Matt S.'s Movie Ratings - Rotten Tomatoes

Movie Ratings and Reviews

Curse of Chucky

Chucky is back with a vengeance and goes back to the darker, more suspenseful, menacing tone and pitch dark humor of the first two of this series. Curse Of Chucky is a step in the right direction and was refreshingly and expertly restrained, with a classic build up of characters, story and mystery and a sense of doom throughout. Chucky is for sure creepy again, but not as scary as when I first saw the original as a kid, so the effectiveness of the premise has worn off a bit. Compared to Child's Play 3, Bride Of Chucky and Seed Of Chucky, this wickedly entertaining and violent sequel proves that there is still life in this popular series after all and is the best edition to this franchise in 23 years. I can't fathom why this didn't get a wide release to theaters and the last three sequels did, this one is far more superior and clever and definitely one of the top horror films of the year when it comes to entertainment value.

The performances were surprisingly not half bad and brings back the serious tone of the original. Fiona Dourif who is the daughter of Brad Dourif, the man behind the famed Chucky voice, plays Nica, a wheelchair bound since birth, the young woman lives in an old estate with her mom Sarah. One day they receive a mysterious package from an unknown sender. The two open up the package and it's no other than the red haired, freckled face doll that we all know, Chucky. The mom instantly doesn't like and throws the doll away, unknowingly that it's possessed by the serial killer Charles Lee Ray, known as Chucky, let the sinister doll games begin! Fiona was great in the part and was a standout and I rooted for her to live more than any other character in this film and kicked some major doll ass! The rest of the cast were decent as well, even though their characters are mostly throwaways, but far better acting than most direct to DVD horror flicks. Who can forget the iconic voice talent of Chucky, Brad Dourif is back and his voice of Chucky is better than ever.

Director of Seed Of Chucky and past writer for all of the films in this series, Don Mancini has really stepped it up this go around. The film's location was absolutely perfect and appropriately spooky and Don masterfully reignites the series without losing the touch of its roots. There were some plot holes here and there but the way Don ties in the past sequels with this new story was unsuspecting brilliance and moves the series forward instead of backwards. There were some clichés and silly one-liners, but that was a flaw that all of the films had and this time it wasn't as distracting compared to the last three sequels. I think he finally found the right place and direction where this series needs to be and how it should be.

Overall, Curse Of Chucky didn't necessarily blow me away, but it's the best we've seen from this series in more than two decades. The atmosphere brings us back to the dark roots of the original, along with the suspense and frights. I liked the classic restraint and build up in the beginning that leads us to one bloody finale, and the surprise cameo towards the end was just brilliant. The film doesn't make me fear Chucky again, but I had such a blast watching this twisted sequel, and makes me fall in love with the series all over again. Curse Of Chuck completely makes you forget the lousy 3rd, 4th, and 5th one and wins back your respect and it's about bloody time! More of a 6.9 out of 10

Prowl
Prowl(2011)

Prowl does have surprising twists and turns in it as well as some suspense and terror but in the end it was below par compared to much better horror movies of this type, it's just lost in the shuffle. The acting is surprisingly decent with Courtney Hope giving it her all as a small town, adopted 18 year old girl trying to break free and move to the big city and when a chance phone call for an dream apartment in Chicago her friends decides to take her there but things quickly turn for the worst when their car breaks down and hitches a ride with a truck driver. This is when the suspense and intensity kicks in when they find themselves trapped in a preying ground for bloodsucking beings. There were alot of jump out of your seat moments and some twisted, graphic kills but nothing we haven't seen before and better and when the final twist is revealed the movie loses its steam and becomes more and more repetitive and not as effective and it's a shame because it had so much potential and wasted it pretty quickly. The ending sucked and was very anti climatic like it was setting it up as a franchise or something which I won't mind because I would like to know more about the main female character and the new journey she will take but wouldn't really care if they didn't make one either. I will add though that the After Dark Horrorfest seems to be improving more and more each year but still hasn't come out with an top to bottom great horror film that will be remembered for the right reasons because right now it seems like they are stealing some ideas from other better horror films and trying to make it their own way with their own twists but I give them an A for trying. Overall if you like movies like The Descent, Shuttle, Twilight, The Lost Boys ect. then you might enjoy this one but I can't really recommend it because of the plot holes and flaws covered the film more than its solid elements. More of a 2.5 out of 5 stars.

Long Weekend (Nature's Grave)

A slight improvement over the original movie Long Weekend but pretty much this remake is exactly like the previous film. The acting here was strong and the atmosphere was again very creepy and raw and the filming is definitely better looking this time around but it still had that slow build up and not alot of action like the first one that will probably bore some people, I for one still found it mysterious and unsuspecting. I think they could of done a better job with this remake, they could of changed some things and add new and better things to make it more thrilling and terrifying but it ended up being the same exact film just better looking. Overall it wasn't an awful remake it just didn't add anything new or exciting to it, don't bother unless you don't have anything better in your queue.

Oculus
Oculus(2014)

A favorite movie of mine Into the Mirror, a South Korea horror film that was released in 2003 and was remade in 2008 as the mediocre Mirrors, is the only horror film in recent memory that manages to make everyday mirrors absolutely frightening and was inventive at doing it. When I heard that an American original so called haunted mirror movie was being made, I was absolutely on board and couldn't wait to see it, especially when it was receiving positive feedback from critic's way before its wide release date. When the release date finally came today and I bought my ticket with anticipation of seeing the most refreshing American horror film in years, I was unfortunately let down yet again with all talk and no bite.

The film starts with two siblings Kaylie and Tim Russell sneaking out from their bedroom to escape from their unstable dad who is armed with a gun. The siblings try to make it out the front door but the door seems to be jammed, when they turn around the dad has the gun pointed right at them. The film then flashes forward several years later with Tim being released from St. Aidan's Mental Facility on his twenty-first birthday after being convicted of killing his parents on that sinister night, his sister Kaylie is the one that agrees to pick him up after the facility deems him to be fully rehabilitated. Tim is hopeful at making a fresh start and move on from the events, but Kaylie has other plans, she wants to prove to everyone that her brother is innocent and did not kill his parents. Kaylie, who is now working as an antique dealer and during one of her biddings has finally found the culprit from their childhood horrors and the one responsible for their parent's deaths, the ornate Lasser Glass mirror she believes has been responsible for 45 deaths over the last four centuries. Tim is very skeptical and does not believe that the supernatural phenomenon is responsible for his parent's mental instability and their demises. Is the ancient mirror responsible or is it their subconscious playing tricks on them? Just get rid of the mirror and call it a day!

The domestic disturbance part of the story when the siblings were younger was far more gripping and disturbing than the flash forward part of the film, which nothing much happens and is just a bunch of bickering with no payoffs. The film had so much potential and terrifying directions it could and should have taken especially with a cursed and haunted mirror, and did nothing exciting, inventive and most importantly something truly scary with the premise. I found myself invested in the story and characters but was waiting and waiting for something scary to happen with effective payoffs, but was let down around every disappointing corner.

The performances is the film's stronger suits, with Annalise Basso who plays younger Kaylie, she holds her own and gives a strong and effective performance and becomes the true star of the film, at least in my eyes, and is a young actress to look out for. Karen Gillan who plays older Kaylie and Katee Sackhoff who plays the mother Marie Russell, are also highlights of the film, both give solid performances.

Director and Writer, Mike Flanagan took an intriguing premise and unfortunately didn't run with it or take it to terrifying and refreshingly unknown places with it. The story structure was there and talented actors, but the mythology wasn't deep enough or expanded upon to leave you breathless in horror, there just wasn't any rewards with this viewing experience. His debut horror film Absentia was much better at reeling you in and creating terror with simplicity, Oculus has a harder time and stumbles in the process. There are hints of brilliance and a good eye for originality with this director, but nothing has followed through just yet, he is though a horror director that I will still look out for in the future, as this might lead to better films.

Overall, forget the hype because Oculus is unfortunately not the horror film of the year, and the results are just not that scary at all. There are some fine performances, some unsettling domestic drama and a gripping story that I wish was developed in a more effective and fully deeper way. The supernatural/horror aspect of the film though just didn't work to its full potential and towards the end you might find the results more tedious than a lasting and terrifying impact. Wait for the Redbox release.

The Raid 2
The Raid 2(2014)
½

The Raid 2 is the best crime saga sequel to grace the silver screen since probably The Godfather: Part 2, yes it's that good!! Every chaotic scene after another is set up so brilliantly and balls to the wall that it will have fans of the genre drooling at the mouth. The characters are lively and put on one heck of a blood drenched show and will have you chanting for more, the film is one hell of crowd pleaser and manages to be even crazier and entertaining than the predecessor.

The Raid 2 hits the target and then some and is definitely worth the price of admission more than any movie out right now if you have the stomach for it and although I enjoyed Captain American: The Winter Soldier, The Raid 2 is far more badass than that flick and has one hell of an leading hero and he doesn't even have superhero powers. People should be lining up to see this film, SEE IT NOW!!!!!

The performances were all solid and the stunts they do deserve a standing ovation! Iko Uwais, who plays Rama is one hell of an action star and the best of his kind since probably Bruce Lee, he is a force in the action world to be reckoned with and will have you rooting for him every step of the way. Julie Estelle, who plays Hammer Girl is one of the major highlights of the film and has one of the best scenes of the movie and was nice to have woman kick some major ass than just all men, a smart and refreshing move. The other highlights of the film was Very Tri Yulisman as Baseball Bat Man and Yayan Ruhian as Prakoso, they were both brilliantly insane!!!! The list goes on!!!!

Director and Writer, Gareth Evans should be hailed as the new king of action and crime films!!! Bravo man, bravo!!! After his batshit crazy segment Safe Haven in V/H/S/ 2 and now with The Raid saga, the man validates himself as a very bold director that seems to be getting better and better with his craft and deeper with his writing. He is one of my favorite directors now and I can't wait to see what he throws at us next!!

Overall, The Raid 2 is one of the best sequels ever made that will have everything you want, yet still has you begging for more. The story is grimmer, the action more blood dripping sensational and even more crazy characters, and I loved every second of it!!!! Bring on The Raid 3!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Devil's Due
Devil's Due(2014)
½

Just got back from watching Devil's Due and it was not bad, but not great either, just ok. The lead characters were likable and it's more polished compared to most found footage movies, but it just wasn't that scary and the story was not fresh enough to be completely invested in or thrilled by. The film had its fair share of twisted moments of bloody shocks, but it was more fun and entertaining than anything really terrifying and the ending was weak. For a horror movie released in January though, it could have been a whole lot worse, but nothing all that memorable. 6 out of 10

Big Bad Wolves

Big Bad Wolves is one of the most overrated genre films I've seen lately, sure it does a different spin on the revenge thriller, but at the same time the film never takes it to the next level to make it a memorable standout or make it any different from movies of its kind. The twisted black humor though was balanced very well here and some scenes were brutally brilliant, but in the end the film was missing that certain element to make it a powerful and impact experience.

The film starts out quite hauntingly with three young children playing the classic game of hide and go seek. As one of the children, a young boy, counts two young girls finds an abandon cottage like building to hide in. One of the two girls hides in what looks like an old armoire, while the other girl hides outside in a tunnel. What they don't know is that a serial predator is lurking inside the abandon building and when the young boy finds the young girl in the tunnel they go inside the abandon building to the armoire and find the young girl missing with one of her red shoes left behind. I found this opening number quietly chilling and the score powerfully brilliant and I loved the way they revealed the title Big Bad Wolves. This leads to a vigilante cop who will do whatever it takes to bring justice to the victims and their families when he finds the partially nude body of the young girl tied to a chair decapitated. Once he thinks he has found the killer one twisted thing leads to another and he joins forces with the father of the victim and all hell breaks loose when they kidnap the suspect and torture him until he confesses the slaying and tells them where the missing head is. Like Prisoners, but with a darkly humorous undercurrent.

The performances were restrained and somewhat gripping, but no one in this film was that likable or a standout to me, making it hard to root for any certain character through this suppose horrendous ordeal. It was missing that powerful performance like the performances from the recent Prisoners, or even lively enough when it came to the black humor.

Directors Aharon Keshales, Navot Papushado, who collaborated on their first film Rabies and soon the upcoming ABCs Of Death 2, are like peanut butter and jelly when it comes to filmmaking. Their filming styles are inspired here and atmospheric and have more personality than the actual characters and story. The musical score and the filming techniques come together perfectly, too bad the script and characters written didn't have as much oomph, to me they need to work on balancing that. They are improving and I am very much looking forward to see what they bring to ABCs Of Death 2.

Overall, Big Bad Wolves is unfortunately not as bold as its title and doesn't have as much of a powerful bite I was expecting. The musical score and the expertly and brilliantly inspired, quietly haunting filming style was the highlight of this film for me. The directors are definitely talented, but so far the writing and characters don't pull me in as much as the other elements they bring to the table. Overrated, but worth at least one watch. 6.5 out of 10

Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones

Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones is the epitome of how to get back up and come back swinging if your film series loses its course, haters can hate all they want, but to me Paranormal Activity is back with a pulsating vengeance!

The Marked Ones may not be as consistently scary as the first two, but I've never been as involved with the story and characters as much as this installment. The film definitely makes up for the disappointing 3rd entry that left me feeling cheated and irritated and makes up for the decent but could have been so much better 4th entry in the series. I was instantly involved and the change of setting from upper middle class to urban grit was a much needed flavor that breathes new life into the series.

The edge of your seat finale blew me away and validated why I'm such an avid fan of these flicks, pure anticipation adrenaline rush and the fear of the unknown, these films are an experience. Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones is a gift to fans and stands its ground with force that it's here to stay and is not going anywhere anytime soon!

The story begins with Jesse (Andrew Jacobs), who in the opening credits graduates from high school. His best friend Hector (Jorge Diaz) purchases a new digital video camera, and films the two spending the summer like most teenagers, like going to parties, streetwalking and causing a ruckus. All the fun turns to haunting investigations when they start spying on their strange and reclusive downstairs neighbor Anna (Gloria Sandoval), who covers all her windows with newspapers. Their meddling leads to a shocking discovery that Anna has been involved in cult-like rituals behind closed doors. Soon after that she is found brutally murdered, then the clues layer by layer start to unfold and Jesse and everyone close to him are caught in a whirlwind of the mysterious and in the end deadly paranormal activity.

The actors and actresses are again effectively unknowns and the performances and chemistry is the best this series has seen, Andrew Jacobs who plays Jesse is the definite standout performer here, and nails it! Everything was authentic here to me, which made all of the spooky going ons all that more startling.

Director and writer, Christopher Landon who wrote the last three Paranormal Activity films really outdid himself this time, as this is his best effort yet. He furthered the mythology amped up the stakes and took the series to surprising places with this entry. My hat goes off to him as he really went out with a bang and left his mark in the ever growing series, I hope it's not the last we see him within this genre or better yet this franchise.

Overall, Paranormal Activity 5 has a lot to live up to, because The Marked Ones is alarmingly solid and story wise it gets the job done in more ways than one. The film might not be the cream of the crop cap off that people are waiting anxiously for, but that's what I like about this series that it makes you coming back for more. If you are a fan of this series since the first one left many people with sleepless nights, than you are in for a thrilling and entertaining treat! Recommended!!!

Gravity
Gravity(2013)
½

Gravity was a powerful experience, an intimate thrill ride that will leave you breathless and an inspiring, visual wonder that rebirths the Sci-Fi genre as we know it. I have never seen the use of the 3D format done so effortlessly raw and effective, you feel like you are right there with them, floating into the great unknown. The movie shows how precious life is and that the human spirit is strong and lives on, even through the direst of situations. I would of liked them to explore deeper into space instead of mostly staying in one portion, but through it's 90 minute running time it was consistently gripping, edge of your seat tense, awe inspiring and packs an hell of an emotional punch. Gravity is a brilliant film and a near masterpiece I won't soon forget, bravo to everyone involved!

Sandra Bullock is a revelation as medical engineer Ryan Stone. Sandra delivers her best performance to date and does much deserve at winning an Oscar than The Blind Side. Sandra is the star, heart and spirit of the film and her down to earth persona, raw emotions and big heart transcends her capabilities as an actress, a true breakthrough. Her character Ryan Stone's fight for survival in space has never been as terrifying, gripping and haunting since Ripley in Alien, this film of course doesn't have scary aliens, but this film is even more effective because it could actually happen. George Clooney plays astronaut Matt Kowalski and even though he isn't in the film for most of the time, his presence, charm and natural charisma was like a guiding hand in the film that steered Ryan Stone from danger and made her find her inner strength.

Director, Alfonso Cuarón has really outdone himself this time, as moviegoers will look back at Gravity as the director's greatest triumphant achievements. Alfonso has scratched the surface and I think this is only the beginning of great things to come from the very talented director. He has created a visionary spectacle that has the grandest of human spirit and pure wonder, being lost in space has never looked more real than this and the bar has been raised, which might be unreachable for quite awhile. The writing might be sentimental, sometimes corny and simplistic, but at the same time boldly ambitious, enthralling and powerfully humane. I would have loved for the story to go deeper into space and maybe raise the stakes just a tad further, but writing duo and father and son Alfonso Cuarón and Jonás Cuarón make a great team. The filmmakers are off to an even more promising start and they connect to the audience's soul and don't let go.

Overall, Gravity is a film rarity and is unlike anything you'll see this year, a pure gem! Sandra's performance is solid gold, and the film is visually breathtaking and has so many wow moments that it will put you in an awe-inspiring trace. The film will leave you on a satisfying high with a big grin on your face, which is the first film to do that to me this year. Gravity is a magnificent film thanks to the talents behind and in front of the camera. The first film of the year that I think should win the best picture, best director and best actress Oscars, hell it'll probably win more than that. A MUST SEE!!!

Disconnect
Disconnect(2013)
½

Disconnect is a timely, intimate, tense and raw portrait of stories intertwining about the dangers and convenience of modern technology. The film shows how we as humans in the here and now connect with each other through modern tech such as computers, phones, television and at the same time in this now fast paced world we can easily be disconnected to what really matters the most, family and loved ones. With that powerful and relevant statement the film mostly gets the point across in an emotionally effective way, even though in the end the film wasn't as satisfying as it should have been. It's a mad, mad world we live in that unfortunately we don't have an off or reset button to, but in the end most of us are humane, you just have to slow down and look. Disconnect couldn't have more honest about this subject, making it one of the most penetrating dramas about our modern, materialistic and tech savvy world, which is our convenience and our downfall. The best film of its kind since 2005's Crash.

The performances were gripping, tense and heartbreakingly real. The solid cast includes Jason Bateman in a surprising dramatic turn, Hope Davis, Frank Grillo, Paula Patton, Andrea Riseborough, Alexander Skarsgård and Max Thieriot. Their characters are relatable and their stories are tense, upsetting and confronting and each one of these actors bring the emotional weight that the movie requires.

Director, Henry Alex Rubin makes a memorable debut with Disconnect. His urgency, sincerity with the direction of the characters and story was powerfully affirming and doesn't hold back tough topics. Writer, Andrew Stern makes an impressive start as Disconnect is his first screenplay. Andrew brings a bold, honest, tense and thoroughly gripping and very timely. The film is humane and can connect to any audience. Well done!

Overall, Disconnect isn't as hard hitting as the Oscar winning Crash, but this film is just as timely and powerful and will grip and touch the viewer with its outpouring compassion of what it means to be alive and human, a connection that doesn't mean as much when you're behind modern technology, such as computer screens and cell phones. A film with an important wake up call that everyone should invest in seeing. Recommended!

+1
+1(2013)

+1 is visually glimmering, distinctive and a stylish Sci-Fi thriller that's ambitious, sexy and mysterious. The plot device is simple, which mixes young romance with Sci-Fi tropes, as a young man named David, tries to win back his girlfriend Jill after she caught him kissing another girl. This leads to an extravagant house party where every college person that's in town seems to be invited to, including Jill. Unknown to everyone, in the midst of the party an asteroid hits their town messing up the electricity and physics itself, having multiple characters starting to see a clone of themselves. The exciting party soon turns into a frenzied party from the twilight zone, as one by one the characters figure out there is something unworldly at the party. Can David win back Jill before their true versions of themselves get wiped out?

The simple yet chic design of this Sci-Fi thriller may sometimes come off as a glitzy music video, but the way the filmmakers carried out the plot was somewhat brilliant and unique. The mystery surrounding the phenomenon was baffling and thrilling to try to figure it all out with the characters, even though in the puzzling and gnarly end questions still linger. The film had a lot on its mind than just being a typical Sci-Fi endeavor, but didn't quite make a clear statement. As it is though +1 one came off as a refreshing genre effort to me and one that is mesmerizing and boggling.

The stars in this film seem like they stepped right out of an Abercrombie & Fitch catalogue and are one of the best looking cast this year. This was more of a spectacle than performance driven, as most of the characters were underdeveloped, but even at that most of them were appealing. The two that stood out to me though were Rhys Wakefield who plays David and Ashley Hinshaw who plays Jill. Their characters love story seems to be the focus, as their love is put to the test when the Sci-Fi elements are thrown in. Oddly that weird mix seems to mostly work to good balance within the film and makes this genre film stand out. Rhys and Ashley have sweet onscreen chemistry with each other, and because of their likeability factor you root for their characters every step of the way. They are both fresh face talents to look out for.

Director, Dennis Iliadis put himself on the map after the very solid remake of The Last House On The Left. Dennis proves himself again with another spin but this time with the Sci-Fi genre. His filming style is so slick and visually skillful that I'm surprised that this is only his third full-length film, hopefully he won't keep us waiting long for his next effort. The story created by Dennis was unique, mysterious, entertaining, a little creepy and somewhat thought provoking. The ending had a blurred motive of the not from this earth happenings, but it will stay in mind long after its over. +1 could have had a better script with more development with the characters and raised the stakes and peril more, but for his first full-length film, writer Bill Gullo shows potential and it could have been far worse.

Overall, +1 is one of a kind, simplistic yet ambitious and the story keeps your attention the whole way through. It could have had more action and peril with more development for depth. The lead characters were appealing though and the Sci-Fi mystery will enthrall you to the end. +1 is a far better genre effort than most and I recommend you to watch it at least once.

Prisoners
Prisoners(2013)

Prisoners is a well-calculated thriller that will have you enthralled by the mystery from beginning to one hell of an ending. I've never been a fan of the torture genre because most of them are empty, senseless with no resolution, but when it's this complex, restrained and has you thinking this hard to figure out the puzzle, Prisoners is a step above the rest. On the downside though it's not a movie you'll want to see ever again and the film is an exhausting and grim watch, to me it's a film that you should wait for DVD and not rush to theaters. Prisoners is shocking and powerful in its conclusion, but the road getting there tests ones patience.

The film starts out very ordinary, with Keller Dover, a husband to Grace Dover and father to Ralph and Anna Dover, teaching his son Ralph how to hunt and shoot a deer. When they come home the family heads over to their neighbors and friends Franklin and Nancy Birch's house for Thanksgiving, who have two kids of their own, Eliza and Joy Birch. One moment, Anna and Joy who are the youngest of the kids, are precociously singing a fractured Christmas carol ("Jingle bells, Batman smells...") in front of their parents, and the next they are gone. Thinking they went back to his house, Keller Dover looks for them there but to no avail. Panic turns to fear as the families worst nightmare becomes a reality when Ralph mentions a strange RV he had stopped the girls from climbing on earlier, but it is now gone. They call the police and it doesn't take long before they locate the RV and arrest the driver who is a mentally handicapped young man Alex Jones. The police do a thorough investigation on the girls' whereabouts, questioning Alex and searching piece by piece from the RV; they come up with no evidence and let him go. Out of desperation Keller Dover takes matters into his own hands and abducts the suspect and forces him in his now abandon old property. Intense questioning soon leads to grisly torture, as Keller Dover will stop at nothing to find answers to his daughter's whereabouts.

From that point the pace gets a little sluggish and the torturing was very hard to watch. Even though you understand Keller Dover's motivation behind torturing the suspect to quickly get answers before it's too late, the character becomes quite the monster himself and comes off pretty cold from the get go, making you think Keller had something to do with the girls disappearance. That's the thing with this movie, the story is well put together but the characters were not developed enough to make them interesting, relatable or likable, making you think everyone was a suspect, maybe that was their intention to have you guessing.

Hugh Jackman steals the show in this one and gives his very best performance of his career as Keller Dover. His Oscar worthy performance was powerful, gripping and terrifyingly raw, Hugh went to pretty dark places with this role and will be hard to forget. Maria Bello gives an expert performance as grieving mom Grace Dover, and you felt her pain and sorrow, but her character didn't have much screen time as Hugh's and didn't have as much of an impact. Jake Gyllenhaal was quite stellar in his performance as detective Loki and is one of the more solid characters in this film, you were on the edge with him in solving this case, Jake should get nominated for this performance. The rest of the cast were solid as well, including Terrence Howard and Viola Davis as Franklin and Nancy Birch, and an almost unrecognizable Melissa Leo as Holly Jones the so called guardian of Alex Jones played by Paul Dano in a shattering performance. None of them came close to Hugh Jackman's performance though.

Director, Denis Villeneuve makes a pretty impressive American debut with Prisoners after his 2010 Oscar nominated foreign film Incendies made waves. Denis has potential, but his filming style here bored me to tears. I know this is a grim movie and should look grim but at least make it stand out than having it look like Nebraska during winter; it just was dull in its restraint and very TV. Drama like. Other than that the direction it took made it suspenseful throughout thanks to the guide from the twisted and powerful story written by Aaron Guzikowski, who wrote 2012's Contraband. Aaron is a great new writer to watch out for, as he already seems like an expert in this type of genre. The twists and turns he took us through, were edge of your seat brilliant and I can't wait to see what twisted story he comes up with next, just work on the characters.

Overall, Prisoners was tense, gloomy, dread filled, with a well written twisted story and powerful performances. The pace though was sluggish and tests ones patience, with torture scenes that are not for the faint of heart. I do think the movie is slightly overrated because it's no masterpiece and there are far more satisfying and thrilling kidnapping mysteries out there such as 1997's Intensity, which is based on a Dean R. Koontz novel. The haunting conclusion and the twists and emotional complexity of the story in this film makes up for its flaws and creates an absorbing and disturbing watch. Prisoners is a hard movie to recommend, because once you've seen it you'll probably won't want to watch again due to the dark and depressing subject matter. Not a must see but will make a pretty exceptional rental.

42
42(2013)
½

42 is a heartfelt if not so deep biopic about the period on which the great Jackie Robinson was drafted to the Brooklyn Dodgers under the guidance of team executive Branch Rickey and his against all odds history making lead and win that broke down barriers and lead the Brooklyn Dodgers to victory. This movie shows how inspirational Jackie was and if you have a soul it will pull at your heartstrings and will have you fighting back tears because it's so moving. Of course any movie that deals with racism is a hard viewing and even though 42 plays it kind of safe and doesn't dig deeper into that dark period, the movie still shows how far we've come and that it only take one extraordinary individual to make a change and break down walls and that certain type of person was Jackie Robinson.

The performances were solid all around, but the two that stood out to me were newcomer Chadwick Boseman who was the perfect choice to play Jackie Robinson and gives a committed, subtle and exceptional performance and can see him becoming a big star in the future. Harrison Ford gives a stellar and commanding performance as Branch Rickey the team's executive who puts his foot down and helps pave a way so to speak for other people like Jackie and was an entertaining and quite brilliant showcase.

Director and writer Brian Helgeland has another crowd pleasing movie to add to his solid resume and seems to put passion into his craft and is responsible for writing great films like two of my all time favorites L.A. Confidential and Man On Fire and now he has another hit, 42! He's really great when dealing with historical period pieces and can't wait until his next effort; apparently he might do a Cleopatra film and all I can say it's in good hands. He dealt with the Robinson story in a delicate and heartfelt way that might seem safe and by the numbers in parts and didn't dig deep enough into the core of the story, but it still moved me and pulled emotions out of me that it gets the message across.

Overall, it's probably not the Jackie Robinson movie everyone has been waiting for but the film is hard not to love and be inspired by. 42 is the best historical sports movie I've seen in a long time and the warrants a recommendation! An important watch.

No One Lives
No One Lives(2013)

No One Lives is a pointless and mindless slasher that takes huge steps back from the genre and brings nothing refreshing to the game, making the film a tedious and senseless exercise of hack them up. Not a single character was really worth rooting for and sure it was entertaining to have the tables turn on the crooked criminals and the main villain was pretty badass and his killings were very brutal. This movie though has no real reason to exist because there are tons of better slashers at there that will bury it in comparison. No One Lives is quite an idiotic title as it states basically how predictable the film is and maybe that was their intentions to show how weak this genre has become, but they still should of broke through those clichés and surprise us, but it just fell victim to them so the joke is on them. There isn't even a good chase scene and nothing was suspenseful or even entertaining, it's just stale leftovers.

The acting wasn't horrible, but no one really stood out to me. The final girl Emma played by Adelaide Clemens was semi interesting but nothing makes her stand apart from other final girls, thanks to a weak script, even though it could be entertaining to make a sequel with her character getting revenge. Adelaide seems to be in some pretty weak genre offerings as of late, which is a shame because seems like she is a talent to watch out for but the movies she is in is for from it. Luke Evans steals the show in this movie, as he seems to be having the most fun and has more interesting things to do. Luke plays Driver, a seemingly harmless man on the outside but holds a sinister hobby on the inside, which is a skillful and ruthless killer. Luke gave the most decent performance here but again the movie has a weak script that didn't go in a refreshing direction and had absolutely no back-story, making the experience a numb one.

Director, Ryuhei Kitamura has some solid efforts in the past including Versus and The Midnight Meat Train and seemed to be climbing up the ladder to even better films but he definitely fell off that ladder and landed at square one with No One Lives. Nothing in this film was inspired and was like a quick paycheck for everyone involved, there were no passion, no effort, just a cardboard cut out of a slasher from the late 1980's or 1990's and not a good one. First time writer David Cohen doesn't seem like he ever watched a horror movie before to know what to do and what not to do in these films as every character made asinine decisions. Maybe David is new to this genre and I hope this is a lesson learned and will make his next story more suspenseful and less predictable. I just don't really know what their true intentions were in making this film.

Overall, No One Lives isn't the worst horror film I've seen but it sure as hell is the most pointless and forgettable one to date. Gore hounds might find some enjoyment here but if you like your horror movies smart, suspenseful, scary, entertaining and with at least some speck of originality LOOK ELSEWHERE!

You're Next
You're Next(2013)

Balancing horror with witty dialogues has been a constant battle for this genre ever since Scream was crowned king in that department way back in 1996. No horror movie since has captured that as perfectly as that modern classic, You're Next might have tried to accomplish that for home invasion films but doesn't come close. The filmmakers seem to be enjoying themselves here and might have been overconfident that this film was very clever, hip fresh, scary and that it will be a sure fire hit, sorry but to me it's not.

The film opens in a sleazy manner with a much older man banging a much younger women in a very large and secluded house, how very spooky is that, not really. After that sexual act it comes very predictable to the viewer that they're going to get it as you could tell someone is watching them. As the man takes a shower the young woman puts in a record that plays Dwight Twilley Band's "Looking for the Magic", which is a very catchy tune that repeats itself during most of the film. As she makes herself a drink she realizes that the porch light comes on, startled she looks out the door to see no one, she locks the door and realizes she is not alone. Those certain moments had so much potential to be bone chilling suspenseful and could have been a great opening number, but did nothing remotely interesting with that concept and just goes straight to the violence, boring, boring, very fucking boring. The film soon after that clichéd beginning introduces us to the dysfunctional but filthy rich Davison family as they all slowly gather at yet another very secluded and very huge estate owned by their parents Paul and Aubrey Davison to celebrate their 35th wedding anniversary. One of their sons Crispian brings with him his new girlfriend named Erin who is much more than meets the eye. During their first dinner together the perfect evening doesn't last as they soon start bickering with each other over life decisions. When the fight escalates the gang soon realizes they have much more larger battle to deal with as they become under attack by a pack of animal mask wearing psychopaths armed with crossbows and axes. The survival of the fittest begins as one of the victims has more fight in them than they bargained for.

I thought the setting was absolutely perfect with the gothic looking, spacious, creaking old, spooky estate surrounded by bone chilling and shadowy woods and the black of night. The filmmakers could of done so much terrifying and suspenseful things with this setting but cared too much about the gory reveals and violent battles than restrained build-ups to anything remotely scary or effective. There were some tense moments here and there that had me sitting towards the edge of my seat but man they didn't do those creepy as hell animal masks any justice, they could of been iconic but were dumbed down here with too much of the perpetrators taking them on and off losing all off the effectiveness of them. The heroine of the film was definitely badass and sexy and is obviously the best part of this film but the character is nothing that original and in the end can't save this film or kick its same old same old ass into shape. Just like the main song in the film Dwight Twilley Band's "Looking for the Magic", the film repeats itself too much quickly losing its appeal. Very trite indeed.

The performances lacked emotional depth that most of the carnage onscreen wasn't as powerful as it could have been. The characters were just not that likable or relatable that when they met their bloody ends you could care less about whom was next. The standout was the insanely attractive Sharni Vinson who plays Erin and easily steals the show. Sharni kicks all sorts of ass in this film and is one of the best final girls ever, but the weak writing doesn't have enough momentum to suit her well to cause a stir with the audience. Sharni though could very well be the next scream queen to look out for and hopefully her next horror film Patrick will do her some justice.

Director, Adam Wingard is definitely trying to get noticed and put his imprint in the horror industry and he is certainly on his way their but this just doesn't cut it for a breakthrough. To be honest his last full length horror offering A Horrible Way To Die had more of a powerful punch than this film and was a better effort to me, this newest effort seemed more like a cash in than anything inspired or fresh. The filmmaker does know how to ratchet up intensity and the use of sound and music was well done but where was the scares and unrelenting suspense, which is a very important when it comes to horror films and that was greatly missing here. Writer, Simon Barrett is not a bad writer because he definitely wrote some pretty solid horror films in the past such as Dead Birds and the enormously entertaining creature feature Frankenfish, as well as A Horrible Way To Die. Those films mentioned he seemed to have more inspiration with but with You're Next not so much, as the main concern was the bloody violence. The team I think do have the potential to be a horror collaborating duo to watch out for but do need to work on their showmanship.

Overall, yet another horror movie to come to theaters this year that I couldn't wait to see, only to get bombarded with disappointments and under whelming feelings. The film does have one of the more memorable kills this year and has one brilliant and unstoppable heroine, but zero originality and becomes more repetitive and tedious with each kill until they save the best for last, which could save this direct to DVD material film. Lionsgate made an actually understandable decision of keeping this film on the shelves for so long but what I don't get is why they decided to go theatrical with it at this point. Wait for Redbox!

The Spectacular Now
½

The Spectacular Now is an emotionally honest and powerful coming of age story that might drain you towards the end, but the raw romantic chemistry between it's two leads is the best yet this year. Most of the film is quite predictable and the filming style quite ordinary, but the simplicity, natural bonds between characters and their enriching back stories was a powerfully connecting, viewing experience that will grip your heart and soul. The film's plot might be your typical Some Kind Of Wonderful like teen flick fashion, but it mostly dodges most clichés from that genre and holds it's own and the sensitive, poignant and maturity of the film's direction is a rarity from this genre. The Spectacular Now is a much welcomed if not so memorable gem that comes along far too sporadically.

