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[color=#000000][i]The Dark Hours[/i] is a surprisingly intense, thought-provoking film. A psychologist (the strangely attractive Kate Greenhouse) pushes one of her criminally insane mental patients a little too hard, and is forced to face the psychological repercussions when he decides to turn the tables. The less one knows about [i]The Dark Hours[/i] going in, the better. The acting is more than adaquate, the script is well-paced and never uninteresting, the direction is slick and unobtrusive. Admittedly, I was horribly confused by the final 15 minutes of this film, but I was still impressed and affected by it, which is more than I can say by a lot of the big studio tripe being released these days. [i]The Dark Hours[/i] more than fills the definition of "psychological thriller"; in my opinion, it's a textbook example. [/color]
[i]Broken Lizzard's Club Dread [/i]isn't the worst horror comedy I've ever seen. And as far as praise goes, that's not bad. It's a little bit gory, and a little bit funny, but only rarely clever and frequently juvenile. As the friend I was watching it with often intoned, "She's not hot at all, is she?", and it's true, the girls featured in Club Dread were pretty attractive, and I found the flirtacious blonde (Brittany Daniel) to be particularly enjoyable. Overall, the film is barely decent. Barely.
So far, I've seen 5 episodes of [b][i]Showtime's Masters of Horror[/i][/b] series, and I've been kind of surprised at how hit-and-miss the series seems to be overall. I guess that's the way it should be, if each director is employing their own personal artistic perspective, rather than sieving their vision through the opinions of the studio. I haven't [i]hated[/i] any of the episodes thus far, but I haven't loved any of them, either.
I expected [b]Lucky McKee[/b] to hit his episode out of the park, but his vision seems to have been muddled by a weird an somewhat irritating central performance by [b]Angela Bettis[/b]. She plays a lesbian bug scientist who keeps insects as pets at home and insists on speaking to them in this affected voice that sounds like a geriatric woman from Toronto trying to talk sweet to an infant. Seriously, this voice is really annoying. I can't believe McKee signed off on it during the table reads. If you've seen the episode, you'll know what I'm talking about.
Well, the Bettis character meets [b]Misty Mundae[/b] (going by [b]Erin Brown[/b] here; Mundae is the star of a whole shitload of horror/soft-core porno films you can find advertised in [b]Fangoria[/b] and [b]Rue Morgue[/b] and the like; she's very popular amongst a specific set of social fringe players, is all I'm saying), and they begin an awkward sexual relationship.
This crazy bug mailed from Brazil or someplace infects Mundae and she starts acting all strange, you know, eating bugs and stuff, since she's infected with larvae, and things progress from there.
McKee draws heavily from the tones he established in May, and Cronenberg's [b]The Fly[/b] seems to have influenced this episode, as well. Mundae does, predictably, get topless, and there is a mild amount of gore from two of the three KNB dudes, but the ending of the episode blows in supremely lame, and finally, the weirdness seems too forced to be interesting. This 1-hour episode lacks half the tension maintained throughout the 90-minute [b]May[/b]. We'll have to see how McKee fares once the eternally-delayed [b]The Woods[/b] is finally released. Come on, Lucky, you can make it happen. I have faith in you.
I really, really wanted to love this movie. I really did. Balls.
I'm the oldest of 5, and I was perpetually forced to babysit my younger siblings on Friday nights, as my parents went out dancing as part of an early-mid-life crisis they experienced from '84-'86. I was left with the ribald and utterly confusing (at ages 12-13) [b]Miami Vice[/b] as my only night-time companion, and although it appears mildly dated and far-from-gritty today, at the time the series made an indelible impression on my psyche.
And don't even get me started on Michael Mann. Most of the time, I believe the guy can do no wrong ([b]Heat[/b], [b]Collatera[/b]l), and the remainder of the time I at least [i]respect[/i] him ([b]The Insider[/b]). But [b]Miami Vice[/b] just seems so lackluster, so half-assed, like its directed by some music video director trying to channel Michael Mann, instead of Michael Mann himself.
[b]Colin Farrell[/b] glowers and looks mighty serious as James "Sonny" Crockett, and [b]Jamie Foxx[/b] struts around and looks like he is just [i]sick[/i] of getting laid as Rico Tubbs (minus the sawed-off, unfortunately). A huge interagency sting falls apart, and the detectives are forced to go undercover to sort things out. They pose as drug transporters (which makes for plenty of opportunity to break out the sleek, phallic boats) and Crockett takes it upon himself to ball drug liaison [b]Gong Li[/b] (who is so aggressively Asian, she almost looks like a dude), which doesn't exactly sit well with her Pablo Escobaresque husband, a grumpy man who comes complete with fluffy beard. Soon, double-crosses abound, Tubbs' woman gets kidnapped and almost blown up, there's a shoot out in a trailer park (the movie's best scene), and then the final drug deal, when Crockett and Tubbs must deliver their final shipment for payment, just [i]knowing [/i]they're going to get double-crossed, and yeah, the shoot-out is decent, but come on baby, this isn't [b]Heat[/b].
[b]Miami Vice[/b] lacks the gorgeous cinematography of [b]Collateral[/b], the sumptuous nighttime landscapes. Also shot on high Def digital video, [b]Miami[/b] [b]Vice[/b] is curiously grainy, and rarely beautiful. Where's the $135 million, bitches? It's certainly not on the screen.
[b]Colin Farrell[/b] seems distracted, as if he's thinking of better ways to spend his time. [b]Jamie Foxx[/b] almost has a chance to pull the movie together, but his character simply doesn't get enough screen time. In the end, [b]Miami[/b] [b]Vice[/b] is a disappointment, if only because of Mann's directorial successes that preceeded it.