Friday, July 30, 2010

On blu-ray this week!



Eager to pick but these up,haven't seen them since I was a kid!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Quick Review:Black Water(2007)



The Open Water of fresh water?...nah,much better


Black Water came out on dvd around the same time as Dimension Extreme's Rogue which I already reviewed.Black Water like Rogue also features a salt water crocodile that has attacked a boat, and is based on true events like rogue,but the difference here is Black Water is a bit more realistic in that the croc footage they used was real,as directors David Nerlick and Andrew Traucki insisted no cgi be used,and the integration of the croc into some of the attack scenes is a treat, Black Water in my opinion was also much more suspenseful,grim and intense than Rogue. The budget was also way,way lower.20x lower actually!


The plot:Grace (Dianna Glen), her partner Adam (Andy Rodoreda) and her younger sister Lee (Maeve Dermody) take a holiday to Northern Australia, where they decide to go on a river tour,but unluckily for them they have missed the tour which leads to tour guide Jim taking them on a tour of the river with his own small motor boat.They drift into some mangroves and feel some bumps and then before you know it they are all in the water and the boat is capsized thanks to a croc attack..and Jim is no longer around.Grace and Adam make it to one of the hundred trees in the mangrove while Lee is left stranded on the top of the capsized boat, before she eventually makes it to the tree to join Grace and Adam.And thats pretty much where most of the film takes place as the three mull over all the options to somehow get out of this hopeless situation.Now i know this may sound boring to some people or sound like open water only with a croc but trust me,its not.Its much more exciting than Open Water and it may not have as much action scenes as Rogue and for people looking for an animal attack film that is all attacks and body limps flying,you need look elsewhere.Because here less is more as the tension is ratcheted up gradualy as directors David Nerlick and Andrew Traucki give us just enough glimpses of the croc to keep us interested and scared while giving us action at the perfect moments. And I assure there is action here,as eventually the three of them decide they must take their chances getting to the capsized boat and soon learn maybe the situation is hopeless afterall.This croc is a truly terrifying character that knows exactly what is going on at all times and has no intention of letting anyone out of his territory alive.Probably the best scene is when the croc comes at nightfall for its dinner meal,really creepY and effective. Oh and despite the effective cgi in Rogue,the real croc here just blows away Rogues,not even close.


The acting:The acting is fantastic as its pretty much just 3 characters the entire movie,and they all come across extremely likable and put out very real and believable performances.You felt for them all and at times put yourself into their shoes,what would do in their situation?who has the better idea?would you wat for help or takes your chances?All 3 were pretty much unknown and ended up doing better than many more mainstream and well known actors.

Gore:Not that much on display,we do see an ear floating in the water.

Closing: Black Water is really a treat to watch,its got great tension,good characters and enough scares and action sequences to keep most people interested.The fact that all this was done with such an ultra low budget makes it even more impressive,proving that you don;t over the top Acton,gore or cgi to make an truly realistic, appealing and scary animal attack film.

8.5/10

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Quick Review:Rogue(2007)

Don't be fooled by the cheesy dvd cover or the fact that its dimension extreme

I definitely have a soft spot for animal attack films and even though most haven't been good I still always keep my hopes up.Rogue is not new,it came out in 2008 and Ive watched a few times and never got around to reviewing it.So here goes

Rogue is directed by Greg Mclean of Wolf Creek fame,one I never cared for that much.

The Plot:Pete played by Michael Vartan ( an American journalist on assignment in Australia's beautiful Northern territory) joins a tourist group led by Kate(the adorable Radha Mitchell) on a river tour of the Northern Territory,which of course is home to the worlds largest population of saltwater crocodiles.After seeing a flare Kate decides to take the tour and investigate only to end up victims themselves as they are attacked by a huge saltwater crocodile and left stranded on a tidal island which will be under-water by nightfall.


I know,its sounds like your typical lame animal attack scy-fy movie only its not,its much better.Mclean definitely did his homework and the less you see more scary it is approach works as he keeps the crocodile off-screen until about the 50 min mark.We see it in the dark,in shadows,underwater and so on but don't get a real good glimpse of its amazing size until the final confrontation.And I assure you it looks pretty impressive and intimidating,and Mclean even had a group of his people study the actual movements of real-life crocodiles so it would look more realistic since that is what he was aiming for.