The performances truly make this film worthwhile, and a real star emerges. The star is Miles Teller in a true breakthrough and emotionally layered performance as Sutter, a life of the party, outgoing and big hearted high schooler who's values change once he meets Aimee, who isn't the type of girl he is used to dating. Miles was truly great in this role and has so much star charisma that it will be a shame if he doesn't get noticed during awards season. Aimee is played by Shailene Woodley, who was nominated for an Oscar for The Descendents and proves once again that she is a natural born actress and gives a charming and moving performance that might not get as much nominations this time around but she is one of the best actresses in her age group and beyond. Another gifted and upcoming actress is the magnetic Brie Larson, who plays Sutter's on again off again ex-girlfriend Cassidy. Cassidy truly wanted a future with Sutter but thought he didn't take life very seriously or cared about his future, which is an understandable reason to break up with someone. That's one of the things I liked about this film is its honest, raw portrayals and hurdles life throws at you and to forgive and forget even if the answers are hard to digest. The filmmakers truly cared about their characters and their stories and caress them in a real satisfying direction. The other standout was Kyle Chandler who gives a gripping performance as Sutter's estranged, deadbeat, booze binging father Tommy. You wanted to hate this character for his very poor choices, but you in the end you kind of felt sorry him as he was the one that screwed up his life and left a wonderful wife and family behind. The rest of the supporting were also pretty solid including Jennifer Jason Leigh as Sutter's mom Sara and Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Sutter's sister Holly. A pretty impressive cast.

Director, James Ponsoldt has delivered another emotionally hard hitting independent film that will definitely get the attention of critics again. He is a pro when it comes to creating a authentic atmosphere and getting genuine and emotionally raw performances out of his actors, just like he did in his last and overlooked film Smashed, also starring Mary Elizabeth Winstead. This may or may not be his breakthrough film as a director, but I'm pretty certain there are even better films to come from James Ponsoldt in the future. The screenplay was smart, passionate and probably loyal adaptation of Tim Tharp's novel, thanks to the collaborating inspiration of writers Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber worked together on (500) Days Of Summer, which was also honest and very charming and entertaining. They are both in their elements when it comes to these types of films and I can't wait to see their next adaptation, The Fault In Our Stars, which also will star Shailene Woodley.

Overall, The Spectacular Now is necessarily the most spectacular coming of age film I've seen in years, because it isn't, but it's a rare and special breed from that genre. The performance from Miles Teller is memorable and star making, and the chemistry between Miles and Shailene Woodley was strong and believable. This film might not have a rewatchability quality about it but this genre needs more films with as much flare, honesty, maturity and hard-hitting emotion as it. If you enjoyed The Perks Of Being A Wallflower than this movie is right up your alley.

Kon Tiki
Kon Tiki(2013)

Kon-Tiki is a well-crafted true story of one of the world's greatest explorers Thor Heyerdal, and the daring expedition he embarked with five brave men. With help they handcrafted a balsa wood raft and together set sail thousands of miles across the pacific in an attempt to prove a theory. The film was beautifully filmed from beginning to end with reminiscent of the film Life Of Pi. The journey they went through was an intense and harrowing one, with shark attacks, powerful storms and battling their demons and fears. I was on the edge of my seat with suspense at some points and inspired by their courage and determination the next, Kon-Tiki is a film that is hard not to admire and even though the writing and direction of the story took an old-fashioned route, Kon-Tiki is one of the better and fascinating films I've seen this year. An intriguing slice of history I didn't know much about until now and hopefully not the last historical gem to come out of the woodwork.

The performances were all pretty solid and it helped a ton that all of the characters and the actors that played them has this rare, authentic bond and chemistry that we don't see much of in the movies anymore. Pål Sverre Hagen plays Thor Heyerdal and gives an inspired and charismatic performance and does the character justice, he is a talented actor to watch out for and carries the whole film effortlessly. The rest of the cast was exceptional but were not as developed as the Thor character but it was nice to see where their character's ended up in their lives during the end credits. A likable and talented group of actors you may not know of. I would have liked for the film to dig a little deeper with the story and was a tad too short of a running time for such an epic journey but the filmmakers accomplished enough for an impact and impression.

Directors, Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg are a very talented filmmaking duo that might not have a long list of great films under their names so far, but after this film that is likely to change very soon. They created a stunning atmosphere with this motion picture and their attention to detail and natural substance over style and overload of special effects makes the effectiveness of the true story come to life on screen and some of it is a sight to behold. The script isn't as bold as the direction and image of the film but writers Petter Skavlan and Allan Scott seemed to be pretty faithful to the story even though they could of taken it a step further and raised the stakes instead of being too by the book. I didn't want the journey to end and wanted the filmmakers to dig just a little deeper into the source material to make the film have an even more powerful and impact punch.

Overall, Kon-Tiki wasn't the great and powerful film I wanted it to be, but the solid performances, exciting and thrilling journey, gorgeously raw filming style, a true story that will inspire most and a brisk pace, that is more than what most wide released films brought this year so far. Recommended! 7.5 out of 10

We're The Millers

We're The Millers was a laugh out loud, comedy surprise of the summer next to The Heat. The plot may not be completely original but man was it consistently hysterical, that numerous of times it had me almost falling over from my chair with laughter. Then on the downside there were some jokes that didn't work at all and were eye rollers, with predictability from beginning to an all too lovey dovey of a ending. With that being said I had a much better time with We're The Millers than I thought I was going to and the film is hands down one of the funniest comedies of 2013 that I've seen.

The cast was great together and had great comedic edge and chemistry together. Jason Sudeikis seems to be playing the same type of character in most of his films but he is great at it and always quite funny. Jason plays the role of David Clark, a pot dealer who is down on his luck until he comes up with this elaborate plan of creating a fake family, who is on a fake RV trip in order to successfully sneak a huge shipment of weed into the U.S.A. from Mexico. Jennifer Aniston is at her comedic best here and on top of that has one sexy strip tease scene that will make you drool. Jennifer plays the role of Rose O'Reilly, who is a stripper in desperate need of extra cash and although hesitant at first, is more than willing to go along with the plan of being the fake wife of David and smuggling weed and getting paid for it. Then comes the fake kids of David, Emma Stone seems more comfortable with this type of character and genre and is witty in her own right. Emma plays the role of Casey Mathis, a runaway who bounces to one house to another; David approaches her with the plan and accepts the deal only if she get a fair cut of the money. Will Poulter is more of a standout than Emma and has more memorable scenes, including one with a nasty spider bite that is right out of something like There's Something About Mary. Will plays the role of Kenny Rossmore, a very naive teen boy who is left alone by his no good mom and wants to go along for the ride and plan, even though he is clueless of what he is getting himself into. This cast of players were quite hysterical yet random, but that was part of the charm.

Director, Rawson Marshall Thurber has made his most entertaining film since Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, which was almost 10 years ago, where has he been? This type of raunchy comedy seems to be his strong suit and hopefully we don't have to wait as long until his next comedy. The writing team, Bob Fisher, Steve Faber, Sean Anders and John Morris are at their wittiest here and even though it wasn't consistently even, they still know their material, as they are responsible for such hysterical hits as Wedding Crashers, The Hot Tub Time Machine, She's Out Of My League and Sex Drive. This may not be their most satisfying comedy to date, but they are on a role.

Overall, We're the Millers was a laugh riot but a very predictable, not so original and uneven one at that. The great comedic cast, witty and edgy script and a director who is knowledgeable of the comedic material mostly make up for those flaws. With the lack of truly funny comedies that I've seen this year We're the Millers is welcomed in my books. 6.9 out of 10

A Haunted House

A Haunted House to my surprise is one of the better horror spoofs I've seen since the first Scary Movie, and unless you have no sense of humor and a stick up your ass, then you'll probably find some humor in this film. I'm a pretty big fan of the Wayans brothers works and maybe that's why I'm one of the very few that actually had a fun time with this raunchy spoof and I think that there are far more worse films out there than this one. A Haunted House may not be a very clever spoof but most of the jokes were pretty hilarious if you like Reno 911! type of off the wall humor. It's a prime example that just because a movie has horrible reviews from just about every critic out there, doesn't necessarily mean that you won't enjoy it, because in the end that's all that matters. Bring on the sequel, because I could care less about the haters opinions.

Marlon Wayans has made some pretty downright horrible films in the past like Dance Flick, Norbit, Dungeons and Dragons, and Marmaduke. This film though is one of his better comedic efforts at pure spoofing and his main and clear target is the Paranormal Activity series and he mostly gets the job done. He is an unapologetic and fearless comedic actor, who is willing to do anything for a laugh and I'm surprise that he hasn't hosted Saturday Night Live yet. Essence Atkins has great comedic timing and has great chemistry with Marlon Wayons and she makes a great comedic duo with him. The rest of the cast brought their game as well and were hilarious, including David Koechner as Dan the security man, Dave Sheridan as Bob his assistant, Nick Swardson as Chip the gay Psychic and Cedric the Entertainer as Father Williams, the list goes on.

Director, Michael Tiddes makes his major film debut with A Haunted House, and though it's nowhere near an impressive one, it's not a horrible one either. He could of made more daring turns, but for a first time spoof he definitely picked the right guy to team up with. The writing, though far from clever, was consistently funny for the majority of the film and got the job done of making me laugh, thanks to writing team Marlon Wayons and Rick Alvarez.

Overall, it was obvious that the filmmakers weren't going for a solid film, but they all seem to be having a blast spoofing the Paranormal Activity films and for that alone got the job done. Sure spoofs are getting old and should of been obsolete, but A Haunted House made me find the guilty pleasure in them all over again. For a film with so many bad reviews, I surprisingly had a pretty hysterical time watching A Haunted House and might actually watch its sequel in theaters.

The Lords of Salem
½

The Lords of Salem is an atmospheric, unpleasant, hypnotic and nightmarish film on the outside, but if you dig beneath the surface there is nothing to really grasp on to give a damn about. The film was creepy and unsettling in parts but there is nothing remotely effective or scary about the proceedings.

The filmmaker went for a bold and artistic view, but wasn't relevant and was blurred in explanation and meaning, the plot is bonkers and not in a good way. Rob Zombie missed the mark here big time, he knows how to create atmosphere like a master, but with the lack of a coherent plot, true effective scares and with overshadowing tasteless images that are disturbing in a bad way, I couldn't take this film seriously at all. Rob had so much potential with this concept but went about it in a lifeless, artsy fartsy, and disappointingly non-scary way. Rob is definitely maturing as a director but this is a far cry from The Devil's Rejects, which I still think is his best film. Huge disappointment!

The performances were lackluster and quite silly, but it was nice to see Sheri Moon Zombie in the title role of Heidi Hawthorne. Heidi is a radio Dj, who on one night is sent a box containing a record -- a "gift from the Lords." When the radio station plays this spooky tune she experiences vivid flashbacks containing depictions of her town's sinister past. Heidi slowly goes on a downward spiral into insanity, not knowing what's real or in her head. That plot point really goes nowhere interesting or terrifying and was just idiotic and strange. Sheri does her best but the messy script blocks her from a breakthrough performance, because I do think she is growing along with her husband as an artist.

Overall, The Lords of Salem is definitely not for all tastes, sure the atmosphere was pretty gnarly and trippy, but nothing about this viewing has any entertainment value. The movie wasn't satisfying and left you wanting more and something better and made me constantly think of better ways they could have done with the premise. The film is like a gothic music video, with a series of random, trippy and disturbing images that have no logic behind them and is pretty much a waste of time. Avoid this film!

Riddick
Riddick(2013)
½

Riddick is a slight step in the right direction compared to the bad taste the last sequel gave me. The film's first half begins with Riddick left for dead under fragments of boulders, only to wake up injured, but stronger than ever and all alone on a deadly and deserted planet. This is where the film shines the most, with a one man, badass showcase of the bonafide action star, Vin Diesel as Riddick. One of my all-time favorite Sci-Fi flicks Pitch Black made Vin Diesel a star and it was so exciting to see him back to playing his best character, even though this film wasn't nearly as effective and thrilling as the original. The one-man show in the beginning and the fight for survival in the mysterious and nightmarish lands with grotesque creatures was great popcorn entertainment. From that standpoint the film gave you hope that this film might succeed in surpassing the original, but it was short lived. Riddick soon realizes that this planet has a massive alien race that's hungry for blood, and will be another struggle to stay alive. Riddick has no choice but to activate an emergency beacon to alert ships before it becomes pitch black. When the new batch of slightly entertaining, but disposable characters land on the planet to capture Riddick is where the film goes downhill into pure mediocrity.

The performances were mostly sub par with most of the characters underdeveloped, idiotic and unlikable. The bickering between characters was entertaining to watch to a certain extent but there was no one to root for other than Riddick. Vin Diesel though is at his best when he plays the role of Riddick, a character that never gets old watching, but still deserves a better film treatment than this uneven effort.

The creatures were just not as scary this time around than they were in Pitch Black, maybe the lack of scares, suspense and intensity weakened their effectiveness, this one had more laughs if anything. Some of the kills were pretty brutal but the execution of them was more for entertainment value than to startle the viewer.

Director and writer, David Twohy's forte seems to be B-movie mayhem, with people always on the run from someone or something. The filming was grim and stylish but kind of empty though and the effects were pretty gnarly, so it was pretty atmospheric but the feeling of dread and fear was gone. The other writing contributors Jim and Ken Wheat, Oliver Butcher and Stephen Cornwell created a pretty unfocused story and didn't bring anything fresh to the series, that stopped the film from moving forward. I still liked the concept though and was a fun and entertaining, grindhouse feature.

Overall, Riddick was disappointing and repetitive, but I still love the character, which Vin Diesel always plays with gusto. The rest of the characters in this sequel were just in the way of a potentially better film, which the first half hinted at. The character Riddick is gripping enough that the film doesn't need all of these throwaway characters that are foolish in comparison, at least bring new characters that are worthy to stand beside him. If you still have an interest in this character and if you enjoyed the Pitch Black, then you might get a kick out of this. The series as a whole though has tons of room for improvement.

Insidious: Chapter 2
½

Insidious: Chapter 2 is the best possible follow up that I could hope for and I'm so happy that the critics are so wrong, to me this sequel is an improvement over the unbalanced original! The continuity of the ghost story saga was constructed in a clever way and filled all of the holes left behind from the original, the film makes you warm up to all of these characters all over again. The film is filled with gloriously spooky atmosphere and playful scares that sometimes will chill you to the bone. Don't listen to the surprisingly harsh and negative reviews because Insidious: Chapter 2 is the first theatrical released horror film this year that I walked away with a grin than with disappointment. Underrated horror film of the year!

The use of shadows, shades of lighting, sounds and music was well arranged and almost flawless, validating that writer and director James Wan has proved himself as a talented and signature horror filmmaker. That's what I've been wanting from him and that's what I got here and James Wan to me is at the top of his game here and this is his most accomplished effort yet, what a more than decent way to leave a genre, which I hope he isn't. I still think though that James Wan has much more in him as a new horror master and that the horror films that he has made are mere solid experiments to open doors to bigger and better things in the genre. Writer and long time collaborator of James, Leigh Whannell who also plays the character Specs in these films, wraps up Insidious's story in a satisfying way in more than I expected. Leigh has a decent list of films under his belt and I can't wait for him to collaborate with James Wan again, hopefully this isn't the last.

The performances are even better this time around and the actors delivered above and beyond their scripts. Patrick Wilson has a much more riveting and effective screen time than the somewhat stiff portrayals in the first Insidious and The Conjuring, kind of like the director's wink at The Shining's Jack Torrance. Patrick continues his role as Josh Lambert, a devoted husband and father of three who holds a dark secret of communicating with evil spirits. As the film begins we learn more about the back-story of his character and how it all came to be, leading up to the events of the original and to this sequel. When Josh comes back from the chilling place between the living and the dead known as The Further in the original film, he saves his son from the evil induced coma. Everything seems to be happy and normal but what the family soon realizes is that this horrifying battle with evil spirits is far from over. The always reliable and charming Rose Byrne continues her role as a normal and down to earth mother and wife Renai Lambert, Renai struggles to move on from the horrifying events of the original and while they investigate the poltergeist and the murder of paranormal investigator Elise Rainier, the family moves in with Josh's mom Lorraine Lambert, but unfortunately for them that's where it all started and the haunting becomes more active and more vindictive. Rose Byrne delivers a solid and convincing performance and had the most emotional weight in the film even though her character isn't as rich or intriguing as the others. Barbara Hershey is back as Josh's mom Lorraine Lambert and has more to do in this film than the last one and even has her own back-story. At 65 Barbara still looks great and in all of these years the actress still picks solid films to be in and gives another solid performance here, I'll always remember her best though from The Entity.

The child actors Ty Simpkins and Andrew Astor, who play the sons Dalton and Foster Lambert, were decent but they didn't have much to do other than take a backseat to this haunted funhouse ride compared to the adults, but they are more likable than most child stars and they did have their fair share of creepy and startling moments with the spirits.

The paranormal investigators were the comic relief of this series again and even though the humor doesn't quite work still and is not really needed, it wasn't out of place this time and wasn't a distraction this time and flows better than holding the film back. It was great to see Lin Shaye back as paranormal investigator Elise Rainier, but in spirit this time and is committed as ever in this role and is the heart and charm of this film. Leigh Whannell and Angus Sampson, who play the goofy but passionate paranormal team Specs and Tucker, they are the entertaining cherry on top of the film and are at better use here than in the original, even though their scenes add a Scooby-Doo vibe, but that does adds to the fun charm of the film. Steve Coulter plays Carl, a paranormal investigator from Josh's childhood who use to work with the now deceased but gone Elise Rainier. Carl is the last hope the family has to get rid of these spirits and close this chapter. Steve Coulter gives a focused and believable performance and his character Carl could open doors for more sequels to come. It was nice to see the underused actress Jocelin Donahue from the disturbing The House Of The Devil fame on the big screen, even though she has a very small part as the young Lorraine Lambert, she is still mesmerizing to watch. Jocelin deserves more lead roles, especially in the horror genre! You could tell the filmmakers care about these characters and want you to do the same and it worked.

Overall, Insidious: Chapter 2 won't blow you away, won't win any new fans and doesn't completely break new ground, but as a sequel it does its job well and in some ways improves upon the original. The performances were solid and the filmmakers' raises the stakes and takes and furthers the mythology of the story in a more effective way than last time. I had much more fun with this sequel than with the original and had no silly ending this time and The Further had much better use here than the original! I don't understand all of the bad reviews for this film; I for one enjoyed it more than The Conjuring. I walked away with a grin than with disappointment. Bring on Chapter 3! 7.2 out of 10

Revenant (An American Ghost Story)

When Paul, an unemployed writer, decides to rent and live in a house that's rumored to be haunted, he puts his life and his relationships in grave danger as he obsessively attempts to get the story that will finally make his career.

An American Ghost Story is the kick in the gut, scary as hell horror movie I've been waiting all year for and even though it's not all that original, it sure as hell beats The Conjuring when it comes to effectively terrifying you. This micro budgeted horror film is loaded with jump scares and every one got me big time and I'm not that easily scared, the film had me screaming like a schoolgirl! The setup is simple and very familiar with a couple who moves in a home but this time they know it's haunted only because the boyfriend Paul is a struggling writer who wants to actually complete a project and write a book about his experience in the purposively haunted house. His wishes are granted and after a few nights strange things begin to happen and its first target is his girlfriend Stella having her frozen in fear and like any normal person she packs up and leaves with or without her boyfriend. Paul is now on his own in the house but the ghosts aren't going to make it easy for him and the more he digs into the history the more terrifying the situation becomes. Be careful what you wish for as some things are better left alone.

The performances were not half bad for a micro budgeted horror film, but the person that carries the film is Stephen Twardokus who also wrote this film, plays Paul and gives a solid if quite a similar performance like Ethan Hawk in Sinister and even kind of looks like him. Even so it's funny how this movie takes similar themes from larger well know movies like Paranormal Activity, Sinister and The Conjuring and ends up on top, at least to me.

Director, Derek Cole deserves a standing ovation for accomplishing so much on a small budget where other filmmakers with large budgets fail to do so. He has handcrafted one of the scariest films I've seen these past couple of years and even though there are a couple of plot holes he still got the job done at scaring the crap out of me. The atmosphere was suffocating filled with dread that at any moment the director might throw in a jump scare to tease your fears and he accomplished just that. The film's sound effects score was heartpoundingly intense and spooky, then hauntingly silent the next that I was literally biting my nails in anticipation of a scare, bravo! The writing of the story could have been worked on more, but it was fast paced and suspenseful if familiar and with some holes. For his first full-length film writing effort though Stephen Twardokus should pat himself on the back, as this film is worthy of a theatrical run. The two should definitely collaborate on more and more horror films together; this was a great first effort!!!

Overall, there is no doubt that An American Ghost Story will be at the top of my list of being the best horror film of 2013! It has the scares, suspense, atmosphere, overly familiar but spooky story and a likable lead and a great filmmaking team, a low budget, horror gem!! You'll never look at your bed's sheets the same way again!!!!!! Watch with the lights out and good luck trying to go to bed afterwards. Highly recommended!! 10 out of 10

What Maisie Knew

Not since Kramer vs. Kramer has the subject of divorce, separation and custody battle been saw emotionally raw, thoughtful, moving and heartbreaking. The film this time walks in the shoes of Maisie, a 7-year-old New York girl caught in the middle of a bitter separation and a custody battle that has her going back and forth within 10 days both with her mom and dad. Thrown in the whirlwind are the suppose new young wife of the dad's and the suppose new young husband of the mom's. Confused but in high spirits Maisie slowly warms up to them and welcomes them to the family. Through this positive bond and strength Maisie goes through this hard and emotional journey and takes our hand and glides us through it. What Maisie Knew is an intimate, touching and glowing portrait of bitter separation of spouses through the eyes of their offspring.

The performances were wonderful and not forced, but takes a raw direction of the emotions people go through when dealing with a divorce, break up and a custody battle and how it effects the children in small or big ways. Onata Aprile does a beautiful job in her first staring role and the heroine of the film, Maisie. Onata might not have that many lines that are all that memorable, but you could see her soul and her feelings in her eyes and expressions like if she was starring in a silent film, it was restrained and she is a natural talent to look out for in the future. Julianne Moore is such a reliable actress and gives yet another strong and riveting performance as Maisie's mom Susanna, and the film paints a pretty ugly picture of Susanna as a person making her the least likable character in the film. You do know that she very much cares about and loves her daughter Maisie but is pretty selfish and very much into her career as a musician, leaving Maisie most of the time with her new partner to go on tours. Steve Coogan plays Maisie's dad Beale and isn't in the film that much to make an impact, but his character came off as distant and cold and also very selfish, going on numerous business trips over seas until he decides to permanently live in England. Maisie's saving grace in her life are ironically her step mom and step dad, who slowly fall for each other while taking care of Maisie while Dad is on business trips and Mom is off on tours. They are Margo and Lincoln, played by Joanna Vanderham and Alexander Skarsgård who both give solid performances and are like Maisie's gardening angels in the film and become second parents so to speak for Maisie, even when they cut ties with their relationship with the real mom and dad when they fall in love. Pretty great and poignant performances here.

Directing partners David Siegel and Scott McGehee who directed such independent films such as The Deep End, Bee Season and Uncertainty, definitely have a gift at capturing an intimate picture of dysfunctional family life and films with such quite brilliance that both arresting and naturally beautiful. This is by far their best if restrained effort yet and I'm surprised to see that they don't have a long list of movies under their belt. The writers Nancy Doyne and Carroll Cartwright don't have that much experience writing for films with only two other not so praise worthy credits under their name, but it doesn't show in this adaptation of a old novel by Henry James who died in 1916 and his story gets an contemporary update in this film. Nancy and Carroll seemed to have handled the story with loving care and probably served it well.

Overall, it's one of those independent gems that's probably off most people's radar until awards season, and I'm not saying that it will get nominated for anything but their is a whole lot of talent and heart on display here that it deserves that sort of praise and attention. One of the best films I've seen this year that relies on pure talent alone. Recommended!

Kick-Ass 2
Kick-Ass 2(2013)
½

Hit-Girl saves the day again, as well as this sequel as far as I'm concerned, because without her the film wouldn't be that special. My expectations were through the roof for this sequel and even though the film didn't surpass or even meet most of them, I still had a blast watching it. The film cranks up the violence, the crude humor and profanity to the extreme, it will have you laughing at the shocking insanity show, which will definitely not be everyone's cup of tea, but that's what I liked about the first one and what I liked about this sequel. It's unapologetic, balls to the wall entertainment and it's in its own league when it comes to comic book films. Kick-Ass 2 doesn't deserve all of the hate it has been getting from most critics, with a undeservingly 28% on Rotten Tomatoes, that's bullshit because if you loved the first one than you'll love its sequel, even if it doesn't bring the story to new heights, but you will fall in love with Hit-Girl all over again, she is the glue that keeps this film from falling apart.

This one had a tad too many new characters to be honest, but some of the newer additions added some extra bite including Jim Carrey in his most badass performance ever plays Colonel Stars and Stripes. Jim Carrey was completely underused here and thrown out the window, which is a shame because he was one of the better characters in this film, but he still made a memorable imprint in this film. I like with each film the character Kick-Ass, played by the likable Aaron Taylor-Johnson, grows and becomes more skillful with his ass kicking but he is still like a Robin in a Batman film, I am though even more so intrigued to see this character grow even more into a legitimate superhero, so hopefully this isn't the end of Kick-Ass. Christopher Mintz-Plasse who plays Chris D'Amico / The Motherfucker, annoyed me even more so this time around, in the original you kind of felt bad for him a little bit but in this sequel you wanted to beat the whiny bitch out of him, definitely not my favorite character in this series so far. The star of the show again is of course Chloë Grace Moretz as Hit-Girl. Chloe carries the majority of the film like a pro and is again my favorite from the film, every scene she is in she steals it and nails it with her ass kicking and one liners. Chloe is getting more confident in this role more than ever and it shows and I can't wait to see this character on the big screen again because she will have you grinning from ear to ear. Chloe is becoming quite versatile as an actress and seems to be having a pretty solid year in her career with Carrie coming out next month, which seems to be a more challenging role than Hit-Girl, but I think and hope that she pulls it off. The villains in this one were more cartoonish but man did they get down and dirty, which made the film unpredictably wild.

Director and writer Jeff Wadlow doesn't have the most impressive movies under his name with only the safe and forgettable Cry_Wolf and the decent but generic Never Back Down, his newest effort Kick-Ass 2 is his boldest effort yet and might be his breakout film to bring bigger and better films for him to direct, we'll just have to see. What I see now is a more confident director having fun and improving his skill and I'm interested to see what this does to his career for the future. From the balls to the wall finish he can only go further up from here.

Overall, this sequel doesn't improve upon the original but it sure does maintain the gleeful insanity, charm and kick-ass entertainment the first one brought us and runs with it. Not for the easily offended though, but that's part of its charm. Recommended for fans only.

F
F(2010)

A group of teachers must defend themselves from a gang of murderous kids when their school comes under siege after hours.

I have been waiting a ridiculously long time to see this film when it was originally called F, which was more than 3 years ago! The film was finally released On Demand this year, which made me very excited and the wait was not really worth it but the movie still turned out to be pretty good.

The film starts with a high school teacher Mr. Anderson, whose daughter Kate is also in his class, handing out passing and failing papers to students. One male student in particular gets upset and angry with him for giving him a failing grade, resulting in the student punching Mr. Anderson. The teacher clearly gets shaken by this and is forced to take three months vacation to avoid being sued by the parents of the student. Robert is affected by the incident and a couple of months later; he is emotionally disturbed, alcoholic and separated of his wife Helen. The daughter Kate moves in with the mom and is now distant and angry with the dad.

Mr. Anderson comes back to work and is now looked down upon, with staff upset over a mass email he sent regarding school violence. On the first day back he doesn't have the command he once had, making it a struggle and easy target for students. While he was teaching someone throws a huge wad of paper at him, which triggers his emotions on that day the student attacked him. He goes down the aisles to find out who did it, while the students giggle including his daughter Kate, he turns to her and sees she is reading a magazine and makes her do detention with him after school.
From there she is very upset with him and when she is in detention with him they have a heated argument and he slaps her across the face and she storms off. All the while sadistic hooded youths stalk the employees once the sun sets, slowly killing them one by one in a gruesome fashion.

This one comes close to being this year's Them but there were several plot holes and not enough scares to equal or surpass that film. It is though a terrifying film that is purposively based on a true story. The film has several suspenseful cat and mouse chase and stalk scenes that will have you on the edge of your seat. The film is simplistic in its delivery, going for what you don't see is more terrifying approach, which I dug, but it does have its share of brutal moments and reveals. I thought they took advantage of the school setting, which I always think is a good setting for a horror film especially a slasher. Makes you never want to stay at school after hours again. The could have been much longer with a much better ending, with more fight back action, because it ends on a very anti climatic note, and if it wasn't for the ending it could have been a great slasher than a pretty good one.

The performances were pretty good with David Schofield giving a gripping performance as Mr. Anderson and Eliza Bennett giving a solid performance as Kate Anderson, who both get trapped in the building and fight for survival and a way out that to brings them closer together. Like most slashers the other characters didn't really stand out and were pretty much there to be killed and weren't developed that much at all, but Roxanne McKee, who plays Nicky sure is eye candy, she has though the most shocking and nastiest death of all of them.

Director and writer Johannes Roberts is off to a pretty decent start as a director and I have yet to see Storage 24, which is his latest film but it is definitely now on my list of movies to see after my experience with this one. He knows how to handle suspense and atmosphere and makes the viewers use their imagination on what's happening and about to happen than getting in our faces with gore and scares. It felt like an old school slasher film before torture porn and that's what I liked about this movie, the restraint. The writing on the other hand could of been better and seemed rough and rushed with plot holes, he should of repolished the film and delivered a better ending with the three long years of waiting for distribution, but that's just me. He has a lot of potential though of being a horror director to look out for in the future.

Overall, The Expelled isn't a flawless slasher film, but through most of it I was intrigued and on the edge of my seat, and is one of the very few slashers that is relevant and could actually happen, making it a mostly effective film. The performances are better than most slasher, but the development of characters and story needs some retooling. It is though one of the better slasher films I've seen recently that's worth a recommendation and at least one viewing. 6.9 out of 10

Flukt (Escape)

It's been ten years since the Black Plague ravaged the lands. A poor family sets out on a journey to find a better place to live. On a desolate mountain pass, the family is attacked by a pack of merciless killers. The only one to be spared is 19-year-old Signe, who is taken hostage and brought back to camp. There she learns she is to face a fate far worse than death, and she realizes the only thing to do is to run away. But her escape does not go unnoticed, and now the chase is on.

It's been 7 long years since director Roar Uthaug, who directed one of my all time favorite slasher film Cold Prey, made a genre follow up to that badass slasher. The wait has been worth it, as his new effort Escape is another atmospheric hit, though it may not be has scary or straight up horror, it is just as thrilling. The movie starts on a startling note as a poor family travels through post-Black Plague lands to find a better and safer place to live. Those innocent moments are soon shattered as the family is ambushed by ruthless killers who savagely kill the parents and their son, only to spare the life of their 19-year-old daughter Signe, which they have sinister plans for and keep her as a prisoner and tie her to a tree.

Signe is soon befriended by their other prisoner Frigg, who is a younger girl that one of the captors who's named Dagmar, played by Cold Prey's Ingrid Bolso Berdal, treats as her own daughter for which she can't bare children because of tragic and horrific past. That past destroyed Dagmar's soul, which leads her on this sinister past of filling that dark hole, towards the end I felt sorry for this character even though I should be disgusted with her. Signe and Frigg come up with a master plan to escape and one morning when everyone is sleeping Frigg cuts Signe free only to awaken the captors and the two races and fight back for their lives and salvation. Even though the film from that point tends to be pretty predictable, the film still manages to spin out suspenseful and tense moments of dread throughout and takes great advantage of the raw, wooded landscape. The film also shows great restraint when it comes to the violence shown and has a simple yet smart direction, making Escape a refreshing escape from big budgeted, overly bloody, excessive action genre efforts Hollywood brought us this year so far.

The performances from the three lead gals were great and layered. Ingrid Bolso Berdal who played a badass heroine Jannicke in the slasher Cold Prey, delivers again in a different turn as the villain this time Dagmar and is just as badass yet more tragic here because of her motive. Ingrid Bolso Berdal is one of the sexiest and best actresses working today as she disappears into her role everytime and I can't wait to see what character she plays next, she is becoming one of my favorites. The performances from the other two girls were pretty solid too especially that this is their first starring role. Isabel Christine Andreasen who plays the lead victim Signe, shows great restraint as a young actress and doest overact at all, and when it comes to fighting back against her captors and getting revenge and becoming the heroine, she holds her own and has raw talent, I see great things for her. Milla Olin, who plays the youngest victim Frigg, is a really good child actress and also holds her own in the picture and wasn't the slightest annoying and made some smart and brave moves. Milla also shows potential and great maturity as the next child star, we'll just have to see. The supporting actors were all pretty great too, just not a stand out.

Director, Roar Uthaug is becoming one of my favorite directors and I just wish I don't have to wait as long for his next genre offering, because he is an expert when it comes to movies like Escape and Cold Prey, he is excellent when it comes to mood, atmosphere and suspense, so I hope this isn't the last we see from him because we need a director like him in this genre. Roar Uthaug has two underrated and mostly overlooked hits on his hands and he seems to be getting better and better at his craft. The same goes for writer, Thomas Moldestad who also collaborated with Roar on Cold Prey and also wrote Cold Prey 2, they're a great team and should and hopefully will do more and more horror movies and thrillers in the future, he's great at story build up and back story and show with those films, even though there might be plot holes here and there but they didn't bother me.

Overall, Escape is a simple yet epic looking, well crafted, well-directed and written, with solid performances and haunting locations. While it might not be the most original thriller out there, Escape sure is a satisfying experience and one of my favorite films this year so far. Recommended! 7.5 out of 10

The Conjuring

The time I first saw The Conjuring trailer it was one of the most must see horror films on my radar and made me gleefully anxious to see it like I was a kid again. When I walked into the packed theater of excited moviegoers to watch The Conjuring, I remember the overwhelming feeling of anticipation of being scared out of my mind for once from a horror film. The last time a horror film from the modern age truly made me lose sleep over was the first Paranormal Activity, which was like 5 or 6 years ago. The Conjuring came close but I found myself most of the time not being scared or as engaged with the film as much as I wanted to, making it one of the biggest disappointments of the year.

When the movie began it had all of the ingredients from a classic horror film like the Poltergeist, which is my all time favorite and other films like The Amityville Horror and The Exorcist. You get introduce to one of Ed and Lorraine Warren's earlier cases, which involve their 1968 case of a sinister presence haunting two college roommates through their Annabelle doll. That case alone was spine tingling and the sight of that doll is one of the scariest images I've see in a horror film in quite some time, too bad they didn't use the doll enough and that case was far more spooky than the main case in the film. Every other scene just seemed overly familiar, as we get introduced to the Perron family, who are a happy, normal family that just moved to an ancient farmhouse that they won at an auction. Things quickly change from normal to very strange and startling, when the clocks stop at a certain time, random rotting odor comes and goes and a supernatural force terrifies the family. They then turn to the Warrens for help, which intensifies the haunting.

The film is refreshing in its restraint and execution of its scares but they were just not deep enough or intense enough for me to jump out of my seat over, there were of course some scenes that were shown, at least in a certain way in the trailers that weren't shown in the movie, that made me feel cheated. The atmosphere though was expertly created, with dread lingering around every corner that sometimes you forget to breath and unrelenting silence that is far more nail biting than the outcome. I liked the classic 1970's feel and look of the film and the old school building of suspense, characters and story, but it went down a wrong road to a revealing that wasn't so affecting like the first half. Nothing has and probably never will surpass The Exorcist, so stop trying unless you are going to. It never took it to the next level of terror, it just laid back on been there done that formula, that unfortunately stopped the ride from going further up that thrilling finish that leaves you breathless. The R rating was unnecessary.

