Bad Boys for Life
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This one was really bad. This movie is a bit of a forgotten film because it took literally forever to come out. The Evil Within actually started filming back in 2002 and finished sometime in 2008 after years of delays. The movie was then edited for years, but then the director died in 2015. It was then finally released in 2017. What we get here is a movie that's just a bit of a mess that definitely feels like it's from 2002. Dennis Peterson (Frederick Koehler) is a mentally handicapped young man living with his younger brother John (Sean Patrick Flanery). One day John and his girlfriend Lydia (Dina Meyer) purchase Dennis an old antique mirror. Dennis doesn't like the mirror, but soon enough warms up to it when he begins talking to his reflection. The reflection talks back and soon enough it becomes apparent that the reflection is not a good person. The reflection tells Dennis to kill people and that's literally the movie. The film has some really strange pacing, but with the knowledge of the history of this production it makes sense. There's even a side story with John and Lydia that really adds nothing to the movie. The reflection itself is a demon and when you see it there is a level of creepiness to it, but once again this movie was very much low budget. This one was a challenge to get through and I wouldn't recommend it!
I wanted to like this one a lot more and I think after one more viewing I would appreciate it just a bit more, but as it stand The Lodge was a really wild film. The film follows a family where Richard (Richard Armitage) is divorcing from his wife Laura (Alicia Silverstone). They've been separated for a while from the looks of it with Richard falling in love with Grace (Riley Keough). Richard is an investigative journalist and interviewed Grace for a book he was doing and things happened. Grace is the only survivor from a cult she lived with as a kid where 39 people all committed suicide except for her. Real nice right? Anyways after a tragic event happens Laura and Richards kids Aidan (Jaeden Martell) a young teenager and his little sister Mia (Lia McHugh) move in with their father. 6 months go by and Richard who is planning on marrying Grace asks the kids to give her a chance (since they absolutely despise her). Richard and Grace plan to take the kids up to Richards cabin up in the woods to spend Christmas up there in the hopes that Grace will bond with the kids. Aidan and Mia are definitely against this. They know about Grace's past and don't trust her at all. They eventually cave in reluctantly and go on the trip. Richard ends up having to return to work for a few days, so the kids are all alone with Grace. Grace to say the least hasn't quite gotten over the entire "being in a cult" thing and is on medication that she hides away from Richard and the kids. Soon enough being stuck and underappreciated in the cabin Grace begins to hear voices telling her to repent and in the process slowly starts to slip into madness. So yeah I'm trying to not spoil the movies as there are some huge twists to this thing and the fun in the movie is watching it all unfold. I will say I liked the performances here. Very believable and Riley Keough is great as Grace. The film isn't necessarily scary, but I would say it has some creepy moments with some very tense sequences. The movie does have a bit of a pacing issue though and for the most part I think casual viewers would find it a bit slow. It's showing Grace's plummet into madness though, so in a theatrical way it does a good job of showing her slowly unwind. The twist here is something I did not see coming either. Now that I think about it they hint throughout the film on what's going on, but I can imagine a second viewing (as I said at the very beginning) would make me appreciate this film more. For the most part I enjoyed this one. I'm leaning more toward a 3 star rating, but I for one would watch this one again. Horror fans or fans of movies like Hereditary (2018) or It Comes At Night (2017) I would say definitely give this one a look! It's currently out in limited release, but is expanding.
