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Showing posts with label Reviews. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Reviews. 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

Movie Review The Dark Valley (2014)

Movie Review - The Dark Valley (2014)         Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

The Dark Valley - Amazon.com

The Dark Valley


The Dark Valley - Movie 2014
A mysterious stranger arrives in a snow capped Austrian mountain village claiming to be a travelling photographer from America, yet is in fact an embittered gunfighter on a mission of vengeance.

A great Western, even though the plot is set in a mountain village in Bum-screw Bavaria(In-bred Appalachia equivalent.) Great acting and a believable story if you think about how weird shit probably happened in the days before running water and Mini-Marts. Seriously, though, this is worth your time if you like a good Western revenge story. 

The lead actor, Sam Riley, and lead actress, Paula Beer, who is a real babe, more than carry the story, they keep it moving and then some. I could see Sam Riley doing the remake of "Then Came Bronson." Paula Beer, besides being my favorite beverage, is someone I will look forward to seeing in more movies.

I don't normally like anachronistic music in period pieces, but it seemed to fit the mood. Particularly in a shootout scene with the brothers toward the end. Powerful scene that stuck with me. Loved the cinematography. The story itself is reminiscent of Pale Rider. Mysterious stranger on a mission of revenge. 

Think I would enjoy it better with subtitles to catch the nuance in the actual language. 4 stars for well done story, direction, acting. Only flaw, and not really much of one, was the lack of explanation as to why the brothers thought they had the advantage in the shootout scene. I caught that he had a repeating rifle.
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The Dark Valley

  • Genres : Western, Mystery
  • Director : Andreas Prochaska
  • Starring  : Sam Riley, Tobias Moretti
  • Supporting actors  : Paula Beer, Thomas Schubert, Carmen Gratl, Clemens Schick, Helmuth Häusler, Martin Leutgeb, Johannes Nikolussi, Florian Brückner, Heinz Ollesch, Franz Xaver Brückner, Xenia Assenza, Beatrix Brunschko, Gerhard Liebmann, Josef Griesser, Johanna Bittenbinder, Erwin Steinhauer, Hans-Michael Rehberg, Thomas Hochkofler
  • Studio : Film Movement
  • Subtitles : English
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Movie Review The Dark Valley (2014)

Movie Review XXX: Return Of Xander Cage

Movie Review - XXX: Return Of Xander Cage

XXX: Return Of Xander Cage - Youtube.com

XXX: Return Of Xander Cage

XXX: Return Of Xander Cage Movies 2018
When a group of lethal mercenaries steal a hi-tech weapon that poses a global threat, the world needs Super Spy Xander Cage. Recruited back into action, Xander leads a team of death-defying adrenaline junkies on a mission to save the world.


This movie follows in suit, with the not-quite-good guys fighting for the world. It opens up with a much wider array of X operatives, and brings in an entirely new crop of desirable "undesirables." Ruby Rose and Rory McCann liven up any bunch, and Donnie Yen is simply amazing with his acting and choreography/fight skills.

That said, there were a few ways that the film simply fell short of the franchise, and didn't live up to the original. By introducing so many new characters, it was impossible to develop each of them, so we were left with a token introduction to each one and one or two scenes that built off that introduction. It felt a bit glossed over and might have actually been better if fewer characters had been used. For instance, in the original XXX, the main team consisted of Xander, Gibbons, and Shavers, with Yelena trapped in the middle. The main antagonists were Yorgi, Kirill and Kolya. That's only six characters to really need to know anything about. This movie has Xander, Gibbons, Becky, Marke, Nicks, Adele, and Tennyson. Then there's the second team of Xiang, Serena, Talon, and Hawk. That's already eleven characters, and that's not counting the two different love interests they bring up for Xander.

It just seemed like they tried to cram a bit too much into this movie. I can appreciate the fact that they are trying to stick with the fact that Xander has always been a man who lives life to the fullest, but the addition of a current love interest for no apparent reason other than a 5 second long PG-13 sex scene didn't make much sense. It didn't enhance his reputation, nor did it really last long enough or show enough to be of any real entertainment. In my opinion, the entire scene could have been removed, and it wouldn't have detracted from the movie at all. In fact, removing it, and giving a bit more detail as to why he was visiting Ainsley specifically would have been much better. That scene, followed with his classic "the things I do for my country" line, are much more in line with his character.

I was also a bit sad to find out that Agent Shavers was not going to be in this movie, after the actor's, Micheal Roof, tragic death. He was one of the fundamentals of what made the series so good, and I caught myself wishing that he would pop up in scenes with some lame attempt at being cool. He will definitely be missed.

