I think the biggest fault of tonight’s movie is they missed the perfect opportunity to both reference a previous Cameron movie while also being self-standing with a tagline like “She’s state of the bad ass art.” Now, a bit of preamble - I got this on 4k, but also as the combo-pack with 3D. The intent was to start off with the 3D version, which comes highly recommended by one of my friends - but the world has a way of making things… complicated. None of the glasses were charged, in the short run I’m not even positive any of them are compliant with the projector, the computer might not be doing 3D as it used to, and the 3D bluray player I own isn’t hooked up to the projector and would take all manner of re-jigging cables to do so. I could have even tried it in VR, but there doesn’t seem to exist a program that allows both VR and proper 3D viewing straight from the disc, so I’d need to rip a movie that I had just received and push back the time it took to get to the review before I even hit the wall of “don’t have the software to rip Bluray discs.” What this amounts to is that you might be able expect me to either addend the end of this review later on when I get the 3D back in fighting spirits, or perhaps just spin that portion off into a QF review. For now, we rip that 4k image wide open and get our robot-arms ready for maximum high five, tonight is Alita: Battle Angel.Read More
Filtering by Category: pg13
The staggering length of the desired DVD drought continues, and we once again get to be surprised at what shows up in the mail. Tonight is a more serious note - one based on a true story, complete with an actual picture of the person of whom the story is based on as if to say “yeah, we know anyone can use that label, but we actually did find a real story to make visually impressive.” The lead of the trailers is somebody that I’ve grown to expect to be able to do justice to a wide range of rolls, and the trailers showed me that there’s a mix of good old human darkness to this seemingly whimsical world of dolls - but the question remains if it’s drama will be entertaining or just straight up depressing. Find yourself a nice pair of heels and go save a milkmaid, it’s time to look at Welcome To Marwen.Read More
Does whatever a Slender can.
So let me walk you through my process of thought here. At some point, I discover that they are making a movie about the contest-winning and much pasta’d Slenderman. I think to myself “oh boy, that offers up some possibilities to be a rather creepy movie - but I bet they’ll mess it up.” It rolls around to no word - and if there is any word, it sure isn’t filled with excitement and grandeur. No, most the mainstream heard about Slendy-boi is unfortunately tied to a real world cluster of idiots using something that’s been known to be fake since the start as a reason for their idiot deeds - which of course the mainstream didn’t know about because they don’t peruse the places such a thing was birthed. Still, it didn’t dampen my interest in seeing this movie when it got out - the fact it took so long to get to something like Netflix really didn’t enhance my expectations, but bad movies and I can still get along. Tonight I check out if thinner is the winner, so package that bug spray and head to the woods - tonight we peek at Slender Man.
Now, I’m not going to say I’m a mass consumer of Slender media - I know of it’s origin, and I’ve read one or two CPs about him - not my particular jam honestly, I personally always found the pseudo misnamed skin walker stories much better. I knew some enterprising folks made a pretty basic looking game of him, and more than any of that I could recall a YouTube channel named Marble Hornets that had some a great series of videos that gave you what you wanted out of a Slender project, until it started to get away from Slender and turned more into just a crazy guy in a bad semi-clear plastic mask, at which point I honestly lost interest. Now, the reason I’m bringing this up is to make a point here regarding the lore around our sharp dressed bogey boy - it originated from the net. From the net, people latched on to it, and it went everywhere with it’s story. People just started taking it up and writing whatever they felt with it - much in the same way that the internet took the Native American folklore of skin walkers - their actual contextually given name is known to me, but I refuse to butcher it’s pronunciation - and turned it into stories of any old friend suddenly being something that’s really just stinky and wearing their friends flayed skin. What this long winded proclamation exists to point out in more sharp a point is thus: with lore being everywhere after becoming “open source” so to speak, it’s hard to really judge the actions of the movie in any real particular sense of accuracy. The original was a mere few photos with a bit of an excerpt to add to the spook. There wasn’t really this guy that’s actually some kind of wood sprite with giant spider-tree tentacles snatching people up - just the implication that this mysterious individual was somehow implicated in disappearances. In that regards, the core sticks well, sometimes shining out more nicely than others.