The performances were mostly a hit than a miss, with Vera Farminga, who convincingly plays paranormal investigator Lorraine Warren, Lily Taylor who delivers a brave performance as mother of 5 girls Carolyn Perron and Joey King who plays the middle daughter Christine Perron. The other actors and actresses didn't have as much of a commanding performance to leave a mark and I think they cast the wrong actor to play the Perron dad because his performance should have been more powerful especially dealing with the horrifying circumstances. The rest of the actresses that played the Perron daughters and the one that played the Warren's daughter are underused and had no room for moments of their own, though the one scene with the Annabelle doll that involves the Warren's daughter was one of creepiest scenes of the film. The comic relief was used better this time around than in Insidious but just not clever enough and witty enough to be needed.

Director, James Wan is clearly growing as a director and the sophistication from this movie compared to his last films is miles better. He knows horror movies inside and out now, but there is still much need improvement especially regarding his last half of his films not being as effective as the first half, because if he can get that down he can make an iconic horror classic. I hope this and the upcoming Insidious: Chapter 2 is not his farewell to the genre because he has the talent to go even further with the horror genre. Writers, Chad and Carey Hayes sure know how to tell a good fright but towards the end their storytelling seemed unfocused and rushed through the emotions and didn't dig deep enough into the back story of the farmhouse with missed opportunities to take the story to the next level, but a for sure step up from their previous efforts.

Overall, The Conjuring didn't raise enough hairs or created enough goosebumps for me to say that it's truly scary. The creepy, bone chilling atmosphere, some committed performances, some well executed suspense sequences and one ghastly doll though make the film a bar above most big studio released horror films. Is it this generation's Poltergeist, not quite and no it's not the scariest film since The Exorcist or even the modern horror film Paranormal Activity. It is a far better effort from the horror genre in recent years even if it didn't bring anything much new to the table and while it's not horrible, it could have been and should of been so much better. Lets hope that the rest of the horror films this year will actually and deservingly win the title of the best horror film of 2013. I'm predicting You're Next.

The Sapphires

The Sapphires came out of left field! When I watched the trailer I was completely sold and it's the first time in a long time that I liked the movie just as much as the trailer. This film is hard not to love and tap your feet to, thanks to its fantastic soundtrack of Motown and classic rock, which is two types of music I absolutely love. By far the best, beginning to end entertainment of the year. I loved it!

The film is about the fascinating and inspiring true story about four extraordinary talented Aboriginal women, sisters Laurel Robinson, Lois Peeler and their cousins Beverley Briggs and Naomi Mayers. They enter a singing talent contest to win a once in a lifetime opportunity to tour Vietnam and perform in front of American troops. Shockingly they did not win the contest even though they were clearly the best of the bunch, much due to the racism back then. The determination, not back down attitude and amazing vocal talent of the sisters catches the eyes and ears of talent scout Dave Lovelace, played by Chris O'Dowd who gives a knockout performance here. Dave gives them a shot and before you know it they are off to a life changing experience where they discover love, loss, respect, war, freedom and showbiz.

The performances were fantastic and extremely charming! Chris O'Dowd owned it as the humorous, good-hearted, booze-drinking talent scout Dave Lovelace. This was definitely the best I've seen from O'Dowd yet and this performance reminded me of Tom Hanks in A League Of Their Own, it was hysterical, blunt but full of love and passion. The performances from the four young women who played the Aboriginal sisters were a tour de force! They were charming, feisty, and if that was their real voices incredible singers! It was great and well thought that they picked unknown actresses to play the sisters and not plastic Barbies from Hollywood. They were real women playing real women and I loved that. The real standout was Deborah Mailman who plays Gail; she had so much charisma, charm, fiery spark, depth, chemistry with the cast and heart in this performance that it is truly a breakthrough for this actress. Jessica Mauboy who plays Julie lights up the screen as the better singer and the youngest of the sisters. When Jessica gets up on stage and performs was magical and sublime, clearly a talent to look out for. Miranda Tapsell and Shari Sebbens who play Cynthia and Kay were exceptional and had their special moments as well. Thanks to a generous and clever script nothing was underused and was meticulous, had quiet and poignant moments as well as big, entertaining and showstopper moments with no overshadowing. Definitely the best acting ensemble yet of this year.

Director, Wayne Blair makes his full-length film debut with The Sapphires and even though it's his first he has already outdone himself. The attention to detail, the locations, the direction of the actors and film, the soundtrack and the whole vibe was delivered beautifully and with great passion and a sense of humor and wit. Wayne does the true story justice and then some. I'm definitely looking forward to see what next gem he is going to bring us next. Writer, Tony Briggs whose mother, Laurel Robinson was apart of the real life singing group on which this movie is based on, delivers a heartfelt memoir on his mom's experience with the singing group who was billed as Australia's answer to The Supremes. He should be proud! Co-writer Keith Thompson is probably the one behind the wit and charm of the script that blends well the inspirational true story and it's quite impressive for only his second writing contribution to a full-length movie.

Overall, The Sapphires is an absolute crowd pleaser of the greatest kind. The type of film that comes along once in a blue moon. You would have to have no soul if you said you did not walk out of the theater, when the movie was over, with a smile on your face. You will love it instantly and will make you want to get up and dance in the aisles to the oldies. Great story, great acting, great atmosphere and fantastic music. It's full of life and it's food for the soul! Highly recommended!!!

Evil Dead
Evil Dead(2013)

Evil Dead made a big mistake by having a bold statement printed in large letters across its poster, saying THE MOST TERRIFYING FILM YOU WILL EVER EXPERIENCE. Unfortunately for the more experienced horror fans this film is not that terrifying, with not much true scares delivered, to me it failed in that department.

When I first saw the original The Evil Dead I was in 6th grade and I remember really being spooked by it and could never get that pencil in the ankle part out of my head. I think The Evil Dead was the first really gory movie I've ever seen at the time and made me love horror films even more and really check out the classics. The acting in the original was laughably bad, but in an entertaining and charming sort of way, with a charismatic protagonist Bruce Campbell as the iconic Ash. Of all the old horror films I've seen in the past The Evil Dead wasn't a true favorite of mine, Poltergeist is still number 1 on that list, which is also being remade to my dismay. The original also hasn't aged too well either and watching it now is more for laughs than anything else, but I always admired its atmosphere and DIY gory and brilliant practical effects. You can't deny that The Evil Dead much like Halloween before it, paved a way for horror films and unknown horror filmmakers trying to make a breakthrough, it made a lasting impact for sure.

The new Evil Dead isn't a horrible remake and in fact it's the most loyal and not watered down ones out there and amps the violence and gore up to the brilliant extreme! It gives several nods to the original but makes it its own, some scenes though happen too fast and there wasn't enough suspense and I never thought I would say this but the pace was way too fast making the experience all too predictable. I absolutely loved the look of the new Evil Dead atmosphere; it stays true to the original's atmosphere but polishes it to perfection. The remake doesn't surpass or improve and fix the originals problems but didn't quite fall below it either; it can proudly stand side by side. This isn't groundbreaking again or will help the horror genre move forward but it could of been way worse. Also the last 10 minutes of the film was insane and much better than the first half.

The acting for the most part was uneven but an improvement over the original. This is Jane Levy's movie though, she delivers a memorably creepy and to me breakthrough performance as Mia, who is fighting a heroin addiction and agrees to go to a remote cabin in the woods with her brother and friends to finally kick this shameful habit to the curb for good. Right away strange things start to happen, which leads to the discovery of the book of the dead and the controversial and still uncomfortable tree rape scene, which isn't as prolonged this time around but just as sadistic. The evil dead soon takes over Mia's body and all hell breaks loose and blood covers the screen. Jane Levy is really put through the ringer in this film and has such a challenging and layered role to take on and she succeeds in flying colors. Jane stole every scene she was in and her character is the only one worth rooting for, as the other characters seem like cardboard cutouts of unsuspecting horror film victims. A new scream queen is born and that's Jane Levy! Shiloh Fernandez who plays Mia's brother David, Lou Taylor Pucci who plays Eric, Jessica Lucas who plays Olivia and Elizabeth Blackmore who plays David's girlfriend Natalie all do their best, but their characters fell flat to me and underdeveloped to give a damn and their characters made some pretty idiotic moves and common horror movie mistakes. None of them where annoyingly distracting though and their demises were very brutal, I just wish their characters had more to do than to just serve the plot especially Jessica Lucas, who they totally underused here.

It's pretty amazing that this is director's Fede Alvarez first major and full-length film as it's expertly and confidently crafted, his future as horror filmmaker looks promising as it's permanently planted and can't wait to see it grow. You can see his love and inspiration for the original film and with guiding hands like the original director Sam Raimi and original star Bruce Campbell who are the producers, they couldn't do that much damage from the get-go. The writing is a different story as it all came up flat to me. Fede collaborated with Rodo Sayagues and Diablo Cody who she wrote the sleeper hit Juno and made a semi comeback with Young Adult. Diablo Cody seems to be delivering hits and misses, Juno was great, Jennifer's Body was ok but fell flat, Young Adult was again great but once another horror movie comes along her signature sharp, witty and meaty dialogue disappears. Of all horror movies Evil Dead deserved to have that kind of dialogue, it was all just too damn serious and if you are not going to back up the bold statement in your poster at least bring on the twisted laughs and sharpness.

Overall, Evil Dead's downfall is that it was much too over hyped and overrated much like The Cabin in the Woods. There was also a scene or two that was shown in the trailers that weren't in the film, like for instance a possessed Mia saying, "We're going to get you. We're going to get you. Not another peep. Time to go to sleep" bit, which is one of my favorite creepy lines from the original film. I'm curious to see what the DVD uncut version is going to show. Most of the characters came up flat thanks to a flat screenplay but expanding the mythology of the book of the dead was intriguing and Jane Levy as Mia stole the show and came on top. They got the atmosphere, practical yet polished gore effects down to a T that was gloriously brilliant and intense in some scenes. I never felt the terror, fear, and suspense, excitement that the amazing trailer brought to me but maybe this is a start of something much greater in the future if they continue this new saga. For now I wouldn't call it an unnecessary remake but also never made a great point to exist either but for the sake of gore and lots of it. Wait for DVD where the uncut version will be hopefully available.

Dark Skies
Dark Skies(2013)
½

Being a fan of supernatural, science fiction movies such as Fire In The Sky, The Forgotten, Close Encounters Of The Third Kind, Knowing, The Arrival, Contact, Night Skies etcetera I had high hopes for Dark Skies. The result was a better than average genre mash up that borrows elements from the best including my all time favorite horror film Poltergeist. The story was gripping that involves a suburban family that we instantly relate to and care about, making the chilling events that follow effective and downright surreal. The film takes an old-school approach when it comes to developing the story and characters and delivering the frights, which might be too much of a slow burn for fans of fast paced horror flicks. I happen to like how the film took its time delivering the details and made it a suspenseful and mind boggling watch even if it raises more questions than answers. In real life though, there is events out there that were can't explain or have answers for, which makes this quote even the more true that showed at the beginning of this film: "Two possibilities exist: either we are alone in the Universe, or we are not.
Both are equally terrifying."
- Arthur C. Clarke

The performances hit it home for me even though it wasn't always as emotionally powerful as it should have been. Keri Russell isn't in enough movies as she should be, but when she does make a movie her performances are always genuine and for surprisingly her horror film, this role fits like a glove and gives a raw and layered performance. Keri plays wife and mother of two boys Lacy Barrett, who is a struggling realtor trying to make ends meet while her husband Daniel Barrett played effortlessly by Josh Hamilton, tries desperately to find a better job to support their family. Right away their peaceful suburban life is turned upside down when they become under attack by strange supernatural forces. The child stars of this film were also impressive. Dakota Goyo and Kadan Rockett give natural and unflinching performances as the sons Jesse Barrett and Sam Barrett, who are just as confused and terrified of the strange events as their parents, but also show their own coming of age story on the side. J.K. Simmons gives a standout performance as Edwin Pollard, a man that the parents turn to for help as he knows exactly what they are going through, for he has dealt with the presence for some time. His role could of gone on the silly side but it was handled with such seriousness that you to will be on the edge of your seat with his accusations.

Director and writer, Scott Stewart delivers a nice change of pace and more of a restraint here compared to his other films Legion, which I was one of the few that actually enjoyed it and Priest, which I haven't seen yet but want to soon. This type of style seems to be more of his niche and has a more plausible approach even if he doesn't have answers for but that's fine because in real life we don't as well. I like that he went with mood, suspense, characters and story over cheap scares, over use of CGI and gore which makes the film have an old-school vibe which brought me back to horror movies of the past like Poltergeist mixed with The X-Files, Close Encounters Of The Third Kind and Signs for instance. The Fact that he waits until the end to reveal the creepy beings make you sit in constant suspense, even though they could of done a much better job with their digital appearance and gone with more natural FX to make the reveal all the more terrifyingly effective. It could of been worse though so it was fine; the ending leaves you on a cliffhanger and has possibilities of a sequel in the future that I'm very intrigued by and hope they go through with one.

Overall, another horror movie out of left field that is way better than what most critics make it out to be. It's a shame that not a whole lot of people went to go see it, as it might be the more decent horror films of the year, so far at least. If you like slow burn horror movies with suspense, you will probably enjoy this but don't expect a whole lot of action or scares just a slow building nightmare.

6 Souls
6 Souls(2013)

Shelter has dealt with an unfair start into cinemas, it was ready for release way back in 2010 and now it's finally being released On Demand and in limited theaters under its new title 6 Souls. The movie starts with the introduction of Cara Harding, a female forensic psychiatrist played by Julianne Moore, who just finished wrapping up her current case, when her father Dr. Harding approaches her with a new case. Cara is hesitant at first but soon agrees to take the job and soon discovers that not only does her new patient has multiple personalities but all of them are murder victims, we are then taken on a tailspin with her to figure out why this is happening.

The movie has its moments of grotesque eeriness that gets under your skin but just not a lot of scares or action. The story just gets lost in its own complexity of twists with not much payoffs. For a movie that is almost 2 hours long it just didn't accomplish that much or had any moments that stood out to me. The film does have a lot of spooky imagery with creepy locations, but just didn't take full advantage of them. The film starts off well as a psychological thriller and character study, and then when the horror elements seep in, the film's effectiveness fades away and becomes illogical.

The intense and focused performances are where this film shines. Julianne Moore can do any role justice and in this problematic film she proves it with her raw emotions and mesmerizing red head beauty. Julianne plays Cara Harding, a forensic psychiatrist who picks up the most challenging cases of her career when she meets her new patient who has a multiple personality disorder. Jonathan Rhys Meyers gives a captivating performance as David/Adam/Wesley and is probably the very best I've seen from him so far. Jonathan's performance could have been an over the top mess if approached the wrong way, but he made it organic and gripping to watch. The supporting actors were not half bad either and also made it watch able.

Directors, Måns Mårlind and Björn Stein prove that maybe two heads aren't that better than one to tackle a flawed story. They do create a certain atmosphere that evokes fear and some stomach turning images but didn't really know how to end the story effectively or answer all of our questions. Writer, Michael Cooney seems to have made the same mistakes here that he did with his other screenplay Identity, which also had a great start but ruined it for me with it's lousy last half that was also illogical, his stories are just uneven to me, but I do like his effort for trying to bring something different to this mostly unoriginal genre.

Overall, I can see why they waited so long to release the film, but it deserves a much better treatment than the crap like Texas Chainsaw 3D, which made its way to movie theaters way to easily than this. The film lacks scares, thrills and the story leads to no payoff, but the performances are solid, the atmosphere, imagery are spooky and the concept is a nice change of pace. The movie as a whole could have been so much better and executed with a more terrifying impact, but it's a whole lot more decent than what it got treated as, so it's granted at least one viewing if you want something different from the norm. Just don't expect too much from this one.

Would You Rather
½

Desperate to help her ailing brother, a young woman unknowingly agrees to compete in a deadly game of "Would You Rather," hosted by a sadistic aristocrat.

Would You Rather is a leading contender of the most angst and depressing filled horror film of 2013. The film is like a different variation of a Saw film but meatier, more suspenseful and old-fashioned with not much bloodshed. It's also like a deadlier version of MTV's Silent Library. The film raises a lot of questions on human nature and how far would you go for a huge chunk of cash or help a gravely ill loved one, which leads to shocking results. Are you ready to witness the most dangerous game?

The performances were gripping and darkly humorous. Brittany Snow gives her most emotionally challenging performance to date, she should definitely do more horror movies, and she was great! Brittany plays Iris, a young woman who recently lost both of her parents and is left caring for her ailing brother Raleigh. Iris soon meets with his doctor to see what she can do to help with the medical cost, the doctor then introduces her to a wealthy aristocrat, Shepard Lambrick who wants to help her with her struggles. Iris agrees to his offer and meets him at his mansion for a business dinner to make a deal, but she is unaware though that it's a deathtrap that leads to the sinister game of Would You Rather. Jeffrey Combs was wickedly entertaining as the sadistic, cruel and unusual host Shepard Lambrick, but at the same time you wanted to punch him in the face. The supporting players were pretty solid as well that includes Enver Gjokaj, Sasha Grey, John Heard and Robin Tayler who plays Julian, the creepy and sociopath son of Shepard Lambrick. They were all pretty effective in their small roles.

Director, David Guy Levy who's only done one full-length film before this one, gets the job done with rigorous effect. The director grabs you and throws you into this demented game of survival of the fittest and accomplishes more when it come to this type of film than directors who have been doing this for years. He creates a dread filled and suffocating atmosphere that reminds me of Hostel but just not all up in your face about it. The suspense was unrelenting and the finale was harsh and a punch in the gut, it was frustrating and a case of the blues that will linger with you long after it's over. Writer, Steffen Schlachtenhaufen also impressed me as this is also his second effort and creates a confronting script, with wicked, dark humor thrown in for good measure. Steffen seemed inspired and influenced by horror movies of the past as well as present and adds his own touch to it, even though it's not all too original. I'm interested to see their next effort. I also love the poster; it's simple, retro and accurate.

Overall, Would You Rather is a game of greed and survival at its most twisted. The performances were great, the suspense was there, the story gripping, the kills brutal but not over the top. The characters though had so many chances to fight back against their captors, it became frustrating and draining but the film as a whole mostly accomplished what it set out to do. It will crawl under your skin and stay there for days and for a horror movie that's gold. Recommended!

7 out of 10

Warm Bodies
Warm Bodies(2013)

Not since Zombieland has a horror/comedy been this much fun and charming. It was surprisingly poignant in some scenes and hilarious in others thanks to a sharp as a dagger adapted screenplay, from the novel by Isaac Marion. Jonathan Levine is on a winning streak and to me he is almost like a John Hughes of horror filmmaking as he seems so in touch with his viewing audience. The story combines in a well-balanced way with a star crossed lover's story, a zombie apocalyptic story and a comedy all wrapped up neatly in the most humane way possible. Warm Bodies is the first solid, wide released genre picture that cleanses away the bad after taste of the other genre bending horror efforts at the beginning of this year.

The performances were chemistry filled and nails it so much better than the asinine Twilight films could ever do, thanks to a great director and his adapted screenplay. The film stars Australian beauty Teresa Palmer, who can still be mesmerizing even when she says nothing, she can probably have chemistry with just about anyone or thing. Teresa plays Julie, one of the surviving humans of a now dying and zombie infested world. When several zombies ambush Julie, her boyfriend Perry, played by James Franco little bro Dave Franco, and her best friend, played by charming and promising newcomer Analeigh Tipton, it results in the death of her boyfriend. Julie is now stuck with the zombies and loses contact with her friend and family. She has a change of heart when one of the zombies spares her and saves her from danger. Julie starts to form a connection with one of the zombies, R who is played to a tee by former child star Nicholas Hoult from About a Boy. Nicholas is establishing quite an impressive start so far a leading man. Who knew that a romantic horror/comedy with zombies can have such rich characters with a meaningful message, that if we all come together and unite we can make a positive change.

Writer and Director, Jonathan Levin has made a breakthrough horror/comedy with Warm Bodies and hopefully more horror, genre bending efforts in the future. The was such a nice surprise considering that I had no hopes for it and zero interest in seeing it when I first heard about it. It's a shame that this film got such a better and fair release and start than his chopped up and deserted first effort, All of the Boys Love Mandy Lane, for which put Amber Heard on the map. Since his shaky start in 2006, Jonathan Levin finally gets his break with 50/50 and now Warm Bodies. Jonathan's talent as a director and writer is definitely relevant to today's culture and I can't wait to see his next handcrafted gem.

Overall, Warm Bodies will touch you, make you squirm on the edge of your seat, make you laugh, liven your spirit and enlighten you with its thoughtfulness. Not too many horror/comedies have those abilities, making the film a potential cult classic in the making, a movie men and woman alike can sit down and enjoy together. Recommended!

Kill for Me
Kill for Me(2013)
½

Kill for Me was a surprisingly efficient direct to DVD thriller, with shades of Diabolique, Wild Things and Monster. The film has an old-fashioned vibe about it and took its time developing the story and its characters. At the same time it didn't reveal too much, making the film very suspenseful, mysterious and sexy. The film didn't have too much violence but when it did it was shocking enough to make you feel uneasy. With all of the lousy thrillers being released to theaters every year, Kill for Me is a breath of fresh air even though it might be too straightforward sometimes for more hardcore genre buffs.

Katie Cassidy was absolutely stunning in this film; she gives her very best performance of her career so far! Katie plays Amanda, a college student who is trying to move on after her roommate and friend vanishes without a trace. Amanda is also dealing with an abusive ex-boyfriend who is now stalking her; she decides to look for a new roommate to help pay the rent. She soon meets Hailey who also is trying to movie on from an abusive and tormented past, they instantly become roommates and form a bond that leads to a sinister turn of events. Hailey is played by newcomer Tracy Spiridakos, who also stars in the series Revolution. Tracy gives a captivating performance and I couldn't keep my eyes off of her, she is a promising new talent to keep tabs on in the future. Donal Logue, who is from one of my favorite series that is now canceled, Grounded for Life, makes a surprising turn as Hailey's dad and was quite good.

Director, Michael Greenspan definitely improved his game here than his last effort Wrecked, which was a very disappointing movie and was on my bottom list of 2011. His latest film Kill for Me was atmospheric, suspenseful and has a great twist ending that was satisfying for the most part. Sure the premise is nothing all that new, but the way he handle it though, made it his own effective thriller of wronged women getting revenge. The writing wasn't fantastic but it's an improvement from his last picture as it's much more coherent with Christopher Dodd teaming up with him again since working on the film Wrecked. They definitely took a step in the right direction this time around.

Overall, Kill for Me is the first good thriller of 2013. It has two appealing leading ladies, brooding atmosphere, suspenseful story and a satisfying twist ending. Nothing too original here though, but still it's a well executed film. Recommended!

7 out of 10

Celeste and Jesse Forever
½

Celeste and Jesse Forever is a more honest look at breakups and divorce than most romantic dramedies of the last couple of years. The film had a lot of thoughtfulness to it, was delicately filmed and full of wit and raw emotion. The downside though is that it has an overly familiar formula that has been done to death now with films like The Break-Up, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Take This Waltz, Friends with Kids, etcetera. The film just gets lost in that ever-growing genre, even though it's quite the gem and probably the most relevant version of that specific formula I've seen lately.

The performances were genuine and charming, with an undeniable likable cast. Rashida Jones is becoming one of my favorite actresses of today, and I think Celeste and Jesse Forever is her true breakthrough performance. Rashida plays Celeste who is in the process of finalizing her divorce from her husband Jesse, who still lives with her and are oddly close friends still. Jesse, played with corky poise by Andy Samberg, soon starts dating to move on which thrills Celeste until his past fling pops up in his life again and reveals that she is pregnant. Celeste finds it harder than ever to move on and all she is feeling is regret.

I think the film's process of his or her struggle of moving on was naturally dealt with, as there is no Hollywood ending or overuse of sentimentality. The film in the end doesn't sugarcoat anything, which was a breath of fresh air in that aspect. The supporting cast was not half bad either and it's always great to watch Ari Graynor who plays Celeste's best friend Beth. Ari Graynor to me is a talented actress and it's about time she deserves a leading role and put an end to playing sidekicks.

Director, Lee Toland Krieger seems to be a personable director and connects with the audience in a timely matter. There were a couple of quiet, simple moments of poignancy and then balanced it with humor effortlessly. The use of songs fits this film like a glove and went with the flow. Writers and stars of the film Will McCormack and Rashida Jones should definitely collaborate again because the writing was just filled with honest humor and thoughtfulness, which created great energy for the film.

Overall, it's not a groundbreaking romantic comedy, but Rashida Jones is such a mesmerizing, witty and intelligent actress in this film that you will fall in love with it.

Come Out And Play

Come Out and Play is basically a carbon copy of the original 1976 film Who Can Kill A Child? It was a lazy remake that didn't even try to attempt something different with the concept or reinterpret it. The film is a retread and a missed opportunity to breath new life into the killer kids subgenre. The film still manages to capture the unsettling dread, suspense, mysterious and creepy atmosphere and terrifying helplessness that made the original effective. The musical score was intense and heart pounding and made you feel like you were watching a living nightmare captured on celluloid. The elements that made it watch able is that the premise is still creepy and disturbing and the story is still effective and shocking. Come Out and Play is in the end though just another pointless remake with nothing remotely new to show or say.

The performances were solid for the most part but I thought the script was pretty weak with underdeveloped characters. The two leads were likable and did their best with little that they were given, but they just played the typical, token stranded tourists that waited too long to get the hell out of there. Ebon Moss-Bachrach and Vinessa Shaw play parents to be Francis and Beth, who take one last vacation before Beth is due to give birth to their child. They make a trip to a secluded island and realize too late that all of the adults are missing and the children left behind. The doomed couple soon discovers that the children are homicidal maniacs, with no explanation of how they got that way. We as viewers are just as baffled as the couple and there wasn't even a hint to how the children got that way. I think the main stars are talented performers, but are wasted here as the lackluster script raises more questions than answers.

Director, Makinov pretty much cut and paste here with no inspiration behind the proceeding. He knows the basics of a horror movie but weren't inventive with the elements; as a result there wasn't any moments of surprise because if you've seen the original you know the outcome. The director brought nothing new to the story.

Overall, it's an uninspired remake that's too faithful to the original and you might as well just rent the original because it's exactly the same right down to the ending. Both give effective chills, but there is no good reason for this remake to exist. Still there are far worse out there.

Flight
Flight(2012)

Flight is a powerful return to live action filmmaking for Robert Zemeckis, whose last live action film was the superior and more memorable film Cast Away.

The film's opening shows airline pilot Whip Whitaker, played by the one and only Denzel Washington, waking up from a one night stand with a flight attendant. Right away the film portrays him as a troubled and unlikable character as he snorts cocaine, just moments before he is due to fly a passenger plane. We are then introduced to a desperate junkie Nicole, played by the under used actress Kelly Reilly, her character soon overdoses which leads to a fateful encounter with Denzel's character later on. The film cuts back to Denzel's character as he takes flight, which soon leads to a terrifying, worst case scenario when Whip's plane has technical failures. The moments of intense fear and helplessness during the doomed flight will have you stunned and on the edge of your seat. Probably one the most realistic and electrifying depictions of a plane crash on the silver screen I've seen in a long time. It's a shame that the film doesn't have quite the same momentum once it hits land.

After the crash the film brings us to the hospital where Whip wakes up from a concussion, he doesn't remember much other than knowing the plane went down. Numerous of reporters and police agents surround the building wanting answers. He then meets Nicole who survived the overdose and instantly they bond and support each other during their hardship. Whip's flaws come to light as he struggles to admit and come to terms with alcoholism, the film throws you head first into that shady lifestyle. There is a rich character study throughout the rest of the film of Whip's constant battles with his own demons, coming to terms with the crash. The experience was distressing and frustrating and nothing you enjoy watching or find entertaining, but its gripping hold on you makes you glue to the screen to see how it's all going to end.

The performances were all great, but this is Denzel Washington's vehicle. He gives the most nuanced performance of his career; you believe every second of his portrayal and embodies his character. His Oscar nomination is much earned. Kelly Reilly is so mesmerizing to watch on screen and this is probably her most meaty role since Eden Lake. She has been on the back burner for way too long now and deserves a breakout-leading role. The film has an impressive supporting cast as well that include Don Cheadle, John Goodman, Bruce Greenwood and Melissa Leo.

Director, Robert Zemeckis has had such a diverse string of movies over the years, my favorite being Forrest Gump. This is proof that he can direct just about any type of genre, even though as a whole Flight isn't his most striking efforts, but he definitely hasn't lost his touch. Writer, John Gatins has the magic touch for human drama and has a pretty decent resume so far as he wrote screenplays for Hardball, Coach Carter, Dreamer, Real Steel, but Flight definitely is the film to put him on the map to hopefully even better films.

Overall, Flight isn't a film I will want to return to anytime soon and it leads to a too predictable and sentimental conclusion. Denzel's compelling and powerful performance, solid writing and a return to live motion pictures from Robert Zemeckis is granted at least one viewing.

Exhibit A
Exhibit A(2007)

The timely story of a normal family disintegrating under financial pressure, eventually driven to the unimaginable. We witness the terrifying events unfold through daughter Judith's video camera, which subsequently becomes Exhibit A.

This film is a slow burning nightmare about real life financial struggles that anyone can relate to. Not many found-footage films are executed in such a realistic fashion as Exhibit A, the drama was raw, the deteriorating family at the center of the story could be the family next door, or even worse yours! The film is an extremely upsetting watch that I will never want to watch again, making it kind of hard to recommend something of such depressing magnitude. The film though stands as a testament that you don't need a large budget, well-known actors or an A-list director to create a movie that has such a powerful impact.

The performances were remarkable and were all too real, the actors made everything seem like a horrifying reality. Bradley Cole gives one of the most gripping, startling downward spiral of a family man since Jack Nicholson's performance from The Shining, absolutely bone chilling! Bradley plays Andy King, a seemingly normal husband and father of two who is a secret lie, which digs him and his family into the darkest side of human nature. Brittany Ashworth gives such a sympathetic and devastating performance that will grab your heart. Brittany plays Judith King, the lonely, shy, with a fragile soul that is confused sexually and may be in the closet. Judith basically documents every moment of the family's day-to-day life, as a result she discovers the dad's damaging secret and his disturbing change in behavior. Angela Forrest gives such an earnest performance; she plays an everyday mom Sheila King, who is excited about her husband's promotion that leads them to put a down payment on beautiful beach house. Aggressive sparks fly when questionable things start to unravel and hidden secrets come to light to disquieting results, an all too late realization for the wife and mother. Lastly, Oliver Lee who plays Joe King, the jokester son who begins to butt heads with his father and starts to truly hate him. He was kind of the comic relief of the film and you relate to his character as he can be you or someone you know, making the last moments all the more horrific and lingering.

Writer, Director, Dom Rotheroe has created a timely, ripped from the headlines, distressing story that happens to be a found-footage horror. He connects with the audience, grabs their souls and throws them in the heart stopping realism of financial woes, which takes a normal father in a downward, sinister direction of the most unthinkable. This was surprisingly a very well made found-footage film despite its limited budget, though a very harsh and sad film that will ruin your day. It was like you weren't even watching a movie, but more like watching evidence at a murder trial, kind of similar to the real life case involving John List of 1971. Nothing you enjoy watching but too absorbing to stop. It's a shame that he hasn't made any other movies since this one, which was released back in 2007. The film deserves more recognition than what it got because it's one of the very few found-footage films that has a lasting impact.

Overall, this film will haunt you to the core, as the drama is all too real. The performances were compelling and heart shattering and the story were raw and have relevance. The last couple of minutes will traumatize you and will make you sick, a film you won't want to return to but definitely gets it's point across. Rent with caution!

6.6 out of 10

Seven Psychopaths
½

Seven Psychopaths was a fast paced, constantly entertaining, bloody, and cleverly written comedy. The film follows a screenwriter from Hollywood named Marty who is struggling to start his screenplay named Seven Psychopaths. Marty then gets inadvertently stuck in the middle of criminal shenanigans when his friend Billy and a accomplice named Hans kidnap a gangster's beloved Shih Tzu. To be honest there wasn't much point to the story and in the end you really have no food for thought. The film was a fun, witty and sometimes brilliant watch, with a great cast at their A-game.

The performances were hysterical! Colin Farrell plays Marty and even if his character isn't the most dynamic of all of them, he still brings his magnetic charm, making the role not weary and dull. I got a few chuckles from watching his anti-gun character get caught up in the mess. Sam Rockwell plays Billy; an actor turned con man that messes with the wrong person. His performance is the most entertaining one of the ensembles and has the most memorable scenes. Christopher Walken is at his best here as Hans, a man taking care of his beloved wife who is dying of cancer, he helps Billy steal dogs on the side only to return them to their owner to get a cash reward to help towards medical payments. He gives a funny and touching performance. The rest of the cast are great as well such as Woody Harrelson as Charlie, a criminal gangster who is livid over the kidnapping of his beloved Shih Tzu. He gives an entertaining and cool performance as always.

Director and writer, Martin McDonagh is such on a roll here and in my eyes he could be the next Quentin Tarantino, the vibes just seem similar to me. The writing was sharp, inspired, witty and wildly entertaining. The filming style was vibrant and the locations great, most notably the desert in the final shootout climax. There was a few plot holes that didn't get filled and as a whole it wasn't that balanced or had a strong point to all of the high concept mayhem that unfolded. This was clearly made for pure entertainment value and at that it worked, the whole crew seem to have a blast making this film.

Overall, this was a bloody fun time. The cast was great, the writing solid, the filming slick and stylized, with a phat and entertaining soundtrack. Seven Psychopaths isn't flawless but definitely more ingenious than most comedies that Hollywood throws at us ever year.

The Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia
½

For a standalone sequel The Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia could have been far more worse. The film had some freaky visuals, a few old-fashioned frights and decent enough acting and an appropriate atmosphere to fit the mold. I think the title should just be Ghosts of Georgia because the film has no relation to the first movie and it's not even based in Connecticut, it seems obvious that was a cash grab decision. This new story is purposively based on actual events about the Wyrick family and even has a made for TV. Reenactment film called A Haunting in Georgia, which I haven't seen but I'm interested now. The back-story on why this paranormal disturbance is happening was dealt with in a non hard-hitting way and wasn't effective. The story/script just has several gaps and flaws that holds the film back and wasn't genuine or believable.

The performances were decent but not great. Abigail Spenser plays Lisa Wyrick, a mother and wife who is struggling with a passed down gift of seeing and speaking with the dead, her sister and daughter also seem to have this suppose gift. Abigail was the highlight of this lackluster horror film and carries most of the weight and but the script limited her performance. Chad Michael Murray plays the father Andy Wyrick and gives a pretty bland performance and doesn't have much of a part. Katee Sackhoff from Battlestar Galactica fame plays the sister of Lisa, Joyce Wyrick, who also has the gift of seeing the dead. Katee gives a lively performance but like Chad's character there wasn't much to her role even though she has one of the more memorable moments in the film, which involve needle threads coming out of her mouth. Emily Alyn Lind plays Heidi Wyrick the young daughter of Lisa Wyrick, who starts to show signs of contacting the dead. She surprisingly holds her own as she plays one of the key roles in the film. All in all the performances were ok but their script lacked depth and charisma.

Director, Tom Elkins who is also the editor of this film and the first one, as well as the editor of a couple of other horror films, most notably the superior sequel to White Noise, White Noise 2: The Light. Tom seems like a gifted editor, but as a first time Director he has some learning to do as this horror film looks like it should be on ABC family. The just wasn't a solid direction to this film; its subject matter should have been more powerful. Writer David Coggeshall has only written for television shows before like the short lived Watch Over Me series. The elements of a good ghost story is there because of the true story aspect of the film, but David Coggeshall didn't put it into good use and created something uninspired and vague.