All in all, it was a decent movie. The action scenes were good. The comedic one-liners were good, and it had just enough moments of cheeky humor that we've come to expect from a XXX movie. It may not be as good as the original, but it's still a good action movie, and one that I would watch again. And I will be buying it to add to my Vin Diesel movie collection.
I liked the crazy action that drove the plot. Loved the crazy stunts too. I thought it was fun, adrenaline pumping, don't take it that seriously. Not intended to win an Oscar but doesn't mean it's any less entertaining. Oh the two chicks who doing their own rendition of Mr. and Mrs. Smith just knocking them out with the choreography and bullets was hot too.
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XXX: Return Of Xander Cage

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Tuesday, February 27, 2018

TV-Series Review NCIS Seasons 15

TV-Series Review - NCIS 15 Seasons

NCIS Season 15 Episodes - CBS.com
NCIS Season 15 Episodes

The 15th season of NCIS returns two months after Special Agents Gibbs (Mark Harmon) and McGee (Sean Murray) were last seen fighting a group of rebels in Paraguay. Last season's dangerous mission will forever change each member of the team and bring this family of agents closer than ever. 
1. House Divided
2. Twofer
3. Exit Strategy
4. Skeleton Crew
5. Fake It 'Til You Make It
6. Trapped
7. Burden of Proof
8. Voices
9. Ready or Not
10. Double Down
11. High Tide
12. Dark Secrets
13. Family Ties
14. Keep Your Friends Close
15. New Team Friendships and Rivalries

I've been a fan of mark harmon for a long time. When NCIS came online and I saw the cast I had to watch it. i've watched all the seasons plus shopped at the gift shop on line. NCIS is everywhere at my house. I see people come and go the imprint that each person leaves is and imprint on the person watching this show. I'm 61 for me it brings a little life back in me. The show means a lot to a lot of people. Mark (Gibbs) lives by a code in the show. and i think everyone needs a little bit of code to live by. i will be sorry to see the show come to and end .The cast has been at this a long time. But you do touch people.
NCIS had a rocky season last year--no wonder, with the departure of Michael Weatherley after 13 years and the sudden death of long-time show runner Gary Glasberg. Story threads got lost, writing was uneven, and, sadly, the "team" just never jelled. There was a lot of adolescent silliness in the office. But from the first show of Season 15 on, the show is totally back on track and better than ever: good stories well written and acted, newer characters fitting in well now, and the team members have suddenly all grown up again. (Gibbs never needed too, but he has also changed in interesting new ways). There is still enjoyable good humor among them, but a lot less silliness. New addition Agent Jack Sloane is a strong plus.
NCIS has been characterized by strong characters, good plots, and good directing. This IMHO is not the real source of its popularity. NCIS has been so popular because its characters are patriotic and care about honor and integrity. They are front line soldiers working for something greater than themselves. Last season was not a great one, due to a weak character, who has now left the show. There's only been one episode of the new season, but it was excellent. If the writers are going to expand McGee and Bishop's roles, that will be great. The writers definitely haven't lost their touch. If you liked it before, you'll still like it. Unless the rest of the episodes just collapse (unlikely) I anticipate a very enjoyable season. 
NCIS is still the best of all the NCIS’s.
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NCIS Seasons 15

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TV-Series Review
NCIS Seasons 15

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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Movie Review Star Wars VIII The Last Jedi

Movie Review - Star Wars VIII: The Last Jedi

The Last Jedi - youtube.com
The Last Jedi

From the ashes of the Empire has arisen another threat to the galaxy’s freedom: the ruthless First Order. Fortunately, new heroes have emerged to take up arms and perhaps lay down their lives for the cause. Rey, the orphan strong in the Force Finn, the Ex-Stormtrooper who stands against his former masters and Poe Dameron, the fearless X-wing pilot, have been drawn together to fight side-by-side with General Leia Organa and the Resistance. 
But the First Order’s Supreme Leader Snoke and his merciless enforcer Kylo Ren are adversaries with superior numbers and devastating firepower at their command. Against this enemy, the champions of light may finally be facing their extinction. Their only hope rests with a lost legend: Jedi Master Luke Skywalker.

Where the action of Star Wars: The Force Awakens ended, Star Wars: The Last Jedi begins, as the battle between light and dark climbs to astonishing new heights.