And I’m gonna get into that a bit. This movie honestly had no reason to be as good as it was - which isn’t to say that this thing is a really good movie. At best I’d call it mediocre, relegated to a land of misleading trailers and PG-13 teen horror with a small selection of stand out moments. Where those moments shine is it’s use of that core original implementation of Slender - a shadowy human like figure that’s not quite right, off in the background or the edges of your vision that makes it not stand out but become all the more creepy and eye catching once it’s noticed. You’ll watch a scene, and the framing leaves a bit of space with which to play - but not obviously so, unless you are looking for it. It looks like it’s framed as it should be, until you notice a stretching shadow in the background that the camera never directs you to look at. Maybe the camera is just sweeping by the woods, and there happens to be a tree that isn’t quite the right shape, and indeed it’s because it’s Slender. Future things added on, via games the Hornet series or just sheer force of diverse creepypasta contributors finds it’s way in as well - electronic distortions, shadowy tendrils, the driving madness. The movie treats Slender well in story, up until (I feel) he becomes some weird tree spirit or plays a more in-your-face offense line role.
The effects work doesn’t treat slender nearly as well. One would assume that it would be easy to do slender, and would surely point to a low-budget version someone else did that looks great. Slender never really comes off as being in the scene here. Perhaps it’s the over-use of the shadowy tendrils, hardly ever leaving him alone in his shots. Maybe it’s the somewhat bark-like texturing on his otherwise void, blank, colorless face. Maybe it’s the closeups. The rather unfortunate side of this is that he’s also the main brunt of the effects. While occasionally used well - as pointed out in that last paragraph - the only other real effects work on display plays off of his terror and mind-breaking side. A vertigo effect, which looks good at first than slowly looks worse the longer it’s used. A facial distortion effect, sometimes simple and sometimes setup in a dizzying rapid fire of motion and stillness (which actually looks pretty good, despite some of the facial expressions looking a bit goofy on the character it happens to). If your goal was to see some violence in your horror movie though, like any eye-stabbings or roof jumping that the official trailer shows, you’ve caught them in an utter lie unless there’s some secret cut kicking that Netflix doesn’t provide. I didn’t even know of this until I had to get screenshots for use in the review, to which for Blu Ray discs I go to official trailers I can find on YouTube due to the inability to screen capture from BR discs, and whilst skimming through saw no less than 5 scenes that didn’t exist in the movie I got to watch.
Alas, Slender Man is a movie about more than just Slender. Let me rephrase, it contains more than just Slender! The main cast of actresses in our troubled teen clique aren’t terrible at their jobs most the time. Some do better than others, but for the most part it’s not painful to watch. This is good, because the main screen time is on them. There’s a bit of overacting at times, certainly some underacting at others, but nothing that stands out as straight up bad without at least a little direction to be it. The characters are perhaps a bit more likeable than the average teen movie girls can end up being, but at the same time the movie seems to go out of the way to make them seem different without actually giving them any character in doing so. They are distinguishable by looks, one passing comment makes it seem on is the more athletic and smart one, but largely nothing is really given to them to build them up outside their plight unless you count a scene of reacting to some “naughty videos” online or the one with the least screen time expressing her dislike of her life situation. If you are looking for smart actions out of characters, this isn’t the horror movie for it either. Some of it could be hand-waved off with “but they are so frightened” or “Slender-Madness” I suppose, but you won’t find any real moments of “about time you made a right choice!“ in this movie.
The performances can be a roller coaster at times, as can the effects, but the sound department keeps it all pretty level and feet on the ground. You don’t have any real issues hearing things (at least, after you turn down your noisy darn AC unit) and the balance of it all is well done. They do throw in the “gotcha!” stings here and there, at times accompanying a jump scare, but overall the general disposition of the music proper is to enhance the suspense, dread, and tensions of either things coming or perceived to be happening. It will also allow Slender-like activities to happen at times without bringing attention to it with audio, which is a nice little bonus and something I can and do appreciate. Nothing in here is going to remain for any amount of time as far as audio goes, outside perhaps the dull bass wubbing of Slendy creeping on people. Still, at least it is something that I don’t have to knock around with a foot while saying good things about it.