Overall, forget about the beginning of the movie's title and just go with Ghosts of Georgia because it's not a sequel to The Haunting in Connecticut, it's a completely different story. It was neat at the end credits to see a picture of the actual family on which this film is based on. Their true story is probably far more interesting and terrifying than the actual film being presented. The film had tiny moments of creepiness and intrigue with grotesque imagery but the pacing was slow, it was scare free for the most part, didn't take advantage of the back-story and was mostly an unoriginal affaire. An unnecessary and pointless sequel that isn't really a sequel.

The ABCs of Death
½

The ABC's of Death was a mostly vile, juvenile and pointless exercise, with only a few shades of brilliance. With 26 directors on board that have their own letter, only four came up with something pretty memorable with their segment relating to death. None of them were scary, they lacked logic and when I think some horror movies over think their ideas, this anthology didn't put enough thought into it. I mean F for fart is the best you could come up with. I guess if you like Troma films, you might dig this because it's pure trash entertainment.

I can't really say much about the performances because they did not have that much screen time. Some of the segments were short enough to be a twisted, gimmicky ads from hell and flashes of disturbing images that you wish you didn't see. None of it added up brilliantly as a whole, for which it should have done. If I had to pick then I have to go with Sarah Bonrepaux who plays X from the segment XXL. She gives such a disturbing, mesmeric and shattering performance in such a short amount of time.

I am only going over the directors whose segments impressed me the most. D Is for Dogfight segment, directed by Marcel Sarmiento was pure genius and brutal, I loved how the tables were turned at the end of this one. E is for Exterminate, directed by horror genre regular and underrated Angela Bettis was skin crawling and stomach turning. That segment makes you want to kill every bug you see, before it's too late and they lay larva eggs in you. T Is for Toilet, directed by Lee Hardcastle, is a Claymation film at its most sadistic, hysterical and bloody brilliant. Last but not least is X Is for XXL, directed by Xavier Gens who directed the ultra violent Frontier(s) from 2007. XXL is a story about an overweight woman that gets harassed on a daily basis because of her weight. She reaches a breaking point and all I can say is that you will be shocked from its jaw-dropping conclusion.

Overall, The ABC'S of Death is a hit and miss but a mostly missed opportunity. You will never be bored through its 123 minute running time but it's not a pleasant watch. It's one of those films that it's so disgustingly bad and shocking that you can't look away. As a whole though, it's a pointless horror anthology that's bold but uneven and brainless. It's no V/H/S.

Citadel
Citadel(2012)

Citadel is one of those movies that have a very effective, intriguing and startling beginning, but loses its steam after its tricks and twists are revealed. I did think the movie was atmospheric from beginning to end, with a couple of suspenseful moments here and there. The film starts off with young parents to be, who just finished packing up their things to move from their run down apartment building. The wife is soon attacked by unknown hooded youths, while the husband watches in horror as he gets stuck in an elevator. The attack leaves the wife dead, but forces the baby into the world prematurely. From there on we witness the father's struggle to raise his baby daughter on his own, while dealing with the loss of his wife and becomes agoraphobic. That raw, heartfelt, terrifying and emotionally powerful first half is boggled down by the unrealistic hooded figures that he fears the most, but for me I just wasn't sold and didn't find them scary. They reminded me of the creatures from The Brood.

The performances really save this film, most notably from Aneurin Barnard who plays the emotionally scarred, widowed father Tommy. He gives such an emotionally challenging role and does it in such a gripping fashion than most actors under 30 couldn't pull off. James Cosmo was also great as the Priest and gives such a dead pan, eccentric and commanding performance. James reminded me for some reason of the actor Brian Cox.

Director and writer, Ciaran Foy definitely knows how to get under your skin and stay there, with his claustrophobic atmosphere. I just thought there was an inconsistency with his story; sure it was gripping for most of the running time but just wasn't effective as a whole. The ending was just pretty weak to me and the hooded figures have been done before in a much scarier fashion, like in the film Them. The whole twist was just a sham to me and undermines the harrowing first half. He has the skills and knows how to use them for this genre but got quickly lost here. I still think that it's a pretty decent start for a first time director.

Overall, the movie that comes to mind that dealt with urban violence in a way more effective matter is The Brave One. Citadel had a great start and had one of the most heartfelt and gripping performances from an actor in a horror film in 2012. The villains were just not that scary and kind of silly to me once they are revealed and yanked the effectiveness out of the movie for me. It's a decent horror film but also a disappointment.

Cherry Tree Lane

Cherry Tree Lane is this year's Eden Lake, with an ending just as shocking and abrupt. The film is confronting and the most raw home invasion film I've seen in years. The film starts out pretty simplistically with a slow boil pace, with an older couple that is settling down in their home for the evening to eat dinner. In a moments time they hear their door bell ring and what any person would do they answer it. Thugs burst through and demand their son who isn't there, they then duck tape them and wait helplessly bounded. The film is such a nail biter because the viewer for most of the time doesn't know what's going to happen next and when it does it's off screen, but you hear the horror and that is even more disturbing. The film boils over into one harrowing conclusion; it makes you think how far would you go to protect your family?

Just like such films as Eden Lake and Funny Games the performances are subtle yet powerful. The actors that play the troubled youths are a real standouts and you get to know a little about them and their flaws, than them just being figures of fear. All of the actors are pretty much unknown, which is a plus because you don't as high of expectations regarding their acting. Everything flowed in a tense, natural, gripping matter that made the viewing experience a mostly effective one.

Director and writer, Paul Andrew Williams has already established a pretty promising career so far in this genre, with films like London to Brighton, which I really want to see now, and his other works such as the pretty decent but not great The Cottage and the very solid and chilling, killer kids flick The Children, which he wrote the story for. I'm pretty excited about what he is going to come up with next because every new film seems to be very different and slightly better than the last. He knows how to create suspense, confronting drama and how to meticulously build suspense and terror. He then mixes it together with a dab of dark humor to effecting results. Keep an eye on him!

Overall, the film treads on a tired formula and doesn't have as much action, chaos or scares as some other more superior home invasion movies. The ending, though it kept me on the edge of my seat clutching the arms of my chair in anticipation of what's to come, left the viewer out cold of what the next move of the film will be. The conclusion bothered me because you don't really officially know the outcome. That being said Cherry Tree Lane is one of the most provocative British crime/thrillers I've seen in a while even though it's not that original.

6.9 out of 10

Enter Nowhere
½

Enter Nowhere is one of the most original takes on the cabin in the woods theme I've seen in awhile, where three young adults find themselves stranded. The film moves at a steady pace as the story's many layers begin to unfold, I was transfixed with every passing minute. The poster makes it look like just another generic killer in the woods, slasher flick but it's the opposite and it's so much better for it. The film is more of a psychological/thriller and a very suspenseful one at that and is far more brilliant than most of the nonsense thrown in theaters these days. Enter Nowhere is one of the most pleasant surprise finds of 2012!

Sara Paxton impresses me more and more with her film choices and I have to say that this is her most ambitious film to date. She gives a cheeky, disarming performance as Jody, who stumbles onto the cabin after her boyfriend kicks her out of the car. I think this is one of her best performances and the most layered. Katherine Waterston was also quite good and I fond her performance to be absorbing, she also had this vulnerability and innocence about her that you cared about her story. She plays Samantha, who wanders aimlessly to the cabin after her car breaks down and her husband never came back for help. Scott Eastwood, who is the son of the living legend Clint Eastwood, was pretty good and has this quite confidence about him that is pretty similar to his dad's. He plays Tom, who has already been stranded at the cabin for a couple of days after he gets in a car wreck. The way these characters intersect was just clever and thought provoking.

Director, Jack Heller makes a gem of a debut and creates a spooky, Twilight Zone atmosphere right out of a blurred nightmare. I'm so impressed and shocked that this is his first movie, as he has already outdone himself. Can't wait to see his next film and hopefully just as ingenious effort. Writers Shawn Christensen and Jason Dolan show great potential and I hope to see more great stories from them like this breath of fresh air.

Overall, if you are expecting blood, guts and scares look elsewhere, but if you want an atmospheric film, with a suspenseful story that is character driven and thought provoking, which is a rarity in this genre, then enter this cabin. Satisfying thriller! 7.5 out of 10

The Beyond (...E tu vivrai nel terrore! L'aldilà)
½

The Beyond is a very overrated Italian/horror film that is incomprehensible. The film is filled with creepy atmospherics, insane gore and is probably one of the most unique zombie films of the past, but different doesn't always lead to a good film. I just couldn't take it seriously, whether it was intentional or not, the script was a mess and laughable and the scares weren't effective enough as they could have been. The soundtrack was also a hit and miss, with some of it being completely out of place. The horror cult classics that came out during the same year like The Evil Dead etcetera were miles better, The Beyond just doest stack up. Definitely one of the most disappointing Italian/horror cult classics out there.

The characters were pretty illogical, doing most things people should not do in horror movies. For example, not shooting a zombie in the head, what a waste of bullets you fool! The other is hooking a clearly dead person to a heartbeat monitor, really! The acting was mostly just horrid to me, with overreaction to not enough reaction to what is happening around them. Catriona MacColl, who plays Liza Merril, a young woman who inherits an old hotel in Louisiana, is definitely easy on the eyes and carries the film quite well, she makes it bearable. The other standout was Cinzia Moreale (as Sarah Keller) who plays a blind woman pretty effectively, who comes out of nowhere into Liza's life to warns her about the sinister hotel. Good effort from those two, but the hackneyed script consumed them and everyone else.

The late Italian/horror director Lucio Fulci definitely made strange, one of a kind horror films. The type of films you don't see being made anymore, but The Beyond's plot had major development problems that were a huge distraction from everything else. Lucio goes wild here though, with a hypnotic, nightmarish atmosphere, intense close up shots of ghoulish imagery that will stay with you. The film is out there and beyond, too bad the rest of the film wasn't as lavish. To me his best and creepiest film is The House By The Cemetery.

Overall, not the horror extraordinaire people make it out to be, nor is it complete trash. The Beyond goes by its own beat and it's as clear away from mainstream as one film can get. None of it was clear though and just got lost in its own spiral of wackiness, at the end all I was thinking was WTF did I just watched? 5.5 out of 10

Thesis
Thesis(1996)

While doing a thesis about violence, Ángela finds a snuff video where a girl is tortured until death. Soon she discovers that the girl was a former student in her faculty...

I've been wanting to watch this film for a couple of years now, but was hard to tract it down until it was finally available to rent on Netflix. To my disappointment, I should have not even bothered. The film has an intriguing theory about our society's attraction for the morbid, but it just didn't have that powerful impact it needed for it to be effective. Thesis was way too slow and took too long to get to the action. It has some suspenseful and atmospheric scenes that play off our fears of the dark and the unknown, but few and far between. For having a subject matter like this, the film was just not terrifying enough, but definitely a lot more intelligent than most thrillers that get released to theaters these days.

The acting was very subtle and focused and Ana Torrent makes for an engaging lead as Angela, a student who stumbles upon a Snuff film while doing a thesis about violence. She figures out that the victim in the video was also a student in her faculty that went missing. Angela does some of her own investigation while the killer or killers is on her tail. The film was filled with an uneasy feeling that crawls under your skin, but never leads to anywhere haunting to make you lose sleep over. The characters where also not that interesting other than the lead actress and made some pretty weak decisions, which made me yell at the screen. Nothing that amazing here, just decent.

Director, Alejandro Amenábar best known from the modern horror classic The Others. He definitely likes to inject his pictures with atmosphere, suspense, character, and story and fear the old fashioned way than relying on CGI and bloodshed. For this being his first feature, it's not half bad and pretty gripping, but has pacing issues. I can tell though that he is in his element here and was in his element in The Others, so I hope that we get another thriller or horror movie in the future from him, as he seems to be the most skillful in those genres.

Overall, It's not a must see and not for all tastes, but for its time it's kind of a one of a kind thriller and I would of probably appreciated it more if I watched it when it came out in 1996. Watching it now though, some of it just came off as a made for TV. movie and clocking in at 125 minutes, the film took too long to get going. Worth a look if you have nothing better to watch and if you were a fan of 8MM, but don't expect a fast paced thrill ride. 6 out of 10

The Awakening

The Awakening is the best old-fashioned ghost story made in modern time since The Others. The film to me was so emotionally powerful, with an engrossing tale of loss, loneliness, grief and fear. Don't go in with expectations of being scared out of your mind even though there is some well executed scares in this film. It's not the type of horror film that really focuses on that element because it doesn't need to rely on it so heavily like most horror movies do these days. The film's strengths are its atmosphere, effective suspense, impeccable performances, a story worth telling and a twist that through me for a loop. The most under appreciated horror film of 2012.

Rebecca Hall plays Florence Cathcart, a Hoax exposer who is called to a boarding house to investigate strange paranormal activity. Rebecca is one of the most under used actresses of today! She was so mesmerizing in this role and it's a shame that this didn't get a wide theatrical release so people can see what a great actress she is; this was Oscar worthy to me. The rest of the cast was great too, that include Dominic West who plays Robert Mallory and Imelda Staunton who gives a heartbreaking performance as the caretaker Maud Hill. These characters were so moving and heartfelt and give the story an emotional punch.

Director and writer, Nick Murphy shows true talent in his first full length feature film, and has strength as a writer. His ability to capture emotion along with shocks and spooks is breathtaking to me; his film grabs and doesn't let go. He is a director to look out for. Stephen Volk who is no stranger to the horror genre, he also wrote screenplays for Gothic, The Kiss, The Guardian, Superstition and Octane. He shows true growth here as a solid writer for this genre. They should collaborate again!

Overall, The Awakening treads a lot on familiar grounds, but there is true talent in front and behind the camera that you can really appreciate the presentation. It could of used a couple more scares but the ones thrown at us were effectively spooky. The acting, characters, suspense and surprising twist though, truly drive this film. Recommended!

7.9 out of 10

Resolution
Resolution(2013)

Michael (Peter Cilella) is committed to getting his best friend Chris (Vinny Curran) to sober up and get his life back on track. But what begins as an attempt to save his friend's life quickly takes an unexpected turn as the two friends confront personal demons, the consequences of past actions, and forces beyond their control. Expertly balancing dark humor with genuine thrills and unexpected pathos, Resolution is an utterly unique cinematic experience that defies genre classification.

Resolution was an utterly mind-blowing experience that has a fantastic twist to the horror genre. To be honest it's more of a trippy suspense/drama with quaint and small horror elements thrown in the mix. The story is completely involving with two lead characters that you can connect to, making the mysterious and creepy going ons all the more effective. The film starts off pretty slow with an anti climatic ending, and doesn't have that much if any action, but the unique outcome, engaging and riveting characters and plot twist, make the viewing semi worth it.

The performances from Vinny Curran and Peter Cilella were breakthrough and organic and you believe their story and friendship. Peter plays Michael Danube, a soon to be dad who decides to take one last trip to visit and help his drug addicted friend Chris Daniels played by Vinny, who isolated himself in a remote shack. Michael decides to show some tough love when Chris refuses to go to rehab and soon after handcuffs Chris to a metal bar to force him to detoxify. Michael starts to then experience strange and unexplained happenings when he discovers some reel playback footage. From there on it's a trippy ride and it's the type of film that you probably need multiple viewings to figure it all out, but the scenario is so refreshing from the norm that this genre usually brings us.

Director, Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead have crafted a one of a kind, surreal suspense flick. A real breakthrough effort from them that will have you scratching your head, spooked and anxious to see how it will turn out. Unfortunately the conclusion just didn't really pay off for me and just ended way too soon just when things started to get really good. For first time directors though, I think they are exciting and brilliant new talent and can't wait to see what they have in store for us next.

Overall, Resolution was different, freaky and has two likable leads and I was intrigue through most of it but the ending just didn't sit well with me. Recommended if you enjoy films like Cookers, or just want to watch something different from the genre for a change. 6.5 out of 10

Excision
Excision(2012)
½

Excision is an artistically blood-soaked film that will have you squirm in your seat one moment and laugh in the next, thanks to its cleverly dark humor. I've never really seen a film quite like this as it's in its own league of twisted shenanigans. The most unique character study of 2012.

AnnaLynne McCord completely disappears into her character and gives an insanely off the wall, brilliant performance that will leave you bug-eyed. She plays Pauline, a disturbed 18-year-old high school student that has a strange fetish for blood. She desperately wants a career in the medical field and goes to the extreme to practice it, as she tries to get approval from her mother. Traci Lords also impressed me as the over controlling mom Phyllis, who tries hard to get through to her unbalanced daughter to no avail. She has a lot of layers to her character as she can be ruthless in one scene and caring in the next, I really felt sorry for her in the end. The rest of the cast was pretty impressive and you might recognize Ariel Winter from Modern Family who plays the younger sister Grace, who is ill with Cystic Fibrosis. The dad, Roger Bart plays Bob, he plays a helpless role of a guy stuck in the middle of the chaos. There are also appearances from John Waters, Malcolm McDowell and Marlee Matlin, which was entertaining to see them in the film.

Director, Richard Bates Jr. makes an explosive début as newcomer of this genre and has a bold eye that's unflinching. The disturbing style, nature mixed with the dark humor, yet at the same time visceral, is just bloody brilliant. He is one to look out for, as this is an insane first effort!

Overall, Excision is not a movie for all tastes, but the bluntness, wit, dark humor, unappalogetic attitude and blood drenched, stylishly brooding dreamscapes, made it refreshing and daring. The ending was shocking, but I was kind of unsure what to make of it. One of the more memorable horror offerings of 2012.

The Barrens
The Barrens(2012)

The Barrens took a promising premise and did nothing remotely interesting with it. The film had some suspense, grisly but off screen deaths and a likable cast. The result though came up very generic, slow moving, underdeveloped and dull. There were absolutely no scares, terror or entertainment value to this picture, making it one of the weakest horror films of 2012.

The film stars Stephen Moyer from the True Blood series and Mia Kirshner from The Black Dahlia. They play Richard and Cynthia Vineyard who go on a camping trip with their kids, but soon their trip takes a sinister turn when mysterious vanishings and death follows them. Richard is convinced that it is The Jersey Devil that has been after him since he was a little boy and paranoia soon takes over when no one believes him. I thought the performances were lackluster and has a botch script that brought the flawed film down even further. The characters were underdeveloped and didn't make me give a damn about their story and what happens to them. It's a shame because they are likable actors in an unlikable film.

Director, Darren Lynn Bousman is becoming a hit and miss filmmaker, although it's not as bad as 11-11-11, The Barrens is by far his weakest effort. I did not like his filming style in this movie; it came off as uninspired and amateurish compared to his many superior efforts such as Mother's Day, Saw III, and Repo! The Genetic Opera. He is capable of so much more than this flat, made for SyFy channel movie. The writing and filming was just lazy to me. Hopefully it's a hit next time because he definitely has it in him.

Overall, the poster is more interesting to look at than watching the actual film. The premise and leads alone may keep you intrigued for the most part and has a twist or two towards the end, but The Barrens is as tedious as they come. Disappointing addition to the horror genre.

Wake in Fright

Wake in Fright is the story of John Grant, a bonded teacher who arrives in the rough outback-mining town of Bundanyabba planning to stay overnight before catching the plane to Sydney. But his one night stretches to five and he plunges headlong toward his own destruction. When the alcohol-induced mist lifts, the educated John Grant is no more. Instead there is a self-loathing man in a desolate wasteland, dirty, red-eyed, sitting against a tree and looking at a rifle with one bullet left.

I'm amazed that I haven't heard about this movie before, it's a forgotten 1971 classic! It's a jaw dropping experience, with unforgettable performances from the late Donald Pleasence and Gary Bond. The movie starts off with John Grant played by Gary Bond, a school teacher who grades his last paper before the holiday break and plans on flying to Sydney, Australia to see his love interest. He decides to stay overnight in the mining town of Bundanyabba before catching the plane the next day. From that point on you witness the shocking downward spiral into depravity, self-destructive behavior that brings you head on into alcohol abuse and its shattering toll. It's a crazy world we live in and Wake In Fright throws it in our face. A character study with powerful, impact results.

The performances in this film are Oscar worthy and left me speechless. Why this film never got any awards and pretty much deserted until now is beyond me. Gary Bond, which believe it or not middle name is James, gives his all to this role and goes to pretty dark places with it that will leave you stunned! Gary sadly died in 1995 from AIDS at 55; it's disappointing that he didn't shoot to more great roles after this one. Donald Pleasence, from the Halloween fame plays 'Doc' Tydon and gives a staggering performance unlike anything I've seen from him. Donald oddly also died in 1995 at age 75. Their performance in this film will definitely live on.

Director, Ted Kotcheff who went on to film Fun With Dick And Jane (1977), First Blood and Weekend At Bernie's, creates a twisted and brilliant film and pays close attention to detail. He films with such depth and brings real horror to the viewer in an unsuspecting manner, psychologically mystifying and terrifying. The raw atmosphere reminds me of such films as Deliverance, Duel and The Grey. It's a shame he didn't do more striking movies as this one.

Overall, influential filmmaking, powerful acting and a disturbingly real execution reminds us why the 1970's were one of the best and most inspiring decades for this genre. It's not a movie I will want to watch again, but it's a movie you should at least watch once. 6.6 out of 10

Beasts of the Southern Wild
½

A profound film of such strength, courage, inspiration, imagination and heart. Realism storytelling at its finest, that reminds me of such raw filmmaking as Winter's Bone. Beasts Of The Southern Wild is emotionally hard hitting, eye opening, admirable, a revelation of a film that has true spirit and is unlike anything I've seen before. A genuine film of 2012, validating why it's nominated for Academy Awards.

The acting from first timer Quvenzhane Wallis was tour de force! Her acting was so authentic at such a tender age of 5, she will astonish you. She plays Hushpuppy, who lives in a poverty-stricken bayou community that Mother Nature has left in shambles. She barely gets by living with her ill father Wink, played brilliantly by another newcomer Dwight Henry; I'm shocked though that he didn't get nominated for an Oscar or any other awards. They were both outstanding!

Director, Benh Zeitlin will probably become an important director after this small triumph. He guides us through a land of great hardship but filled with hope, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Courage, bravery, wonder, carry on, faith and zealousness all through the eyes of a little girl, inspirational. He films and creates a story with such passionate intimacy that you feel you are watching a documentary. One of the best new directors of today!

Overall, Beasts Of The Southern Wild is a small victory of the awards season. It may not be for everyone and is deliberately paced, but the picture is unforgettable, moving, heartbreaking, bold and humane. Worth a watch!

The Possession

The Possession possesses many similar qualities of great demonic possession films of the past, such as The Exorcist, as it focuses more on mood, atmosphere and character development than CGI and gore. The Jewish angle of the film was an interesting take, but just didn't work for me and kind have brought the effectiveness down a notch. The problem with the movie is that it doesn't do much to distinguish itself from other horror films of its kind, just follows them. That being said, the film offers several white-knuckle moments that will make you squirm in your seat and is well filmed and acted that it kind of makes up for its unoriginality.

The acting was all around solid, the characters were genuine and the story though overly familiar works in the beginning, creating some very creepy moments. Natasha Calis plays Em, a young girl who is dealing with the divorce of her parents and soon gets possessed by a mysterious entity from a box she got at a garage sale. She gives a chilling and captivating performance, even though it's too similar to Linda Blair's performance in The Exorcist. Natasha is the star of this movie and pretty much overshadows everyone else. Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Kyra Sedgwick play Clyde and Stephanie, the typical parents trying to save their possessed daughter from destruction, but you mostly felt their pain and terror and were relatable, making their ordeal all the more harrowing. Madison Davenport was the spunky one of the group, she gave her most to the role, but there was not much to her part and reminded me of some reason of the older sister in Poltergeist.

Director, Ole Bornedal definitely has some knowledge about this genre and is a skilled director, but coming from the guy that directed the superior film Nightwatch, I expected more originality from him. He borrowed the right ingredients but did nothing fresh with them and in the end perishable. The film was too routine and much like countless other possession films, it suffers from the same flaws of standing out.

Overall, The Possession is a whole lot better than critics make it out to be and uses moths more effectively than the recent horror film Mama did. The movie is more creepy and disturbing than flat out scary, but I did jump once or twice. The performances and solid filming style drive this film horror film from being a complete waste of time. The fact that it's based on a true story makes it chillingly fascinating, even though there were some plot holes that never got filled. The film has an intriguing premise, but ended up falling back on horror clichés and unoriginality, which is its downfall. It kind of leaves the door wide open for a sequel and I wouldn't mind, because if The Haunting In Connecticut gets one than this one should too. Rental at best, a decent one at that.

Mama
Mama(2013)
½

Mama is an unfortunate misfire, a film that's too contrived to be called effective and truly scary. The grim fairy tale aspect of the film just didn't work for me at all and the story though intriguing, sad and startling in the beginning, became scattered and not focused on which direction to take. The CGI ghost was horrible and unintentionally laughable, I rolled my eyes every time it came popping on screen, in a horror movie that is not a good sign. The scares were nothing new and way too predictable and the characters were underdeveloped that there was not much connection to care. Mama could have been one of 2013's scariest horror films, but its solid potential melted away as fast as The Wicked Witch Of The West from The Wizard of Oz.

The performances are the best part of this teetering film, even if the script fails them. Jessica Chastain who plays Annabel, is probably the hardest working actress of today, she gives her all to her roles even if it's as thin as this. She always brings a sense of empowerment mixed with vulnerability to her roles that is always compelling to watch. The real stars of this picture are the child actors Megan Charpentier and Isabelle Nelisse who play Victoria and Lilly, orphaned girls that were found living in an abandoned cottage in the woods for years after their dad goes missing and mother dead. Their performance in the movie had so many layers that add some depth to their roles and were engaging, spooky and heartbreaking. I see them as future stars in this business.

Director, Andrés Muschietti who also created the short film Mama that started it all, definitely knows what a horror movie should look like and crafted a haunting atmosphere filled with grotesque images and nightmarish shadows and lighting. The director just doesn't quite know what a scary film should act like, he seems to have a lot of solid ideas and an semi original premise, but somehow got lost from the journey to paper to film. Andres Muschietti has so much potential as a horror movie director; he just needs to create a better script and a more balanced story. Mama just fell short of becoming truly great.

Overall, Mama just wasn't terrifying as one might think. It had fine performances, a startling and fresh premise, some creepy moments, but the CGI ghost was asinine, the scares dull and ineffective and has an unconvincing ending. AN HUGE DISAPPOINTMENT!

I Didn't Come Here To Die

I Didn't Come Here To Die is probably one of the best efforts from a low budget horror film I've seen in awhile. The gore effects were great, especially the chainsaw scene, all of it looked raw and painful. The film blends comedy and horror very effectively, that it reminded me when I first saw The Evil Dead, but blended with Final Destination, just not as great as those. They definitely did wonders with their very limited budget, for instance the tent scene with the spooky shadows that kind of reminded me of Freddy Kruger. The film also reminded me of the superior low budget horror film Dead Wood, but I think this one will have a better chance to become a cult classic, maybe.

The acting was surprisingly decent and the characters were oddballs, but very entertaining to watch and at times hysterical. You felt bad for them, as horrible luck comes to them in every corner, but this is completely a tongue in cheek type of film, that makes it a messed up riot. The characters might be the typical ones found in horror films but their demise isn't and it was refreshing.

Director and writer, Bradley Scott Sullivan seems to know and love horror films and this film is evidence. It's like a loving ode to the little horror films that could, like for instance The Evil Dead. His filming style was retro brilliance and I dug it a lot! I will for sure keep an eye out for him and I can imagine great things if he has a much larger budget.

Overall, there was some hype surrounding this film when it first hit, but I can't unfortunately say that this film deserved it. I can say that I enjoyed it for what it accomplished on such a small budget and its balanced blend of horror and comedy. I think it could of been a tad better and delivered crazier mayhem, but it got most of the job done in a surprisingly, effectively well matter, especially for a first time director. I liked it, but I wish that I could say that I loved it; I was just sort of disappointed with the film as a whole. Definitely worth a watch for horror fanatics though! 6.9 out of 10

The Uncertain Guest (El Habitante incierto) (The Uninvited Guest)
½

What if ... you let a stranger into your house to use your phone, but while you've been patiently waiting in the kitchen, he just disappears ... or does he? Félix, an architect who has just split up with his girl-friend and inhabits a huge mansion in Barcelona, finds out how many hiding places there really are in his house. But are there enough to hide another person, a strange parasite of living space? Or is Félix really going insane?

The Uninvited Guest starts off pretty damn slow, introducing us to Felix who is an architect that inhabits this majestic home in Barcelona, Spain. At the same time he is dealing with the breakup from his girlfriend, which starts to trigger some paranoia that he is being watched. When an unexpected knock on the door from a stranger, who needs to use the phone and then disappears, Felix soon realizes that there is more to his home than meets the eye.

This was a puzzling movie to watch and filled with suspense and atmosphere, with some creepy moments. The film definitely picks up the pace in its second half, which puts you on the edge of your seat. The film has this very classic look and feel to it that was refreshing and reminded me of an Alfred Hitchcock film or the more recent thriller, Sleep Tight. The film builds to this shocking and baffling conclusion that hit it home for me. The film was clever and original!

The acting was subtle and brilliant that had many layers, an intriguing watch. Andoni Gracia, who plays Felix, was captivating to watch and brought us along with his character through this spiraling maze of mystery, uncertainty and tension. At the same time you can't help to think if he was crazy all this time, because he had this creepiness about him. It's one of the few films that I don't mind trying to put the pieces together because I like the mystique of it all. Hell I might even watch it again to figure it all out.

Director, Guillem Morales has made two really good, classic thrillers. First The Uninvited Guest and then Julia's Eyes, he already films his movies like a classic suspenser, he is now one of my favorite directors. He knows how to create this suffocating atmosphere, builds the suspense with ease and hits you with a great twist towards the end. I can't wait for his next thriller; I hope it's soon!

Overall, it's a shame that this little thriller that could is not more well known and appreciated. It has a quality about that you don't see much of in today's thrillers, it's not flashy, overly violent and focuses more on the little things that most directors miss. We need more of this in this genre! Recommended! 7 out of 10

Arbitrage
Arbitrage(2012)
½

Arbitrage is a grand soap opera, that's tense, suspenseful, smart, gripping and superbly acted. A character study of a rich business man and his many flaws and his downward spiral that threatens everyone close to him. To me this is just a typical thriller that is saved by impressive performances, especially from Richard Gere, but the conclusion was weak and nothing was rewarding for the viewer to make you say that it was worth watching. Probably one of the more disappointing and overrated film of 2012.

Richard Gere gives a wallop of a performance and his most intriguing role to date. He plays Robert Miller, a troubled business man that dug himself quite a grave after committing fraud and running away from a scene of a car accident. It was very hard to relate to this character and give a damn what happens to him, at the same time though the film still manages to be intense, as he tries to bury his secrets with money. The rest of the cast was exceptional, with Susan Sarandon, who plays the Ellen Miller that shows her expressions right in the beginning that she knows her husband's secrets, but keeps a smile on her face for her family. Susan always gives commanding performances and has sparks fly when she is onscreen that is always fun to watch. Brit Marling from indie gems such as Another Earth and Sound Of My Voice, is really an actress to look out for and really impresses me here as the brilliant daughter Brooke Miller and leaves her impression. I also really dug Nate Parker's performance as Jimmy Grant, who gets caught up Robert Miller's mess. He is also an actor to look out for; he was quite good in this.

Director, Nicholas Jarecki who also wrote the screenplay, has potential and this is a very impressive start, but just didn't leave quite of an impact. The film left me hanging with no resolution to anything that happened and was almost like a to be continued from a TV. drama. The film builds and builds to an ending that shuts you out from the scheme of things, just like the character Robert Miller does to his family. Unsatisfactory is the word that comes to mind.

Overall, terrific performances aside, Arbitrage gives you the short end of the deal and you walk away from the film with glop. Wait for it when it airs on the movie channel.

Compliance
Compliance(2012)

Based on a true story comes across the screen in big bold letters in the opening credits. After the film was over, I am still baffled that the opening statement is true, though apparently they had about 70 cases similar to this one. It's shocking and scary to think that a crazed, prank caller can take so much control over someone's moral thinking. The prank caller pretended to be an authority figure, in this case working for the police and pushed these poor people to strip search this innocent victim. He brainwashed them into thinking what they were doing was the right thing, but then he took it to a disturbing new level. When most people, if you had a brain would stop and hang up, they kept going and cooperating. It's a chilling story, but a very infuriating watch, an unforgettable one at that.

The acting was solid and felt so raw, most notably from Ann Dowd, who plays Sandra, a fast food restaurant manager. She plays the part so effectively well that it might as well be a documentary. Dreamer Walker plays Becky, a young employee that gets caught in this web of twisted lies and trials that lead to assault. She gives a brave and earnest performance, depicting the shocking crime that took place at her work, where most people think to be safe. Pat Healy plays the part of the inquisitive prank caller, who goes by Officer Daniels. He gives an engrossing, tense performance and puts fear into answering an unknown number and even more chilling that it happened at somewhere you could be working at. The devastating royal prank call that ended with a nurse taking her own life. Brainwashing is a scary reality, it happened with The Salem Witch Trails, Adolf Hitler taking control over citizens and too many more cases.

Director, Craig Zobel shows restraint and attention to mood and detail as filmmaker. He builds the uncomfortable suspense to the very end, leaving you baffled with people's actions and makes you think what yourself would do in that situation. A pretty hard-hitting second film from an upcoming director.

Overall, the story is shocking and frustrating, the performances were effective, but it's not a film that you will enjoy watching or urge people to watch. The story itself though will linger long after the closing credits, asking how such a thing could happen?

Now Is Good
Now Is Good(2012)

A girl dying of leukemia compiles a list of things she'd like to do before passing away. Topping the list is her desire to lose her virginity.

Now is Good wont win any points for originality, but the movie will no doubt touch you with its heartbreaking, sincere story, and its beautiful, yet simple filming style. The musical score was used in an effective way to pull at your heartstrings, guiding you through the story in a glowing way than being straight out depressing. That makes Now Is Good one of the better films of its kind, just not great.

Where has Dakota Fanning been? I would think she would have had an Oscar or nomination by now! Dakota to me is the best representation of a child star of our generation! She hasn't fucked up and is a good role model of that. Now she has blossomed into a young woman and the transition from child actor to young adult actor was smooth, as this is her most assured, mature and beautiful performance to date! She plays Tessa Scott, a girl dying of leukemia who makes a bucket list of things she wants to do before she dies, then finds love in her path. The supporting actors gave fine performances and in the end moving. Most notable was the dad played by Paddy Considine, and the love interest played by Jeremy Irvine, who to me had great chemistry with Dakota.

Director, Ol Parker hasn't directed a film since his debut in 2005, with the romantic/comedy Imagine Me & You, which I haven't seen, nor heard of. He has crafted a beautiful, heart wrenching film in the likes of Love Story, but sometimes comes off as a made for TV. film, because of the simplicity of its portrayal, but pretty solid for his second film. I just wouldn't call it striking. His adaptation of the novel seems to be heartfelt and inspired though.

Overall, it's not a must see, but the performances alone, especially from Dakota Fanning makes this film worth a watch. 6 out of 10

Chained
Chained(2012)
½

Bob, a cab-driving serial killer who stalks his prey on the city streets alongside his reluctant protégé Tim, who must make a life or death choice between following in Bob's footsteps or breaking free from his captor.

