who exactly this movie is for. It's a bit to younger skewed to feel like an art house piece, but it's also a bit mature and deals with serious subject matter to be considered a family movie. I think it might actually be for teenagers, but a serious movie of this nature for that audience is hard to wrap your mind around.
Overall this is a fun personal story that I'm sure is someone's favourite movie because it has such a high chance to resonate with a small percentage of people, otherwise it is just alright and then easily forgotten.
Head Count (2018)
For a movie of this budget it has a lot going for it, the writing, directing and acting are all solid and the way the story is told is pretty good. There are some good horror elements and a good deal of originality to go along with it.
Where this movie falls down is the pacing, it's about an hour of set up for around ten minutes of payoff and it is very understated. Also what feels like an out of the box plot wind's up actually being pretty generic and the philosophy of 'less is more' is taken just a bit too far, until it isn't and that doesn't really work either.
Overall this is a well put together low budget horror and it will most likely appeal to those looking for more character work over a gorefest, however it tries to possess its cake while also consuming it, and that just doesn't work.
The Hive (2014)
This movie is very stylised and if you aren't a fan of the quick cuts and flashes to other times and perspectives then you will hate this, but if you are a fan of non-linear narratives then this should be something you enjoy.
The film starts off with a mystery and keeps on going deeper while also providing answers for what you thought you wanted to know. Everything relatively makes sense in the end, which is a hard feat to achieve.
Overall there is lots to like about this movie, but some might be out off by the pacing and the style, it is a decent horror thriller that skews slightly younger, but there is definitely a lot here for those who it suits and will be a rare gem if you like your horror with a bit of brain power.
Stag in the Mud
A decent mini series that never really falters while having enough twists and turns to remain interesting. The only problem is that there have been so many films like it that there really is nothing new to show here.
It's certainly fun enough and well acted, the pacing suffers however as the action is sudden and then padded out with lots of meandering, dialogue being either meaningless repetition or clunky exposition.
Overall there are some great ideas here and it's definitely worth a watch, but don't expect complete originality or anything too funny as the story unfolds.
Girls with Balls (2018)
Movie as Simple as the Title
I was hoping there was more to this film than in the title and the trailer, but there really isn't. Local weirdos hunt a team of female volleyballers, there is no real reason given and barely anything has any meaning. Characters aren't even really defined outside of basic traits, that also are picked up and dropped when convenient.
This film doesn't even have a stance when it comes to the role of the women they have cast as for any point made about female empowerment there is something that sets it right back. And on the other hand it is never far enough to be called an exploitation movie, even though it flirts with the idea at times. At best this is a film that would fit in well to the late nineties to early 2000s where 'girl power' was the phrase. Like this film it is marketable, ill thought out and shallow.
Overall this is a movie lost in time and deserves never to be found. There is very little humour or sense to most of it and apart from semi-decent production value it has very little to offer.
The Hardy Bucks Movie (2013)
More of the Same
The Hardy Bucks Movie is exactly what it should be for fans of the series and that is more of the same. It takes the same characters and puts them in a slightly unfamiliar environment, but with many of the same story beats. For fans it is a greatly enjoyable romp and you won't be disappointed.
However as a movie for non-fans I can only imagine the possible confusion. The show itself has a specific Irish feel and isn't for everyone in the first place, then when you try to condense it's sense of miandering destitution into a movie format it could be completely alien to a non-Irish, non-fan.
All in all it is a great continuation of the series and deserves credit for that, but as a general movie for non-fans it comes across as a knock off Lock Stock, so best to have watched the series first!
Tuca & Bertie (2019)
Surrealism Masking Realism
At first glance this seems like a female centric Bojack Horseman, but while that is a dry exploration of the male ego and depression as a wider philosophical reflection on existence, this is more about the intricacies of everyday life and how it is to be a woman in the modern day. Both shows are important, but vastly different, so while the comparison is understandable, the show stands on its own.
Its easy to get distracted by all the surrealist humour and visuals, and these are indeed great, but they pale in comparison to the underlying realism that the show's writing conveys. So many times in the show something would happen that I could personally relate to women in my life, experiences they have had and how they handled it.
Overall this show is a great mix of surrealist visuals and real world situations that blend seamlessly and is funny and entertaining, while also having something to say about the modern female experience. You might not always agree with the characters or understand what the heck is going on, but there is kind of something in it for everyone and this is a great addition to the other Netflix shows like Bojack, Master of None and Big Mouth that try to capture something real, as well as generate a laugh or two.
WNUF Halloween Special (2013)
The Pursuit of Purity
So much detail went into this film to make it appear as a real recording of an 80s TV channel at Halloween, right down to the repetitive and mind numbing commercials. It all goes to create a tremendous effect of realism and everything is kept toned down and believable.