Oddly, the pacing is a bit strange. The front end feels like it’s traveling a hundred miles an hour, skipping expanses of time with barely any notice to the watcher at all, until finally the Slender plot begins and things slow way up to a more generic horror pacing. Spooky thing, bad choice, research, spooky thing, repeat. It doesn’t overstay anything even when it slows down a little at the end, but the final payoff feels more like you actually won pennies instead of a jackpot. Part of this might be, I suspect, due to cut scenes involving an escaped crazy - seen only in the trailer. Outside of the time passing being somewhat amorphous, and the lack of any real form of character growth (if you even had character to begin with), it does at the very least handle most the horror elements quite well. A few misdirects, a few good shots playing on the peripheral, messing with reality, and a few really cool shots that could almost be considered camera tricks as well. When it fumbles the horror it usually ends up feeling more like a splat than a solid thump, and part of it could as far as I know just have been a puttering out of ideas by the time it came to how to end the movie.
By and large, this was better than I expected. While by no means a great and debateably even a good movie, this is far from being terrible as my initial expectations were set to giving what it came out of. They had some moments where they played really well with it, even allowing in that element that makes creepypasta photos so fun - the complete ability to not see the spooky element at all unless really looking for it. It throws in enough recognizable traits of the villain that, although it doesn’t allow it’s self to be the exemplar of what could be done with it, it doesn’t make you hate what they’ve done either. Some might find it fine as a rental, although I’d strongly suggest not going further than that unless it’s in a five dollar bin or something until you figure out if you like it in the first place. This is also the one movie that I can actually say that the trailer is worthless for, because it includes so much content the movie doesn’t. For a movie that could have been better, it was actually pleasantly better than I expected.
So you take something like Groundhog Day, and then you slap mechs into it and you get Edge of Tomorrow. Well, that premise is sound for plenty of other things surely enough, and it wasn’t unfathomable that it would be given a more literal horror twist in the form of a slasher. Of course, the bane of the slasher also comes with it, carrying a PG13 rating on it’s shoulders like the giant clock that keeps resetting over the movie. Will it offer enough of those horror and slasher elements to appease those coming at it for some cheap thrills? Will it provide enough other elements to satisfy anyone coming at it desiring an interesting retread of the form lain previous? Will it be something that you can watch and watch and watch? Don’t get psyched out by the fake-out universal skips, tonight we got our hands on Happy Death Day.Read More
Never played most of the Tomb Raider games, if I’m going to be honest. I know of them, know a bunch about the character - enough that it always annoyed me when people complained about this fem-powered imaginary person being nothing more than a sex object - and even watched the older movies from it. Yeah, you know, the ones with Jolie in them? Man, did she look the part and get that nice level of sass - and for a person like me who enjoys cheesy flicks, I was more then entertained. Then came the reboot years, and I kept telling myself “you should buy that game when it goes on sale” - newsflash, I still haven’t. I did, however, get around ot watching the movie. Tonight, you find out that it was exactly this long until I realized there was an arrow in the title, let’s talk Tomb Raider.Read More
Here’s a movie that sounded like it could be a fun romp based on it’s description. Partially painted in favor not from a love of things Star Trek, but from the many things orbiting around the series that still end up being very entertaining watches lending it an added credibility towards favorable levels of enjoyment. It’s begging to be dramatic, but promises to not overstay itself, all while being guided by a premise that struck me interesting in the form of a little synopsis. Ready your readers or get interested, either way Please Stand By.Read More
Ah, the half man who talks to fish that I have never cared about - which is honestly something I can say for a lot of superheros in all honesty. Oddly enough, this one I heard nothing but good things about - which struck me as odd, because the trailer told me this was gonna be a CG fest, and some of these good tidings were coming from people that usually crap on CG. Although rave reviews for something that one would have expected to sink like a rock are pretty impressive, the lightness of my wallet always keeps my movie-going attention in the aftermarket deals. Now that the fish is swimming in the ocean of cheaper costs, it’s about time the tide comes in for my viewership so I can find out how much I hate myself for deciding to watch a two and a half hour long superhero movie the weekend before I go and watch and even longer super hero movie. Splish splash I was watching an Aquaman.Read More