Be prepared, this film is not for the faint of heart or the more sensitive viewers. Chained is the most unsettling film of 2012 that grips you by the throat and doesn't let go, as well as a kick in the stomach. Dread consumes this twisted, dark and provocative crime/thriller. In the vein of Henry: Portrait Of A Serial Killer, this film takes you inside the mind of a ruthless killer, the character study is a very disturbing, heart shattering and shocking. Filled with depravity!

The performances were powerfully tense and keeps you glued to the screen and on the edge of you seat. Vincent D'Onofrio, who you may know from Law & Order, plays Bob, a serial killer cab driver and gives one hell of a chilling performance. You feel horrible for but hate him at the same time, a killer that's a product of his environment. Eamon Farren plays older Rabbit, which is the name Bob gives to him after he abducts him and his mom when he was a young child. Now he is chained to a wall with no way out, but to only buddy up with his captor enough to be freed from the chains. Eamon gives a captivating performance and you root for him to escape the horrors and at one point having you shout at the screen to fight back and get revenge. Harrowing film!

Director, Jennifer Chambers Lynch who directed the equally startling film Surveillance, has crafted yet another distressing, graphic and wicked film. The rawness of her films is now very much signature to me, she always has a way of getting under your skin, keeps you in suspense and hits you hard with a shocking conclusion. Her film will make you think twice about calling for a cab! Very much interested to see what she throws at us next, I won't be surprised if it leaves me in the fetal position, shaken out of my mind. She is that good!

Overall, this film is definitely not for everyone as it's blood curdling, but the performances are some of the best of 2012 from this twisted genre. The story will keep you in cold sweat, wondering and guessing if poor Rabbit will make it out ok and has one hell of a shocking ending that will leave you breathless. A tough watch, but worth it! 7 out of 10.

Safety Not Guaranteed

Safety Not Guaranteed is the most thought provoking, charming, funny, heartfelt and surprising little gem of 2012. I was enamored with it! This film stood out more to me than most star studded vehicles of last year, because it tried something different without being so flashy. It's one of those films that surprise you with every frame and like a good book; you don't want it to end and leaves you craving more! The ending is the highlight, surprise movie scene of last year!

Thanks to a sharp script everyone in this film was enormously enjoyable to watch and gave subtle, raw, charming and witty performances. There was something very sexy and mystique about newcomer Aubrey Plaza, maybe it's her bedroom eyes or Scarlet Johansson lips, but she and the performance she gave mesmerized me. You'll want to travel back in time with her too! At least I did. The other standout was Mark Duplass, who plays Kenneth, a guy who placed a classified ad seeking a companion for time travel. He gave an heartfelt, intellect, memorable performance and pulls you into his world, makes you believe, dream of the possibilities of time travel, that may be true or some crazy person's bogus ideas. You may recognize Jake Johnson from TV's The New Girl, whose dry sense of humor and deadpan performances are always fun to watch, you can't help but like him.

Director, Colin Trevorrow and writer Derek Connolly, impressed me immensely with this being their first major film and collaboration! They should definitely collaborate again, because they show true brilliance and restraint on a modest budget, imagine what they can do with a much larger one. The possibilities are overflowing! I'm keeping my eye out for them!

Overall, Safety Not Guaranteed is the biggest surprise film of 2012 to me! I believed it, felt it, charmed by it and was completely entertained throughout and didn't want it to end! I know this might be crazy, but I would mind a continuation of this story. I loved it! Satisfaction guaranteed!

The Impossible
½

The Impossible is the most gripping, heart shattering, intense piece of filmmaking I've seen in quite some time. The human tragedy, horror, fight for survival and unity is based on the harrowing true story of one of the worlds worst natural disasters of our time. 2004, Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami and one family's terrifying account. To me, this is the most powerful, heartfelt; disaster film based on real life events since probably Titanic, if not as grand.

The performances were inspiring and heartbreaking. Naomi Watts gives one of her best and challenging roles to date; to me she deserves an oscar for her performance. Another standout was Tom Holland and believe it or not this is his first major role, which to me is a bona fide movie star! Tom was the heart and soul of this movie and carried the film like a pro and deserves to be nominated, he was great! Ewan McGregor is always a strong performer and here is no exception, you feel all of his pain and powerful will to survive and find his family that swept away in a blink of an eye. I was also really impressed with the younger siblings in this film, played by newcomers Samuel Joslin and Oaklee Pendergast; you believed every emotion from them. Gripping ride!

Director, Juan Antonio Bayona has created a triumph of a film, especially since this is his first major film, but you may also remember his other and also gripping foreign film, The Orphanage. The guy has mad talent and was bold and relentless in showing the horrors on that fateful day in December. Definitely a director to look out for. Oscar worthy all the way! The writing though, didn't match the effectiveness of everything else, but wasn't distracting from the film, it just could have been more memorable.

Overall, forget about all of the other Oscar contenders, The Impossible is the real human soul of the awards season and an unforgettable watch. The filmmaking, acting, story and spectacle don't get much better than this. A MUST SEE!!!!!

Los ojos de Julia (Julia's Eyes)
½

Julia's Eyes has a terrifying premise. Losing your vision methodically, while investigating the death of a loved one, who may or may not of killed themselves, and being stalked by a shadowy figure that may be involved. Chilling to the bone! I jumped out of my seat more with the scares in this movie than most of the horror movies released to theaters last year! The atmosphere and suspense were stellar and had me on the edge of my seat. The film is like an unknown Alfred Hitchcock classic!

The performances were compelling, especially from the lead actress who gives a pretty great and shattering performance of a woman losing her vision, Julia, played by Belén Rueda, who you may remember from 2007's The Orphanage.

Director, Guillem Morales is definitely one to look out for, as this is only his second feature horror film and he is already very skillful at it. The attention to detail with no reliance on effects is much needed in this genre, it seems that he knows what he is doing and shows maturity as a director and it's only his second movie! He knows this genre to the basics of its birth and I hope he sticks with horror! Now I really want to see The Uninvited Guest, his first full-length film. Can't wait to see what he has in store for us next!

Overall, this is a solid, good old-fashioned, yet modern psychological/horror film, with strong performances, a terrifying story, chilling atmosphere and suspense, effective scares without being overly gory and a great director behind the camera. What more can you ask for when most theatrical horror movies are less than perfect and disappointing? Go rent it ASAP! 7.5 out of 10!!!!

Rabies
Rabies(2010)
½

A brother and sister who run away from home find sanctuary in a deserted nature reserve. When the sister falls into the trap of a psychopathic killer, the brother sets out on a race against time to find help. In a twist of fate the rescue of the sister becomes inadvertently intertwined with the lives of a group of young tennis players, a ranger and his dog, as well as a team of policemen.

Rabies is an interestingly odd throwback to backwoods slashers and a pretty decent, entertaining, very first horror film from Israel. The film was never really scary because I've seen so many films of its kind, nor did it try to be. It's tense, fast paced, bloody and a good time for the most part. It just wasn't above average to make it memorable or worth your time.

The performances were average, no one really stood out, and no one was lousy, just ok. The characters made smart and dumb decisions but were forgettable and almost cardboard cut outs, but were likable.

Writers and Directors Aharon Keshales and Navot Papushado did a pretty good effort with this horror film, especially for first timers. The unpredictability of the story was a breathe of fresh air for a movie like this. Yet at the same time it could of been much better if they took it a notch further with higher stakes. They are definitely decent filmmakers that have potential, so I'm curious to see what they bring us next.

Overall, it's not your normal backwoods slasher and has enough carnage in it to satisfy fans, but it's nothing all that memorable. It's a decent effort and Israel's first spin on the genre which was neat, just nothing you need to see right away. Netflix rental.

5.9 out of 10

Texas Chainsaw

Texas Chainsaw 3D starts off with clips of the carnage of the original, homemade classic, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, which was neat and nostalgic because I've never seen it on the big screen before. After that, the incompetent sequel starts where the original left off, that leads to a gun battle at the original Leatherface's home, which reminded me of the gun battle in the much better film, The Devil's Rejects. I think it was a complete mistake showing those clips and making it a direct sequel to the original and not the remake, which looks brilliant in comparison. The film forced us to have high expectations and compare it to the original.

The characters are one dimensional and are the most intellectually challenged individuals in horror movie history, another reason to put a bad name on this ever growing, disappointing genre. The performances didn't help matters either and even the lovely and ever so sexy Alexandra Daddario, who was much better in the superior, slasher/character study Bereavement. Alexandra tries but the horrid script fails her in every way. You don't give a shit about these characters and that's a bad sign in a horror movie because you want to be on the edge of your seat rooting for them to survive the madness. NOT HERE!

To quote the old fat tea lady in the trailer of the remake, "Oh my, my, my, my, my." End quote; they picked the worst possible director to do a horror movie! Director John Luessenhop seems to know nothing about horror movies or seen one himself. There was no suspense, terror, effective scares or even inventive kills. He had the perfect settings/atmosphere and did nothing remotely chilling or shocking with them, this is a Texas Chainsaw movie after all, but did not feel like one and now I know why they left Massacre out of the title for this failure. The carnival scene could have been a brilliant, stalk and chase scene or even bloody chaos, but it went nowhere fast. Clearly this is a cash cow and they got what they wanted because with early box office reports this could earn up to 25 million! Not earned at all and leaves fans of the original and even the remake, prequel feel very cheated!

The makers seem to want to do something very different with the story and had some twists here and there that you don't expect to see from this never ending series. None of it was effective in the slightest, at least under these virgin to horror hands. I rolled my eyes during the revealing and everything was just very amateurish and fan made, but more like I don't know any of the elements on what made the original a classic or the remake and the prequel horror worthy decent made. CLEARLY NOT FAN MADE! I didn't think I would say this, but this is just as bad or worse than Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation!

Overall, they got everything wrong! This had the potential to breathe new life and reignite the series into endless possibilities of directions. The film ended up shoving the raw meatiness of the original through a wood chipper! Everyone involved with this film should be very embarrassed and hopefully learn from their mistakes here. Along with The Devil Inside, The Unborn and many more, this is a very disappointing start for horror movies for the New Year. AVOID! DON'T EVEN RENT IT!

Prometheus
Prometheus(2012)
½

Prometheus is an expensive, visually arousing, thought provoking without a complete resolution, strongly acted, tense and slow burn misfire. Disappointment couldn't be a better word for it. I should have known better that nothing could be better than the classic itself even if it's bigger.

The performances were good as expected but like the movie itself the characters came off as cold and distant. I couldn't connect with any one of them, so I didn't care what the outcome was. If I had to choose the real breakthrough performance was from Noomi Rapace, who showed raw emotion here and you felt it. Everyone else just seemed to show up for the paycheck, though Michael Fassbender gave quite an interesting performance as android.

Director Ridley Scott is clearly a master filmmaker and he paved the way for modern sci-fi films of today. Though the idea of doing a prequel of the best and most terrifying alien/horror classic ever, even if you were the creator, ended up being too ambitious after all. Visually it's epic but without it the movie is nothing, it just had too many missing pieces to rise above the pack.

The story was a mess and didn't really go anywhere exciting. There was just a continuous build-up of intensity and questions but no payoff. Where was the terror, suffocating suspense, mind blowing gory graphics, NOTHING!

This is not what I remember the Alien movies being like, sure they were ambitious wonder like this, but they knew what they were and didn't try to do tons of things at once. The fact that you pretty much knew most of the outcome, it sucked the fun out of the film experience. What a low down dirty shame! Anticipation of something great to happen to no avail, shows that this movie squanders.

Overall, Prometheus is an extravagant, missed opportunity that uses great talent and dazzling effects to make people want to go out and see it. They missed the target as a whole one why people liked the Alien films in the first place and ended up getting lost in its own admiration and much too big ideas for one film to handle. This is more on par with the Predator reboot Predators than Alien. Watch the classic Alien and Aliens again and forget about this waste of time and potential.

5.5 out of 10

Snow White and the Huntsman

Snow White and the Huntsman strive visually with awe-inspiring effects. Has a fantastic performance by the brilliant actress Charlize Theron as Ravenna and a great score. Then there is the lead, Kristen Stewart who is extremely miscast here as Snow White. She brings the epic film down big time with he awkwardness, which was interesting and different in the beginning of her career. Now it's just repetitive and stops the movie from being truly great.

The performances from Charlize Theron, Chris Hemsworth are the best of the bunch and pull you in right away. Kristen Stewart just doesn't have the charisma yet to be a leading lady in a summer blockbuster. Though you would think she would have it by now and I was rooting for her the whole time but she gave me nothing. The blank stares, lack of chemistry with most of the cast, I mean Lily Collins did miles better than her in Mirror, Mirror as Snow White. I really do think that Kristen Stewart is much better in those smaller independent films like The Yellow Handkerchief and Welcome To The Rileys. She seems much more comfortable in those type of roles than big ones like this.

Director, Rupert Sanders is off to an impressive if uneven start as a first time director. He has an artistic flare and delivers grand and haunting set pieces and divine atmospherics. He is definitely one to look out for, but too bad he chose Kristen Stewart to play the lead Snow White in this picture.

The story brings a new and intriguing dark spin on the classic fairytale, but has a lot of loose ends. The climax seemed rushed and unfinished, hinting at a sequel, which they are planning to do, though where will they go from here is kind of up in the air. I also think that some of the characters especially Snow White, didn't get a lot of powerful lines to do them justice. Kind of misguided.

The visual effects are a feast for the eyes, especially in the enchanting forest that was like out of a heavenly dream. The dark moments were also a view to behold. The film drives off it and should earn awards for it. A visual spectacle.

Overall, Snow White and the Huntsman came short of being a true classic thanks to the miscasting of Snow White and an uneven script and misguided story. It seemed self important that it came off as cold, distant and without spirit. Charlize Theron though steals the show with her powerful presence and performance as the evil queen. Chris Hemsworth gives another charismatic performance as the Huntsman and the visuals were brilliant but the protagonist just fell flat and was hard to connect to, which became a distraction to the quality of the film as a whole. See it for Charlize Theron and the visuals alone, otherwise wait for DVD.

Piranha 3DD
Piranha 3DD(2012)
½

Piranha 3DD, is unfortunately as bad and half-assed as its title. In a movie claiming to have double the action, double the terror, double the D's and the location at a water park, you would of thought that it would be double the fun. Not even close and it has to be the worst horror sequel released to theaters I have ever seen. Not even the gore was inventive enough to save this from being a pile of shit. This movie blows and not in a good way!

The acting all around was despicable and lazy, Danielle Panabaker being the only one giving her best with not much to work with. She is by far way too good for this movie and deserves better roles; the most interesting one so far is the role in Mr. Brooks. Katrina Bowden has great assets and is becoming quite the B-movie scream queen, but doesn't have much in the acting department. Sure is eye candy though. Using David Hasselhoff from Baywatch in the film probably was entertaining on paper, but just wasn't an effective gag here and just was a misfire at trying to be a funny nod.

Director, John Gulage wasted a potentially great location for a creature feature, a water park! He could of done wonders with that location and created some sort of suspense and inventiveness but didn't even bother. It comes off as a soft-core porno you see on the movie channels that happen to have piranhas in it. Even at that it wasn't rewarding, very bad taste. So far the only horror movie that used its water resort location effectively is The Pool, which they should have taken some notes before making this film. Feast this isn't. Not on a winning streak so far, better luck next time.

The gore just wasn't as memorable this time around. The effects were cheap looking and the piranhas look worse than before. There were no thrills, no big laughs, no terror, just big jugs and relied too much on CGI. This movie should have been trashed from the start until it was in good hands. Just a waste of everything.

Overall, not saying I'm surprised that this sequel ended up being a disgrace of wasted potential, but man they could of done better than this. Bigger boobs doesn't mean a bigger and better movie and this will definitely be on the top of my list of being the worst horror film of 2012. Not recommended!

The Pact
The Pact(2012)
½

The Pact takes a familiar approach to the supernatural/horror movie. In the likes of Stir Of Echoes, The Sixth Sense and most recently Absentia, the film is an old fashioned ghost story that has restraint, suspense, actual scares and intensity that will chill you to the bone.

The performances were half bad for a low budget fare and the characters were worth rooting for. Newcomer Caity Lotz carries the film well and brings layers to her character Annie and is very sexy, hope to see her more in this genre. You might recognize another sexy actress Agnes Bruckner who unfortunately has a very small role here in the beginning of the film but she still did fine as always. One of the highlights though was Haley Hudson who plays Stevie that has a knack for the supernatural; they made her look very creepy and zombie like.

Director, Nicholas McCarthy definitely should stick with this genre as he has crafted one of the scariest horror films I've seen in some time. He know how to send shivers down your spine and make you look over you shoulder and under your bed before you go to sleep, I haven't done that since the release of the first Paranormal Activity flick. He knows restraint, building of suspense and scares and creating a spooky atmosphere. The is not too original in this day and age but he managed to make it highly effective and terrifying, with a twist that's even more blood curdling. The ending could have been a tad better though but it didn't ruin the film.

Like I said before the film is old fashioned, so it's not blood soaked here. The film relies more on suspense and terror and bumps in the night. Every single scare in this film was solid and had me jumping out of my seat, which is a rare occasion because I'm an experience horror fan and not much stuff scares me these days. I wish though that the scene in the poster was in the actual film, but other than that this film might give you nightmares.

Overall, The Pact is nothing that new but it delivers the chills, frights and twists in an effective way. It has a strong female lead, oozes with atmosphere and spooky story. The ending was kind of anti climatic but unclear in meaning, it might be an open door for a sequel or just a last minute spook. Who knows but I recommend you check out The Pact as soon as it is available to you.
7 out of 10

Chernobyl Diaries

Chernobyl Diaries had so much potential with its intriguing premise and a fantastic location for a horror movie. The possibilities where endless on what direction they were going to take it to, but the weak and corny start, the effective and very spooky middle section and the disappointing ending with no payoff just didn't mesh well together. Chernobyl Diaries is a very uneven film.

The acting was good in some parts but bad in other scenes. The dialogue is incredibly silly with several unintentional funny moments. The script and inconsistent story that wasn't focused and made several plot holes in the process, was the movie's downfall. The middle section and finale though is where the actors shine the most in and gave it there all, which made up for the amateurish beginning. The script just didn't give them or show off their strengths well enough if they had any. No one really stood out here because of that.

Director, Bradley Parker picked the absolute perfect location for this film and mostly took advantage of it. He still could of done a better job with it but the direction of the story just didn't let him. Judging that this is his very first full length, feature film in the director's chair, he definitely has a good eye for this genre and this is not an amazing start but nowhere near a bad start.

One of the writers Oren Peli, from the Paranormal Activity fame and the underrated and cancelled that it didn't deserve, The River, who shows here that he is one of the new master of suspense and restraint. Oren's handprints are all over this and you can tell, but just not enough to save the film. Probably their main mistake is deciding to collaborate with writers Shane Van Dyke and Carey Van Dyke, who wrote horrible movies before like Titanic 2 and A Haunting in Salem to name a few. Shane's only decent one is Paranormal Entity. I mean come on you guys could of picked two better people to collaborate with or just stuck with Oren Peli to do the whole thing. Instead you have a lazy script and story.

For an R rated horror movie Chernobyl Diaries wasn't that graphic. This time though that wasn't a bad thing and it has this refreshing restraint about it of showing less and focusing more on suspense and creeping you out, that it was mostly an effective success at that. My complaint is that it didn't focus on the creepy scenarios long enough for them to make a terrifying impact, but I appreciate their efforts at crawling under your skin even if they sometimes recycle old formulas.

Overall, Chernobyl Diaries could of been far more dreadful than the film ended up being and it's far more decent than it has any right to. The beginning and ending were lazy but thanks to a much better middle half and its very spooky location and premise, its several faults doesn't destroy it completely. I say give it a try for a cheap spook, you could do far worse. See it now or wait for DVD, it's up to you.

We Need to Talk About Kevin

We Need To Talk About Kevin is a bold, horrific, distressing look into a mother's worst nightmare. The problem is though, is that it wasn't a strong, in-depth look into the motivations. The film was also very distant, with a series of flashbacks that didn't come together effectively. For those reasons the movie failed at being truly great or making a mark. You have no connection with any of the characters, but you will talk about Kevin.

The performances were powerful across the board. The most notably from the always fearless Tilda Swinton and newcomer Ezra Miller who gave a jarring, gripping performance as sociopath Kevin. The movie goes back and forth too much that the film doesn't really embrace them to their full ability, somewhat wasteful.

I'm not familiar with the director, Lynne Ramsay but I can tell that her craft is striking. She has an artistic and a poetic eye when she films a story, especially one as hard as We Need To Talk About Kevin. The direction of the film was blurred though and not really focused. I haven't read the book, but if it's anything like the film, maybe the crew shouldn't have been as faithful to it and changed it up a bit to make the film more coherent. It could have been a more powerful, emotional punch as a whole.

The film isn't necessarily graphic but it's very disturbing, uncomfortable and has dread flowing through the whole film. You don't see much because it's mostly after the fact, but it's very brutal, honest and horrifyingly. The film is thought provoking and will raise more questions than answers of course but makes you think how people live through events like this.

Overall, I can't really recommend this to anyone because it wasn't a rewarding experience but the performances were outstanding and should have been Oscar nominated. The film itself was atmospheric, bold and harrowing but doesn't tell you a single thing, just a scramble of flashbacks that makes it somewhat impossible for you to put the pieces together. Wait for television.

Mother's Day
Mother's Day(2012)

Mother's Day is one hell of a grisly ride from start to finish! It's one of the best reboot of a horror film I've seen in years that took the idea and ran wild with it. The film is bold, terrifying, and intense and wickedly delivers what it promises in the trailers and then some. Mother's Day is one of the best home invasion flicks ever that packs a heart pounding punch that will stay with you.

The performances were all solid and gripping, you'll root for their characters and be disgusted with them. The two that standout the most are Rebecca De Mornay, who plays Natalie "Mother" Koffin, is amazing here and diabolically entertaining, she dug deep for this role. Jaime King is the other standout in this film and is always good in my books, but this has to be her best performance to date as Beth Sohapi and can't wait to see her in Silent Night! This film has a great cast and one of the most memorable performances from a horror/thriller in recent years, which makes Mother's Day effective.

The director, Darren Lynn Bousman has crafted his best movie since Saw 3. Hopefully he stays on this track, because this is solid, tensely suspenseful stuff. This is a huge leap compared to the very problematic 11-11-11 and builds the dread, discomfort, and shock value, intensity with staggering results. He has outdone the 1980 B-horror movie of the same name, which I also enjoyed but man this was something else. The director made it his own and created a new path for the story, that made it relevant today and raises questions of how would you act in that horrific situation. This is exactly how you remake a movie and guess what, they picked one that actually needed a reboot. You don't see that often.

The gore is very graphic and hard to watch, but they went for it in a ballsy manner that's not for the squeamish. Mother's Day delivered the goods when it comes to horror/thrillers and will satisfy gore hounds. The kills are quite memorable and brutal to the extreme; there is constant panic and chaos, with the fight for survival. Characters turn on each other under extreme pressure; fight back with extreme force that will have you on the edge you seat, cheering the protagonists on. The bloody action comes when it should and wasn't overdone.

The ending I think brought the film down a bit and was anti-climatic. This could mean a sequel, which I wouldn't mind but I don't know where they can go from there, I'm curious though. There was also not a lot of logic in some scenes that kind of bothered me, nothing that distracting though.

Overall, Mother's Day mostly met my expectations and the wait was worth it. The film is clever where it counts, harrowing, dark, entertaining and a vicious good time. On top of that the performances were affecting and wickedly brilliant. The story twisted and the director delivered a film that wears its remake title proud and not in shame. Recommended!

Madison County

Madison County is the little engine that couldn't. The film brought nothing remotely fresh to the slasher genre and contributed zero scares, terror, suspense or inventive kills. Pointless comes to mind when I think about the film, which also has to be one of the worst, mindless slasher I've seen in recent memory. Madison County doesn't need to exist as it's already lost in the shuffle of countless others.

The actors are actually pretty likable and give ok performances, despite the slim to none that they are given to work with. Thanks to a lazy script though, the characters they play are extremely dense and underdeveloped. The poor decisions they make are obvious rules of what not to do in a horror movie, which makes their demises all the more predictable with no room for suspense. The actors had nothing interesting to say or do but to run and scream for their lives, with zero payoffs. The killer is just plain typical and also had nothing intriguing to do and was a Leatherface wannabe, delivering no chills, thrills or surprises in the process. The disguise of choice for him though was appropriately grotesque, but the film doesn't give it a chance to deliver the full effect of it. Scarier on the poster I must say. No one to root for here.

The director, Eric England does have some skill at creating an atmospheric, moody, 1970's ish vibe. I give him props for it as this is one of his very first feature film at age 24, but I think he should let someone else do the writing next time around. The story was just very uninspired and more of a rehash of countless other slasher films of the same ilk. The film also had some uneven pacing issues even for an 81-minute movie and didn't have a strong opening, middle or end for that matter and was never gripping. Had the look but not the walk or talk.

For a slasher film, Madison County was dull right from the beginning. The chase scenes weren't thrilling or terrifying and the kills like I said were uninventive, predictable. The film never became its own because of unoriginal ideas and the climax or should I say anticlimax was rushed with no shock value and quite asinine.

Overall, Madison County is not worth the trip. The film looked good but had zero substance or cleverness. The film had a lack of scares, suspense, effective kills, and a killer with little inventive skills and characters with little to no logic. Failed at delivering any entertainment value. Avoid this County! 1 out of 10

Emergo (Apartment 143)

Apartment 143 had the classic setup with building tension and suspense, which came along with every passing scene. The apartment was the perfect setting for a haunting and delivered some chilling scares. As far as found footage horror films go Apartment 143 was quite typical though. The film wasn't bad but it wasn't great either and had very little payoff.

The performances were above average for this type of film, as they are one of the best I've seen. Kai Lennox, who plays the widow father Alan White of a son and a daughter, gives an especially gripping performance. The young actors Gia Mantegna and Damian Roman also give exceptional performances for unknowns as Caitlin White and Benny White. Not too shabby for an independent horror film.

Director, Carles Torrens is off to a decent start for his first full-length film. With the probably limited budget he created the effects wisely to effective results, especially the hauntingly spooky last scene. I have to say that I won't mind and I'm curious to see what his next effort will bring us.

Writer/Director Rodrigo Cortes, who is mostly known so far for the terrifying premise but also very little payoff, Buried. His new story/screenplay brought another terrifying premise with building tension, but the payoff/ending was just weak. I liked how it dug deep down to why the struggling family of three is being haunted by an unknown ghost. When the dad finally broke down a revealed the family's dark secrets, it was heartbreaking, but then the film lost some if most of its suspense. Rodrigo Cortes, has the talent to write intriguing premises but to me he needs to work on writing better, more satisfying conclusions. I'm interested to see what his next effort Red Lights will bring us though.

Overall, Apartment 143 should deserve some credit for its good effort into the found footage genre. The pace wasn't that sluggish and some of the scares were solid and you feel for the family, with the horrors they endure thanks to fine, believable performances. In the end though the film does nothing to reignite this slowly repetitive, fading genre. It's not the bottom worst of its kind but it's not the top best unfortunately. Rent for a better than expected, decent if cheap spook. 6 out of 10.

Marvel's The Avengers

The Avengers, is a astonishing achievement of comic book gold, that got just about everything right. The film was a spectacle of epic proportions, with a clever script that has a great sense of humor, which works to great effect here. The Avengers will be the blockbuster to beat this year, as it raises the bar very high for superhero films as well as action films.

The star studded cast brings their A game to their beloved characters. Robert Downey Jr. is again brilliant as Tony Stark/Iron Man and is as witty and clever as ever, he was my favorite. Chris Evans as Captain America, Mark Ruffalo as Hulk, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow, Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye and Tom Hiddleston as the villain Loki were all brilliantly and effectively brought together. All of them had their shinning moments and the passionate script treats them like gold, so you all get a much wanted handful of them in one movie and the film crew created it like a piece of cake. Shockingly effective chemistry.

The action came in bulk form and was state of the art dazzling! Thrilling and heart pounding, as well as entertaining and very funny. In several scenes the crowd went nuts! They were laughing, cheering, gasping and clapping with excitement, in all the times I've went to the movies I've never seen this much energy and anticipation during a screening in a very long time! I love it and made the movie all the more enjoyable.

Director, Joss Whedon has really out done himself this time. He has created a beast, which will leave a lasting impression on films of its kind in years to come. This is groundbreaking compared to his other effort The Cabin In The Woods, which had bark but no bite. The Avengers knows exactly what it is and what fans want and takes off like a lightening bolt with unstoppable force. The script is ingenious and doesn't put any of the characters to shame, the action was candy for the eyes, the pace was even, and I was craving more even after 142 minutes! The epitome of a blockbuster extravaganza.

Overall, does it beat The Dark Knight? No, but it's a whole lot of fun and is quite the roller coaster ride, that kicks starts the summer movie season in the grandest way possible. Fans will be more than pleased with the outcome and makes you want to watch for the first time or rewatch the superheroes other films. My only complaint is that I just wanted the story to dig deeper into the characters and their past, but I guess that's what the other films are for. Highly recommended!! The very long wait was well worth it!

11-11-11
11-11-11(2011)

11-11-11 was a complete waste of time! The film had so much potential with its intriguing premise, but just didn't run with the possibilities. Had no moments of terror and the pace was sluggish. 11-11-11 could of and should of been so much more impressive than the failed attempt it was. I'd even prefer the generic, direct to DVD 11/11/11 to this film, because at least that one has some entertaining moments.

The performances were just dull to me and just didn't pull me in. None of the characters were likable or well developed, so the film didn't give me a chance to care about them. No connection here.

The atmosphere could of been very creepy, but during those so-called scenes, the film was too darkly lit that you could barely see what was going on. The demons/creatures seemed creepy, but you could barely see them as well. The filming technique was extremely skittish and choppy, as if the filmmakers were rushing through the movie to get it done on time or something. The film as a result was a complete mess. It's a shame, because the director does have talent. Darren Lynn Bousman made solid horror films in the past, like the only good Saw film Saw 3, Mother's Day, Repo: The Genetic Opera to name a few.

I think having the film be rated PG-13, was also a mistake. They were limited on what they could do with the premise. The film was already problematic, at least give us great gore scenes or some good jolts. Lackluster on all counts.

Overall, there was no redeeming factor in 11-11-11 to make it worth anyone's precious time. The film doesn't need to exist, but only to know what not to do. It should be called Z-Z-Z, goodnight. Not recommended in the slightest!

The Raid: Redemption

The Raid: Redemption is a brilliant, fight to the death, extravaganza that will not disappoint your expectations. The film has mind-blowing, nonstop action, some tense and suspenseful scenes and doesn't heavily rely on CGI, which is much appreciated, because all of the over the top fight scenes were raw and effective. This is a mean, tough, smack down, balls to the wall, action flick for men, or anyone looking for badass bliss. Sit back and enjoy the thrilling ride of The Raid!

The story is nothing too complicated and infact it's pretty simple. It revolves around a SWAT team that gets trapped inside a tenement filled with killers and thugs, all run by a ruthless mobster. The way they execute the premise though, explodes like a bat out of hell and doesn't hold back. In a way it's a lot like Battle Royale and deserves all the hype and praise it got.

It's really hard to say what actor was the most badass here, because all of them gave everything they got into their stunts and performance. It was really in their physically demanding stunts, that were more impressive than anything else and man it was quite a show of open cans of whip ass.

The violence was extreme, but they don't over do it and chose their methods wisely. The filmmaker made sure that the action was inventive and bar raising, that lets them have a good excuse to show off. They earned their bragging rights of not only being one the best martial arts film ever, but also being the best and most rewarding and enjoyable action film in years. The Raid: Redemption is the one to beat this year.

On top of all the pizazz, the soundtrack is not disappointing either and flows with the great wicked energy. We get Linkin Park's Mike Shinoda collaborating with most of the songs, enough said!

It amazes me, that this is Gareth Evans 3rd film! He has a knack for this genre and is one name I will remember this year. He delivered an epic, cult classic in the making and I can't wait to see what he is brewing up next, as he is a direction force to be reckoned with.

Overall, this doesn't need a remake, so I don't know why they are going through with one. It has so many highlights of action that it raises the bar for the rest of the action films this year. The film holds no barred, has no apologies, true grit, wowza expressed through this viewer's eyes. You will want to watch it again and again! It's nothing too deep or meaningful, but it's a great time spent at the movies and is why we go to the movies in the first place. To escape! A slam-dunk! Recommended!

Titanic
Titanic(1997)

After more than a decade, since its release back in 1997, Titanic hasn't aged a bit. This is the first time I've seen it on the big screen and what a great way to return to it, in 3D IMAX! The film still holds up to this day and is the best epic, disaster film of all time and earned, deserved every dollar it got. To me nothing has topped it yet and probably never will, because it's a true modern, beloved classic.

The performances were all very strong and memorable. The casting couldn't be more perfect; Leonardo Dicaprio and Kate Winslet have enormous chemistry. You believe in their story and root for their romance to the very end, this film made them huge stars and they never looked back. Nothing can touch this familiar but classic and very effective love story. This one of Leo's and Kate's most iconic and best performance and never their last from here on out. Someone needs to get Leo an oscar already!

The story, focuses on Jack and Rose's star crossed romance, which happens to be on the ill-fated Titanic. It's still a hard hitting, powerful, emotional punch to the heart. You care about these characters and what happens to them. The true story of Titanic comes creeping in and the impact it has over you. The fascination of the magnificent ship, the sorrow of the lives lost, the heroes, the cowards, and the aftermath. The story never leaves you. Jack and Rose's story might be fiction, but the true story of the sinking of the Titanic is still there to grasp and take in. James Cameron did it with class, passion and compassion, he is a true filmmaker.

The film is always mesmerizing to look at and is still one of the best achievements in filmmaking. The visuals are breathtaking, haunting, grand in scale and design, it's inspiring work. When the action takes place in the last act, it's nothing short of harrowing. You feel even more present now than ever before thanks to 3D IMAX, as if you were right there on the ship. The sinking is always chilling and haunting to see and devastating that this event really did take place a 100 years ago, people still ache for the victims and the world should never forget. James Cameron is the king of the world, in this department!

The soundtrack is probably the most memorable and recognizable one in history. The melodies are perfectly placed in scenes and push the film to become one of the saddest films of all time, it gets you every time. Very iconic.

Overall, one of the best Titanic films ever released to theaters. Fact based wise I will have to go with A Night To Remember, but visually this one is a heavenly beast. It' a rare type of big budget blockbuster, that deserved all of its earnings, awards, praise, noriety and obsession. No epic love story, epic historical disaster, epic adventure, or modern Titanic film has topped and achieved that greatness yet. A MUST SEE!

American Reunion

American Reunion was a huge letdown, a missed opportunity, same old gags that seem dated, which should seem fresh and recharged. I really wanted this to be laugh out loud, but it was too juvenile, that I felt a disconnect with it and lost it's charm, surprises and wasn't in touch as much this time with it's original fans. At least this one.

All the actors seem to be having fun here, nostalgia and all, which made it very watch able. It also seemed desperate. The movie never really went to new places, leaving the actors with nothing great to do to even outshine and stand out. Half of the original cast didn't have enough screen time and seemed like cameos for the most part. The real cameos were great though especially Finch's mom, who I won't give away, was the highlight of the movie for me. Other than that, nothing really exciting here.

The story written by Jon Hurwitz who is best known for the Harold and Kumar movies, which are my favorite comedic series as of now. Also collaborating with the writing is original writer of the American Pie films Adam Herz. You would think with that team, that this film will be a comedy fans wet dream, but unfortunately they bring nothing to improve the series or reignite it in any big way. American Reunion results in just a rehash of original ideas, which disappointingly leaves this viewer bored.