I also dug that it wasn't just attack after attack after attack,he let the characters flesh themselves out and for us to get to know them and they all come across extremely likable and not like many horror films today where I just wished they would all get killed .Kate(Radha Mitchell) really feels for the situation she has put her group in and wants to do whatever she can to get them out of this. Pete(Vartan)isn't the outdoor type but you soon learn he is a lot smarter than he looks and he kind of takes on the calming influence for the group.The rest of the characters(which include a sick mother and her daughter and husband,a midlife couple with no kids,a manish-dykish looking lady,an odd but likable younger man with a expensive camera and a older man who has lost his wife some time ago)also did a fine job of staying together despite some hairy problems that befall them later on..I definitely felt scared for them,and Damn I would be freaking out if I was stranded on some island with a huge crocodile stalking me,Id shit myself

The film also was helped by its environment the Northern Territory looks absolutely beautiful and Mclean did some nice camera work showing this and showing the vast wildlife present there.I actually want to go there one day if I ever get the chance,though Im not so sure if Id take a river tour.

So with Rogue you get a pretty damn good and evenly paced crocodile film that packs a serious bite with some nice attacks,some damn scary scenes and some good characters.Definitely worth seeing if you have a soft stop for these type of films like me


so you know-this was based loosely on a true story of a crocodile in the northern territory which staked his claim to a certain part of the river
Sam Worthington(of Terminator Salvation,avatar and clash of the titans) has a nice part in the film before he got pretty well known
8/10

Monday, July 19, 2010

A reason to watch MTV=



Amber Lancaster,this girl is so hot and just adorable at the same time.The bad part is you have to sit through the rest of the show titled "The Hard times of RJ Berger"

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Let the Right one In movie posters




Shame this is getting remade already,Let the right one in is a beatiful and truly unique vampire film,anyways here are some cool posters from it

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Monday, July 12, 2010

Quick Review:Ils(them)2006


Ils aka Them is another of the french wave of horror-thrillers to hit the states.This was already loosely remade here as the strangers,well very loosely.Ils is a very creepy,and stylistic horror flick that relies on tension and a simple idea of your house being invaded to scare you.It's done fairly well here.Also the opening scene is very creepy and really gets you ready for the ride you'll be on.

The plot:French couple Lucas (Michael Cohen) and Clementine (Olivia Bonamy) live in a big and secluded plantation style house far away from anyone or anything in Romania.We learn that Clementine is a French teacher and Lucas is some kind of writer.They seem to love living out in the middle of nowhere but it soon turns into quite a nightmare for them one night as they begin to hear strange noises later that night that echo through their big house.It seems something or someone has come for them.

The noises continue and we the viewer are left in the dark,we have no idea what it is that is invading their home,why they are doing or what they want.This really works well as we are left guessing,eventually we do get glimpses of what is attacking them as the attackers begin to get closer and closer to Clementine and Lucas,finally forcing them to retreat to the bathroom to hide out.Clementine makes her way to the attic via the bathroom and is stalked through there as the tension gets ramped up even higher as we know the attackers must be one step ahead of them.What I also liked is this tension is here through the rest of the film as eventually Clementine and Lucas are forced to retreat from the sanctuary of their own home and head for the dark and ominous woods in hope of escaping.It doesn't end there as the fast and aggressive pace doesn't let up and they are finally stalked to an underground sewer system where we finally see just what and who the assailants were.


I won't give much away about who the assailants were other than it was a bit of a letdown after such a tremendous 3/4 of the movie.It almost made the whole movie a bit less frightening but it does make you think about what is going on over there in poor European nations and this was supposedly based on a true story.

The acting. Lucas (Michael Cohen) and Clementine (Olivia Bonamy) both are easily likable and really do seem like a normal everyday couple.It was nice that they were more towards middle age and not your everyday ordinary stupid teenagers.Also interesting that they are pretty much the movie,nobody else really is of any relevance to talk about.

The Gore-Not much on display,just some minor blood shed but tons of suspense and tension which was better than gore.

Directed by: David Moreau and Xavier Palud who I hope to see more from as I really dug the premise and how something as simple as your home being invaded can scare the shit out of you.

