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Showing posts from May, 2018

"Kiss Kiss Bang Bang" (2005)

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Rating:R:15 Genre:Comedy, Drama, Romance Directed By: Shane Black Written By: Shane Black Released: October 21st, 2005 Runtime: 102 minutes Studio:Warner Bros. Pictures
Summary: Two-bit crook Harry Lockhart (Robert Downey Jr.) stumbles into an audition for a mystery film while on the run from the cops. Winning the part, he lands in Hollywood, where he's flung into a tangled, murderous conspiracy with his childhood sweetheart, Harmony Lane (Michelle Monaghan), and hard-boiled private eye Perry van Shrike (Val Kilmer).

Review: This is a quick-paced, witty barrel of entertainment. Robert Downey Jr is on the ball with a very engaging wry sarcastic character with a sensitivity, and his constant narration, talking casually to the audience is so well done. It doesn’t let go of your attention, keeping you interacting with the story as it unfolds.
Val Kilmer adds to the laughs on offer as well in a quick-paced lively manner. He’s just very funny at pretending to be gay. Both he and Robert Downey…

"6 Balloons" (2018)

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Rating:NR Genre:Drama Directed By: Marja-Lewis Ryan Written By: Marja-Lewis Ryan Released: April 6th, 2018 Runtime: 75 minutes Studio:Netflix
Summary: Over the course of one night, a woman drives across Los Angeles with her brother, who is addicted to heroin, in search of a detox centre.
Review: I was looking through Netflix and this came up in my recommendations. The name caught my eye. Mostly because it reminded me of the song “99 Red Balloons”. It wasn’t a very long film so curiosity got the better of me and I put it on. 

For what it is, I can’t fault it. As films about addictions, specifically drug addictions, go it’s actually up there with some of the best of them. The acting is really great, probably the film’s biggest saving grace for me. It’s very character-orientated. There’s little to no major action as such on screen, a lot of it is through the character’s dialogue. I felt it drag a little now and again. That might have just been me.
I liked that most of the focus was around the peo…

"Basic Instinct" (1992)

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Rating: R:18 Genre:Drama, Horror, Mystery, Romance Directed By: Paul Verhoeven Written By: Joe Eszterhas Released: May 8th, 1992 Runtime: 127 minutes Studio:Artisan Entertainment
Summary: The mysterious Catherine Tramell (Sharon Stone), a beautiful crime novelist, becomes a suspect when she is linked to the brutal death of a rock star. Investigated by homicide detective Nick Curran (Michael Douglas), Catherine seduces him into an intense relationship. Meanwhile, the murder case becomes increasingly complicated when more seemingly connected deaths occur and Nick's psychologist and lover, Beth Garner (Jeanne Tripplehorn), appears to be another suspect.
Review: The first thing that always enters people’s heads whenever this film is brought up is the interrogation scene. The film made Sharon Stone a huge star because of the sex appeal she brought to the whole thing. If I’m honest, I think it’s quite sad that this is all people seem to associate with this film. It's not what I remember i…

"The Prestige" (2006)

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Rating:PG-13 Genre:Action & Adventure, Drama, Mystery & Suspense Directed By: Christopher Nolan Written By: Jonathan Nolan, Christopher Nolan Released: October 20th, 2006 Runtime: 130 minutes Studio:Buena Vista Pictures
Summary: An illusion gone horribly wrong pits two 19th-century magicians, Alfred Borden (Christian Bale) and Rupert Angier (Hugh Jackman), against each other in a bitter battle for supremacy. Terrible consequences loom when the pair escalate their feud, each seeking not just to outwit -- but to destroy -- the other man.
Review: Under the recommendation of one of my friends, I watched this film just over two years ago now. I was so blown away by it the first time, in my head I refused to watch it again because I was so afraid it wouldn’t be as good as the first time or that I had somehow got too taken up with its brilliance that I had missed something which would knock it from the pedestal it had so suddenly been put upon. I never thought of it as my one of my favouri…