Overall, even the soundtrack and filming locations, are nothing to be remembered. American Reunion had no big laughs this time around and is the weakest entry in the series and ran out of steam. It just doesn't seem hip anymore and the jokes seem cheap and recycled and reused. This should be their last and it's a shame because I used to really like these characters and their raunchy shenanigans, but I'm just over it now. Rental at best.

The Five-Year Engagement
½

The Five-Year Engagement runtime is overly long, at about 124 minutes, but it balances its laughs and sentimentalism quite well. I found myself laugh hard at a couple of scenes and being charmed at others. Is it this year's Bridesmaids? No, but it's the best romantic/comedy out right now. It was satisfying and hysterically funny. The film wasn't great, but it was just right.

I love the leads, played by the always charming and could do no wrong, Emily Blunt and the always-funny Jason Segal. Their characters Violet and Tom are getting married after a year of dating, but unexpected change of directions get in their way. I think they were perfectly cast for the roles, of this type of film and you connect with the characters and root for them. The hysterical shenanigans that follow made their situation all the more entertaining. The supporting cast were great and very funny, especially Chris Pratt and Allison Brie, who play Alex and Suzie. The were consistently funny and scene stealing.

Director Nicholas Stoller is really on a winning streak, with Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Get Him To The Greek and now The Five-Year Engagement. He is like the king of the raunchy romantic/comedy and now one of my favorite comedic directors. Thanks to clever writing from the director and star Jason Segal, with the help of Judd Apatow, The Five Year-Engagement stands out from the pack of other romantic/comedies.

Overall, I wasn't expecting much, but I enjoyed it a whole lot more than what I thought. The film was consistently entertaining, even though it was overlong, that it dragged just a tad bit. The stars, the direction and writing made this film a winner and I thoroughly enjoyed it. If you loved the director's other films, as well as Judd Apatow's, it is likely that you will love this one.

We Bought a Zoo

We Bought a Zoo is a wonderful film for all ages. It has a touching and inspirational true story, that lifts the spirits and is very human. Great medicine for the soul and like a character says in the film, I like the animals, but I love the humans.

The characters and the actors, who play them, are all very endearing. The performances from all were great. Matt Damon carries the film on his shoulders and is the heart of the film, one of his best performances. The supporting cast shines as well, including the always sexy even when she doesn't wear makeup, Scarlett Johansson, Colin Ford, who was very impressive and the very adorable Maggie Elizabeth Jones. They all make this movie shine bright as the sun.

The story may be overly sentimental to some, but if you have a heart and compassion at all, then you will definitely fall in love with this film. The movie revolves around a southern California, widowed father of two Benjamin Mee. He struggles to raise and connect with his kids, so he decides to move his family to the countryside for a fresh start. He falls in love with the struggling home, but soon learns that the home of his dreams is a zoo. He decides with his family, to take on the challenge of renovating and reopening the struggling zoo. From there on magical moments ensues. It's just a great, heartwarming story in the likes of The Descendants and Life as a House.

Cameron Crowe seems like he has been absent from the directors' chair for a while, but has made a complete comeback with We Bought A Zoo. It's the best film the director has done since Jerry Maguire. Hopefully we don't have to wait so long for the director's next great film. He knows how to connect with the audience and deliver a human story that speaks to the soul. He is a master at that. Poignantly written.

Overall, We Bought A Zoo is a film with a profound story, relatable characters, evenly paced, touching moments, integrity and warmth. A role model, the film also has a moving, subtle ending when Benjamin brings his kids to the place where he met their mom. That moment will put tears in the eyes of the most jaded viewer, that never shows emotion. I recommend this film to anyone and is a great film to watch with the whole family. SEE IT NOW!

Area 407
Area 407(2012)

Wow, where to begin? Area 407, right from the start was so bad and amateurish, that I was consistently laughing throughout. The premise is just ridiculous, though I thought it was highly ambitious for a barely there budget. The film was consistently chaotic, which made it watch able, but man was it ludicrous. Area 407 is the type of film that the characters of Mystery Science Theater 3000 were forced to watch. Yes it's that bad.

The actors give their best efforts, but I'm sorry, the performances were horrible. The characters were all-annoying and made me laugh with the silly dialogue, unrealistic reactions and poor decisions. I was mainly rooting for the villains to off the village idiots. The fact that this garbage made it to some theaters is baffling.

The director, Dale Fabrigar does an ok job with the look, atmosphere of the film, which is his first full-length feature. The story though, really went nowhere satisfying or effective and the effects were ambitious, but very cheap and sill looking. The CGI made any potential suspenseful/scary scene silly and out of touch. The action was consistent, but poorly and laughably done, making a film that seemed to have a bit of potential, fail miserably. Area 407 falls flat on its, while we sit back and laugh, the film might as well be a spoof.

Overall, avoid this film like the plague! Area 407 has no scares, barely any thrills or suspense. Poor performances, has annoying, dense characters and has an unsatisfying, preposterous and pointless story with no payoff. You could watch it for some entertaining value, because it is so bad that you might piss yourself laughing at it, for its obvious mistakes. Otherwise, skip it! The worst found footage horror film I've seen lately. 2 out of 10

The Divide
The Divide(2012)

The Divide is most likely, going to be the most unpleasant, dark, brutal and chilling thriller you will see this year. The movie starts off pretty quickly and doesn't waste any time. The film opens up to several of people desperately running down the stairs of a high-rise apartment building, to avoid being killed from a nuclear attack. Only 9 of them make it to safer grounds, in the building's bunker like basement. From there on, their worries and fears goes from bad to worse, as their so called temporarily salvation, is more detrimental than good.

The performances were all very powerful, but the development of the characters was mostly bits and pieces, so most of them come off as cold and distant. Most of the actors went all out with their performance, making the situation have an impact on you, therefore making it effective, grueling, gripping and very disturbing. No one really outshines the other in this film and all had their haunting moments.

Xavier Gens definitely made his signature mark, with his unapologetic, graphic violence. In these vile scenes, which might not be as memorable as in his earlier effort Frontiere(s), but just as blood curdling and hard hitting, in a Funny Games, A Clockwork Orange, The Hole type of way. It will leave you wanting to take a warm shower after the proceeding.

Overall, I expected, wanted something more rewarding. Some of the characters moves were not too brilliant and subplots not fully explained. Yet for the most part I was enthralled, on the edge of my seat in certain scenes, shocked and disturbed and dreaded every turn. The Divide will definitely divide viewers, but what it accomplished wasn't less than decent and has a powerful emotional punch of an ending. It makes you feel tons of emotion, which can't be said about most movies of its kind. Worth at least one watch, but it's not an easy one.

The Darkest Hour
½

The Darkest Hour is a visually inventive, fast paced, sometimes entertaining and fun. It's an easy way to kill some time, but the film is so unoriginal and forgettable, that it should have been direct to DVD.

This concept has been done to death, in so many similar ways. For instance, in the films Vanishing On 7th Street, War Of The Worlds, Cloverfield, Independence Day, ECT. With Cloverfield being the best of the bunch so far. The film is just easily lost in those handfuls of films; The Darkest Hour just didn't go anywhere fresh, terrifying or exciting with the premise and fell back on old formula.

The performances were ok, with likable actors in the leads. Their characters are one-dimensional though; they are underdeveloped and cardboard, which made it hard to care about their demise. Emile Hirsch is a good actor, but he is wasted here and deserves a better movie, than this trifle.

The Darkest Hour does have some cool and haunting set pieces. There are some action scenes that will put you on the edge of you seat, especially the bus chase, when the creature locks two characters in and controls the power. Other than those few entertaining elements, the film is way too tame and pretty for its own good. Flair with no edge.

Overall, the corny ending, anti climax, was disappointing and flat. The film had some potential but just went nowhere intriguing or surprising. The Darkest Hour threw nifty CGI in your face, which made most of it at least watch able, but with the rest of the film not pulling through, what's the point? Not recommended, but television viewing if anything.

God Bless America
½

God Bless America is a balls to the wall, witty, brutally honest, satirical/comedy. The film hits all the right funny notes and speaks to the audience. The film has a bold statement it wants to address, on how society now is not what it used to be and is quite dead on in its portrayal, which is sad, but so true. A bloody good, twisted time!

The dead pan, witty, charming and bold performances were great. Joel Murray, who plays Frank, was easy to sympathize with. His character is a divorce, father of one, who learns that he has a terminal tumor in his brain. He spoke for every hard working, decent human being out there in the world. Our every frustration about society right now lives through his character, as if he was reading our minds. Joel Murray made it believable. Tara Lynne Barr, who plays Roxy, a lonely, too smart for her own good, young girl. Roxy is just as fed up with America, as Frank is if not more. Tara was charming, witty and clever, quite the bad ass in her role. A character you can also sympathize with. They were a riot together and they are like our generation's Bonnie and Clyde, Smokey and The Bandit, Dirty Mary Crazy Larry, Thelma and Louise, you get the point.

It might be hard to swallow the lead characters actions. They go on a ridiculous, politically incorrect, but wickedly entertaining killing spree, on anyone that is cruel, no compassion, careless ECT. While they make jabs on our culture, which they get more things right than wrong. It makes you laugh throughout because of those jabs, because they are so right. The film does get over the top with the violence, but so gleefully so in a revenge/fantasy like fashion. It's kind of like Inglourious Basterds meets Office Space.

Overall, this is one the most entertaining satire I've ever seen! It's funny, dark, brutally honest, unapologetic, timely and memorable. It's ballsy depiction, on what American society is like now is hysterically accurate. The film goes to the extremes to take on that frustration, in a revenge/fantasy, which was twisted, but brilliant. The two main actors were great, making this film effective and one of the best comedies of the year. If you can swallow it, because it's not for everyone who is easily offended. Think of it as a Borat type of film. Highly recommended!

The Cabin in the Woods

WTF? That's what was on my mind, as I walked away when the film was over. What wasn't I getting? People have to be smoking crack, if they thought that was great horror. The premise, sure it was probably very clever on paper, but on the big screen it was a scrambled mess of ideas that never was executed in an effective manner. I thought that it wasn't focused strongly enough on the greater picture for audiences, like scares, element of surprise, fear, stalk/chase, the big opener for the title, I mean you call that an opening for a horror movie? They threw suspense out the window in its first several minutes. The Meta humor was funny in some scenes, but not clever enough to appreciate it, or have fun with it. The Cabin In The Woods is the most overrated horror film since Drag Me To Hell.

The acting, though better than I guess most direct to DVD horror films, was still one dimensional to me. I couldn't connect with any of the characters, which made me not care what happens to them, because they cared more about the twisted plot than developing the characters fully. They were like Scooby Doo characters, maybe they meant it. They star cameo was just laughable and out of place to me, this film was bloated!

For the love of God, please stop comparing "new" and "inventive" slashers, to the original Scream! Not one horror/comedy so far has topped it, not even its sequels; this one wasn't balanced when it came to scares and laughs and on equal parts, failed. Look it has been done and Scream raised the bar so high, that nothing is comparable to that modern horror classic. Hype can make or break a film and in this case it demolished it for me. You can compare the film to movies like Hatchet, Tucker and Dale Vs Evil, Scared (but not even close as good), Scooby Doo, The Cell, 13 Ghosts ECT.

The bloody kills were not that impressive and happens too fast in a predictable fashion. There was one scene where the blonde, Jules goes on a dare to kiss a stuffed and mounted wolf, what I thought should of happened is when she is kissing it, the wolf comes to life and either bites her tongue off, or half of her face. That would have been a shocking and terrifying moment of surprise, but there were none of the sort.

The final act is the highlight of the movie for me. There were killers and monsters of all sorts, like a horror fans wet dream, that caused so much bloody chaos, you'll be grinning from ear to ear. The rest of the film unfortunately fell flat, it's a bummer because I really did think that I was in for an amazing, thrilling, roller coaster ride of a horror film, but felt nothing for the most part. There is always the horror film, You're Next, to look forward to and hopefully won't disappoint like The Cabin In The Woods, if it ever gets released.

Overall, critics must be smoking crack like Marty in the film, for calling this quality horror/comedy. I love horror movies of all kinds, but this went way too far off the map with its concept, that it got in the way of everything else, like scares and balance, the film is in a tight and complicated knot, it shot itself in the foot. I am probably the only one here, who is not head over heals for this film, but I expect more as a paying and devoted fan of horror films and for that, deserve better than the hype with no payoff.

Mirror Mirror
½

Mirror Mirror, is one of the films of the year that I really didn't want to like. To my surprise though, Mirror Mirror brought the charm, wit, beauty, then made its own with the enchanted Snow White tale.

All of the actors put their best efforts on display here, most notably from the always-on top form Julia Roberts, who brought the wicked queen to life. With ghoulish humor to spare, Julia Roberts brings the laughs and insanity, stealing most scenes.

Lily Collins truly becomes a star here, as Snow White. Lily has this classic, movie star beauty to her, which she lights up the screen; with every scene she is in and reminds me of the late Audrey Hepburn. She delivers a breakthrough performance and was perfectly cast, from head to toe and has enormous chemistry with Armie Hammer, who plays Prince Alcott.

The seven dwarfs were the most entertaining aspects of the film and had the funniest lines. Their springy legs, gadget was clever and inventive, they have more edge than any version of Snow White I've seen, and they had swag and spirit!

The director, Tarsem Singh, never fails at delivering bold, artistic; stunning flare to his films and here is no exception. The costume designs are brilliant and should be nominated come award season; it flows perfectly with every set piece and mood that the film offers. The look of the film is just magical, like it should be, because it is a fairy tale after all, with just enough touches of the Grimm.

Overall, Mirror Mirror could of been, should of been terrible, but it turns out to be the surprise hit of the year. The Bollywood like, musical number at the end, was a nice touch and brings more energy, to the already fun film and the song was catchy. I'm surprise to say this, but Snow White and the Huntsman, better bring the A game, as Mirror Mirror, might be the better Snow White version of the year, who knew! Recommended!

The Hunger Games
½

The Hunger Games has arrived so farewell Harry Potter, go find your ever-missing balls Twilight because Katniss Everdeen will slay you all like a warrior of our time.

The film is unlike anything I've seen on the silver screen before and has such grand yet raw set pieces, costume designs that are out of this world, makeup effects the are effective, which I couldn't even recognize Elizabeth Banks as Effie Trinket, who was great in her role. The high tech special effects which weren't in your face and were brought in naturally to the film was brilliant, a visual feast for the eyes.

Jennifer Lawrence is perfectly cast as Katniss Everdeen and turns in a star making performance that has such a powerful, emotional, subtle yet striking force that she will have you in her grasp from beginning to end and she did it with ease. It's true that this series and Jennifer Lawrence will go far in this business.

The Hunger Games is no Battle Royale and I will take that bloody, thrill ride over this film any day but The Hunger Games does display moments of disturbing, violent acts in the fight for survival and the aftermath but it's mostly glimpses, it is though just as intense, thrilling and chilling as Battle Royale and the fact that most of the killings is off screen made it more suspenseful and had me on the edge of my seat throughout. This film will make an impact!

As far as adaptations go, I'm not sure because I haven't read any of the books yet but if the book series is superior to this film adaptation which they usually always are, then I guess I will have to start investing my time in reading them because the film is solid across the board and the director and writer did a fantastic job because story is involving, timely and a terrifying adventure. Director Gary Ross has struck it big this time and is about time, I was lost in his world of Pleasantville and now I'm lost in his world of survival, quite a change but I love it!

Overall the movie has bite, charisma, powerful performances, set pieces that astonish, make up and costume designers that are distinguished and made the movie all that memorable, directed with care, respect and passion for the characters and material given, with a gripping story that doesn't let up, harrowing from the start and involving with a human connection to the end. What more could you ask for from a movie directed towards teenagers and young adults? The Hunger Games is head to head with The Grey of being the best film of 2012! Bring on the rest of the pack! Highly recommended, a must see in my books.

The Sitter
The Sitter(2011)
½

The Sitter is what I expected it to be nothing more or less and has more heart than your basic raunchy comedy and Jonah Hill does what he does best which thankfully makes this a mostly consistantly funny and wild ride. The pace is more than fast enough and the film is done before you know it which at times seemed rushed and not focused and the plot and theme is worn, tiresome and has been done before like for instance 1987's The Adventures In Babysitting and this film seems like its more rebellious sibling infact it kind of shares the same kind of ending. The kids in this were surprisingly witty and held their own alongside Jonah Hill and just when you hate them you grow to love them and respect them and don't annoy. The soundtrack was great as well and gave the film high energy for the larger than life stars and flows perfectly with the setup of the film. Overall yes it has an recycled plot that they really didn't do anything that new with it to make the film memorable for years to come but I enjoyed it and made me laugh at loud more than once and Jonah Hill never fails at entertaining and I recommend it to anyone who wants to kill some time and who is up for laughs because The Sitter mostly gets the job done.

21 Jump Street
½

21 Jump Street was a pleasant surprise for me and has to be the funniest comedy I've seen at the movie theater since probably Bridesmaids and casting two polor opposites Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum turned out to be brilliant idea kind of like a modern day The Odd Couple. The movie moved at rapid speed and was done before you know it and had so many consistant, good timing jokes that you'll laugh til it hurts and I had tears coming down at one point for laughing so hard and the cameos which I won't tell was just the cherry on top and a nice gift to fans. I like how this film pokes fun at itself and teen comedies of the past and just remakes in general but at the same time brings something smart and somewhat fresh to the table making it the best buddy comedy in years and it's the type of movie that you don't want to end and wont mind seeing it repeatedly, I know I will. 21 Jump Street also has some entertaining action scenes mostly involving car chases which happens to be one of the most hysterical parts of the fast flying film as well as some graphic, violent gross out scenes I didn't see coming but man it was in a hilarious way, making it a balls to the wall comedy. I have to say that though I'm not a fan of Channing Tatum's acting ability, this is probably his best most comfortable role to date and was just as a riot as the always very funny Jonah Hill and I might even go as far as to say that it is Channing Tatum's breakthrough role and this type of role and movie suits him perfectly. Towards the end 21 Jump Street kind of lost some of its steam but it wasn't that bad to ruin the great and most fun time spent at the movies in a long time and I'm so looking forward to a sequel to this as they made it obvious at the end so bring on 21 Jump Street 2! Overall a great way to jump start the spring and summer movie season as it gives you hope that the best is yet to come and who would of thought that a remake of a 1980's television series could be such a blast and so laugh out loud funny? That saying comes to mind don't judge a book by its cover. I highly recommend you all to see this comedy NOW!

Friends With Kids

An immensely irresistable romantic comedy that was charming, relatable, has a big heart and a great cast and has laughs but unfortunately not consistant ones considering it's talented comedic cast. It treads very familiar territory for the genre and is very predictable but has this spontaneous spirit about it and is smarter than most of its kind but it just never raises the bar to make the film memorable. To me they picked the wrong two people to be the leads and sure they are likable but just don't have that certain spark so they should of picked Kristin Wiig and John Hamm instead which would of been much better to me and they were very under used here which was disappointing as their characters were the most serious ones, the real entertainment of the picture was Maya Rudolph and Chris O'Dowd who were quite funny in their small role and stole most of the scenes and Megan Fox wasn't half bad in this with little that she was given and held her own. The movie was competently directed by first time filmmaker Jennifer Westfeldt mostly known from Kissing Jessica Stein from 2001 and is finally back in the spotlight and is probably an indie fave by now and after this modest success and should continue with not such a long wait this time because the talent is certainly there. Overall the ending was a little too quick and simple for me and in the beginning I almost walked out but it soon became more and more enjoyable with smart writing that cares and respects its characters and has laughs here and there and is a type of film that makes you feel good when you walk out of the cinema but just nothing great or that memorable as I was hoping for or as laugh out loud. Rental

The Skin I Live In

Well this was definitely an odd film. It was visually a classy artistry that you just can't look away from and it is like a modern day Frankenstein but this story was just all over the place and incoherent. The two leads have enormous chemistry even when they just stare at eachother that makes what I saw of it very provocative but I just couldn't follow it and just lost interest in the film pretty quickly and I might finish it one day but don't give a flying turd as of now. As I stand now I don't recommend it in the slightest.

Skin
Skin(2009)

Skin is an amazing, thought provoking, inspirational, eye opening tear jerker in the likes of The Help when it comes to it's subject matter but less known yet beats me why it never made it wide to theaters or gain any nominations, it's a great film that deserves attention. The story is so fascinating and touching that it's quite powerful that it's based on a true story and a punch in the stomach everytime you learn how much so people were prejudice and discriminatory and I will never get their irrational thinking back then, we've came a long way. The performances were great and to me oscar worthy but never gained any notice for some reason and Sophie Okonedo shines as Sandra Laing a black girl born to a white couple in Johannesburg, South Africa and her struggles through life as a confused child to a woman in search of herself. The supporting cast was also great most notably from Sam Neill in one of his best performance and Alice Krige which they both play her parents in a battle of rights and acceptance for their daughter yet are somewhat discrimitory themselves which was sad and frustrating to see as it tares their family apart. As the film came to an end it was bittersweet yet satisfying of a battle won and her rights accepted as freedom rings but the realization of what has come and go of her family is heartbreaking but her new path is now an open canvas of hope that she truly deserved right from the beginning. Overall it's a movie that will educate you and needs to be seen by everyone and it's just a beautiful film bottom line and I highly recommend it to everyone! 8.5 out of 10

Silent House
Silent House(2012)

If people thought that Elizabeth Olsen's performance in Martha Marcy May Marlene was her star making role well wait until you see her powerful and mesmerizing performance in Silent House which to me is her real breakthrough role. I have seen the original The Silent House a Uruguay film a year or two ago and I just didn't like it that much and its female lead and the twist was disappointing and a misleading film but the remake takes the elements from the original and improves on them for the most part when it came to the visual style, performances from its stars, tension and chills but doesn't try to do something different or even more terrifying with it which makes it severely lack any suspense or true scares because for the filmmakers to not really change up the twist though ambitious makes me say fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me. The whole one continuous shot is just brilliant and bold to me and works so well here and I can't wait for the directors of Open Water next effort because they are masters of building dread and tension and hopefully not as long of a wait because they deserve their big break and this is a close step of getting there. Overall the same flaws still work against the film for me like the twist but Elizabeth Olsen's gripping performance is worth the price of admission alone because this fresh young star can act her ass off but as a horror film Silent House is still disappointing unfortunately. Redbox rental.

Footloose
Footloose(2011)
½

Color me surprised because the remake Footloose isn't half bad, infact it's in some aspects better than the 1984 original that made Kevin Bacon a household name. The music is faithful to the original bringing the title song Footloose back as well as new songs to the mix that will definitely make you want to get up and dance along, the movie is filled with electricity and spunk with an ideal cast of up and coming that delivered when it came to dancing and chemistry and likability and very hip and has swag. I still think though that it's an unecessary remake and still is corny but from beginning to end it will make you tap your feet and it was very enjoyable in that guilty pleasure type of way and respects and pays tribute to it's predecessor in the most charming way as well as update it and that is all the ingredients of how to make a remake a success. Overall if you love the original this 2011 remake will renew you as a fan all over again. Recommended!

Detachment
Detachment(2012)

Brutal in its honesty, powerful punch in the stomach in its performances most notably from the great Adrien Brody, Detatachment is a rough, dark, depressing but effective and enlightening motion picture that will make you feel anything but be detached from it. It's like Dangerous Minds meets Freedom Writers but more raw and gritty and all so brave and also has an arthouse vibe but in a good way, it has tons of human emotions spilling out and disturbing and devastating issues that schools all around the world face that it's extremely hard hitting with such impact. It has a story people can relate to and open the eyes of others and is intouch with todays society even though it's hard to swallow but brave in its delivery. What really surprised me and impressed me was the talented teens of mostly unknowns that performed with such intensity and raw emotion that my eyes were glued to the screen everytime they had their moments and those small moments even dealing with the other teachers at the school by a impressive supporting cast was the most gripping to me. I can picture this film getting much attention come awards season and if not shame on the voters because like another critic stated this is Adrien Brody's best performance since The Pianist and deserves to be seen, the race is on. Overall directed with a skillful and artful, intimate eye Detachment is one of the best school base drama ever and the performances were fantastic and probably one of the few films that I will remember this year and will be on my top ten list but definitely not an easy watch but a ballsy one. Recommended! 7.5 out of 10

ATM
ATM(2012)
½

ATM is a simple title that fits perfectly with a simple film about three coworkers David, Emily and Corey who are on their way home from a christmas party and decide to stop by a isolated ATM to get some extra cash for a bite to eat but what they don't know is that it's a death trap. The film could of ran with its simple premise and go to new heights of terror but to me it didn't do much of anything interesting with it and doesn't even tell the motive of the psychopathic man bent on killing anyone who gets in his or her way or tries to escape the ATM building yet goes to the extreme on torturing them, it just doesn't give you much to work with on figuring it out but definitely leaves you on the edge of your seat in suspense. The leads give their best efforts with little that they were given but seem wasted here and their characters just didn't make smart enough moves until it was too late, I mean there are three of you and one of him why wait to die and not fight back? That got frustrating pretty quickly and even the killer was pretty dull if you ask me and that coat disguise has been done before in the movie Urban Legend, couldn't they figure out something different and new? Guess not but his methods on bringing mayhem to his helpless victims was pretty intense and brutal and clever but nothing all that scary, to me it's more of a thriller than a horror movie and is pretty similar to the slightly better film P2 and almost could be its sequel and even takes place around christmas too. The movie could of faired better as a short film in a anthology than a stand alone full length film as things start to get tedious towards the end and the final act was just disappointing and lacking any thrills or chills and it didn't fill in any plot holes and the story was just barely there to completely keep you intrigued but it gives you an obvious hint that there will be a sequel so I'm sort of interested to see if that's going to happen because the killer now seems to be a madman like Jigsaw or something so who knows where they will go with it. Overall ATM had potential, a decent cast some tense scenes here and there, a simple yet effective setting and a ruthless and unstoppable killer but it has too many flaws to be a complete success and it will come and go from your memory before the year is over but worth at least one redbox rental if you are out of options so wait for it til then. 6 out of 10

Tomorrow, When the War Began
½

A very appealing, fast paced, action packed but not over the top and a extremely likable and good looking cast, the suspense and story were great! This is the beginning of a potential series and I really hope that they continue in that direction because they have me hooked grinning from ear to ear as this is finally a teen targeted series that I can stand for and why this film isn't getting much attention is beyond me as this deserved a wide theatrical release, The Hunger Games better bring it hard! The film starts out like a mash up of early John Hughes movies, early Steven Speilberg like The Goonies that collided with Red Dawn but brings its own hip flare to the plate and the fliming was glossy and skilled with some beautiful scenery and grim and exciting action that doesn't skip a beat. All of the performances impressed me especially from the mesmerizing and sexy lead Caitlin Stasey who carries the film very well and should be in more movies and I think the rest of the young cast of unknowns supported her very well and all had their moments to shine and you might be familiar now with the stunning beauty Phoebe Tonkin from CW's The Secret Circle who makes me drool like a dog everytime I see her and also Rachel Hurd-Wood from the disappointing but still decent An American Haunting, solid cast here! The soundtrack wasn't half bad either and flows perfectly with the films vibe and to the very end Tomorrow, When The War Began will have you engaged with it throughout and I hope this is just the start of better things to come. Bring on the next installment! Overall this film deserves a fan base and could very well be the next big thing for film adaptation series in quite some time and to me has just about the whole package and I urge you to seek it out ASAP! Recommended! 7.5 out of 10

Wake Wood
Wake Wood(2009)

An unique spin on the evil child subgenre that has its disturbing and graphic moments and just enough suspense to keep you glued that has a old fashioned and atmosheric atmoshere. The film is so eccentric yet so familiar that I'm stuck in the middle of saying it's really good to fair and ok and by the time this year is over it will be blurred in my memory by other horror efforts. Wake Wood gets pretty graphic with gore here and there but doesn't shove it in your face and has a slow burn approach to shock and discomfort you that I could see this film coming out in the early or mid 1970's and wears its Hammer film logo well. The acting from the the leads who played the parents were strong yet subtle and their story heartbreaking and grim and their new ordeal is like straight out of a nightmare or a The Twilight Zone episode that gives them new hope of moving on after the freak death of their only child but has devilish consequences. The movie is quite similar to films like Pet Cemetary, The Children, Plague Town and The Wicker Man but has a couple of new tricks as well making it enthralling in its wackness but in the end for me there wasn't enough distinctive aspects about it to make it stand on the top of the genre but I can say that Hammer films are on a role of putting out quality horror films and hope they are even better ones in the future. Overall there are plenty of horrible direct to dvd horror flicks out their and ok plain ones but this little gem is not one of them. Rent it! 6.5 out of 10

Atrocious
Atrocious(2011)

Despite that it treads very familiar territory and doesn't really bring anything that fresh to the found footage genre it still remains as formidable than ever. The film starts off pretty much like The Blair Witch Project introducing us to ordinary people who are documenting their research on figuring out an old legend but soon get attacked by an unknown force or being and things turn from normal to terrifying. This film is uber creepy with an fantastic atmospheric setting that will send chills to your bones and intense suspense that will have you grabbing you seat as well as believable performaces from the likable leads that makes the whole ordeal that more effective and downright disturbing. It was scary but doesn't have alot of nonstop jolts like the Paranormal Activity series but the intensity is their and the fear of the unknown and the big reveal at the end was clever and shocking and gave it an even more sinister tone that will get under your skin but still expected something bigger and different but liked the direction it took which was a different change of pace. The violence in this film though basically off screen is brutal and twisted once revealed after the fact and is the things of nightmares. Overall I wouldn't say it's with the top dogs of the found footage genre but I liked it a little bit more than the very disappointing Paranormal Activity 3 and I liked the direction it took more and this one was just more unsettling and better executed and a more disturbing story. Worth a look just don't expect something with tons of jump scares just more shock value. 6.3 ouf of 10

The Countess
The Countess(2011)

This has to be the only and best direct biography film or close to it of real life female serial murderer of the most brutal and sadistic kind Elizabeth Bathory who legends say that she bathed in virgins blood, though that legend never made it to the big screen and many more unfortunately which could of made it horrifyingly powerful. Julie Delpy portrays Bathory with such coldness, strength and confidence that it gave me chills and she directed the film with ease and care leaving most to the imagination making you think the most darkest happenings and the story is so fascinating and terrifying that yes this did happen long ago in the 17th century that an aging countess got so desperate for youth that she murdered young virgins and drained them for their blood thinking something pure is in them to make her have a youthful glow or was it something more to her story? Her mystiqueness she took to her grave forever. The chilly atmoshere was effective and added to the doom and dread of the film but as a whole I really think they held back and played it safe and was quite capable at pulling out a much greater and powerful film about Elizabeth Bathory but this is just fine for now and just as bizarre as the fact and case. Overall I wasn't blown completely away by it but the commitment of Julie Delpy was impressionable and solid and I look forward to her next effort because I do think she is underrated as an actress and director. Recommended for at least one viewing. 6.5 out of 10

The Clinic
The Clinic(2010)

A pretty decent than the average direct to dvd fare that was atmospheric, suspenseful and at times graphic with two likable leads that gave exceptable performances including the late Andy Whitefield who tragically died last year from non-Hodgkin's lymphoma at the age of 39. It starts with a young pregnant couple traveling down a isolated road to visit relatives when a mysterious vehicle runs them off the road nearly killing them, after that they decide to stay at a seedy motel where things get much stranger and more deadly when the pregnant woman vanishes and wakes up in an abandon and isolated clinic. Throughout the years there has been an handful of pregnant woman in peril flicks and the most notably the bloody and scary as all hell Inside and nothing has been as memorable as that one and The Clinic unfortunately is no exception but it's probably the best effort since then but that's not saying much. I just found myself not that involved with it even if it had some startling and unsettling scenes but it just become more and more repetitive with not enough scares or terror to get on the edge of your seat with and it just became good enough and uninspired and the story just not that interesting. When it came to visual style is when the film is at its strongest and it has this mystique presence throughout the film which made the more suspenseful scenes and off screen kills even that more effective and it has this old fashioned vibe that I dug but it just wasn't enough for me to love the film and I just thought the ending should of been stronger and more concrete. Overall I do recommend for a time killer and to see one of the very few films that Andy Whitfield did before his tragic death in 2011 and it's a shame because he had such a promising career cut short but other than that at the end of the day it's watchable but not a must see ASAP. 6 out of 10

Hostel: Part III
½

Hostel: Part III definitely turns out to be just as good as the first two if less atmospheric, less bloody( it was more restrained this time around but just as vicious) and less inventive but still had a few new tricks up its sleeves. The pace was faster than ever for the series and had a few good twists here and there with pretty likable leads that you root for to stay alive but nothing quite new added to the story making it mosty routine but entertaining this time but towards the end it seemed rushed. To me it tops the first one when it comes to thrills and entertainment value but not in kills or intensity but to me Hostel 2 is still the best one because it was the most atmospheric, suspenseful, inventive, brutal and well performed one yet the third one though didn't really breath new life into the series it still put just enough ignition in it to keep them going for a fouth installment or maybe more. Overall a very surprisingly decent direct to dvd sequel of to me a now top torture franchise that I can stand because I usually don't like most torture films but this series is an exception and if you love the Hostel movies you will likely enjoy the latest edition that doesn't let down the first two and for not being awful that it definitely could of been I have to recommend it to diehard gore hounds. Bring on Hostel: Part 4! 7 out of 10

Red Hill
Red Hill(2010)
½

Strong debut effort from new director Patrick Hughes that was appropriately atmospherically shot, perfect pacing, solid acting, simple but grabbing, shattering revenge story and enough action and suspense to satisfy anyone. This gem of a find effectively blends the elements of a brutal thriller with the roughness and rawness of a lean and mean western with a sprinkle of a revenge/slasher flick that's much appreciated here as it's all too rare to see a cool little flick like this make it work so easily as this one. The villain in this is pretty grotesque looking but at the same time bad ass and very clever but kind of reminds me of Maniac Cop meets the quiet menacing vibe of Anton Chigurh from No Country For Old Men as he doesn't waste any time getting down and dirty but the more you get to know his backstory the more human he becomes. The director is really a talent to look out for as he films the raw nature of Australia like a champ and made the viewing experience quite memorable and has a skillful restraint but goes for it like a bat out of hell when it's time to get to business especially during the more tense and suspenseful scenes. It's a shame that this film didn't have a wide theatrical release as it clearly has enough meat to gain peoples attention and has a talented cast a crew and decent production value and definitely deserves more admiration and notice than what it got. Overall when the final showdown takes place it was satisfying and bittersweet but could of been more powerful but as a whole it has to be one the best modern western I've seen and one entertaining, thrilling one at that and I recommend it if you like westerns but not straight up and if you like a good old fashioned revenge flick as you will most likely dig this. See it! 7.9 out of 10

Absentia
Absentia(2012)
½

A sleeper hit of a psychological horror film that will have you in suspense and scratching your head trying to figure it all out and had a few solid scares with two surprising solid performances from two newcomers Katie Parker and Courtney Bell who are likable and relatable making their characters effective and worth rooting for. This movie definitely gets under your skin and is the best minimal budget horror film since the original Paranormal Activity mixed with films like Stir Of Echoes and though not as great as those it is still just as spooky and very ambitious little film that could. The film answers little if any questions and ends the story a little too quickly as if you were reading a good book and you are at the peak of interest and you flip the page only to find that it's blank which was frustrating and disappointing but gives me hope that their will be a sequel somewhere down the road because this film desperately needs one. The filmmaker Mike Flanagan does wonders with his limited budget and is such an expert in attention to details and creating bone chilling suspense and frights that I can only imagine greatness if he has a much larger budget, he is definitely one to look out for and I hope he doesn't stop here at making horror movies because he definitely knows what he is doing even on a low budget and that shows great potential and talent. Overall even though I was left in limbo for most of the time because of no clarification on what is happening I still found the film to be gripping, one of a kind little gem that had more effective spooks than big budget horror films that get released to theaters and it's an admirable horror film for that and it's a shame that most independant, straight to video horror films like this don't get notice as much as theatrical released ones which most of the time these days are lackluster and disappointing and it's too sporadic unfortunately to see great efforts and something different as this. Good rental, now bring on the sequel to end this story right. Recommended! 7 out of 10

Jane Eyre
Jane Eyre(2011)
½

This updated new addition adaptation of the classic book of the same name may not bring anything new to it but the solid and restrained performances from the two leads and the atmospheric piece of art that it is make up for it. The cinematography was hauntingly beautiful and oozes so much different colors much like a similar movie Bright Star which both are just as tragic, it almost could of come across as a silent film because facial expressions and the atmosphere tell the story more than anything and the creepy, supernatural undertones make it even more mesmerizing and suspenseful especially dealing with the unknown person locked away and the revealing of them, it was unsettling to say the least. The pacing has an old fashioned build up which might put some not as patient viewers off but I liked how they handled and developed their characters especially with Jane Eyre who seems to be surrounded by tragic events with a bittersweet conclusion. Overall the previews might be misleading to something more than what was given but the stunning filmmaking and solid leads and delicate developement of the adaptation that's mostly faithful to the book stand their own but don't expect anything fresh to be told or add here. Good rental when there is nothing else on and if you are a junkie for good old fashioned and atmospheric, period pieces.

