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Showing posts with label Horror. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Horror. Show all posts

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Movie Review Roseville 2014

Movie Review - Roseville 2014                  Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Roseville - Eye on Films
Roseville 2014

Roseville - Movie 2014
On the night of November 18, 1985, four dead bodies are found in a desolate home in the Roseville mountains. One man, Vasil, went missing, never to be found. Flash forward three decades: a cold case police unit goes searching for the horrific truth of what happened that night, and where Vasil is today.


It is about a weird murder that took place in a resort. I won't go into details because I don't want to give the ending away. However, it was a surprise ending. Not what I expected at all. The acting was good but in some spots it was too overly dramatic for my taste. 

The film made me jump some and I found the movie very entertaining and creepy. I found it interesting since it involved a different culture. There were "omens" and "signs," and definitely a "good vs evil" thread that ran through the film. I gave it a four.
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Movie Review Roseville 2014

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Movie Review Get Out

Movie Review - Get Out

Get Out - youtube.com
Get Out

A young African-American man, visits his white girlfriend's (Allison Williams) family estate, he becomes ensnared in the more sinister, real reason for the invitation. At first, Chris reads the family's overly accommodating behavior as nervous attempts to deal with their daughter's interracial relationship, but as the weekend progresses, a series of increasingly disturbing discoveries lead him to a truth that he could have never imagined. This speculative thriller from Blumhouse (producers of The Visit, Insidious series and The Gift) and the mind of Jordan Peele (Key & Peele) is equal parts gripping thriller and provocative commentary.


This movie effortlessly addresses several forms of racism and discrimination of people of color through the horror genre. But, what makes this movie special, is that it stays pretty close to reality. Yes, some situations are exaggerated for the effect, but the conversations and body language are, to me, close to what happens between benevolent racists and people of color. If you look at this movie with more than just a scare in mind, you will probably walk away with a better understanding of what people of color live through each day (as I did), your eyes will be opened to the extent of the effects of racism, or you will applaud Peele for pushing the boundaries in Hollywood to bring the racism conversation more to center stage (as it damn well needs to be). Overall, 10/10, would watch and love and learn from again.
This is a kind of weird take on the horror movie theme, where racism is the monster/bad guy. It has kind of a Stepford Wives, pod-people feel to it. I will not go into the plot in much detail to avoid spoiling it, but the basics are that a black guy and his white girlfriend are going to her parent's house for the weekend. A situation he is uneasy about to begin with, but he discovers that her parents and the people in the town are more than what they seem to be. It is written and directed by Jordan Peele, of Key and Peele fame, and stars Daniel Kaluuya and Allison Williams in the main roles with a strong supporting cast including Bradley Whitford, Stephen Root, Catherine Keener, and Lil Rel Howery.

For those who get the blu-ray, the film looks and sounds very good. Especially for a non-special effects laden movie. For extras there is an alternate ending, about 23 minutes worth of deleted scenes, a behind the scenes look at the making of the movie, and a short Q and A with Peele and some of the cast members. There is also a commentary track on the movie with Peele. Good for what is there.

It is definitely not a movie that will appeal to everyone. Yes, there is a message about race relations, but it is not white-people bad, black-people good. It goes beyond that and tries to tell more of a "we are not in a post-racial division America" story. It wraps it in the horror movie/thriller genre where you want to yell at the characters "Get out of the house!" hence the name of the film. That said the main story being told is not overly complex, but is not meant to be. I think it is well written and acted, and can definitely be a topic of conversation.
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Get Out

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Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Movie Review IT

Movie Review - IT

IT - Amazon.com
IT
The horror thriller “IT,” directed by Andrés Muschietti (“Mama”), is based on the hugely popular Stephen King novel of the same name, which has been terrifying readers for decades. When children begin to disappear in the town of Derry, Maine, a group of young kids is faced with their biggest fears when they square off against an evil clown named Pennywise, whose history of murder and violence dates back for centuries.