Closing:A fast pace and creepy ride that keeps you on the edge of your seat and keeps you guessing until the end.Also sporting 2 likable leads that who for once you want to live and not die,ils keeps the tension high throughout is short 70 minute run time.Worth a view
8/10

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Review:House of the Devil(Blu-ray)





My second review of this movie but this time I had the pleasure of seeing it on blu-ray and what a treat it was.The film itself is phenomenal and the blu-ray really adds to it despite some concerns I had about it maybe losing some of that 80s grainy retro look.

The film starts with this flashing across the screen .....During the 1980s, over 70% of American adults believed in the existence of abusive satanic cults. Another 30% rationalized the lack of evidence due to government cover ups...the following is based on true unexplained events.
With this and the fact that the film is called House of the devil we the viewer know something bad and ominous must be at work here.

Probably set time sometime in the 1980's we first meet college student Sam(the adorable Jocelin Donahue)who is in the midst of getting her first apartment.Like any other college student she is struggling with an annoying roomate and of course is strapped for the cash she needs for her new apartment.She sees an add on a billboard at her college for a job babysitting.Seeems easy enough right?And before long she is well on her way to the isolated Ulman mansion on the eve of the upcoming lunar eclipse for what she thinks is a painless and quick babysitting.And she soon does find out that her employers have some..well different plans for her.

So many things stand out about this film but the main one that I love the most would have to be the authentic 80's look of the film.Ti West really,really hit the nail on the head with the look,if you didn't know this film was made in 2009 and you started watchuing this you may very well believe that this is an 80s movie.Everything from the outfits,the feathered hair,the walkman,the old coca-cola cups,the old yellow rotary phone to even the yellow opening credits screams 80's.Even the house where Sam babysits is dipped in the 80s.The yellow-mustardy dull interior colors remind me of my grandpa and grandmas place.West really knew what he wanted and tracked down numerous items on ebay to make it that much more authentic.



Another great thing
West does is he really takes his time building up his story.It's a slow-burn and It may not be for all,and for those looking for something more evildeady or something more filled with cheap scares,I suggest you look elsewhere.But to me West's simple character driven approach is a breath of fresh air,as we get to know Sam fairly well early on and get a real feel for her character. I also loved how he takes time letting the viewer soak in the atmosphere of the house via Sam as she explores it.And a large portion of the film is just that,"watching Sam in the house".West also gives subtle little hints that something may not be right without fully hitting you over the head with it.I've read numerous reviews saying its to slow but that's exactly what West wanted.That's the type of film he was aiming for.He wasn't going for cheap scares and glossy shots,instead trading those in for genuine dread and genuine fear as he places you in its characters shoes.You constantly ask yourself,"would I have done that?"And trust me the final half and hour is well worth the wait.

The acting here is superb as well.Newcomer Jocelin Donahue is brilliant as Sam,she's very likable and very easy on the eyes and perhaps a bit naive at times.Her friend Megan(Greta Gerwig) is also very good as the maybe little too loud and to sarcastic friend.And of course we have Tom Noonan as Mr Ulman,who really is creepy but in a way that's not too obvious,and Mary Woronov as the peculiar Mrs Ulman.And Dee Wallace as the landl;ady was a nice little touch.



Jocelin Donahue<3
The Blu-ray
video quality I was a little concerned with how this might look on blu-ray considering this is a film that relishes in that murky-faded 80s look.But the blu-ray really keeps that look alive and well while adding nice details on close ups of people and objects.So blu-ray buyers don't be concerned with the huge amount of grain on display,that's suppose to be there and is part of the look that West wanted.So shoulds you buy the blu-ray or dvd?Definitely the blu-ray if you own a player or ps3,its only a few dollars more and the picture is better,more detailed and a more realistic of 80's horror movies

Extras

Audio commentaries-One with Jocelin Donahue and Ti West which is very interesting as they discuss everything including the crazy 18 day shoot.The other commentary is Ti West,sound designer Graham Resnik, and producers Larry Fessenden and Peter Phok.
Deleted scenes-a few,nothing really worth of mentioning
In the house of the devil-Behind the scenes look at sound and set design,makeup and gore effects
Behind the House of the devil-Interviews with Jocelin Donahue and Greta Gerwig

Closing
Buy the movie on blu-ray,it's a great throwback with great tension,good acting and a well worth conclusion and fans of classics will definitely enjoy and appreciate this.
9/10

Saturday, July 3, 2010

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