Another Earth

This movie was very ambitious yet simple and timely and fascinating and makes you think outside the box and an eerie coincidence that in real life they recently found a planet that may support life like earth. The acting was believable and characters we relate to and an fantasy aspect that will make you get lost in the possibilities and what decisions would you make if you were in the characters shoes. The pace is on the slower side and in the end it might have not payed off a 100% and they could of done much more with the premise and gone further with it but the realistic approach makes the film effective as a whole and the lead character's story of redemption worth rooting for and it's such a wondrous film that it's hard not to recommend for at least one viewing from redbox or netflix ect. Overall it's a gem of a what if film that will captivate your mind and the timing of this film is brilliant and it might as well be art imitating life we'll just have to see. Good rental.

Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol

Next to this year's Fast Five this is one of the best action sequels ever and they really outdone themselves this time thanks mostly to its talented director, energetic cast (Tom Cruise is at the top of his game), its amazing, state of the art action scenes and most importantly it gives fans of the series what they want. The pace was flawless, the setup genious, the story fresh and ignited and visually pulse pounding, I loved every second of it and I was just in pure ecstasy as a moviegoer than I ever been this year. For a movie that was a little over 2 hours the crew made every second count, every action scene better than the last and the suspense is better than ever for the accomplished series and they shouldn't stop now but keep going with more because this movie is an all time high for action flicks and should be rewarded. I really have zero complaints and is the reasons why people go to the movies in the first place and that is to escape and the movie does its job by rewarding the viewer who walks in with excited anticipation. Overall SEE IT NOW ASAP!!!!!!!!!!!

Young Adult
Young Adult(2011)
½

Charlize Theron gives yet another great performance of her career next to Monster as a self destructive alcholic who obsesses over her ex husband when she learns that he and his new woman had a baby together and decides to drive down to her hometown and win him back. To be honest I thought this movie was going to be alot funnier than it ended up being and sure it had its moments and was entertaining throughout but like some critics say it's very much an anti Juno protagonist and has a much deeper and darker meaning to the refreshing and honest than most story and I respect it all the more fore it but you won't leave the theater all warm and fuzzy like you did with Juno. This is pretty much Charlize Theron's showcase and she becomes her character Mavis Gary who is just starting to finish her latest and last book in her cancelled romance book series and we witness her slow depression, obsessive compulsivness and downward spiral trainwreck and from there you start to feel sorry for her after learning how she ended up like that and it was truly an emotional rollercoaster ride. Overall it's no Juno but director Jason Reitman and writer Diablo Cody have created another great film and they are at their best since Juno and I hope they colaborate more in the future because they are like peanut butter and jelly when it comes to writer and director and Charlize Theron is stunning than ever. See it!

War Horse
War Horse(2011)

War Horse sure looks grand and directed flawlessly of course by the one and only Steven Spielberg who is always an expert storyteller but when you disect the film and look closer there isn't anything that deep about it. I like their choice of mostly unknown actors making the experience more authentic but the overuse of sentimentality made it a little corny and depressing at times but alot of it comes with care and has a huge heart. The real star of this movie will have to be Joey the horse and about in every scene he over comes obstacles and triumphs pulling at your heartstrings with ease and if you're human you might just shed a tear or two or ball your eyes out because there are certain scenes especially during the war that are just haunting and devastating. The atmosphere was epic and old fashioned in a Gone With The Wind sort of way that will leave you gazing in awe and I won't be surprised if it gets nominated for best picture at the oscars or winning it for that matter and it deserves it for sure. Overall not as fantastic and the movie to beat all movies this year as I was hoping for but there is alot of passion, grace and nostalgia and earnestness put in this picture that you can't help but appreciate its existance and the moving story of a boy and his loyalty to his horse Joey and his horse's loyalty to him and not even World War 1 can tare them apart. See it with your family.

Take Me Home Tonight

Much like Hot Tub Time Machine mixed with I Love You Beth Cooper, Take Me Home Tonight is full of life and energy and has a great soundtrack! The performances were entertaining as if you were actually watching a 1980's John Hughes teen flick about coming of age and finding true love in the most ulikely places, so it was a nice throwback. Topher Grace seems to act the same in almost all his movies and here is no different and it's getting dull but still genuine, the other three actors Teresa Palmer, Ana Farris and Dan Fogler steal the show here and I just wish it focused more on them. The story has been done to death but the way they treat their characters with care and the pure zest viewing experience was more satisfying than most comedy efforts this year and probably the most wise about growing up and life in general and is a surprisingly decent film. The pacing of the film was a breeze and it wasn't a laugh out loud film but had its moments and wasn't forced and it was pure fun and the kind of movie you don't want to end. Overall it could of went with a better ending and it's not really original but I kind of miss movies like this that didn't have to be overly raunchy to make you laugh and has alot of heart and spirit and in seeing that these days to me at that it's authentic and I truly recommend it.

Sin Nombre
Sin Nombre(2009)
½

This is one distressing film that was a unrelenting, tense, violent cautionary tale of two young souls who meet at fate and their dangerous journey to escape their proplems in their homeland and travel by train to the United States for freedom and a fresh start but ill-fated ways soon follows. The performances were so believable in this that you feel like you are watching a documentary but the way that it was filmed was epic and haunting and quite an experience as if you were right there with them and all the more unsettling and sad that this is actually going on. The violence in this is very graphic and brutal like in most gangster movies but this also has thrilling, edgy adventure with such heart ache and dread that it was an emotional rollercoaster of never ending obstacles. The movie takes its time in the beginning to introduce us to its characters and you get a glimpse inside their world and how they live and survive depravity and poverty which is a tragic and captivating sight but once the escape comes to the open it never lets up and you're on the edge of your seat from there on out with a bittersweet and bleak conclusion that was full of devastation and expected but full of hope for one character and for that it was satisfyingly real. Overall this is a much overlooked film that deserves much more recognition than it got and needs to be seen because it's definitely the most eye-opening film I've seen in awhile. Recommended!

The Innkeepers

Ti West is definitely a horror director to look out for and since his first offering in the genre The Roost and then the very spooky The House Of The Devil the director seems to be growing more and more with each offering and The Innkeepers is his best yet. The attention to detail, the quiet, chilling suspense, the suffocating, creepy atmosphere and the everyday, working class characters that you relate to and get to know with its slow but never dull pace and has such restraint that when the scares do happen even when most of them are cheap they work effectively and get under your skin. The performance that I was really surprised with was Sara Paxton who is always likable in all of her films but this one I really believe is her breakout role because she showcases such growth as an actress and showed layers of emotions with this role that she has ever done before and doesn't over do it and it flows naturally. The one element I that I also liked about this film is its quirkiness and never took itself too seriously but never made a joke of itself that blended well for the film and made it fun and enjoyable in an old fashioned way and I liked it for that and it was refreshing compared to the other horror offerings this year. The final act is the one thing that let me down and I felt that it was a bit rushed and could of played it out more and it was like this big anticipation of a twist or deeper meaning why the hauntings are happening there and why they are contacting the innkeepers, it just ends on a mysterious note with no resolution just like a real haunting if you believe in them, for me I'm still on the fence about that subject. Overall it's more satisfying than Insidious or Paranormal Activity 3 and the simplicity of it all is something to admire and the scares are well timed and the on location atmosphere made it all the more real and honest and has a solid and lovable female lead but the thing that this film shares with the previously mentioned oother two films is that its ending isn't as good as its build up and doesn't quite pay off. Worth a look! 6.9 out of 10

Our Idiot Brother

One of the more enjoyable indie comedy released last year that had charming performances from all involved especially Paul Rudd who steals the show. The story is light and fluffy and pretty predictable but its messages were very positive and spiritual in saying it's alright to be yourself and to except others that are different from yourself that we are all a unit and we need to help eachother out and have compassion for one another or mind your own and walk the other way. The film had several funny and hysterical moments but nothing laugh until it hurts but it was entertaining on how the siblings interacted with eachother and was very relatable in the sense of finding yourself. Overall it wasn't perfect but it was thoroughly charming and irresistible and especially for Paul Rudd fans and fans of independent comedies and I lightly recommend it. 6.5 out of 10

Kill List
Kill List(2012)
½

I am just shaken by this horrifyingly brutal film that has so many nightmarish scenes that it will definitely keep you up at night in shock. To be honest I'm still scratching my head on figuring out what all of it as a whole really means and what the connections are and all I can think of now is that he was somehow unknowingly or knowingly initiated into some kind of satanic cult but it's the type of film that needs multiple viewings to understand the meaning which are the type of films I don't care for but this one takes it to a whole new level of shock and disbelief that it will stick with you long after you watch it. The acting was powerful and probably the best I've seen in a thriller or horror movie in 2011 and it made it all the more effective and disturbing and speaking of disturbing the violence in this is not for the weak of heart or the squeamish as it gets very graphic and unrelenting at times but its strongest goal is to keep you in suspense and fear the unknown. This movie may start as a hitman movie but it soon spirals down deeper and deeper into brooding territory bringing shivers down your spine and never lets up and it might not be a particularly scarefest but the images alone in this film will give you nightmares. Overall the ending is hard to swallow and is probably the most devastating and messed up ending in the genre since probably The Mist and it's just abrupt but it's really in a league of its own and for that it's memorable but it's not for everyone and it's not really an rewarding film per say but it's something that is different and kind of makes its own rules and I give it credit for being bold and grisly unappologetically and the director is certainly one to look out for but have low expectations and an open mind before watching because yes it's a tad overrated but it's one trippy, intense, shattering, chilling ride that you wont soon forget. Get ready to get disturbed! Rental.

The Devil Inside

Well I'm not going to say that I'm surprised that this just didn't work on any level for me because I didn't have much expectations but come on we as horror fans deserve better than this clueless, dull film. The creators of this film treated us like we were dumb and never heard about or seen an exorcism film before and that got irritating very quickly and eye roll inducing, I mean do something different that we haven't seen before and you don't need a high budget to know that, be creative/inventive and open your minds if you have one and you can do amazing things to a film. The acting wasn't bad but the writing and characters weren't believable and effective except for one actress who gave it all when on here limited scenes she was given and she stole the show and that is Suzan Crowley who plays troubled and possibly possessed Maria Rossi and it was her dead on intensity that put shivers down my spine but the rest of this is scarefree unfortunately. The whole found footage thing has been done so much to death that it's becoming numbing to the emotional impact it's supposed to give and I was just looking at my watch wanting the whole film to be over already and was tempted to walk out and that is not a good sign when the film is only 87 minutes to be exact, nothing good or fresh ever came and that ending is the worst excuse for an ending I've seen in a while and they really need to stop that whole abrupt ending trend because we as moviegoers pay to see a whole film and what they see in the trailers as well! Almost every element in this horror snooze is repetitive and there weren't even a shocking twist or two worth mentioning and once again I think the found footage genre is going in a downward spiral into extinction and I don't know what they can do now to make this fresh again but hopefully a talented director in the future can answer that. Overall it's this years The Unborn meets The Last Exorcism in terms of that the trailers are way better and scarier than the actual film and I really urge you to not waste your money or time on this junk you will listen if you are smart. Worst horror film so far this year and hopefully the very few. Not recommended!!!! 4.9 out of 10

The Artist
The Artist(2011)

The most overrated film of 2011 goes to....The Artist. The technique though gimmicky was neat and quite an experience watching it on the big screen as though you step back in time when movies weren't so complicated and relied on true talent of its stars and these two leads are as charming as they get and quite brilliantly pull off a silent film for 2011. This is though I think an acquired taste as it kind of takes a bit getting use to that it's an silent film and to be honest they just didn't dig deep enough with the history of silent films and when they transfered to talkies and I think it would of been more interesting if it started as a silent film and when the year when talkies made way the film will make an transition from silent to talkie instead of being slient the whole time but that's just me. The story is nothing that fresh either but more of a homage but didn't really reinvent anything as that and the love story aspect of it didn't have any emotional impact infact I really didn't feel anything and I thought that the film seemed empty at that and all I did was sit back and admire its passion for films of the past. The thing that I liked the most about it was the filming of it in black and white and I would like to see a horror movie or something do that again because it gives a movie a more dramatic edge, a mysteriousness and more depth and it was just so mesmerizing to look at on the big screen and the director did an amazing job bringing that back to life in all its glory. Overall it has a very talented director and charming leads that have great chemistry and it's nostalgia at its finest and classiest but it's just nothing that spectacular that most critics are praising it for other than the fact that bringing back silent filming is novel I guess but I've seen better silent films than this but it's definitely a charming one that I can't deny but a much overrated film but a nifty premise for at least one viewing.

The Debt
The Debt(2011)
½

An powerful, taut, suspenseful, clever revenge/nazi thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat through most of its running time. The performances and chemistry have such an intensity to them that it will keep you glued to the screen and I'm surprised that it's not up for awards because these are actors at the top of their game. The story though sometimes complicated and rushed was effective and harrowing and packs an emotional punch and has one heck of an ending and is deserving to be called a thriller because it certainly thrills but I still wanted more from it than what I got. Overall it's an all around exceptional thriller that got the job done, has an stellar cast and crew and to me has few flaws compared to most of its kind but I still think that it had the potential to be a little better than it was but it's still an powerhouse of a movie and one of the top and smartest thrillers of last year and it's another reason why Helen Mirren is one of the best actress ever as she can do just about any role. Recommended!

The Descendants

This is a very spiritual, deeply moving, thought provoking and expertly acted with raw emotion that has an whole lot of connection with the viewer and I never had so much emotion drawn from me from a film in all of 2011 let alone in years. To me in this film George Clooney gives the best performance of his career and deserves his praise and shows why he is so popular and not going away anytime soon, the actresses who play his daughters in the film were also great and have great chemistry with the star. The on location setting of Hawaii was so breathtaking and gives the movie an even larger soul and made the very human story very effective and a punch to the emotions and the movie balances laughs and drama very well so you don't leave the theater depressed but greatful making it the best film in 2011 that I've seen. Overall I highly recommend this motion picture to everyone because it's just a great film bottom line that anyone can relate to.

What's Your Number?

This charming, hysterically funny but predictable rom/com is for Anna Faris fans only. I really do think that it was much more entertaining than I thought it would be considering that I had low expectations for it and Ana Faris gives her most shining performance to date as Ally Darling who desperately tracks down all of her ex boyfriends and tries to reconnect with them to find who is her true love so she won't have to go over 20 relationships with men which sounds really silly on paper but Anna Faris's enthusiasm, spunk and witty charm will win you over and makes it a whole lot of fun and enjoyable even though that it doesn't bring anything remotely fresh to the genre. The supporting cast was also pretty good and likable with Chris Evans who shows great chemistry with Anna Faris but no one stands out as much as Anna but the story/plot was pretty paper thin and nothing much to it but was frequently funny and fast paced that before you complain about flaws it's over and it was such an easy watch that none of that matters. Overall yes it's another typical sex comedy that's predictable but one of the most enjoyable one of 2011 and I recommend it lightly because it's not half bad compared to most.

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
½

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is an extremely manipulative film that jerks around with your emotions for two hours before letting you down in the end all bummed out and frustrated. The human connection and stellar performances especially from newcomer Thomas Horn who is the heart and star of the picture and with it the wonderous story makes you stay in your seat. To be honest this movie was problematic and had several plot holes that didn't get filled and you were left waiting for something with a much deeper meaning to happen and be uplifted but nothing powerful does but it certainly pulls at your heartstrings with ease and for most will bring back 9-11 memories that could be emotionally distracting from the film itself and it's a very depressing feeling that never leaves the film until the at peace but bittersweet ending. The other thing that bothers me is the choice of putting big time A-list actors like Sandra Bullock and Tom Hanks in very tiny roles almost using them in a way to lure you towards seeing the film thinking they have a more important role which they do not and I also think they should of just cast unknown actors for the parents and others as it could of been more effective, it's just kind of a misleading film to me and still kind of a bad timing or too soon for a movie that has 9-11 in its plot and for people to swallow it easily and just doesn't have much of a reflect on the tragedy other than through the child's mind and eyes that has too much going on in it in the first place that all you can do is watch as he struggles with pain to reconcile with his parished dad with the key he found in his dads closet and make him proud and cope with the tragic event that will never leave his memory and soul or any of ours. Overall it's really not a movie I can really recommened because it's an hard, sad and frustrating watch but Thomas Horn's first time performance alone is worth at least one viewing.

Haywire
Haywire(2012)
½

High octane stunts, old school filmaking and one of the sexiest/intensifyed action/thriller you will likely see in 2012. We have a new female action star on our hands who is like Rachael Leigh Cook meets Angelina Jolie and her name is Gina Carano in one bad ass role with an impressive supporting cast of well known actors. The movie's classic like approch will remind you of the director Steven Soderbergh's other film Oceans Eleven or some James Bond film meets Salt or Wanted which makes for one entertaining watch and very skillful and intelligent at that. The movie though also had its corny and far fetched moments as well that made it somewhat laughable but in a good fashioned popcorn way but the ending just seemed rushed to me and anti climatic to make the film as a whole truely great and they almost could make a sequel from it but who knows it could be the next Bourne. Overall it's all good slick fun here with a sexy as all hell protagonist who kicks ass like there is no tomorrow and with the smarts to beat, where have you been hiding Mallory? An action fans wet dream came to life on the big screen enjoy amigos. Recommended but nothing too deep here.

The Woman
The Woman(2011)
½

This has to be the most overrated horror film of 2011! The film started off pretty good and unpredictable with intense and disturbing scenes with a cast of mostly unknows but if you are a horror fan you might be familiar with Angela Bettis from the director's other horror offering May and other horror films and gives one of her best performances here as a battered and emotionally abused homemaker, wife and mother. I actually really liked the soundtrack to this film and fits every scene emotionally well and it seems like the film has alot to say on human culture and how we behave and takes bold leaps here and there unlike anything I've seen in a horror movie all last year making it one of a kind in its own right and that made it so intriguing and effective and it was like American Beauty meets The Miricle Worker meets Gregory Wilson's The Girl Next Door with a dash of The Hamiltons twisted up into one messed up horror film. The flaws and plot holes, extremely vile violence which I don't blame that guy for walking out of this film at that one screening where he got filmed complaining about the film, those alone brings the film down big time for me. There were just no backstory to anyone to explain their motives and how they got to that point leaving you empty and disgusted at the same time so you couldn't feel for anyone but to watch in dread but their performances were very effective and how some characters stand up against the madness was great a raw and the dad is downright horrifying but the film itself wasn't scary just frustrating, graphic, dehumanization, depravity on display with no resolution or logic just people's inner demons bursting uncontrolably out of them. The ending was as expected for a movie like this and didn't go in a unsuspecting route but in the typical overly gory and disgusting that it sucks all of the effectiveness and potential out of it and had no powerful puch to it which I was hoping it would lead up to and it just went a little over the line and not in a good way and kind of leaving you speechless saying what the fuck was that?! Don't let me get started on that random scene at the end credits! Overall it had a potentially unforgettable premise but lost my respect during the final act that fell back on gore overload, sometimes less is more which the film was doing in the beginning but went beserk with the finale and I just can't honestly recommend something as angry, tensed and depressed as this film but a very bold effort for sure, just could of been much better that's all. Not recommended.

Restless
Restless(2011)

An pretty offbeat love story involving around the unsuspecting relationship turned deep of two young individuals Enoch and Annabel who meet at a funeral Enoch was crashing. Enoch soon learns that Annabel is dying of cancer and does the best to make the short time with her count as he has experience of losing someone close to him in a deadly car crash, his parents. The performances and chemistry between rising stars Mia Wasikowska and Henry Hopper (who is the son of the late Dennis Hopper believe it or not) in his first major role was earnest and raw and charming. The film moved at a slow pace developing delicately the lives and some backstories of it's characters and the attention to detail made you little by little care for them and their tragic situations, it was very heartfelt, artistically poetic and deep which was admirable with a soundtrack that flows through the film smoothly and fittingly adding to the charm. The whole imaginary friend/ghost element was a little off putting at first but once you know the true meaning and importance behind it was heart tugging and different and touching and that whole letter part was heart wrenching. I wasn't overyly impressed with the film but the story and performances were effortless and touching but it stayed at a steadiness and never went above and beyond its comfort nor went below it and it just knew what it was and what it set out to do and it was just raw filmmaking at its purest form and didn't follow any trend or rules it just was simple. Overall it's not a must see but if you like your independent dramas heartfelt and offbeat and fans of Mia Wasikowska there might be something to connect to here. Rental or wait for television.

A Dangerous Method

A Dangerous Method's story is sure fascinating and makes you think and Keira Knightley gives a fearless, powerful, striking yet odd and over the top performance of her career as Sabrina Spielrein and it's a shame and a crime that she didn't get nominated for a oscar for her no holds barred performace. The rest of the delivery of the story however was dull and empty in comparison with as expected smooth performances from Michael Fassbender and Viggo Mortensen as Carl Jung and Sigmond Freud who seem to always get the job done but they had nothing interesting to do in the movie. The film seemed to go on and on with a bunch of psychology mumble jumble which can be intriguing if done in a great way but I felt like I was in psychology class with a not so exciting teacher giving a lecture and for that it had me looking at my watch now and then wanting it to be over or get to the point already. I just wanted something to happen to make my trip to the theater worth it but nothing quite did leaving me bored, cold and unsatisfyed with what I saw and it just went to nowhere road and it's disappointing because I really wanted to like this and from the previews it had so much potential of being a powerhouse which it did have one performance wise from Knightley but is wasted by a dull execution of the product. Overall see it for Keira Knightley's unforgettable performance but I say don't go out to the theater and see it just wait for dvd or better yet television.

The Grey
The Grey(2012)
½

The Grey took a survival story that could of been typical and run of the mill and went to the tip of the peak on delivering a memorable, rough and tough, thrilling, suspenseful, emotional hitting one to date, it sure brings its wrath and havoc which is a triumph compared to ones that came before it. Liam Neeson is a goliath of an actor here and is not one to reckond with, he gave an emotional powerhouse of a performance and as well transformed into one badass action star and I can tell you right now that he deserves an oscar for the role and the academy better not snub him or this film because the cast and crew gave it their all for this movie and deserves to be awarded for that and for how effective and fresh they made the survival sub-genre again and with a vengeance. The supporting actors were perfectly cast and they are a great support against Neeson and brought intensity and emotional depth to their roles and speaking of intensity the plane crash scene was horrifyingly realistic yet dreamlike and nightmarish and guarantee to give you chills down your spine. From there on it's man against nature, man against man, man against wolves and man against his inner demons in an electrifying battle for survival. The filmmaker is a very talented man delivering the most haunting atmosphere I've seen in years for the genre and the ways he rattles with your mind and the characters minds was tense and almost unbearable and rushes fear in every inch of your soul with the delivery of several graphic but mostly off screen wolf attacks which brings a little horror elements to the game as the body count rises as well as some death defying acts for survival that will keep you on the edge of your seat with your eyes wide open. The harrowing finale might not be what you expected to see or waanted to happen but it just adds to the emotional punch the film has flowing in it throughout the duration time and even at 2 hours I still wanted more but I'm very happy and shaken with the final result that raises the bar so high for action/survival and adventure films this year that it's going to be very hard to beat this solid as a rock effort. Overall I can't recommend it enough as it has powerful acting, intense and suspenseful action, excellent filming of a harsher than hell atmosphere and did I say wolf attacks, the movie is a near flawless survival flick that's unforgettable and definitely going to be at the top of my top ten best movie list of 2012! Highly recommended!! By the way and I know alot of movie goers is going to make the mistake of leaving too soon when the movie is over but STAY UNTIL AFTER THE END CREDITS FOR A BONUS AND IMPORTANT SCENE!!!! SEE IT ASAP!

The Woman in Black

A classic ghost story that delivers solid chills and spooks and a unnerving sense of dread and tension that will have you clenching your fists and bitting your nails in anticipation of a scare. The house has to be one of the most bone chilling estates in a horror movie to date and it brings back memories of old school haunted house flicks of a long gone era like the original The Haunting from 1963 or from our time The Others and at those less is more, slow burn terror, suspense and atmosphere over gore elements it gets the job done and it's polished and skillful at creating it. Time sure does fly as Daniel Radcliffe went from a kid in the Harry Potter series to an mature adult in this grittier role and to my surprise he hold his own but at the same time it was a kind of wooden performance but was believable enough. The script was unfortunately less than compelling and they just didn't bring the classic story to any new level and just didn't go anywhere compelling it just turned up the scares but nothing too terrifying here if you are a veteran horror enthusiast and it might of stayed a little bit too loyal to the original film yet it still managed to surpass it slightly by its scares. Overall it's unfortunately not the horror film to beat all horror films this year as I was hoping for and it was a little too tame and old fashioned for its own good but as a remake it was a success to a point and it got the job done at freaking you out and the house and its ghost the woman in black delivered at haunting you and giving you good old time goosebumps which is lacking in most haunted house films these days but still to me The Woman In Black had the potential to be a modern day horror classic but just stayed at its comfort zone and for that I'm slightly disappointed in the film as a whole. Matinee price only.

Melancholia
Melancholia(2011)
½

Hands down it was the most artistically stunning film of 2011 and Kirsten Dunst gave a heart shattering performance and never looked better and it was a wonderous beauty of filmmaking I've ever seen. It raises alot of questions and less than enough answers and becomes more and more frustrating as the film goes on and it never clearly gives any insights of any of the characters other than Justine played by Kirsten Dunst is mentally ill and has a strained relationship with her sister Claire who always cleans her personal mess up which is distressing through the whole film and on top of that it my be the end of the world as they know it as a planet that has been hidden behind the sun for some time might collide with earth wiping it out forever, dread ensues. There is not really a clear point to this movie but it kept me fascinated the whole way through but it's a very, very escentric film and definitely not for all tastes but the way that it was brought to life is something of a masterpiece that will be more appreciated through time and though it's a step up from Lars von Trier other effort Antichrist it still has the same WTF element that doesn't rub off or sit well for me and has no cohesive plot or logic to the whole film but an mesmerizing beauty to the eyes and he always seems to get fearless, complicated performances out of his talentented casts but wastes them on muddled plots and executions of ideas. Overall it's like a doomsday version of the director's other film Antichrist and though visually grander than that film if you weren't that much of a fan of it you won't be that much of a fan of his latest effort Melancholia, rent it though for the visual experience that's out of this world and for that alone I'm surprised that it didn't get any oscar noms but other than that NOT RECOMMENDED!

Chronicle
Chronicle(2012)

The most provocative and innovative super human film in years that raises the bar for the up and coming of its kind, The Dark Knight Rises better bring its A game. This one of a kind film was surprisingly emotionally deep having sympathy for even the darkest of characters because their motivations run deep and you have a deep connection with them that the experience becomes enthralling. The three newcomers were charming and gave depth to their roles and most notably from Dane DeHaan who gave a devastating and quit, intense and emotionally riveting performance as Andrew Detmer who has a broken like with his mother on her death bed and his father who got injured on the job as a firefighter is now without a job and becomes an abusive alcoholic and when he gets out of control with his new found powers all hell breaks loose. The special effects in this film was just astonishing to me and so raw with the crew not overdoing it but to focus on balanching character developement, story, thrills and suspense than over the top explotions kind of like how Super 8 did it but to me this film was more effective in its overall execution, this was visually exhilerating. This film went to pretty dark and chaotic places towards the end and amped up the violence that was shattering and a surprise in some of its turns to the dark side but when the last act proceeded and completed it just was all too fast and the film could of been way longer but I'm very happy and impressed of what I saw, they better go through with a sequel because this entertaining thrillride is far from over just please don't leave us still waiting for years like they are still doing with Cloverfield which I'm still dying to see a sequel for. Overall this is why people go to the movies for because it has that something special, genius quality about it that reignites a genre and that you will be remembering it and rewatching it for years to come. Highly recommended. GET STARTED ON THE SEQUEL AND DON'T HAVE US WAITING FOREVER FOR IT.

Take Shelter
Take Shelter(2011)
½

A fascinating, slow burn character study that has so much psychological intensity that it grips you along with the characters out of reality that by the end of the film you don't know if it was all in his head or that his terrifying preminition of a apocalyptic storm is on its way. Michael Shannon plays a crazed man powerfully well in a heartbreaking and surreal role of a family man Curtis who is recently plagued by intense and violent dreams that are all surrounded by a devastating storm coming from the distance which inspires him to build a shelter to shield his family from the danger ahead. Jessica Chastain has a pretty impressive resume so far with this film, The Help, The Tree Of Life, The Debt ect. and gives yet another great supporting role and proves she can take any type of role on, she plays the wife of Curtis Samantha who tries to keep a steady ground as she tries to understand what her husband is going through as well as look after he daughter Hannah who is deaf and tries hard to save up money for her surgery while her husband spends a chunk on it building the shelter. This film might be misleading to some as it is much deeper and more psychological than a disaster/end of the world flick and doesn't have much action but there are some visually striking and haunting scenes that fills the picture with dread and it's quite unique and if there is any films like it I will say The Last Wave, Melancholia, Black Swan but I say it's really in it's own league. Overall there were some unanswered questions that didn't get any clarifications towards the end like was he right the whole time or was it just another dream and is one of those movies you might have to rewatch to figure things out what you make of it but the central performances were powerful, the story disheartening yet suspenseful and all so gripping and it was pretty unforgettable, one of a kind film of 2011 and for that I have to recommend it. Go in with no expectations, an open mind, patience and don't expect anything action packed and you might enjoy it and be transfixed by it.

Martha Marcy May Marlene
½

Damn I really wanted to like this but it just went nowhere for me. The film had high suffocating tense scenes filled with dread and hopelessness that it was almost unbearable and psychologically disturbing and it never breaks through that barrier for you or the characters to breath. Elizabeth Olsen gives a captivating performance as Martha a confused, brainwashed, distraught and damaged woman who escapes an abusive, sociopathic cult and tries to reconnect with her sister who hasn't seen her in years but the vivid memories of life in the cult blocks her from anything normal. This movie just didn't seem like a beginning, middle and end type of movie and has a series of flashbacks of past and present and has a sense of unease the whole time that you soon lose hope that everything is going to end well and you really don't get to know because it just simply goes poof with no reasoning or resolution to the outcome of the characters which leaves you feeling mostly numb about the experience. The filming and raw sound effects stir you to the core with a ghostly, experimental, exploitive vibe that was uncomfortable but gripping but the storyline was just unfocused and muddled and in the end the view was a waste of time. Overall it scratches at your fears and paranoia of cults and the existance of them and the scary thing that it could easily get out of hand and how one person can control a large group of people is terrifying and how you could simply lose yourself and lose track of reality is unnerving but the way the film carries itself out in the end was just disappointing, unsatisfying and uneventful to me and I can't recommend it. Good central performances but lack of flow and execution and finish.

Aparecidos (The Appeared)
½

A surprisingly well done supernatural/thriller that was frequently gripping, chilling and suspenseful with two fine performances from the leads. It's a unique and ambitious touch to the genre but also has some familiar elements as well kind of like a The Sixth Sense, School Killer, Forget Me Not, Stir Of Echoes ect. type of vibe but held its own and packs an emotional punch as well. I like how it wasn't so overly gory like most horror movies these days are and how it took its time developing its story and characters so we care about what's going on and be connected and the effects were nifty with one scene reminding me of the Tina slaying from the original A Nightmare On Elm Street and the atmosphere just haunting enough. Suppose to be based on facts though I'm not sure all of it is especially the supernatural aspect of it but the story is very well written and well executed holding you in its fist through the whole duration and letting you go in its touching conclusion and while most of it is pretty flawed free I can't help but be let down by the lack of true scares but it had enough jumps here and there to satisfy me but in the end it had the potential to be a classic but missed the mark by a tad but better than most. Overall the most clever, engaging, tense, out of the box and harrowing supernatural/thriller I've seen in quite awhile with a story that will have you on the edge of your seat and two likable and solid leads with characters that you care about and root for and to me they should remake this because this movie is hard to find and the story has the potential to be done even better and deserves a wide release treatment. Recommended! 7.3 out of 10

The Change-Up

An enjoyable, funny, outrageous and over the top raunchy comedy with hysterical performaces from Ryan Reynolds and Jason Bateman. The problem for me is that the theme has been done to death and it was so tiring and predictable that the gags became less and less effective and it pushed so hard to make you laugh that it became trashy but a pretty fun time still. The female leads were the most likable most notably Olivia Wilde that everything becomes a blur when she is on the screen and she outshines everyone, she's a stunning view that you can't keep your eyes off of her. The digitally enhanced babies were the funniest parts of the film and it's the type of off the wall humor I love in comedies and it's most present here but just nothing that hasn't been done before but a great popcorn and beer flick to watch with your friends. Overall it's not the worst comedy of the year but just pushed to hard to make you laugh that it kind of went overboard with the raunch and language that it just didn't execute as effectively the more the film went on but it has solid leads and it sure wasn't boring but it's definitely an acquired taste. Rental

Never Let Me Go
½

Never Let Me Go will never leave your mind after watching it and it will have to be one of the most depressing film that has a powerful emotional punch that will leave you speechless and devastated. The film is restrained and takes its time with the story and characters but will have you thinking the whole way through and baffled at the events that unfold. I thought it was beautifully filmed with an haunting score and atmosphere for a haunting film, it was frustrating though because nothing ends the way you want most movies to end on a good note but it was a bold turn down a sad path of youth controlled by the government to donate their organs to save lives but get nothing in return but to wait and die and charish the time they have and can't live normal lives, it's horrible to think about. The acting was solid from everyone and heartbreakingly real and grips your soul and never lets go through the whole enthralling and gut wrenching film. Overall it's not for everyone but if you like films that make you think long after it's over and movies like Blindness and In Time without the glitz and glam here you go. Recommended for one viewing only because it's a movie filled with gloom and can't help but to think how long is long enough to live and in their world is their donation to make people live longer really worth it for them but the sad thing is they have no choice but to except it but it will have you glued to your seat.

Crazy, Stupid, Love.