A sequel to 47 Meters Down (2017) that does not connect to the previous film other than the fact that they both feature Great White Sharks. This time around the movie centers around 4 high school girls that venture away from a boat trip and decide to explore some caves. Mia (Sophie Nelisse) and her stepsister Sasha (Corinne Foxx) don't really get along. At school Mia is being bullied and Sasha just doesn't do anything about it. Mia's father Grant (John Corbett) plans a boat trip to see Great White Sharks for the two girls in the hopes that maybe they'll finally bond or find some kind of neutral ground. Before they even get on the boat two of Sasha's friends Alexa (Brianne Tju) and Nicole (Sistine Stallone) coax Sasha instead into exploring a hidden lagoon that ventures off to Mayan ruins. Mia is reluctant to join, but since she knows the most about diving (she previously use to dive with Grant) she agrees on the deal that they only check out the entrance. The four girls dive and have a good time, but then they run into a blind Great White Shark that's adapted to the darkness of the ruins and traps the girls. The girls soon realize they're almost out of oxygen and have to find a way through the labyrinth of the ruins to escape. The movie has a cool premise I'll give it that. It's just poorly acted and I have to say the ending went on for about 10 minutes too long. The CGI used here at times looks good for some scenes and then for certain scenes (aka anything where it isn't dark) it looks atrocious. I didn't particularly think the first movie was the greatest, and this one definitely falls right behind that one. The film is PG-13, so the gore is pretty thin here and I think with a shark film a R rating would have helped this one just a bit. For the most part if you enjoyed the first one check it out (currently streaming on Amazon Prime). If not for most people this is a definite skip.
What a pleasant surprise. I rented this one from iTunes for only .99 cents and I went in completely blind without seeing any trailers. I recommend you do the same if you decide to check this one out. A sci-fi, mystery film about a young seven year old girl named Chloe (Lexy Kolker) who lives in a run down house with her dad Henry (Emile Hirsch). Henry is teaching Chloe how to blend in and appear "normal." Henry makes Chloe scared of the outside world telling her that if she's ever to leave the people outside will kill her. Pretty mysterious right? The thing is when Chloe looks outside it appears the world is quite normal. With a craving for ice cream like no other one day Chloe runs outside the house and meets a somewhat creepy ice cream man named Mr. Snowcone (Bruce Dern). Mr. Snowcone drops some knowledge on Chloe and tells her that she's special and that there's much more to what's going in the world than what she really believes. I'm being incredibly vague here because there's a lot to benefit not know the whole story here. I want to avoid spoilers, so I will say this one had some great pacing, a very good plot where you really feel for the characters. The film also is a low budget indie film and it shows, but they make use of the sets quite well here. By the time the movie was done I actually wanted to see more and explore more of this world they show off here. I would definitely recommend checking this one out as I had a lot of fun with it and I think any sci-fi fan will enjoy it!
And finally I've completed my collection of Alfred Hitchcock films from the blu-ray collection of Alfred Hitchcock: The Masterpiece Collection released in 2012 (roughly been on my shelf now for 7 years). It's been a total of 15 movies (yes just a small slice from the 50 films Hitchcock directed overall) and went from Saboteur (1942) to Family Plot (1976). So, yeah Family Plot was kinda all over the place for me. It has some good performances, but man the plot was just a bit too wacky for me and the pacing was really slow. The movie revolves around two couples. One couple is Blanche (Barbara Harris) a con artist of a woman that pretends she's a psychic and can talk to people's long lost loves. When she is hired by a lady named Julia Rainbird (Cathleen Nesbitt) to find her long lost nephew Blanche tells her boyfriend Lumley (Bruce Dern) to assist. Lumley is kinda in on the whole fake psychic stuff and he himself is just a cab driver, but is an inspiring actor. With a prize of $10,000 if they can locate Julia's nephew they are on the case. Meanwhile, a man named Adamson (William Devane) and his girlfriend Fran (Karen Black) are kidnapping high end officials and ransoming them for diamonds. In return they are running a front for a jewelry store. Well the thing is Adamson turns out to be Julia's long lost nephew, but Adamson is going by a different name because of some shady stuff in the past. What ensues is a big cat and mouse chase here and a lot of people in the wrong place at the wrong time. Like I said I enjoyed the performances her especially Bruce Dern and William Devane. There's a decent story here, but I just really didn't care by the end of it all. Someone in the movie even dies and I seriously was like, "We'll that just happened." Overall, as the final film from Hitchcock this one's a dud in my opinion. It has some moments, but for the most part I really enjoyed the previous film Frenzy (1972) a whole lot better. Side note: Hitchcock was planning another film after this one which was going to be another spy film, but because of his health it was canceled and never filmed, so maybe just maybe he was going to go out in a bang if he knew that was the final one!