I have never been a huge Stephen King fan, or a even a consumer of horror films. But, when I heard that a new movie was coming out based on the book by Stephen King, I decided to read the book itself. I found that I really enjoyed it and got into the story to the point that it was hard to put down! At over 1,000 pages, it took me a couple of weeks to finish it. I rarely go to the theater to see a movie anymore, but wait until the movie is available to stream before I watch it. 
I watched it a couple of days ago and I am very pleased with the adaptation. Of course due to the length of the book, not everything can be put into a movie like this, thus some things are missing like the Losers Club House in the Barrens, and the dam that Ben helped the kids rebuild after the bullies destroyed the first one, and the incident with Stan Uris at the Standpipe where the door opens, he enters and Stan hears voices claiming that they were "The Dead Ones", the children that had drowned there, etc. 
But these are less important parts of the story compared to the more powerful horror of confronting IT. Most of the scenes in the movie were as I had visualized them myself while reading the book. All in all I really enjoyed this movie and will likely watch it again very soon as there is so much detail. This version of IT definitely deserves a five star rating from me.

IT is a supernatural horror is almost always cheesy by definition but usually acceptable when rooted in something we can relate to, like going crazy in isolation (The Shining) or what happens when we dream (Nightmare on Elm Street). 'It' doesn't have the same element for us to relate to and is initially off-putting by the barely connected series of gory vignettes that strike individual characters one by one for the first 50 minutes. 
These set pieces, while random and nonsensical, are however generally well done enough to keep our interest - in addition to our interest being held by the underlying mystery provided by master story teller Stephen King. Indeed, what ultimately wins us over is the way in which this remake is done. 
The recreation of the period, the casting, the thoughtful background (and foreground) details and just the way the story moves - this is the kind of homage to 1980s movies that Netflix's 'Stranger Things' wish it was. Somehow ST gets a lot of accolades but 'It' shows you how you to reference Gremlins, Spielberg, Freddy Krueger et al while also telling a thumping good yarn of your own. Stick with 'It' through the first half ... There's a reason why this is the highest grossing horror movie of all time (dethroning 'The Exorcist' which was #1 with inflation-adjusted numbers).
Depending on your horror/thriller movie expectations, I give this a definite thumbs up!! And I have never liked clowns so it gets my senses on edge instantly!
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IT

http://amzn.to/2BwHn17

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Book Review The Cured

Book Review - The Cured

The Cured - Amazon.com
The Cured

Henry spent eight years chained to a post. Exposed, starved, infected with the December Plague, and mad. During those eight years, the December Plague consumed most of the world's human population, causing the infected to become violent and cannibalistic.

But Henry escaped. And now he's been Cured. He vividly remembers what has been done to him and others. He can also recall the terrible things he did while he was infected. He and his fellow survivors face a world unlike anything they knew before. They are weak, lost and completely alone. Now released from both the madness of the Plague and the cruelty of their captors, they must decide which is more important: survival or revenge.

The After the Cure Series:
Book 1: After the Cure
Book 2: The Cured
Book 3: Krisis
Book 4: Poveglia
Book 5: The 40th Day
About the Author :
Deirdre Gould lives in Central Maine with her three children and husband. She's also resided in northern Idaho, coastal Virginia and central Pennsylvania, but all of them just led her back home.The winters sure are cold, but that just means the zombies run slower. The area is isolated, but that just means the apocalyptic diseases don't spread as quickly. And the storms are bad enough that no one thinks you're crazy for "prepping." It's kind of ideal for a post-apocalypse writer when you think about it.

Want to keep up with the After the Cure series? Join the mailing list here: http://www.scullerytales.com/?page_id=96 to get the latest announcements about the series, special offers and free stories.

