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The Plague Dogs (1982)
The Plague Dogs
I can't even decide how I feel about this movie. I think part of that is because I didn't connect with the characters the way I did with Watership Down. I guess I wanted more of the same. And while Plague Dogs does have a lot of similarities with WD, it just didn't capture my fascination in the same way. It makes me question what I consider to be entertainment--how can I be enjoying something that shows such terrible things? This is a bleak as it gets--you really want the characters' suffering to end so badly that you almost hope they are put out of their misery. But I guess that is part of the appeal for some viewers, who agree that terrible things happen in the real world, and that this movie is just reflecting that. I liked the experience of reading the book more than watching the movie, because in the movie it often feels like the dogs are just going from place to place, while in the book, you really get a sense of how many close calls they make it out of. It definitely made me feel something, and those emotions are conflicted.
Come to Daddy (2019)
What a useless bag of garbage
This was a movie with some surprises. I liked where it ended up going. I was worried that something supernatural might be going on, but this movie plays it straight all the way through, which I appreciated. Elijah Wood is infuriating as a helpless sack of crap unable to take the slightest bit of control of a situation. Enjoyable all the way through.
Found A Job
I enjoyed this movie. It had some surprises in it, and I really couldn't predict where it was going to end up. It was extremely well made and well written, and the performers all did a great job. I guess the ending bothered me a little bit, but I'll admit it helped to reinforced what the movie was trying to say.
Kamera wo tomeruna! (2017)
You gotta go in fresh!
This movie is a lot of fun, but you have to stick with it to get the joke. If you don't watch it until the end, you won't know what's really going on. If someone told me what the gimmick of this movie was, I probably wouldn't have bothered to watch it. I'm glad I went in cold.
Failure in every sense
One of the least entertaining movies I've ever watched. Completely humorless and almost as ridiculous as Cool As Ice. For a story that's supposed to be mindless fun, the plot was impossible to follow. We are supposed to think Andrew Dice Clay is the coolest man alive, but nothing about his existence is enviable. He's just sad.
14 Cameras (2018)
Makes you question what you find entertaining
It's about a mouthbreather landlord who has his rental properties rigged with hidden spycams. I guess he's broadcasting to the darkweb as well, because we see people chatting about wanting different angles and offering money for a girl's panties, which he procures. Then, someone wants him to kidnap one of the girls for money. He isn't willing to do this, even though he has a underground bunker where he's keeping two women captive already. The darkweb hackers figure out where the house is and someone goes there to get the girl, but the landlord stops him. The family is saved, in part through the intervention of the landlord's concerned son junior. Our ending is that we see the landlord has relocated to Mexico, and has some new women tied up in his van. Upbeat music then begins to play over the credits, as if we should be smiling about the human trafficking reveal. Suckfest.
The Row (2018)
Watching this movie is like watching an R-rated horror film with your grandparents. The movie starts off with a dad dropping off his daughter at college. We expect to follow the daughter's narrative through her life at a sorority. It's called the Row, right? Instead, we see dad in a bust gone bad and half the movie is following his investigation into the college murders.When we find out who the murderer is, the motivation makes even less sense then usual for a low budget no talent slasher. The killer's sister got hazed by the lead character's mom, and they are now in college together. He killed the mother in a fire out of revenge, but just has to continue killing other coeds before targeting our protagonist. I didn't enjoy this movie.
A bad movie I wouldn't even recommend to fans of bad movies
From director DJ Red comes "Pledges," the story of six students stuck in the forest trying to complete challenges so they can join a fraternity or sorority, I guess. The first act wasn't so bad, as they set everything up. Then, the "mysterious force" in the woods starts messing with everyone. The mysterious force is very powerful, as it can do anything that a more successful horror movie has done before. We get rip offs of Evil Dead, The Shining, The Fly, and Predator, if you can believe it. The kids all die. It was infuriatingly bad. I took a big tumble from mildly interested to "when will this end" very quickly. Avoid.
