Review: 1922

Should've just gotten that divorce.

Wilfred James (Thomas Jane) is a farmin' man, damn it! He ain't moving to know city like his wife, Arlette (Molly Parker) wants. All the land they own is in her name, and she proposes selling it, splitting the difference and getting a divorce. The only problem is she wants their teenage son, Henry (Dylan Schmid) to live with her and Wilfred's fragile ego can't handle that. So he starts pitting Henry against his mother, and soon comes up with the genius plan to murder his wife instead. That karma though...

I never read the novella by Stephen King, but the trailer immediately intrigued me. Netflix must have spent all of $1922.00 on this because it looked cheap. And that's not a dig at films made on microbudget,.You can do amazing things with that, but compared to other films Netflix has put out, this is jarringly different. It's like they spent the bulk of it on all the rats they had to use. Which brings me to my next point, can animals be bad actors? These rats did not look like they were anywhere "naturally." A handler clearly placed them there and turned the camera on quickly. These rats looks straight up confused the entire time. 

Please let me know in the comments below if that complaint is too petty.

Thomas Jane's acting basically consists of using the most over the top old time farmer accent on the planet and not unclenching his teeth. (Seriously, watch him talk) Molly Parker is the most interesting actor here and she obviously doesn't get a ton of screen time.

As mediocre as this was, I wasn't bored at all. I was legitimately interested in seeing what happened next. I basked in the schadenfreude of bad things happening to Wilfred's dumbass. I just expected more.

Recommended: No

Grade: C

Memorable Quote: "Money fixes everything." - Henry (Dylan Schmid)

Thursday Movie Picks: Halloween Edition - Body Horror

This week's theme from Wandering Through the Shelves will kill your appetite: Body Horror. I'm mostly nice with the gifs so it's okay if you're reading this while eating breakfast.

1) Starry Eyes

This is about an actress that will do anything to make it big. Even selling her soul to a casting agency for a dangerous price. This was a great little film, but hard to find a non spoilery gif for.

2) Videodrome

This movie..... It was my Blind Spot for the month and it certainly lives up to its reputation as being weird as fuck and pretty gross. It's hard to describe.

3) Raw

This French film about a vegetarian who after getting forced to eat meat during a hazing finds out she's got more than just a little taste for meat. With all the snacking on human flesh that goes on in this flick, I think it qualifies as body horror. 

Honorable Mention: Tusk

Before I saw Raw, Tusk had my 3rd spot. I'm leaving it in as an honorable mention. A film about someone who is literally turned into a walrus deserves that. 

2017 Blind Spot Series: Videodrome

What I knew going in: That it was a popular body horror film. 

Max Renn (James Woods) runs a sleazy TV channel and is always on the look out for new material. He discovers a pirated tape called Videodrome which shows nonstop snuff. Max's girlfriend Nicki (Debbie Harry) wants to audition for it, and soon he's drawn into Videodrome's bigger picture.

Damn, this movie is weird. 

Director David Cronenberg was put on my radar with A History of Violence. Then he made Eastern Promises which is one of my favorite movies of all time. I've been meaning to go backwards in his filmography for a while and Videodrome is the one that gets mentioned the most. I can definitely see where some of his ideas for History of Violence at least came from. 

James Woods is naturally a creepy fucker so his casting is spot on. I really appreciate that Cronenberg didn't show a bunch of sexual violence. So many other horror directors would've taken the opportunity to go over the top with it and he didn't. With it's reputation with body horror, I was expecting a bit more of that, but what was in there did not disappoint.

I'm glad I finally watched this. It was a perfect way to start my October.

Recommended: Yes

Grade: B

Memorable Quote: "Long live the new flesh." - Max Renn (James Woods)

DVD Review: It Comes At Night

My nightmares have nightmares.

In a secluded cabin in the woods, Paul (Joel Edgerton) his wife Sarah (Carmen Ejogo) and their teenage son Travis (Kelvin Harrison Jr.) are isolating themselves from a mysterious illness that has apparently spread over the world. It's never explained, so don't expect answers. One day, a man named Will (Christopher Abbott) tries to break into their home thinking it's abandoned. He also has a wife and son he's trying to protect. They decide it's the right thing to do to live together.

First things first, not a damn thing comes at night. (Except Travis' nightmares..I guess, if we're going to reach for something) The way this film was advertised after seeing the final product is baffling. When I saw the teaser of the door in the hall way and the families talking about who opened it. I thought it was going to be a possession type movie. When I learned about the illness, I wondered if we would get something like 28 Days Later's rage virus. Nope. It's just a suspenseful drama.