When I read the preview for this book I was disappointed to learn it would not revolve around the characters from the first book. But the premise seemed interesting and the writing was good so I gave it a shot. It was incredible! The characters are just as engrossing and it became evident that while it was a different perspective, it was still very much a sequel to the first book, continuing the original story line.
This is not your normal zombie story, it's not told thru a zombie's eyes, but it's just as full of suspense, action, and excitement. I kept finding it hard to put down even for a few minutes and I knew I just had to keep reading. I loved the characters and I felt the pain and anguish that Henry went thru. This is one that will stay with me awhile.
Just remember to read After the Cure before starting on this book. It'll make more sense. Again, really in love with this series. Bringing a human quality to the zombie genre is so unique. Actually thinking of these horrifying creatures as suffering souls is genius. A few grammatical errors along the way, but it didn't distract too much. The characters are fully fleshed out and you are aching to know all of their backstories as your introduced to them. Warning though, major cliffhanger at the end!
 I would highly recommend.
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The Cured

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Book Review Annihilation: A Novel (The Southern Reach Trilogy Book 1)

Book Review - Annihilation

A Novel (The Southern Reach Trilogy Book 1)

Annihilation - Wikipedia
Annihilation

Area X has been cut off from the rest of the continent for decades. Nature has reclaimed the last vestiges of human civilization. The first expedition returned with reports of a pristine, Edenic landscape; the second expedition ended in mass suicide; the third expedition in a hail of gunfire as its members turned on one another. The members of the eleventh expedition returned as shadows of their former selves, and within weeks, all had died of cancer. In Annihilation, the first volume of Jeff VanderMeer's Southern Reach trilogy, we join the twelfth expedition.

The group is made up of four women: an anthropologist; a surveyor; a psychologist, the de facto leader; and our narrator, a biologist. Their mission is to map the terrain, record all observations of their surroundings and of one another, and, above all, avoid being contaminated by Area X itself.
They arrive expecting the unexpected, and Area X delivers—they discover a massive topographic anomaly and life forms that surpass understanding—but it's the surprises that came across the border with them and the secrets the expedition members are keeping from one another that change everything.
About the author :
Called “The Weird Thoreau” by The New Yorker, NYT bestseller Jeff VanderMeer has been a published writer since age 14. His most recent fiction is the critically acclaimed novel BORNE, which has received raves from the NYTBR, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, and many more. Paramount Pictures has optioned BORNE for film.

VanderMeer's Southern Reach Trilogy was one of the publishing events of 2014, the trilogy made more than thirty year’s best lists, including Entertainment Weekly’s top 10. Paramount Pictures has made a movie out of the first volume of the Southern Reach, Annihilation, slated for release in 2018 and starring Tessa Thompson, Oscar Isaac, Gina Rodriguez, Natalie Portman, and Jennifer Jason Leigh.

His nonfiction appears in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, The Guardian, and The Atlantic.com. VanderMeer also wrote the world’s first fully illustrated creative-writing guide, Wonderbook. With his wife, Ann VanderMeer, he has edited may iconic anthologies. He lives in Tallahassee, Florida, with two wonderful cats. His hobbies include hiking, reading, and bird watching.


I am being a fan of these types of books, I felt VanderMeer had created the bones of great story, thought the fleshing out of that story was highly problematic and ultimately took what could have been a fabulous book down to merely a good story. It could have been so much more, and that, my fellow readers, is what is so deeply disappointing here. I wanted this to be a five star review, not merely three or four stars.

The bones of the story are truly intriguing - a mysterious Area X along the "lost coast" (the location is never truly identified for us by VanderMeer because God forbid we name anything here because names carry something mysterious about them. Unfortunately, we are never really told what. Names and locations are meaningless? Too confining? To defining? Your guess is as good as mine) where something dramatic and alien and unexplainable has occurred. Little goes in or comes out of Area X - and what does come back out is never who or what we think it is.

As I said, VanderMeer is a good enough writer that he hooks the reader early on and doesn't let go. I read all three books in the series, one right after the other, even though, in my opinion, the series remains vastly overpriced. Yet he is a very good writer and I did not want to wait to get through the series until the prices came down for each book. The first book is definitely the strongest of the three, but my feeling is that if you are going to invest time and money in the first book, there isn't much point unless you are prepared to see it through to the end of the series.

Many reviewers have compared the books to the TV series "Lost." I think the comparison is apt in that the island in "Lost" is mysterious and replete with strange and unexplained phenomenon. But I think the analogy is even more apt than that. Many viewers of "Lost" loved the ending, which I found sappy and saccharine, without any real answers to the questions I asked through-out the whole series. But many viewers became ,more attached to the characters than the storyline, so maybe they didn't care so much that no answers were really provided at the end. I did, however. I wanted real, concrete information to a show I had invested viewing over the course of many years. When I didn't get answers, I felt betrayed and let down.