The only downside to this is that if people are looking for things to go bonkers then you will be disappointed, and if you don't care about emersion or mood then the format is wasted on you and you might as well not bother, because this isn't just about cool nostalgia, it's about creating a legitimate portrayal of what would have occurred. For me the best part was the repetitive Halloween Special intro that comes across as cheesy and over the top in that typical network way at first, and feels more and more inappropriate as things turn more serious, that was a great touch.
Overall this is a testament to the care and detail that a movie maker can put into a project to create something unique. There is a subtle menace and comedy to everything shown, but if you aren't into sublty or realism then this isn't for you.
There is so much in this anthology that is heavily steeped in Drive In movie culture and gross out humour.
It ends up being hit and miss due to the wide range of concepts, styles and levels of acting, but it is always fun and has its tongue firmly planted in its cheek.
Overall it tows a fine line between nostalgia and originality and fans of schlock-fests and B-movies will love it.
Feeding Frenzy (2010)
Low budget schlock spoof that is smart enough to feel original while clearly aping off classic B-movies. Stops just short of breaking the fourth wall but has an irreverent tone that is fitting when you are paying homage to films that were parody in the first place.
There are some clever lines and innovative humour that keep the movie ticking over. Unfortunately the two leads are mostly just annoying so it is up to the supporting characters to carry the film for the most part.
Overall it is fun for what it is and fans of RLM will enjoy it for the schlock factor alone.
The Transfiguration (2016)
Understated and Original
There is so much thought and reflection on the human condition in this film that I think anyone would find it hard to be disappointed by the end. If handled incorrectly this film could have been severely hurt by the combination of horror with serious drama, but somehow the two coexist and work together well.
The acting is great and the story is complex and pays off in the end. It is clearly a well constructed movie and everything has a purpose, while also not being too obvious at any point where the story is going so that it gets tired or predictable. The only criticism you could give it is that the events are pretty small scale, but then that seems to be the point and focus, so it's really not a negative unless personal stories bore you.
Overall this is a solid drama and an interesting horror that delivers something for fans of either genre. If you like intimate character studies or original horror, and especially if you have an obsession with blood, this one is for you!
In a Relationship (2018)
There is a minor appreciation for this movie trying to present realistic relationship situations for people in their twenties right now. However it is an example of some of the worst aspects of modern thinking in relationships right now where no one can be right and you should just do whatever.
This is a counter to the delusional thinking of a perfect person or 'the one', but equally just as bad are those couples who stay together 'just because'. This is covered somewhat on the secondary characters side of things but it doesn't exactly leave a satisfying ending and switching the resolutions of both couples probably would have made for a more pleasing movie while also providing similar examples.
In the end this is a movie about unlikeable people with plain dialogue, muted acting and an unsatisfying ending. Maybe that is the point because it is just like life, but I already know what life is like, a movie should probably be aiming for more.
This film works pretty well as a teen comedy slasher, the kills are kind of cool if mostly unoriginal, but definitely fun for someone who is new to the horror genre.
The film never drags and the story has legs, but it does suffer from a lacking in the effects department. At least it tries to continue aspects from the original and doesn't just go somewhere completely different, so if you are a fan of the first film you will probably like this.
Overall this is definitely a horror designed for teens and never really rises above a beginners level in terms of entertainment, dialogue or gore. It's not a bad time though.
Women in Trouble (2009)
Studies in Monolguing
Definitely has a strong Pulp Fiction vibes with interconnected characters and story lines that act as a vehicle to deliver monologues on the subjects of life, sex and plastic vaginas.
This film would probably work better if it was written by a woman as what is presented comes off as a man's idea of what the problems of women are, while trying to be understanding. As such everything comes off a little stilted and like it is trying to be revelatory, rather than relatable.
Overall this is a pretty serviceable late 2000s take on life at the time but comes off as a bit dated and unnecessary now, also much of the comedy is at most a dry wit so don't expect laugh out loud gags or anything.
The Hunted (2013)
Invisible woman, stay away from me-hee!
Two hunters run across an invisible ghost, it doesn't go well. There isnt really anything else to this movie, it doesn't even have a subplot about a map!
What is here is solid, good acting and mostly good directing, some shots are too dark, quiet or confused. There are some good scares and if nothing else this movie proves that anything can be made scary, even just a woman's scream. The two problems are that it could have used another central character to balance the back and forth dialogue, which gets tiresome at times, and it just plain didn't need to be found footage, it doesn't do anything new with the genre and there are other ways to show an invisible monster.
Overall this is an okay first attempt at a horror film, although the leads never really give you a reason to like them or want then to die, so the stakes aren't as high as they could be. What's more plot points are dropped or unexplored and it might as well have just been a real hunting trip with a bit of paranormal stuff thrown in. Would probably have worked better if the guy's family had come along to the lodge so the audience would be reminded of his stakes and they could have had something else to go back to to cut up the scenes of them just wandering around the woods, plus more final act tension if the wife went to look for him towards the end.