Both directors of the new trilogy are huge Star Wars fans, each with a different mission as filmmakers within the series and each with their own sense of style and vision. Compared to Abrams, whose job it was to create new and likeable characters while thrusting them into a fun and familiar Star Wars setting (a job well done IMO), Johnson's job was to continue the arcs of those characters while somehow subverting expectations. I can't speak for other fans, but I had a strong personal need for the saga to expand on its ongoing narratives, themes and character dimensions in ways that were simultaneously new, familiar, interesting and unpredictable. I didn't want just another Empire the way we kinda got just another New Hope. I knew that to do that Johnson would need to take some risks, and as it turns out he took a lot of them with varying degrees of success. Not everything lands how it should've, but all the A-plot stuff with Kylo, Rey, Luke and Leia worked great for me initially and in retrospect.

Without going into too much detail, VIII suffered mostly from one or two of its subplots, namely that of Finn, Rose and DJ. In spite of their subplot's flaws, perhaps the biggest payoff was one in which DJ helps Finn and Rose to understand that war is far more grey and nuanced than they previously realized, and that the concepts of good and evil are maybe a bit more relative than they'd like to think. This is a concept that is echoed in various ways throughout the movie's various arcs, and its a theme I personally adore, but I wish Finn and Rose had come across it in a more fun and concise way.

One of the most common complaints I've seen of this film has to do with it's attempts at humor. Admittedly, I was caught off guard by it near the beginning, but I quickly and effortlessly found myself enjoying it, and did so for the most part for the rest of the film. I'm not sure I understand why the humor didn't land for so many people, at least not beyond the fact that humor is a very subjective construct. The humor of the prequels suffered greatly because it was so infantile and kid-centric. I think people forget how much humor there was in the original trilogy, but it seems to me that the new trilogy hasn't forgotten, nor has it failed to understand what made that humor more successful. The humor simply needs to appeal to the widest possible audience, young lings and old lings alike. Was some of the humor too “meta” in this film? Who knows. One could easily argue yes or no, but I personally didn't think the humor was specific enough to be truly bad in a meta sense. Overall it seemed fine, and a lot of it got genuine laughs out of me.

I have enormous difficulty taking seriously the opinions of those who say flat out that Episode VIII “sucks” or even of those who somehow loved it unconditionally, although there seem to be far fewer of those in the latter category. Either way, let's not kid ourselves into thinking there has ever been a perfect SW film (although Empire was objectively maybe the closest we'll ever get to one). Empire took plenty of risks that in hindsight paid off beautifully, and I feel quite comfortable saying the same of VIII. As far as risks go, the difference between the two films is that VIII takes maybe one or two too many. Its possible that a few more months in the writer's room probably could have fixed all or most of the film's biggest missteps, but as a realist I understand time isn't always as abundant as we'd like it to be. In the end, The Last Jedi is what it is, and it would have been folly to ever think it could have pleased everyone.

I could follow suit with so many of the Internet's talking heads by nitpicking this film to death, but doing that seems unnecessary and beside the point of cinema. It might be a cynical view, but I think a lot of people kinda enjoy dissecting all the “bad” parts of movies more than losing themselves in all the “good” parts. I simply can't find it within myself to cut off this film's face to spite it's nose like so many people have. When considering the poignantly grey themes of The Last Jedi, doesn't it make more sense to embrace a more “grey” approach to how we experience films? To reference a specific quote from VIII, if darkness rises, shouldn't the light rise to meet it?

With all it's jaw-dropping spectacles, touching character moments and fresh thought-provoking themes, its the sum of Episode VIII's parts that, for me, make it an enjoyable cinematic experience. I have no quibbles about recommending this episode of Star Wars, but I'd try to ignore the Internet's echo chambers.
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Star Wars VIII : The Last Jedi

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Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Movie Review Wonder Woman

Movie Review - Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman - Amazon.com
Wonder Woman

Before she was Wonder Woman, she was Diana, princess of the Amazons. Fighting alongside man in a war to end all wars, Diana will discover her full powers and her true destiny.


The storyline in a nutshell: Diana leaves her paradise Island of Themiscyra that is magically hidden from the rest of the world to fight alongside men in a war to end all wars.

Wonder Woman is a movie that everyone can comprehend and accept, which is not brooding and polarizing like other DC movies. Unlike many comic book movies that make the main character one dimensional, I have never seen so many profound aspects in a fictitious superhero movie before. It is a movie beyond woman equality, history, war, ethics and even religion. It’s about honor, duty, good, evil, love and doing what is right.

Wonder Woman is a good mix of action helped by the back drop of The Great War/World War I. It is not just plain adventure but has a narrative focused on the increasingly treacherous world with diminishing tolerance and morality. While I don't consider it good to compare, it was inevitable to see similarities with Captain America: The First Avenger.
This doesn’t just create a good visual. After a three-movie streak of stinkers from DC studios, this moment demonstrates what makes superheroes, something Zack Snyder apparently doesn’t appreciate. Heroes represent, not the recourses we’re willing to live with, as with Snyder's Superman, but the aspirations we pursue, the better angels we hope to achieve. We all hope, faced with the nihilism of the Great War, that we’d overcome bureaucratic inertia and face our enemies head-on.