"The Machinist" (2005)

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Rating: R:18 Genre:Drama, Mystery & Suspense Directed By: Brad Anderson Written By: Scott Kosar Released: March 18th, 2005 Runtime: 98 minutes Studio:Paramount Classics
Summary: Factory worker Trevor Reznik (Christian Bale) suffers from insomnia so severe that his condition has taken its toll on his weight and his mental health. When Trevor unintentionally causes an on-the-job accident that horribly injures a coworker (Michael Ironside), he begins to become even more troubled. Despite a relationship with Stevie (Jennifer Jason Leigh), a pretty prostitute, Trevor descends further into paranoia, blaming his problems on an enigmatic figure named Ivan (John Sharian).
Review: Holy moly what a film. I was not at all expecting it to be as big a ride as it was. It looked depressing. Which it was. It looked serious and somewhat gruesome. Which it was. But the twists and turns along the way are thrilling and only keep going up right until the end. 
The things a person will do for their art. The m…

"Natural Selection" (2016)

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Rating:NR Genre:Mystery & Suspense Directed By: Chad L. Scheifele Written By: Chad L. Scheifele Released: August 26th, 2016 Runtime: 120 minutes Studio:ITN Distribution
Summary: While attending a new high school, a teen's (Mason Dye) budding friendship with a fellow student (Ryan Munzert) leads to harsh consequences.
Review: I found this incredibly difficult to get into. It all felt very long-winded, very drawn out. I think I went into this with different expectations. I imagined it being lighter than it was. It was all very, very heavy and glum and somewhat dreary. It definitely didn’t need to be the length that it is either. 

I think it started off alright for the first five or 10 minutes and then it descended and never really returned. A lot of it felt quite forced. It’s as if it wants you as an audience to arrive at this great moral epiphany after watching it, it’s angling towards this want-to-be-thought-provoking. The whole setting is just very morose. Too much so to allow you to…

"Lights Out" (2016)

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Rating:PG-13 Genre:Horror Directed By: David F. Sandberg Written By: Eric Heisserer Released: July 22nd, 2016 Runtime: 81 minutes Studio:RatPac-Dune Entertainment
Summary: When Rebecca (Teresa Palmer) left home, she thought that her childhood fears were behind her. As a young girl growing up, she was never really sure of what was real when the lights went out at night. Now, her little brother Martin (Gabriel Bateman) is experiencing the same unexplained and terrifying events that jeopardized her safety and sanity. Holding a mysterious attachment to their mother (Maria Bello), a supernatural entity has returned with a vengeance to torment the entire family.
Review: I could tell by the trailer that this was going to be good! The trailer was creepy. So, the movie was surely going to be a step up from there. I think the opening of the movie so strong. The build-up of tension, the setting, the placing of the objects as in all the mannequins is brilliant. Let’s be honest – mannequins are creepy. Th…

"Avatar" (2009)

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Rating:PG-13 Genre:Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Mystery, Science Fiction Directed By: James Cameron Written By: James Cameron Released: December 18th, 2009 Runtime: 162 minutes Studio:20th Century Fox
Summary: On the lush alien world of Pandora live the Na'vi, beings who appear primitive but are highly evolved. Because the planet's environment is poisonous, human/Na'vi hybrids, called Avatars, must link to human minds to allow for free movement on Pandora. Jake Sully (Sam Worthington), a paralyzed former Marine, becomes mobile again through one such Avatar and falls in love with a Na'vi woman (Zoe Saldana). As a bond with her grows, he is drawn into a battle for the survival of her world. 

