Amanda Shelton's Profile - Rotten Tomatoes

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Rating History

Thale
Thale (2013)
3 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes
½

Considering the budget and stacking it against general horror movies that get churned out by the minute, Thale is fairly decent albeit a bit inept in almost every area. First of all marketing it as a horror movie is a little misleading as there are no real elements of horror, it is more a dark fantasy film. Pacing was a huge issue here, as despite the incredibly brief runtime (just a little over an hour) so many scenes and shots of nothing were stretched to the fullest extent of my patience. Some scenes were so strangely paced it felt like perhaps they would have been slow motion but they just didn't have the budget for it, or perhaps the characters in the film are all just really really slow. The story and character development is a little forced but I'll give it credit for being more developed than the average B film. You hardly have time to give a shit about anyone besides Thale, the most interesting character in the film, especially one of the co-leads in the film who for some reason NEVER STOPS CHEWING. If a little more time had been spent on the story or backstory instead of the needless CGI creatures and boring unlikeable characters, this would have been a real indie gem. The actress and character of Thale herself is highly captivating, a little haunting, and the cinematography in some scenes is very well done. Unfortunately most other scenes are incredibly cheap looking, and I would say the biggest flaw of the film is it's unevenness in all areas. It's watchable but not exactly recommendable, and it could have been so much better, but it's not terrible, it definitely holds its ground in the middle of the road.

The Heat
The Heat (2013)
3 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes
½

Finally, a female buddy cop film that's not ridiculous or demeaning, and also happens to be incredibly hilarious as well as foul-mouthed and violent. Despite a pretty hefty lack of interesting plot, and an overabundance of familiar territory, if The Heat serves as nothing more than a vehicle for McCarthy and Bullock to perform comedy gold then I'm just happy to enjoy the ride. I've read a few reviews that criticized Bullock for essentially "reprising her Miss Congeniality role" here, and I have to heartily disagree and say they weren't paying attention. If this is a form of that role then it is a far superior one that is more interested in comedy and honesty rather than portraying someone who needs to learn to be overtly feminine and desirable in order to save the day. This film is the opposite of films like that because it does not waste time over how feminine or masculine these women are, and portrays them as people, they're not sexualized or searching for romance to be taken seriously, but instead they are unabashedly uncouth. Despite the cultural implications of the film (which I could rave about for ages), this is a comedy film done right, channeling the brazen female humor of Bridesmaids (2011), the violence and camaraderie of Hot Fuzz (2007), and foul-mouthed raunchiness of 21 Jump Street (2012). I honestly have not heard audience reactions, and laughs that continued on well into other scenes like I heard here, and I even found myself holding my face and hitting everything around me I laughed so hard. I have nothing but the best to say about this film, but if for some reason it doesn't strike your humor the flaws may become more tiresome to you, but if it does, this is a truly excellent film that in my opinion is further pavement for the way to more female dominated comedies. I mean really, how many more times does Paul Feig have to prove this to us?

American Mary
American Mary (2013)
3 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes
½

While American Mary is most definitely a cut above a lot of recent horror films, it is unfortunately quite mediocre for all the praise it has been given. For being a character study of a girl falling into a downward spiral of addiction to performing abnormal surgeries, the character is too underdeveloped. While I am a fan of Katherine Isabelle, the character of Mary is too sporadic, jumping from smug bitch tendencies to vulnerability and then sociopathic zen, but only ever those three moods and they do not go together. The biggest problem however is that her motives are often muddled and unclear which makes it difficult to sympathize, root for her, or even root against her, and makes it impossible to follow the story or even understand why there is one. Some have hailed the film as a feminist piece, which as a feminist I fail to see. While the central character is a female in control of the males in her life and is never nude, almost every other female character, including Mary, is shown as a sexual object at some point so it's still a compromise. Most frustrating of all was the incredibly anti-climactic ending that had little to no build up or premise (I could poke a gaping hole in it but I'm not going to spoil the ending), and leaves you feeling as though the film was pointless. Also for being a horror movie, there is a surprising lack of blood or gruesome imagery (despite the subject matter), so it becomes more like a dark thriller akin to American Psycho. Despite all this it was not a bad movie and definitely had its decent moments, not to mention some eye catching cinematography, but as an entertaining/cohesive story it is a bit of a frustrating fail. You could do a lot worse but you could also do a little better.