In some ways, this Wonder Woman, directed by relative novice Patty Jenkins, accords with DC’s recent cinematic outings. Diana’s heroism doesn’t stoop to fighting crime, a reflection of cultural changes since the character debuted in 1941. Ordinary criminals, even organized crime, seem remarkably small beer in today’s world. Crime today is often either penny-ante, like common burglars, or too diffuse to punch, like drug cartels. Like the Snyder-helmed movies, this superhero confronts more systemic problems.

But Snyder misses the point, which Jenkins hits. Where Snyder’s superheroes battle alien invaders, like Superman, or pummel the living daylights out of each other, Wonder Woman faces humanity’s greatest weaknesses. The Great War, one of humanity’s lowest moments, represents a break from war’s previous myths of honor. Rather than marching into battle gloriously, Great War soldiers hunkered in trenches for months, soaked and gangrenous, seldom bathing, eating tinned rations out of their own helmets.

This shift manifests in two ways. First, though Diana speaks eloquently about her desire to stop Ares, the war-god she believes is masquerading as a German general, this story is driven by something more down-to-earth. General Ludendorff’s research battalion has created an unusually powerful form of mustard gas. The very real-world Ludendorff, who popularized the expression “Total War,” here successfully crafts a means to destroy soldiers and civilians alike. He represents humanity’s worst warlike sentiments.

Second, this Wonder Woman doesn’t wear a stars-and-stripes uniform. Comic book writer William Moulton Marston created Wonder Woman as an essentially female version of Superman’s American values, an expression externalized in her clothing. This theme carried over into Lynda Carter’s TV performance. But this Wonder Woman stays strictly in Europe, fights for high-minded Allied values rather than one country, and apparently retires to curatorship at the Louvre. Her values are unyoked to any specific nation.

Recall, Zack Snyder’s Superman learned from his human father to distrust humankind, and became superheroic only when threatened by Kryptonian war criminals. Diana, conversely, learned to fight for high-minded principles—which she learned through myths which, she eventually discovers, are true without being factual. Snyder’s Superman, in fighting General Zod, showed remarkable disregard for bystanders, his film’s most-repeated criticism. But Diana charges into battle specifically to liberate occupied civilians. The pointed contrast probably isn’t accidental.

Unfortunately, Diana learns, war isn’t about individual battles. She liberates a shell-pocked Belgian village, and celebrates by dancing with Steve Trevor in the streets. But General Ludendorff retaliates by testing his extra-powerful chemical weapons on that village. No matter what piteous stories she hears about displaced, starving individuals, ultimately, her enemy isn’t any particular soldier. It’s a system that rewards anyone willing to stoop lower than everyone else, kill more noncombatants, win at any cost.

In a tradition somewhat established by the superhero genre, Diana culminates the movie with a half-fight, half-conversation with her antagonist. Ares offers Diana the opportunity to restore Earth’s pre-lapsarian paradise state by simply scourging the planet of humanity. (Though Greek in language, this movie’s mythology reflects its audience’s Judeo-Christian moral expectations.) Diana responds by… well, spoilers. Rather, let’s say she simply resolves that fighting the corrupt system is finally worthwhile, even knowing she cannot win.

Wonder Woman’s moral mythology resonates with audiences, as Superman’s doesn’t, at least in the Snyderverse, because she expresses hope. Watching Diana, we realize it’s easy to become Ludendorff, wanting to not just beat but obliterate our opponents. Yet we desire to emulate Diana, standing fast against human entropy and embodying our best virtues. Diana is a demigod, we eventually learn, and like all good messiahs, she doesn’t just rule humanity, she models humanity’s truest potential.


This is by far the best DC to be made since The Dark Knight. Although I remain loyal to Marvel, I am pleased with DC success with Wonder Woman as it is one of the most well rounded, entertaining superhero movies to date.
 
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Wonder Woman

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Movie Review Beauty And The Beast

Movie Review - Beauty And The Beast

Beauty And The Beast - Amazon.com
Beauty And The Beast

The story and characters you know and love come to spectacular life in the live-action adaptation of Disney's animated classic BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, a cinematic event celebrating one of the most beloved tales ever told.


I have loved the story of Beauty and the Beast for years. I loved the Disney animated version. It was charming and sweet. This one has many of the same qualities but it was very hard to get past Emma Watson's singing.