Review: To be honest, I came away from this thinking it was far too hyped up. I found it difficult to get into and I wasn’t as enthralled with the whole story as I feel I should have been. In theory the story of conflict between idyllic aliens and greedy humans sounds like it should be very…

"Poltergeist" (1982)

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Rating:PG Genre:Horror Directed By: Tobe Hooper Written By: Mark Victor, Michael Grais, Steven Spielberg Released: June 4th, 1982 Runtime: 114 minutes Studio:MGM Home Entertainment
Summary: Strange and creepy happenings beset an average California family, the Freelings -- Steve (Craig T. Nelson), Diane (JoBeth Williams), teenaged Dana (Dominique Dunne), eight-year-old Robbie (Oliver Robins), and five-year-old Carol Ann (Heather O'Rourke) -- when ghosts commune with them through the television set. Initially friendly and playful, the spirits turn unexpectedly menacing, and, when Carol Ann goes missing, Steve and Diane turn to a parapsychologist and eventually an exorcist for help.
Review: This is really good. I imagine if I had watched it at a younger age I would have found it terrifying. I imagine it was terrifying when it first came out. 

It takes a while to get going. It gives you a very brief chill in the opening but then there’s a good 20 minutes or more gone before anything more exc…

"The Woman In Black" (2012)

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Rating:PG-13 Genre:Drama, Horror, Mystery & Suspense Directed By: James Watkins Written By: Jane Goldman Released: February 3rd, 2012 Runtime: 94 minutes Studio:CBS Films
Summary: Arthur Kipps (Daniel Radcliffe), a lawyer, is recently widowed and grieving the loss of his wife when he is sent to a remote village to put a deceased eccentric's affairs in order. Soon after his arrival, it becomes clear that the villagers are hiding a terrible secret. Kipps discovers that his late client's house is haunted by the spirit of a woman who is trying to find someone and something she lost, and that no one -- not even the children -- is safe from her terrible wrath.

Review: I didn’t not like this film. I don’t think it would be among the better horror films out there. But it’s not all bad. The story is fairly engaging for what it is. Not very frightening because most of it has all been done before in so many other ways before it. But perhaps for a first-time horror movie goer it might be up…

"Gravity" (2013)

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Rating:PG-13 Genre:Drama, Science Fiction & Fantasy Directed By: Alfonso Cuarón Written By: Alfonso Cuarón, Jonás Cuarón, Jonás Cuarón Released: October 4th, 2013 Runtime: 91 minutes Studio:Warner Bros. Pictures
Summary: Dr. Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) is a medical engineer on her first shuttle mission. Her commander is veteran astronaut Matt Kowalsky (George Clooney), helming his last flight before retirement. Then, during a routine space walk by the pair, disaster strikes: The shuttle is destroyed, leaving Ryan and Matt stranded in deep space with no link to Earth and no hope of rescue. As fear turns to panic, they realize that the only way home may be to venture further into space.
Review: This is a really good film. It takes a while to get into. It’s quite slow paced. But once it gets going it’s quite remarkable to watch. 

I find it amazing how they managed to make an almost 2 hour film with just Sandra Bullock and just the space setting, it’s so simple. It’s all plain sailing for qu…

"Ghost" (1990)

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Rating:PG-13 Genre:Comedy, Drama, Mystery & Suspense, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Romance Directed By: Jerry Zucker Written By: Bruce Joel Rubin Released: July 13th, 1990 Runtime: 126 minutes Studio:Paramount Pictures
Summary: Happy couple, Sam (Patrick Swayze) and Molly (Demi Moore), are walking back to their new apartment one night when they encounter a thief in a dark alley and Sam is murdered. He quickly realises that he is now a ghost, and learns that his death was no accident. He must find a way of saving Molly from a similar fate, but as a ghost such a task is not that easy as he can’t be heard nor seen by the living. He soon comes across a “pretend” psychic, Oda Mae Brown (Whoopi Goldberg), who quickly realises her “powers” are not so fake after all... 

Review: I always forget how much I adore this film. It never gets old. It’s just got the whole package – drama, romance, thriller, comedy, mystery, suspense – everything you could possibly want in a movie!! I think it’s the on…