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Insidious

Insidious

(2011)
3 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

It's refreshing to see a film that has the capacity to creep you out without getting graphic, gore, or submerging the imagery in filth. Now is "Insidious" the greatest horror movie ever? No, I don't think so. But by the same token, I don't expect every film to come up with a new special effect or a new way to disembowel someone to be scary.

What did I like about this film? I think the imagery was disturbing and the timing in the first half of the film was impeccable. There was an overwhleming feeling of dread at watching the film. It allows the ordinary to become frightening. For those who have become desensitized to that, and need excessive imagery to tell a story, this film will disappoint.

What I do not understand is how the film feels so schitzophrenic between the first part and the second part. It's almost as if it was written by two different people at two different times. Still there are good shock moments in the latter half.

SPOILER ALERT:

I would have liked to see more of the film revolve around happenings in the house rather than the Further. I realize this may have given it more of a Poltergeist feel, but I think in the long run, the film might have felt more cohesive.

All in all, this is a great film if you want to go and feel uneasy while watching it. It'll make you jump, possibly scream, and really give you a good scare.

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

(2010)
3 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

Let me be the one that calls out Emperor on this one. I know a lot of my friends adore this movie, and it's perfectly within my rights to not like it. As much as people argue with me about why this film is so "great", I simply don't see it as such.

First, I'm not a videogamer. I find videogame references annoying. So, this film triggered no fond memories or funny inside jokes for me. Second, I have an attention span longer than 20 seconds. I found this movies constant quick cuts and scene shifting to be really disturbing. The visuals, while somewhat impressive, did not leave a really good impression on me. In fact, I turned to the person next to me and asked if I was in someone's acid trip. He felt we were as well.

Above all else, I didn't enjoy the idea that we were looking at a quasi-realistic experience. The idea that the characters were "kind of" in a videogame, but also "kind of" in real life just does not sit well with me. Perhaps it works for comic books and graphic novels, but it didn't work well (in my opinion) on screen.

What I see is this film being destined as a cult classic...much like the Rocky Horror Picture Show. Universally adored by a group of die hard fans who feel someone finally "got what they like" while the rest of the world will forget that the film ever existed.

A Patch of Blue

A Patch of Blue

(1965)
3 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

This is possibly my ALL TIME favorite film. Shoe when color films could be made, it was intentionally made in black and white to really illustrate its point.

A Patch of Blue is the story of a blind girl (Selena D'Arcy" in the white, lower class, meeting Gordon Ralph (a middle class black man). This happens purely by chance and the developing friendship is a learning experience for them both. Shelly Winters is wonderful as the vindictive and mean spirited "Rose Anne".

I love this film for it's brilliant acting, beautiful story telling, and strong storied-message. When I showed this movie to a friend, he just looked at me in amazement when it was over and said, "They just don't make movies like that anymore." Indeed, they do not. This film does not rely on quick cuts, special effects or CGI, or even on story gimmicks to work. It just tells its story in the strongest possible way, and the actors/actresses know how to bring those characters out in the best ways.

Everyone should see this film at least once, to see how one man, Sydney Pollack, wanted to comment on the human condition, in 20th century America.

Alpha and Omega

Alpha and Omega

(2010)
3 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

I will be the first person to say that this is not the greatest animated film of all time. It has, in my opinion, some very specific problems. Primary to me being that the character design has such an off kilter appearance, that it's annoying through out the film.

Now, taking that out of the equation, I found this film to not be a typical "formulaic film". By this, I mean that it doesn't have the standard "let's make a musical" feel that Disney films have; it doesn't have that "let's throw humor at your every few minutes" feel of many Dreamworks films; and it doesn't have the repetitive "product building/branding character" that Pixar films have. Is the story original? No..just as most Pixar, Disney, and Dreamworks films are based on the same "let's find a happy ending" and "love story" themes. But, this film does accomplish a few things very well.

*SPOLIER ALERT*

First, it gave every character a "flaw". The "perfect guy" can't sing. The "perfect girl" fails on her first hunt. The "hero" and "fair maiden" are both omegas..and inherently not desired by the rulers. In the end, everyone does get who they want, and everyone does change for the better. There is even a pretty touching scene involving a near death. (While many on these boards seem to be pessimistic about how "cliche" this is, I'd rather call it timeless...and it had more than half of a full theater crying and sniffling at that point, so it did its job fairly well.) I also think the "howl" scenes were quite beautiful. Instead of them all just being a howling noise...each wolf had their own singing voice. Those that should be together, harmonized. It was actually fairly innovative to me.

I did find the duck and goose to be rather annoying, and there could have been better ways of handling them as guides. I also didn't like how the adult bears would not speak as the other characters did...they grunted and raged, while the child bear did talk. It was somewhat incongruous to me.

But all in all, I left the theater feeling pretty good and humming the howl song. Any film that uplifted my mood that way, is in my opinion, a pretty good film.

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Intel Hollywood Star Program (July 2012 - December 2012)
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