Before Someone Gets Hurt (2018)
Catchy Soundtrack, Though
This movie had some moments that could have really been freaky if they were done a little better. The setup, which is way too familiar, is a group of paranormal investigators who get trapped in a haunted place and start to die. The house was not very spooky, so the setting was working against them. The deaths were very uneventful. The backstory about a cult trying to kill a certain number of people didn't feel like it played much of a part in the plot because when people are killed, it is by an unseen force. Finally, the ending felt tacked on and not really connected to the rest of the story. So, even though this movie had me interested for the first act or so, I was disappointed.
Frozen II (2019)
I really didn't like this movie. I think it's the first big disappointment Disney's had since they got on a roll with Tangled. Nothing in this movie made sense to me--I didn't understand how any one thing connected to another. I'm convinced that the people giving it good reviews just wanted more of Anna and Elsa regardless of what the story was. Someone gave me the read aloud book to share with my class, and it just shows how lacking the story is. The book doesn't even include the entire final act of the movie. Of course everything looked nice, and there were some sequences that worked, like taming the Nock, but overall, it didn't add up. I was really let down.
Why did I watch this?
I thought this was just okay. It started off interestingly enough--students are trapped in a school and have to solve puzzles or someone dies. Except that people die even if they solve the puzzle. And there were three or four villains who may or may not have been behind what was going on--I wasn't sure who was responsible for what. There was an insane kid, a ghost student, and a crooked teacher, and a vengeful janitor. Even when it got to the end, it implied the killings may continue. I kind of lost interest over the course of the film, I think because there wasn't just one master villain, but too many characters to keep track of. Plus, I really didn't like seeing kids get killed.
I'm In Control Now
I appreciated all the work that went into this movie. The world-building was very effective--the cities looked good and the sets were sparse but tasteful. The way this movie looks is how Future World in Epcot should be designed. This movie hooked me very early on and kept my interest going all the way through. Midway through the movie I was thinking that there would HAVE to be a sequel, but when it got to the ending, I kind of thought it was a fitting conclusion. A well made, entertaining movie that I would recommend to anyone. The people giving it poor reviews must be truly joyless (as well as very non-specific about why they thought it wasn't good).
Stella Does Tricks (1996)
Picture the Scene
This is a sad story about a girl who was sexually abused by her father as a child who becomes an underage prostitute. We first see some scenes showing the relationship between her and her pimp and how he manipulates her. She eventually decides she wants a better life and goes away with a boy who seems to be nice and caring. However, the boy's drug habit eventually leads to him putting Stella through even more horrible situations. She even though she has small glimmers of starting a new life, such as a job selling flowers, she ends up back in the cycle of abuse. I think this will be a movie I remember for some time. I really liked Kelly MacDonald's performance, especially when she is turning the tables on those who have wronged her.
Hong-jin Na's Horror Epic
Here is a movie that got a tremendous amount of praise from critics and viewers as being a memorable horror film. I thought it was well filmed and acted, especially the child actress. This might be the most intense performance a child actor has given on film. The story definitely made me care about the characters, and when it was over, I wanted to know more about what I had just watched. However, after taking time to reflect and review some of the interpretations that have been put out there, I've decided that The Wailing didn't quite meet my expectations. It was hard to follow, and most people seem to understand that the director wanted some things to be intentionally vague. But what bothered me is that I felt like the story kept introducing new plot points that didn't seem connected to what had come before. When I got to the end and saw what other people had to say about what was going on, it didn't do anything to deepen my appreciation of the movie. It's long, too, and it feels like it meanders, even if everything does somehow tie together at the end. I just didn't respond that strongly to it. I think some of the imagery will stick with me, but I don't feel like I enjoyed it enough to want to watch it back. I can't say that I don't recommend it, because obviously a lot of people really enjoyed it, I just didn't happen to be one.
The Hunt (2020)
Somewhere between a 7.5 and an 8
I thought this one was well done. It was entertaining from start to finish. You really get to hate the villains and cheer for the protagonist. Betty Gilpin's character never makes a wrong move--she knows what to do in every situation. There have been other movies where the hunted turns the tables on the hunters, such as You're Next, but for some reason, this one worked way better for me than most. A fun diversion.