It's not bad for what it actually is. It builds tension well and the actors, particularly Harrison Jr who carries the film are very good. It's just not what I wanted it to be. This is even with expectations in place. I knew the title was misleading from other reviews I read. I will give the film extra points for the absolutely brutal ending. It really upped the fucked up factor.

Recommended: Yes if you know it's not going to be a horror movie, no if that's what you want it to be.

Grade: C

Memorable Quote: "That could be how he found us." - Sarah (Carmen Ejogo)

Thursday Movie Picks: Halloween Edition - Dolls

This week's theme from Wandering Through The Shelves is a nightmare....dolls.

My grandmother was a doll maker. She's very good at it, but she's made her fair share of creepy ones. My older sister used to terrorize me with one we swear looked like a brown haired version of Chucky. Speaking of that little bastard, here are three dolls I'd love to avoid:

1) Child's Play 2

My parents let me watch the Child's Play movies when I was a kid because I explained to them that I understood they were fake. They were good about that with some horror movies. Child's Play 2 is my favorite of this ridiculous franchise. 

2) Puppet Master

Now this one, even though I knew it was fake scared the shit out of me for some reason. I could handle Chucky, but these dolls and puppets were too much.

3) May

Poor, lonely May. She just wanted friends. Now she's forced to make one herself..

Review: Blade Runner 2049

You bought yourself a war.

K (Ryan Gosling) is a Blade Runner hunting down old Replicant models. He unearths a mind blowing secret during a job. When his boss (Robin Wright) sends him to investigate further, he realizes he's also connected to it. 

This movie has been quite the hot topic over the weekend. It didn't make nearly what was expected of it at the box office, and that's a shame because this film is really good. I get it, general audiences don't like long movies if they're not from huge franchises. But don't let the hefty run time scare you off. Yes, you'll feel it. That's natural, but every bit of it is interesting. I compare it to something like Blue is the Warmest Color. That's a long film, but I wouldn't cut a thing. I liked taking all of it in. 

I'd say this is Ryan Gosling's show, but it's almost cinematographer Roger Deakins'. This world, while dark and depressing. (almost too dark at times, which is my biggest fault of the film) is stunningly beautiful. He combines practical shots with CGI so effortlessly. He's so overdue for an Oscar it's almost offensive. I hope he gets one for this. 

Gosling is very good. He's a very straightforward guy, he doesn't have a lot of emotional moments but he balances it so well and I felt for him. Sylvia Hoeks, who plays Luv, another Replicant hunting him is another standout. One thing you should not expect going in is a lot of Harrison Ford. He doesn't show up until the two hour mark and he doesn't have many scenes with Gosling. I expected them to be together more, but Ford does not disappoint.

My only critiques is that the film does get too dark at times. It fits the mood but I'd rather be able to see the actors more clearly. The supporting cast left me wanting to see more. Many of these actors we only spend a short amount of time with. 

I haven't seen the original Blade Runner in many years. I remember it well enough but the film is still very enjoyable even if it's not fresh in your memory.

Recommended: Yes

Grade: B

Memorable Quote: "I knew you were special." - Joi (Ana de Amas)

Thursday Movie Picks: Halloween Edition - Masks

It's one of my favorite times of the year! We're back for a month full of Halloween Editions from Wandering Through The Shelves. This week we're talking about masks. Serial killers love those things so I've got plenty to choose from. The only rule I gave myself was to not use one of "The Greats" ie: Jason Voorhees, Michael Meyers, Leatherface or Ghostface.

1) Hush

This is one of the best horror movies I've seen recently. A man terrorizes a deaf woman in her home. Normally I'm not for home invasion flicks but this one loses a lot of those tropes and does something fresh. This guy actually has the balls to remove his mask early on to go "Welp. Now you've seen me, I'm still killing you."

2) Behind The Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon

This movie is more hilarious than scary, but serial killer Leslie Vernon gives a documentary film crew a behind the scenes look at some innocent folks he's about to terrorize. Look at that goofy mask. It would be scary if it was coming for you in the dark. 

3) Goosebumps: The Haunted Mask

Like any kid that grew up in the 90's. I loved me some Goosebumps. Of the books that were adapted into films, The Haunted Mask was always my favorite. I loved Carly-Beth and was afraid for her when this mask wouldn't come off.