Remakes can be risky, but Disney delivers again in this excellent live action remake of their classic animated musical "Beauty and the Beast". The story will be familiar to fans of the earlier movie, but the delivery of the new movie is so good that the suspense will have viewers hanging on the edge of their seats for an emotional ending. The music is as good as the original, and the CGI effects of the Beast's castle and its lively household are generally seamless.

The settings recalled the real darkness of the original French fairy tale. The prince is a prisoner of his own arrogance, selfishness and anger, and the intricacies of the Beast's cursed castle show that so well, metaphorically: everything is entangled and entwined with sharp, brittle branches and dark, dark, dark. The scenes where Belle and he begin to interact to get to know each other become well-lit and brighter, as if the Beast is slowly letting go of his own destructive tendencies. 

The mob scene is truly horrifying, as I could feel the hatred that Gaston is whipping up, and the villagers so quickly fall for. The obvious "lessons" are here as well: appearances are not all there is to a person as well as (sorry, Lloyd Weber fans) love changes everything.

The acting cast is first rate. Emma Watson is her own spunky but very appealing Belle. Dan Stevens carries off the difficult role of the Beast, with a soft heart under a beastly exterior. Kevin Kline is adorable and funny as Belle's father, a man with a secret. The voice actors for the enchanted household staff are indeed a distinguished bunch, including Emma Thompson, Ian McKellen, Ewan McGregor, and Stanley Tucci, among others. Luke Evans as Gaston and Joseph Gad as Le Fou are their own entertaining subplot. The scenes in the forest with the wolves may be too intense for very small children. Highly recommended.
 
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Beauty And The Beast

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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

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Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Review Book The Death House

Review Book - The Death House

The Death House - Amazon.com
Death House

Toby’s life was perfectly normal… until it was unravelled by something as simple as a blood test. 

Taken from his family, Toby now lives in the Death House; an out-of-time existence far from the modern world, where he, and the others who live there, are studied by Matron and her team of nurses. They’re looking for any sign of sickness. Any sign of their wards changing. Any sign that it’s time to take them to the sanatorium.

No one returns from the sanatorium.

Living in his memories of the past, Toby spends his days fighting his fear. But then a new arrival in the house shatters the fragile peace, and everything changes.

Because everybody dies. It’s how you choose to live that counts. 
About the Author :

Sarah Pinborough is a critically acclaimed horror, thriller and YA author. She has written for New Tricks on the BBC and has an original horror film in development. Sarah was the 2014 winner of the British Fantasy Award for Best Novella, and has three times been short-listed for Best Novel. She has also been short-listed for a World Fantasy Award. She lives in London.
 

Sarah Pinborough​'s The Death House is a stunning, powerful, painful, and yes, beautiful, read. The speculative elements are slight, but all the more intriguing for it. The focus is squarely on the main character, Toby, and the sudden turn of events that lands him in the Death House alongside other children who've suffered the same fate. Its brilliance is in the characters and the whiplash of emotions they (and you) go through during this short, engrossing read. Fans of Neil Gaiman, Lord of the Flies, and light psychological horror should give this a go.
There’s a whole generation of kids right now growing up on a steady diet of YA dystopia, and when they are ready to move on to more solid grown-up fare, here is the book to get them there.

Here is a dystopia we-the-reader don’t even see, don’t have explained to us beyond the barest of bare-bones basics. There’s no scrappy rebellion against the system, no Team This Guy and Team That Guy ‘ship wars.

In this world, kids are routinely blood-tested for some never-named disease / genetic anomaly. The ones whose results come back as ‘Defective’ are, with no warning, picked up by agents in vans and whisked away to a boarding school on an island. There, they just … wait. Every now and then, kids get sick and are taken upstairs to the sanatorium, never to be seen again.

So many questions! The symptoms of the disease seem to vary, the kids share rumors about its effects and history, but none of them know, so neither do we. The nurses and teachers, overseen by Matron, are cool and detached. Lessons are perfunctory. Socialization is pretty much left to fend for itself.
This was a fascinating book, and one I highly recommend. A gothic romance of sorts told as a fable. Powerfully emotional, often shocking and complex enough to keep you on your toes, not so much with the plot twists, which are fairly telegraphed, frankly, but with the way the characters act and react to shocking, horrific, unreal situations.

Not without its flaws, for sure, but the pluses definitely outweigh any nagging negatives. This one will stay with you for a long time and haunt you - the overall affect, like the northern lights described within, is brilliant. A must-read.
http://amzn.to/2BAInRG
The Death House
http://amzn.to/2BwHn17

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.
http://amzn.to/2BAInRG

The Cured

http://amzn.to/2BwHn17

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