What’s that up in the sky? A bird? A plane? No, it’s a leaping Rock! Amid thoughts of “that should be fun for a movie” I opted to pass this one up in theaters - prices be what they are, and car limitations preventing me from catching things at the one remotely-local drive in. Then the reviews started coming in - a bunch of people bellyaching about how it’s not Die Hard and blah blah. Look, when I watched the trailer I had seen for this thing, I didn’t think “Oh look, it’s Die Hard remade with the Rock!” All that tells me is that I’m predisposed to find myself praising something people poo on again - but that’s what we are here for, to enjoy some cinematic joy for the duration of the ride. Keep note of all the fire escapes, it’s time we get to talking Skyscraper.Read More
This one comes recommended, so instead of being on the fence of whether or not to watch it, it’s on tonight’s docket. It’s not that I don’t like this type of movie - I mean, perhaps biographies made as Hollywood flicks and the inevitable entertainment inflation could be a little bit of a put off - but rather that I already know what I kind of figured the movie would go over, so despite the man behind the band I didn’t know if the interest was going to be there. Soundtrack wasn’t going to be a question - I enjoy the crap out of some Queen - just the drama. Still, a recommendation is a recommendation, so let’s find out if this movie is a drag or flying off like a rocket man. Tonight, we check out Bohemian Rhapsody.Read More
Solo is a movie I had no real interest in. It’s not that I had the thought of it being a terrible or boring movie, I just had no interest in the backstory of a character that worked fine as it is. It’s because of that I never bothered to see it until it came out on home video. Of course, by then you get all sorts of reviews in the positive, with a few off-kilter complaints like “the ship is too clean.” Surely, if the best people can complain about is the ship being clean, something must be right about it and eventually I had the hankering for a heist movie, so I thought “why not Solo?” To be honest, I had even intended to try and watch it in 4k, but some technical difficulties that require me to relocate my hardware prevented me from doing such. Apparently, I don’t have quite the luck of the main character - but more so than me, will his movie?Read More
You thought that fantasy kick was super short lived after that military-based movie from last week didn’t you? Ha! You’ve been played, for I’m still on a fantasy kick and all shall suffer my opinions because of it! Alright, perhaps that was a bit more dramatic than necessary, but I did have a slight hankering for a little something that mixes the two. Most people herald the middle-aged Mummy films as the best the old dried up wrapper has to offer and despite the fact that I wouldn’t say I thought the newest entry was as bad as others might think, they don’t have a terrible statement either. What was it that caused those movies to be so enjoyed over the rest, and why is it that the first one I’m doing for the site is the last of that bunch? Maybe it’s just a curse bestowed for raiding the old tombs of movies so much, or maybe it’s because hidden gems of fun? Tonight, we check out The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor.Read More
It’s been a hot minute since I watched one of these. Heck, to be honest I’m not ever sure I saw the third one, only to figure out that there was a fourth and apparently work on a fifth. Well, perhaps thankfully I’m in a fantasy sort of mood - only time will tell if that’s actually something I should be thankful for. Still, dragons and fire and swords are bound to show up in one way or another, and who doesn’t like listening to Patrick Stewart? Get your lighter’s out, it’s time for a Dragonheart movie.Read More
Science Fiction is always fun in my book - those visions of the future or things to come just intrigues the mind in ways more plausible then the average magic and drama. The genre hasn’t usually done all that great in the box office outside of the huge mainstays like Star Wars or Star Trek, but regardless I’ve always enjoyed it. Cue one day when watching a trailer compilation to keep up on what’s getting released down the line and I stumble across this movie of a kid finding a alien gun, and I’m already all in and adding it to the list of things to watch. Could be terrible, could be great, but it’s got some shiny visuals based on the trailer, and sometimes that’s really all it takes to draw you in. Let’s see how strong the familial bond is with this one, today we look at Kin.Read More
