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Rating History

Sin (2000)
16 months ago via Flixster

An anime based upon the popular videogame series (popular when this was made). I have never played the games, so I cannot vouche for how close the plot is to them, but I like it, even though it hits cliches (the detective can't sovle a case until he's fired from it, news programs playing at the right time, etc.). The animation is very solid and the early mix of 2D and 3D looks good, even still, and while the characters aren't ultra-deep, there is enough backstory to keep you interested.

88 (2015)
3 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

Katharine Isabelle's latest sees her staring as violent amnesic trying to piece two scattered timelines together and discover the truth of what happened to her lover.

The plot may not sound like anything all that new, the style which director April Mullen employs to tell it makes it a very engrossing watch, and gives it a visual identity very much all its own.

The action scenes are interesting to watch and nicely staged, while never feeling repetitive or derivative. The editing, especially during the numerous waking hallucinations, is excellent and finds a nice rhythm early on. The cinematography is stunning, with each timeline having its own basic color scheme, and nice camera movements to zip us along one timeline to the other.

Katharine Isabelle gives a vibrant and impressive performance, playing the (eventual) three versions of one character very well. Christopher Lloyd hasn't seemed this engaged in the material in quite sometime. He doesn't ham it up as the villain, but plays it ruthless and quick, making him quite menacing.

This movie is very good and enjoyable, with some nice twists that adds a layer to each main character. Highly recommended for action fans.

Dragonheart 3: The Sorcerer's Curse
3 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

This strong outing into the Dragonheart world is actually a prequel. Set a few hundred years before the original movie, or its sequel, the movie gets a lot of mileage out of its beautiful locations.

The acting is pretty good, with Sir Ben Kingsley- voicing Drago, the dragon- doing a very excellent job. Taking the job seriously, and being quite dignified, it helps make the character feel realistic. Julian Morris (Cry_Wolf, Once Upon A Time) as lead Gareth exudes solid confidence. Tamzin Merchant as tribal warrior Rhonu is downright amazing.

Despite this being direct-to-DVD, its production values are high, especially in regards to the excellent CGI used. While it doesn't quite hit the impressiveness of the original Dragonheart, it is still top notch work. Especially considering how often color shimmers and the like appear on Drago.

If you are a big fan of this series, or just really love fantasies, this is a must see.

Sleeping Beauty
4 years ago via Movies on Android tablet

Casper Van Dien's directorial debut is a triumph on all fronts. The Asylum has had a fair bit of success with retelling fairy tales in various ways- somewhat modernized (Jack The Giant Killer; pretty damn great) to full on horror (Hansel & Gretel; creepy as hell). This is probably their most faithful adaptation, and without a doubt their best film to date.

Boasting the greatest score of their filmography, this movie starts perfectly. The slighted fairy Tambria curses Princess Dawn, and then fights three good fairies! She promptly kills them. That is how this movie opens! It's impressive and immediately grabs your attention. Thanks to solid directing, beautiful cinematography, and tight editing it thankfully never lets go.

The bulk of the story takes place 100 years after Dawn succumbs to her curse, and involves a prince and his men trekking to the magical kingdom to save her from Tambria. This involves them fighting wyrms, zombies, booby traps, mind control spells, a sea monster, and themselves. It all works within the story surprisingly well, and the movie isn't afraid to go dark.

The costumes are excellent and don't look like costumes, but actual period wear. The location shoot provides a great deal of production value, especially the castle. The stained glass windows are beautiful.

This was a family affair as Van Dien not only directed but stars as the King, his real life wife the Queen, and eldest daughter Grace plays the titular beauty! His other children also have brief roles. Grace acquits herself amazingly, and is easy to buy as a headstrong but scared princess. Granted, she's sleeping through a large section, when she's awake, she exudes natural charisma.

Olivia D'Abo is the evil fairy Queen Tambria and makes for a wonderful villain. Shamelessly evil (thank goodness) she wields a badass attitude and is quite threatening ("Amazing Spider-Man 2" take notes! This is how an interesting villain is handled!). Finn Jones as Barrow, the whipping boy is excellent. His frustrations at his place in life is shown, but just below the surface, adding some nice layers. Edward Lewis French as stuck up, selfish Prince Jayson plays the cocksure bad boy to the hilt, but restrains himself before it becomes grating! Add on a nice twist reveal of his character's true motivation and you end up with a truly engaging ensemble of actors all playing complex and interesting characters.

Composer Joseph Metcalfe, who has worked on other Asylum productions (and the awesome JCVD vehicle "Hard Corps"), outdoes himself, and bigger released films with his score for this. Ephemeral, eerie, graceful, sweet, and everything else when needed, I can't recall a greater score to an Asylum film, nor one that is utilized so perfectly with the onscreen action.

Having received it a few days after it's release, I was very excited once it arrived. I happened to have seen the two worst films of the year (so far) just days before sitting on the couch and turning this on. This low budget retelling of a classic fairy tale blows " Godzilla (2014)" & "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" so high out of the water it's remarkable! In a year in which the Asylum had already released some their most ambitious and well made productions to date ("Android Cop" & "Mega Shark Vs. Mecha Shark" are excellent) this is their best, by large and far. Real care and effort were extended to every end of the film, and it shows. Absolutely one of the best films of the year!