I think many of the negative reviews of this series reflect this same kind of sensibility. VanderMeer has engaged in the cardinal sin of many writers - getting us hooked on a story, then disappointing many readers by failing to provide a concrete, satisfying conclusion with answers to our most important questions. Yes, you can leave some mystery, but too much unanswered is never a good thing.

I suspect that the author was striving to continue the mystery and lack of conclusive answers that the characters felt when confronting themselves, their motivations, each other, life, the unknown, etc. That the characters didn't fully understand themselves (ie, the mystery of their personhood) or the mystery of Area X, so why should we? I speculate here, but the author probably felt he was simply mimicking Area X in all of its grand mystery (and yes, mimicry plays a large role in the story and no, we are never really told why) and that his mimicry was important to the story.

But the problem is that such an approach is never truly satisfying to a large percentage of readers. What I was hoping for (but never got) was not so much an ending like the conclusion of "Lost" where there are no real answers but we feel so in love with the characters and their relationships with each other that we are not supposed to care our questions go unanswered, but more like the ending to the series "Battlestar Galactica" in which are questions are answered, but the answers are nothing that we really expected. I wanted a refreshing and unexpected surprise at the end. Something I didn't see coming.

You won't get that here. That is not to say that VanderMeer answers no questions about Area X - he does do that by the final book. That said, he just doesn't go far enough with many of those answers, nor are those answers in any way truly a wonderful and unexpected surprise.

Moreover, I failed to feel strongly attached to many of the characters, who seemed "lost" (no pun intended) within themselves. Control plays a strong role in book two, but fades almost entirely away in importance in book three. A lot of times you feel like shaking the characters and screaming "wake up," but they never do, but rather remain mired in their own confused and obscure states of being. Now I get the sense that VanderMeer wants use to revel in this as being a reflection of the utlimate meaning of the human condition, but frankly, it just feels unsatisfying and makes one feel frustrated with the characters. Many times they just meander through the story and their non-stop stream of consciousness fretting and lack of clarity does drag the story down at times.

Ending the story by stressing simply - aren't these characters fascinating in and of themselves and this is just the human condition, to remain an ultimate mystery to us - was deeply unsatisfying to me. Tell me what happens to Control. Tell me what happens to the Earth. Tell me the "why" of Area X. Tell me the "Why" of what happens to the biologist. Or what happens to Saul or the psychologist.
 
http://amzn.to/2BAInRG

Annihilation: A Novel (The Southern Reach Trilogy Book 1)

http://amzn.to/2BwHn17

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Movie Review The Walking Dead Seasons 8

Movie Review - The Walking Dead Seasons 8

Dvdcover.com

The Walking Dead Seasons 8 Serials :
  1. Mercy
  2. The Damned
  3. Monsters
  4. Some Guy
  5. The Big Scary U
  6. The King, the Widow, and Rick
  7. Time for After
  8. How It's Gotta Be

Rick and his survivors bring "All Out War" to Negan and his forces. The lines are drawn as they launch into a kinetic, action- packed battle for the promise of a brighter future.
I've loved TWD from the first episode to the latest episode. I'm not always happy the way some episodes have been, but over all I still love the show. Is Michonne gone for good. I really miss her, and I hope no more of Rick's people are killed. I'm sick of Negan. He can go ASAP. It's the only show I've been loyal to in a long time. Please keep it on for a few more seasons. Most of the tv series these days is a bunch of silly crap.
I love this show but the action scenes absolutely kill me. Mostly the gun fights and the extreme lack of knowledge when it comes to how guns function and their effectiveness. Somehow they can shoot zombies in the head every time like I would imagine Jerry Miculek would. But somehow when facing other humans the show turns into the A-team. Even with fully automatic weapons the shooters trace outlines around their opponents.
 
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The Walking Dead Seasons 8

Genres  : Drama, Mystery, Horror
Network : Lionsgate
Format  : Prime Video (streaming online video)

http://amzn.to/2BwHn17

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