I have no business reviewing this movie. It’s not my genre, it’s not my style, and it’s something that even without watching I know that I’ve already ended up seeing enough that it might as well be made with a cookie cutter in the film room. Still, I like to play a game I call “Wait-staff recommends”, and if I get a waiter or waitress to give me a movie recommendation then it’s only right of me to watch it regardless of if it fits into my preferred mold. The best part of the situation is I go in with low expectations, so the movie should have only up to go - not that it’s saved some of the movies I’ve seen. The worst case scenario is that it is in fact perfectly mediocre and I have to do battle with my brain to find anything to really talk about afterwards. Well, let’s find out if this one is pretty and witty or lame.Read More
I’ve watched a lot of shark movies. You wouldn’t really know it just browsing entries here - most of them are what I call “tub movies” - in which you loaf around in a bath, hot tub, pool, or whatever bucket of water you can fit your fleshy self in and flip on a movie. I’ve seen sharks in tornadoes, genetically mutated sharks, sharks in the sand, sharks in the snow, giant sharks, and cg sharks so bad they wouldn’t scare a two year old. When I saw the initial trailer for The Meg, I said to myself “yep, gonna watch that eventually.” While I took on the long wait for rental to be available, I didn’t hear the greatest things about it from the more review-oriented folks, and the few actual people I knew that saw it seemed to have a fun enough time. Well, it’s time to see if this ginormous toothy boat of a flick can swim or sink.Read More
Nostalgia the movie. Let’s be honest here, if anyone goes into this movie and comes out complaining about the amount of pop culture references, than they probably shouldn’t have gone to see the movie in the first place. The trailers for this thing told me everything I needed having never read the book that existed before hand - I’m gonna get things I remember from my childhood, and from one of my favorite past times. If I don’t get fond remembrances, I’ll get a video game movie that isn’t strictly tied to a franchise in which to be labeled a horrible adaptation but instead just a lot of gaming as a whole. I don’t see anything in this trailer that tells me “No, do not watch this” and finally the day has come for me to test and see if it was all a fabricated DLC pass grabbing at my quarters, or if my expectations can be delivered upon without seventeen thousand hotfixes. Tonight, we check out Ready Player One.Read More
Stick around long enough and you'll know or learn that I like those offbeat movie effects. I'm fine with CG, and I enjoy some fine practical, but there's just some weird charm and draw to stop motion movies. The fact that really anyone could do it, but knowing the huge time-barrier and immense amount of effort that goes into them only adds to that draw I imagine. Still, from the trailer I thought this was something to put on my radar, and tonight it's finally come in the mail. Let's find out whose been a good boy.Read More
People were raving about this one when it came out. Perhaps the ruckus for Get Out was a bit more pronounced, and I'm sure I'll get to that eventually, but this one was certainly up there as far as spooky flicks went. What a novel concept regardless! Critters that attack by hearing things? It's like a bat monster, and who doesn't like that? Well, let's find out if this movie is as cool as the populace have said, or if perhaps they should hush up and bring our expectations down a few decibels.Read More
Monster Hunter World came out recently for the PC, and I've been sinking a lot of free time into it. It's actually somewhat humorous that on that game's release I had intended to watch this movie, but swapped out to a different one to get more game time in. This week, however, is a movie that's about another video game, despite the similarities in giant creatures. Why choose a game that really had no plot and was essentially just high-score runs to smash buildings as various oversized anthropomorphic creatures? My money is on the "nobody will care if we make a stupid and fun action movie out of this." Let's see if I'm right or my expectations are just on a total rampage.Read More
I'm drawn to movies like the entry for tonight. A concept that's outrageous, and yet also somehow makes a lot of sense, but by it's very nature makes you go "well this ought to be stupid fun." It happens a lot to me - and most of the time I wait for home release to watch these movies, because the situation here is that it's just cheaper for me, and although I find high probability in enjoyment, they never feel like the necessitate the extra travel and pay for a larger screen with better sound options. Still, this hurricane caper came of as pretty corny when I saw the trailer, so lets find out if this hurricane really blows.Read More