Night of the Demons (1988)
I found large stretches of this movie to be tiresome. The story is basically an Evil Dead ripoff where a bunch of teens go to an old house and get possessed. Nothing about it really stands out. The kids turn evil and try to kill each other one by one. Then, the sun comes up and two survivors go home.
Trick 'r Treat (2008)
The Only Halloween Movie That Matters
What this movie does really well is recreate the feeling of being out on Halloween--maybe better than any other movie. It's an anthology, but the stories tie together. It feels like one complete piece. Not only one of my favorite scary movies, but THE movie to watch in October. Hopefully one day we'll get a sequel, because then we'd find out how popular the series is, and of course it would be great to see Sam cement his status as the icon of the season.
Lady Macbeth (2016)
Messed Up Story
Florence Pugh gets to play a character who will do whatever it takes to get what she wants. She has an affair that her husband and father in law object to so she kills them. She is forced to take in a young boy she doesn't want, so she kills him. Her servants try to tell on her, so she gets rid of them. Then she is alone and it ends. She was ruthless.
Urban Legend (1998)
Waste of Talent
This movie had quite a 90's cast, but it doesn't make any sense. Suspension of disbelief details don't usually bother me, but in this movie, people just show up when it's convenient. It's not minor details, it's lazy writing. If you like to watch movies just for the kills, I still think you'll be disappointed because they don't show a lot. Not to mention the killer gives one of the worst performances of a crazed monologue-spouting villain ever. The kids they got to be in this movie are either miscast or too good to be in something this silly.
Who Is This For?
I think of this version of Frankenstein as being kind of wacky. The main image that stuck with me is Kenneth Branagh running around his laboratory shirtless, pulling levels and chains while the body swings around frantically-- it's like a scene from an action movie. So half of the movie is silly stuff like that. But then there are some genuinely upsetting moments, the most obvious being when the monster pulls Elizabeth's heart out. I remember seeing that in the theater and thinking this was one of the most messed up movies I'd ever seen. Not to mention Elizabeth lighting herself on fire and bring the whole estate down with her. Those two sequences are still effective, but most of the rest is just a melodramatic period piece. I can't imagine a horror movie fan watching this today and being satisfied. There is too much setup and not enough payoff.
A Girl In A House
Girl House is about a college student who moves into a house where all the women are live streaming everything. An unhinged man thinks they are making fun of him and finds out where the house is. Then he starts killing everyone. There was nothing special about this movie. The main character was mildly likable, and the premise was interesting, but it just felt like a by-the-numbers deal all around.
Andre the Giant (2018)
Andre's life fascinates me. When I started watching wrestling at the end of the 80's, he was a bad guy and one of the least interesting characters on the show. I had no idea how amazing his career had been. Every part of his story is interesting, and this documentary tells much of it well. I would have liked to know more about the last matches he had, but I give it a top recommendation nevertheless.
In this movie, five people are trapped in some old industrial building and hunted for sport. I'm still not sure why I watch movies like this. I'm not into the kills or the gore. I suppose I'm just looking for something a little different. Well, this was brutal and twisted, but not especially memorable. The characters fend off some of the killers, but the final boss eventually gets them all. The Firefly movies at least have memorable performances, even if they are too over the top for some. The characters in this movie were pretty bland. I can not recommend it.
I watched this show just because it had Florence Pugh in it. She wasn't too integral. I liked the look of the show and the setting. I wasn't very interested in the main character, but we meet such a large cast, it kept things interesting. I was disappointed that some of the characters get killed off early on. Harry Lloyd is in it. I don't think I'll continue watching, though. I enjoy the fact that the writing trusts the viewer, but I'm not invested enough to unravel all its intricacies.
Little Women (2019)
I think I need to read the book
So I am giving this movie an 8 even though I didn't really enjoy it. I don't feel like giving it a low raing--I wanted to love it, but I was kind of bored most of the way through. It was well done--the sets and costumes were great to look at, and the performances were lively. My problem was that I really couldn't follow the plot. It jumped around in time--at least I think that was what was happening--and I was confused about when things took place. I am curious to know if this is how the story unfolds in the book, or if it is more linear, and I have a feeling it might not have exactly the same ending. So now I have to go read as a result of spending the money to see this at the theater.