A well casted and well written romantic/comedy that has a couple of good performances and a sweet and true look at love and relationships. I thought this was smarter and wiser than most modern romantic comedies and it treats its characters with respect as well as its audiences though I wish they would of focused more on Ryan Gosling's and Emma Stone's character more because they were the most interesting and entertaining of the bunch. To be honest the movie had just a tad too many side stories and didn't focus on them deep enough but the way everything ties together at the end was very surprising and uproarous even though some of it wouldn't really happen that way in the real world but the makers seem to have the knowlege about relationships between men and women. Overall even though crazy shouldn't be in the title it's still a refreshing take on the rules of the romantic comedy that didn't quite make it to be truely great and memorable but it's a solid effort and a great date flick that's smart and not fattening to your soul. Great rental!

Hugo
Hugo(2011)

A wondrous film that is visually glowing with pizazz and a neat and classical story filled with mystique and enlightenment that makes this the most clever childrens film of the year. It connects with you on an emotional level that is rare with family films now and takes you on an adventurous journey but takes its time getting to the end which might be too slow moving for much younger viewers but the fact that it doesn't rely heavily on action packed special effects but more on its story and characters but still manages to be visually stunning was admirable. The 3D aspect of it just wasn't as enchanting for me or amazing and I've seen it done more effectively and to it's full advantage so I thought it was perfect without it and though I dig the story it just didn't come together clearly as a whole but it was still magical and emotionally satisfying and the two lead kids were exceptional and not overdone just like the move, it's a classic telling of a story. Overall not as magnificent as critics praise but a surprisingly mature and smart family film that gives appreciation to classic films that started it all and I respect it alot for that and it's a film for film lovers of all ages and gives another reason why Martin Scorsese is a master filmmaker but just not quite the best of the best. See it with your family.

My Week with Marilyn
½

Out of every actress over the years that portrayed this tragic, mesmerizing, godly beautiful and iconic actress that had a rare ability to outshine everyone around her, Ms. Williams is by far the most stunning and uncannily believable one to date, she simply disappears into the role. The story based on the book of the same name and the book The Prince, The Showgirl, and Me is just not as amazing, intriguing or memorable as Michelle Williams portrayal and without it it's just your average period piece. The best parts were behind the scenes, inside look at the real life characters and their interactions with each other and the real person behind Marilyn Monroe in her most fragile state which is even the more devastating when you already know the outcome and the sad end of Hollywood's most well known and celebrated stars. There hasn't been anyone since that has her magnetic persona, magical performances, heavenly beauty, sweetness, vulnerability ect. there will never be another Marilyn Monroe who was one of a kind that left us way to soon. This is definitely Michelle Williams movie but I have to give credit to another great performance by Kenneth Branagh who portrays Sir. Laurence Olivier with effectiveness and bravura, their relationship together was an emotional rollercoaster but the other performances however just simply fades into the background compared to the two as well as Colin Clarks story. Overall I'm still waiting for a true indepth film look at Marilyn Monroe's life before and after her stardom and tragic end but I have a feeling that no one can top Michelle Williams performance that was a tour de force of Marilyn Monroe and oscar worthy but if this is the first movie theater released one by a first time film director, I can't help but think that there is better films about her to come and it's about time! Recommended!

A Lonely Place to Die
½

What's to me has been a pretty lackluster year for gripping thrillers A Lonely Place To Die is a refreshing and well executed one that has a solid payoff. The acting was solid from everyone though their accents kind of got in the way and was distracting and sometimes hard to understand but the highlight here was Melissa George in her best leading performance yet. The balance of themes like survival, kidnapping/ransom, stalk and kill, cat and mouse, revenge and action was steller and close to perfection and though most of that is all too familiar by now it hasn't been as effective as this one in as long as I can remember. When it gets down and dirty it doesn't hold back and I'm not saying that it's overly graphic but just very intense and suspenseful which is most of the time way better than a splatterfest but just good old fashioned. The filming of the raw, haunting atmosphere was fantastic and has edge, it was breathtaking in intensity and beauty and the fact that it jumps to different locations and not stay at one the whole time added to the thrill in a rollercoaster ride of a chase and fight for safety in a lonely place where no one can here you scream, very harrowing stuff. Overall this is the best thriller of the year and deserved to be a wide theaterical release because to me it puts the wide released ones like Drive, Hanna and the Straw Dogs remake to shame, studios back this one up now so it can get a proper wide release that it should certainly earn. Recommended! 7.5 out of 10

Terri
Terri(2011)
½

A slow moving, art house, accentric, coming of age tale about a 15 year old heavy set boy as he struggles through life but slowly opens up when his principle Mr. Fitzgerald befriends him. I really was going into it expecting to laugh and be entertained but I really didn't feel much of anything for this film even on a serious emotional level, I just couldn't relate to any of the characters but just feel sorry for them. There were charming performances from most involved especially John C. Reilly but not enough backstory to much of anyone and a couple of major plot holes that bothered me like what the hell happened to Terri's parents and is that why he is the way he is afraid to be abandon again? More questions than answers but ended on a hopeful note. The movie is a dramedy but just way too unbalanced of the two and needed more laughs and had alot of strange moments that went nowhere and that's what the movie leads to NOWHERE, it leaves you dry. Overall unless you want to see another Welcome To The Dollhouse meets Angus you wont see anything fresh here just a semi interestingly odd character study with a big heart. Wait for television.

Evil Things
Evil Things(2009)

Evil Things villain had evil plans and the setup and premise was unsettling and not forced but took its time delivering a pinch of jolts and the fact that it doesn't ever show these twisted psychopath or psychopaths was unnerving. The movie's downfall is that nothing much happens to make it as a whole terrifying or deliver any true scares but just a bunch of confused and scared young adults running and driving helplessly until they meet their demise with no payoff or explaination which is a all too common theme with the found footage horror movies and this one just doesn't have any action at all or much of a concrete script or story but just an chilling idea that could of resolved in a more effective way, it didn't come off as authentic at all. The acting wasn't bad per say and they have believable chemistry among eachother but they had nothing to work with at all but just walk and drive around and small talk and act scared and the fact that none of the characters had much of a backstory didn't help matters either. The filming of the raw atmosphere is what helped the film lose a lower rating from me but everything else just didn't gel together in an interesting way and most of the time it's like watching some strangers boring home videos. Overall it's like Five Across The Eyes meets Them in the most ho hum way. Skip it!

The Shrine
The Shrine(2010)

An very inspired throwback of movies like Hostel, The Exorcist, The Fog ect. that has a fast pace creepy and disturbing effects and images and a spooky story. The acting wasn't the best but had likable leads but their characters made several stupid decisions that made me roll my eyes and laugh, not too smart people. The movie started off strong with a couple of cheap but good jump scares and one of the ugliest but scariest faces in a horror film in recent memory but the other half of the movie went down a very predictable and cliched path and just didn't step up it's game and deliver new tricks just borrowed some but they made a good effort to make those throwbacks effective but just not up to par for me and I'm being extra hard on it because it had all the potential in the world to do the best with its intriguing and chilling premise. Overall I'm not a 100% disappointed with it but just wanted something more from it but just got the basics from the genre. Wait for television. 6 out of 10

A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas

Morally wrong on soo many levels and unnecessarily filmed in 3D but that somehow managed to work pretty well for the most part but this film is so much fun and hysterically funny that you will have a blast. It's great to see all of these lively and wacky characters come back to the big screen that it should be a every year tradition because their company never gets old and it will have to be one of the best stoner comedies ever as well as christmas comedy ever next to Christmas Vacation. The thing I like about these movies are that the jokes are revelant, ballsy and unappologetic kind of like Family Guy and they are to me always consistant with making me laugh because of the outrageousness that I just can't get enough of this series, they are on a roll! Overall this is a treat for only fans of the series because if you were offended by them before this one won't change your mind, you will love it or you will hate it, I for one loved it!!!! Bring on more Harold & Kumar!!! Recommended!

Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale

Beware of Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale because it's just not that good as most critics claims. I do think it had a somewhat imaginative approach having a dark twist on the old childrens tale about Santa Claus with some wit and charm but in the end it just didn't work effectively. At only 80 something minutes it felt like forever to get to the point and when it does nothing great happens just a bunch of old naked men running around who I guess are Santa's elves trying to protect him, you don't even see the actual Santa!!!! All the elements they try to blend never mesh well together and the execution of them was underwhelming, the horror didn't have terror just a crumb of suspense, the comedy didn't have the wit, the adventure didn't have thrills, the fantasy I didn't get lost in just detached and the charactures just didn't have enough background to care about them or care about their story. Overall it's an ridiculously overrated and lackluster dark christmas tale that has zero magic and zero thrills and payoff and it was distractingly silly once you see the big picture and who knew christmas could be such a disappointing bore if you don't have the right ingriedients. Skip it! 5 out of 10

Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief

An underrated adaptation of a popular children's book series that's brilliantly brought to life by fantastic special effects, strong and intense performances and a mischievious attitude that's more mature than the normal family film. The film moves at a brisk pace and pokes fun at itself but not too much to insult itself and it was thrilling and entertaining and may be even too chilling for younger kids but it was a blast and a breath of fresh air that the whole family can enjoy together and it's the best mythology movie I've see in like ever and beats the hell out of the horrible Clash Of The Titans which beats me why they are even bothering making a sequal and I definitely regret not seeing this baby on the big screen and even better if it was shown in IMAX. The three leads were great together and had so much chemistry, Logan Lerman, Brandon T. Jackson and the always sexy and mysterious with those piercing eyes Alexandra Daddario are all effective and perfectly cast and pull you in right away, you will root for them, laugh with them and go on this amazing journey with them and is comparable to the starting of the Harry Potter series and is to be reckoned with. Overall this is the start of greater things to come in this potential franchise and I can't wait to see more, it has the action, the thrills, the laughs, the coolness, the spunk, the smarts, the story and the always intriguing mythology in a all around entertaining and satisfying film, what more could you ask for in a family film? Highly recommended!!!!

Faces in the Crowd

An decent, suspenseful whodunit with exceptional performances especially from the solid lead actress Milla Jovanovich who takes a break from fighting zombies for once and takes a stab at this psychological thriller. The film takes the route of films like Blink, Dressed To Kill, Copycat, Eyes Of Laura Mars and Hideaway but a little less brutal and more pedestrian but still kept me intrigued and on the edge of my seat figuring out who is the killer. It has minor jump scares here and there but the premise probably looked more terrifying on paper than it really ends up being on screen but it has it's moments but just didn't take risks the kind that lifetime movies of the week don't take but it's definitely better looking and polished. The film as a whole was just too easy of a watch and never was it downright gripping enough to be memorable but just good enough to feel good about picking to watch it and I appreciate the classic approach but these days you need to up the game to make a lasting impression and this did not. Overall it's a likable thriller with a pretty happy ending that got the job done but didn't really breakaway to cause much of a stir with it's audience but Milla made a great effort and is always mesmerizing to watch and this is one of her better performances. Worth a watch. 6.4 out of 10

Attack the Block

An entertaining, stylized, energetic, witty, fun, fast pace and thrilling monster/alien movie that brought the old school back to the creature feature. I will admit though that this movie is highly overrated and the creatures way too silly looking with an video game vibe but the group of hysterical characters and the performances from mostly unknown actors gives this film a certain charm that might grant it cult status. The movie had a few good jump scares and the action scenes were a blast and monster chomping goods but it just didn't have much suspense in it to make it surprising and not enough laughs to make it hilarious and just not that terrifying to take it seriously which was probably not their intention anyway but it's just no Shaun Of The Dead, Tremors, Critters either but their premise is just as fresh. The movie ends on a predictable note but satisfying, the movie as a whole though is not that memorable and the story not that strong to care about much of anything in it but it sure is a fun popcorn flick to watch with your buddies just not as good as most critics claims. Rental

Win Win
Win Win(2011)

Win Win is close to being this years Juno and is the best american film I've seen so far this year, it was funny where it counts, heartfelt and intouch with its audience with solid performances from its great cast. The story was sincere but nothing really new and memorable same with the script but it's solid than most and smarter than most with a whole natural flow that was pure realism. It has some pacing issues but nothing that ruins the likability of the film and you take it as it comes and everything happens how you want it to happen so there isn't any real surprises to be had here like in Juno nor is it as funny as Juno but I like them just the same because they are relatable, down to earth and intelligent little films that could, they're simple and rare. Overall this is one of my favorite film of 2011 and is sure to be on my top movie list of the year and it gives me pleasure to recommend Win Win which is a winner!

Paranormal Activity 3
½

False advertisement is the film's biggest problem and is likely to piss alot of fans off as it did to me and it should be illegal and considered as fraud!!!!! I don't know if they where trying to trick people to think what's going to happen to make it more suspenseful or a bad last minute decision but they took the worst possible direction ever borderline the horrible conclusion of The Last Exorcism. It had the whole feeling of tense unease going for it and a couple of cheap but clever scares and the whole planting the camera on a rotating fan is brilliant and the scariest parts of the film as well as one bedroom scene with the little girls and the clever babysitter scene but then they go to grandma's house and the direction and tone changed for the worse for me and I just didn't buy it for a second! This series use to be effective, raw and unrelenting but now it's just plain silly but the curiosity still remains with even more unaswered questions about this ghost tale that might lead to another sequel in the near future but for now I'm done with these type of movies because after this disappointing one that leaves you on a sour note this trend is fading rapidly. Another thing that it has going for it is the involvement with the audiences and knowing more than the characters making you scream at the screen waiting for something bad to happen which is more fun and playful spook this time around than being truly frightful but the acting and characters is probably the best of the series but it doesn't help the film's many problems and I'm officially Paranormal Activity out and I dare them to change my mind! Overall to basically not show anything from the trailers is criminal and a bad trick to me and shows that the directors don't give a shit about the fans and thanks for the slap in the face basterds and thanks for ruining a potentially good horror sequel, good job. Don't treat us fans like we are stupid we deserve better than this crap, shame on you guys for lying to all of us and getting away with it and shame on me for believing it, I'll learn my lesson for believing the hype! Don't waste a dime on this one! Picture below not in the freaking movie!!! For once I believe the haters. I personally think they should be accountable for their false advertisement actions.

Here Comes the Boom
½

I was lucky enough to be given a free ticket to an advance screening to the upcoming comedy Here Comes the Boom which doesn't release until july of next year and I'm glad that I went. This movie is the best Kevin James comedy yet and he is at the top of his game in this, he was hysterical, the whole cast was great as well and is definitely a crowd pleaser. It's like a cross between Bad Teacher, School Of Rock, Billy Madison, and has a very familiar theme but knew what it was and didn't try hard to be something it wasn't and the comedy aspect was effortlessly done and made you feel good about it the whole way through and is the best family, non raunchy R rated comedy I've seen in quite awhile and is one of those comedies I wouldn't mind visiting over again. The whole mixed-martial arts part of the film was bad ass, hilarious and very entertaining and made you want to stand up and cheer with enthusiasm, it was so fun to watch Kevin James train for that, it will make you laugh until you hurt. The movie never dragged and ended on a very satisfying note as my whole theater clapped and cheered, a sign of a good comedy film. Overall I urge you to take the whole family and see Here Comes the Boom on opening weekend and laugh your asses off next July 2012 you won't regret it and I can't wait to see it again! Recommended!

Retreat
Retreat(2011)

A powerfully acted, shocking. tense and suspenseful thriller that has one hell of a messed up ending that will stay with you long after it's over. The movie starts off pretty slow and depressing with an couple who take a trip to a retreat isolated cottage to save their marriage after they suffered from a miscarriage soon take a turn for an even more unfortunate event when a stranger stumbles and collapses on the property. They soon realise bringing the stranger into the house was a big mistake when the find that he is armed with a gun, he soon wakes up and warns them that a huge deadly outbreak is spreading rapidly and the must board up the house in order to survive, then the cat and mouse games begin. This movie will soon have you on the edge of your seat trying to figure out what's the real truth and what's not and will through you for a loop and is filled with dread and intensity of not clearly knowing what's going to happen next. It packs a devastating powerful punch when the motive is revealed and a shocking out of nowhere conclusion that was haunting and unsuspecting and adds even more to the already grim appeal, so definitely one viewing is enough type of movie but a bold, smart and unsettling one at that. Overall it's not a movie for everyone and takes some patience and isn't for the weak of heart and as a whole it wasn't nearly as satisfying as I had hoped for but it's an better than average thriller in the likes of Dead Calm, Cape Fear, Straw Dogs, Right At Your Door but I say wait for rental because it's just not that worth going to the movie theater to see it. 6.9 out of 10

The Caller
The Caller(2011)
½

One of the better horror/thriller of 2011 with enough suspense, spooky atmosphere and twisted terror to satisfy fans of the genre. This is like a cross between the movies Frequency and Stir Of Echoes with a few twists and tricks of its own with a good old fashioned vibe of simplicity without a reliance on gore or special effects. The acting from the lead actress was great and not overdone with a likable and relatable charm that makes you root for her the whole way through even through her sinister acts, it's sad though that this could of been Brittany Murphy's role before the sad event that followed, it's kind of chilling. Overall it's an old fashioned edge of your seat movie the kind that were released in the 1970's and took an simple concept an made it very effectively and there were some plot holes here and there and some unanswered questions but it got the job done in terms of creeping you out and getting under your skin, so it works where it counts and it's perfect for a rainy night. Recommended! 7 out of 10

The Perfect Host

An very eccentric black comedy/thriller that's boost a bold, creepy and wickedly funny performance from David Hyde Pierce. The movie goes down a pretty strange yet clever and suspenseful path that's similar to films like Swimming With Sharks, Hard Candy, Misery and An American Psycho but more on the comedy side. There was never a dull moment in this film it was entertaining throughout yet disturbing in its theme and keeps you guessing what's real and what's not and how it's going to end and the movie is kind of a refreshing take on the whole home invasion, held hostage type of thrillers but instead of the intruder doing the dirty work it's the owner of the home and I love that twisted take but it never gets too bloody because it's more witty and clever than that. Overall it never fully answers questions or fill in all the plot holes but it was different from the norm and was clever in its executions but still left me wanting more from it. Rental

50/50
50/50(2011)
½

An inspiring, moving, funny and knowledgeable slice of life tale of a young mans struggles and triumphs with cancer and the loves of his life that are helping him through it. I'm glad they added some humor into this film that was naturally balanced in the otherwise sad and tough topic and that is cancer. The movie's pace was pretty slow throughout but the acting, writing and story were all there in stellar forms and the movie was so full of hope and aspirations and a very likable cast that it was hard not to enjoy it and it was just a breath of fresh air when it comes to a movie like this that it won't leave you cold and gloomy but full of faith. Overall it ends on a hopefull note and a perfect example of a dramedy that balances drama and comedy with ease which makes it one of the best independant film of 2011 and maybe even an oscar nod but a film that takes patience and especially if you know or have loss someone to cancer than I will go ahead and recommend it, you might love it.

Trust
Trust(2011)

What could of well been a lifetime movie of the week by the way it looks and the presentation of the story is soon lifted off the ground with powerful performances from everyone and fuels the movie from being run of the mill. The subject of the film is very hard to watch and is very disturbing and chilling because it does happen and makes this film effective because it is relevant. The amazing heartbreaking performance from newcomer Liana Liberato is oscar worthy and makes this hard journey believable and memorable than just being a throwaway made for television movie of the week and elevates it to silver screen status. The performances from Clive Owen and Catherine Keener were fantastic as well and to me is one of their best performances to date. Unfortunately all of those solid factors get boggled down with no payoff in the story, no revenge or justice just an absolution and how to move on from there of the devastating situation leaving the viewer cold and shaken and moved but no room for satisfactory of the story as a whole. Overall this is a character driven drama that is driven by powerful, heartwrenching performances in a impressive directorial move from David Schwimmer who is mostly known for comedic acts but he still needs to work on making the story effective as well but he's off in the right direction as a director and he delivered a tough subject in a respectful way where it could of been an even much darker film. Rental. 7 out of 10

Chromeskull: Laid to Rest 2`

An somewhat improvement over the ludacris original that has some of the best executed death scenes in recent memory that is not for the squeamish but once again terror, real suspense, a concrete story and likable, believable characters and acting are absent. The killer will probably go down in history as one of the most bad ass, unrelenting killing machines with inventive weapons and methods in a slasher film to date but the movie itself doesn't do him justice. The acting again is very weak and close to what you see on the SyFy channel and the movie is just not that scary and is pretty predictable throughout but what makes it watchable is its high octane kills which is what is the only improvement it has over the original and without the gore it's nothing and with it it barely survives. Overall the ending gives way for a third installment but I just don't don't give a damn because the first two disappointed me and wasted my time and is just typical slasher shit like Hatchet but without the fun and no depth to make it remotely interesting or a standout and it sucks because the inventive killer Chromeskull deserves a better horror film than that and it's just routine. Skip it! 5.4 out of 10

Night Terror
Night Terror(1976)
½

An dated, cheesy but atmosheric and somewhat suspenseful 1977 made for television thriller that has a great concept going for it but the way it was delivered was just not thrilling enough. The acting wasn't the best but the camera is definitely in love with Valerie Harper who plays Carol Turner a mother of two who's family is moving to Denver, Colorado from California and the kids fly there early with grandma as the father works late and she finishes packing and stays at an hotel waiting for her husband to finish work. She gets a phone call late at night saying that her son is in the hospital and in a frantic rush she decides to drive there herself a 16 hour drive after she can't reach her husband and her flight is snow bound. She soon runs out of gas and sees a cop that pulled someone over she slows down to ask for help and the man who was pulled over pulls out a gun and shoots the policeman and she speeds in terror and the getaway for survival begins. Compared to television movies of today which mostly suck this one is halfway acceptable and decent but goes in the typical television path which is playing it safe but hollywood could make a good remake out of it hell they remade the television movie of 1973 Don't Be Afraid Of The Dark why not this as well. 5.6 out of 10

Drive
Drive(2011)

The retro filmmaking was beautifully and artistically well done and it's like looking at a live moving motion masterpiece and a quiet, haunting and sometimes exhilarating experience that will drive you down a pretty gritty path of bloodshed. The first half of the film was almost like watching a well made music video or like a silent film because there wasn't much dialogue which got to a point where it was awkward and dragged the film's pace down but it never loses its sense of dread and unrelenting intensity and its heavy dose of violence which I can just say is comparable to films like Scarface and The Godfather, brutal to say the least but that is for you to find out and it even puts the recent Staw Dogs to shame. Like I said before there wasn't much talking in the film until the action kicks in and doesn't even give much of a backstory to any of the characters or a concrete story for the movie as a whole so it doesn't give an answer to why Ryan Gosling's in his most boldest movie to date character does what he does with no hesitation or much emotion like he was some sort of killing machine like Michael Myers or something and it was pretty creepy and strange and even when people try to talk to him it took him like almost 2 minutes to answer and that got old especially when it doesn't explain why he is like that. This the type of movie where it relies on the visuals, action and shock value than the developement of story and characters which is the movie's downfall and made in the end not worthwhile and pointless and cold and mean spirited and a flashy showcase of filming style and violence which to me is not enough to make a classic memorable film, looks and guts but no personality. Overall a rough and tough crime noir that packs a violent punch but there is too many bullet holes in the story that it pours out unsatisfactory but it will probably be the best looking crime thriller of 2011 but this drive leads to an unclear destination which makes this passenger very disappointed. Rental.

Straw Dogs
Straw Dogs(2011)
½

The new Straw Dogs is a uninspired, tepid, predictable remake that does nothing new with the material but just do the expected and that is to be violent and mean spirited. The performances were all strong especially from Kate Bosworth and James Woods who are at the top of their game in the film giving their characters edge and depth but the rest were just not that strong and memorable and though I respect James Marsden I think that he was miscast here and is no Dustin Hoffman but he had his moments here and there. I watched the original years ago and I really liked it and thought it was shockingly brutal and ballsy for its time but this one isn't nearly as effective and bold but I can tell you this it has a cleverly out of nowhere brutal final kill that had everyone in the theater gasp and scream and I was even surprised and shows you that anyone is capable of violent acts and it's just a moment in time of how far someone can be pushed before they snap, it's chilling to think about. Overall the writing and story is kind of weak and they did little to improve and surpass the great original and as a whole it leaves a bad taste for the senses and the type of film you feel bad for watching and want to take a shower afterwards and the film tried but just didn't have enough balls to succeed a 100% but it was expertly filmed and acted but even that can't push this unecessary remake from standing out and becoming its own . Skip it. 5.5 out of 10

Heavenly Creatures

An haunting, tragic and disturbing true crime story about two imaginative, loner, young teens who form and innocent bond that turns obsessively deadly. One of the very first acting roles for Kate Winslet and Melanie Lynskey who gave powerful and profound performances as Pauline Parker and Juliet Hulme and they came off as very veteran actresses and Kate Winslet's presence mesmerizing. The film was very imaginative and artful as well and the storytelling and writing very poignant and shocking that this actually happened and how two young girls just snapped in a short period of time it's just terrifying. The thing that bugged me the most was the lack to make any sense of it all, no resolution or aftermath, I mean I would of liked to see a trial or something because it had a slow burn build up to the murder scene with character developement, I just think it would of been more powerful if it had the two villains reasoning behind the murders. Overall a stunning debue of now A-list actress Kate Winslet that was potent and with skillful filmaking and a memorable and shocking story I will have to recommend it but just don't have any expectations and have an open mind and you might be impressed with it but it is a hard watch because you pretty much know what the outcome is going to be early on. 6.5 out of 10

8213: Gacy House

A laughably bad, unconvincing in the highest form, lazy and failed at delivering true scares and suspense and at that it's quite possibly the worst found footage horror film I've ever seen. The one thing it had going for it was its chilling and creepy atmosphere and they certainly picked the right location but the amateur effort and result is just embarassing and the bad acting didn't help matters either and I thought most of the characters were annoying and not likable so I could care less of their demise in the picture and the reveal of Gacy's ghost was just hilarious in a bad way and none of the kills were effective and aren't worth mentioning at all, this film was just a complete joke I mean I thought it was at least going to be entertaining but it didn't even give me that, it just was an eye rolling experience and to be honest it did have some potential but it's wasted in the hands of talentless people. Avoid!!!! 4 out of 10

Wrecked
Wrecked(2011)
½

A fantastic one man show from Adrien Brody that's similar to Castaway and 127 Hours but his effort is ruined by the movie's many plot holes and a crappy ending that made everthing pointless and a waste of time. There is not much else to say about this film I mean it starts off with a man which I can't say the character's name because it wasn't given who wakes up and finds himself injured, confused and stuck in a car in the wilderness who fights to put the pieces to the puzzle together on how he got there with the dead or unconscious men who may or may not be his friends as well as his fight for survival. With that being said it doesn't bring anything new or exciting to the now all too familiar and tired movie scenerio theme, it did have some twists here and there but I pretty much saw it coming but the rest wasn't explained at all leaving the whole viewing experience a blur just like the film's antagonist an uneventful event of dead ends and for that I say forget this disappointing movie and go rent much more effective survival tales such as Castaway, 127 Hours or Alive ect.

A Horrible Way to Die

A very mature, organic, moody, restrained, dark, character driven drama/thriller that took its time going down a tense, sometimes terrifying path. The movie was filmed in a very artistic, idependent, simplistic way that connects the viewer with the characters in a personal way that makes the ordeal effective and all too real which makes the sinister acts very disturbing and chilling. The film has a very familiar theme that we've seen before as a serial killer escapes from prison and begins to kill again but to me it hasn't quite been done like this before and makes the thriller different from the norm and ends on a surprising and powerful note. The movie did have suspense in it and some bloody scenes but it's done in a less is more way making it have a classic feel but this movie is smarter than that and relied more on character depth, performances and story than anything else which it mostly succeeded on. Overall if you like your seriel killer movies to have a more deeper meaning and not over the top like it was back in the day you might find something to appreciate about A Horrible Way To Die but don't expect a lot of gore, scares and action but more on mood, atmosphere and suspense and even at that it a pretty slow burn of a movie but a decent one at that. 6 out of 10

Grave Encounters

Well it definitely has more in common with The House On Haunted Hill than [REC.] or Paranormal Activity when it comes to impact or freshness and believability but it sure knows how to frighten you frozen in your seat as them. It starts off as a somewhat mockumentary similar to The Last Exorcism that was pretty clever and entertaining as a phony ghost hunting reality show crew willingly lock themselves inside an abandon mental hospital only soon do the realize that it has a mind of its own. The way the movie escalates the terror, suspense and intensity was unrelenting and I have never had to cover my eyes as much or be sleepless after watching a horror movie since I saw the first Paranormal Activity and though Paranormal Activity was more effective with its scares this one was a heart pounding frightfest with ghoulish ghosts and activity around every corner as though you feel like you're right there with them in a never ending haunted house ride. The films direction, plot and theme is nothing new or ground breaking and the acting not as raw as some of the better found footage movies but once this subgenre dies out this one will not be lost and forgotten and might be named as one of the best found footage film of all time, it is sure on the top of my list. Overall this definitely deserves a wide release as it's one of the scariest, entertaining horror movie of 2011 and sure it doesn't have originality on its side and ends on a predictable but still chilling note but I got to tell you Grave Encounters will get under your skin and it gives me another reason why I love the found footage horror movies so much because they're involving and terrifyingly raw which makes most of them unforgettable. Keep them coming because I for one can't get enough of them. Highly recommended! 7.7 out of 10

When a Killer Calls

An extremely amateurish rip off of When A Stranger Calls but unlike the well filmed, atmospheric remake of the 1970's chiller this one has balls. Right from the beginning of the film it has the feeling of unease and dread with brutal and effective yet generic kills that were disturbing and gutsy. This movie has a very visibly low budget and less than impressive acting that were the movie's downfall but the body count was decent and the killer was sadistic and stopped at nothing to bring fear to this poor babysitter and the stalk sequences though handled in a silly amateurish way did bring some suspense and creepyness to the film enough to make you look over your shoulder especially if you watch it alone in your home. The acting was beyond atrocious thanks to a horrible script and unoriginal story but towards the end it seems like everyone tried their best to step up their game which led to an effective, harrowing finale which might make you think twice about babysitting. Overall it's obviously a ripoff, unoriginal, flimsy but its brutality, creepyness and ballsy nature will creep under your skin, sure it wasn't amazing but as a generic rip off of stalk and slash it isn't half bad. Rent it. Have zero expectations, leave your brains at the door, grab some popcorn and enjoy. 6 out of 10

The Guard
The Guard(2011)

An smartly written, well performed, refreshingly blunt black comedy in the likes of Burn After Reading, Pink Panther, Fargo and In Bruges but just not as consistant as them as a whole. Brendan Gleeson as sergeant Gerry Boyle was hysterically brilliant, he was mad funny as well as Don Cheadle as the more reserved FBI agent Wendell Everet and the way the two interacted with one another was priceless and a very odd couple relationship, the supporting cast had their moments too. The thing that brought the film down was its pacing I'm mean it had its laugh out loud moments but there was alot of gaps between them and had a lot of scenes that dragged and it had several plot holes that didn't get filled which made the film not as satisfying as it should of and could of been, especially that disappointing ending. Overall The Guard had its moments of humor and entertainment but the hits and misses were too even from one another and it's a tad overrated judging from reviews but Brendan Gleeson's performance alone could make this a standout movie of the year for top critics but for me I was a bit let down. Rental. More of a 6.8 out of 10.

Shark Night 3D
½

Leave your brains and expectations at the door folks because this is one brainless, good looking, fast paced, fun, wicked but without an ounce of inspiration and most important of all BITE! The cast was actually decent and likable but the barely there script and story dumbed their characters down big time making them cardboard cut outs instead of having any depth and balls but I do think the filming in 3D was pretty good and not the worst but the CGI sharks were horrible and laughable instead of being terrified of them and you can just say that the suspense was thrown out the window. The kills were kind of entertaining in a so bad it's good sort of way but the most brutal one to me was when these small nasty little fishes attack a victim and teared their flesh from their bones, it was kind of disturbing but other than that this is a pretty dry creature feature but definitely an HARD PG-13 rating for sure. The last act was probably the better half of this to me because it finally gets the job done because most of it just didn't have enough shark action or thrills which for a movie like this it needs those and it's bad news if a film's poster is scarier than the actual film and to be honest this should of just been an hour long SyFy channel movie of the week and I'm not saying Piranha 3D was any better either but its execution was more effective and its kills more ballsy but both have two similar qualities they're fun and dumb and don't take themselves seriously but this one is a little more dumber and its motive for having the sharks in the lake even more idiotic, heck Frankenfish is ten times better than this and deserved a theatrical release over this and it would of been a better 3D movie so check that one out instead because it's a much better time. Overall I left my expectations and brain at the door to give this film a benefit of a doubt but still left me wanting something more and better and more inventive or at least give me effective shark action but it gave me nothing to get excited about and I left the theater feeling empty and bored of the experience presented and it never showed its teeth and was a wasted opportunity to be at least the next Deep Blue Sea but ended up being a weak, cash cow effort, skip it. Lets just hope that Bait 3D packs a bigger punch.

Bereavement
Bereavement(2011)
½

This has to be the most unsettling, brutally violent, dread filled, atmospherically raw and a independent movie with as much doom and cold sweat terror since the original The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. The acting is a little bit above average for a low profile and budget horror movie but the person who standed out for me was the stunning female lead Alexandra Daddario who plays Allison with her hauntingly beautiful eyes as well as the sad, troubled, scary and unbalanced figure and serial killer Graham Sutter played effectively by Brett Rickaby but the most tragic and terrifying figure of them all is Martin play hauntingly by Spencer List and I thing Martin is the new face of fear for horror films kind of like a new Michael Myers or Leatherface in the making. The filming was fantastic and set the mood perfectly and builds to the tension and suspense as well as the simple but effective music and this film will get under your skin and shock and upset you in more ways than one and you feel and root for the characters thanks to delicate developement and backstory and if you've seen Malevolence you'll love it and appreciate it even more so and be happy that this prequel is superier to it. The ending will make your jaw drop to the floor with shock and will stay with you long after it's over and it's one of the most messed up endings I've ever seen and a perfect element for a solid horror/thriller and this movie oozes of guts and emotions and dedication and treats its fans with respect and gives them what they want which is rare these days. Overall it gives such an old school horror vibe of less is more effectiveness that I believe it might be the most truly terrifying horror'thriller of the year and the most promising second chapter to a hopeful series in the genre because based on the cold, heart breaking stunner of an ending it better continue and if you like your slashers brutal with a great build up I highly recommend Bereavement! 7.5 out of 10

Tucker and Dale vs. Evil
½

I've been wanting to see this horror/comedy for a while now and after reading several great reviews for the film even more so but now that I've seen the film I'm pretty disappointed. I was expecting to laugh out loud and though there was some laughter it was too far apart from each other that there was too many gaps with no laughter at all and like Shaun Of The Dead before it the gore and action is the best and most entertaining elements of the film and both I considered overrated because in the end it's not first rate comedy and is more silly, fun and likable in a B-movie sense than being truly tears coming down your face funny. The characters and performances of course are disposable but it seems like they had a ball making this movie and the heart of the movie is of course Tucker and Dale because without them this movie wouldn't work completely but for what it is it was a ball and it's a great film to watch with your friends while drinking some beer but to me it needed better writing and timing of the jokes and references because the jokes just wasn't consistant to me and sure they had a hilarious concept on their hands but the way they delivered it wasn't effective and to be honest they are just a tad too late in the game to deliver this concept to movie theaters because they have alot of movies with this type of theme out there for this movie to compete against and stand out from, it wasn't a total failure but unfortunately it wasn't a total success either. Overall unless your in high school and below you will probably won't find this funny and if you do probably in the back of your head your thinking that this film is all too familiar and just not fresh anymore but it's all in good fun. Rental. 5.8 out of 10

Don't Be Afraid Of The Dark

Don't Be Afraid Of The Dark was kind of a let down but not a huge one and it had style, sophistication, darkly beautiful atmosphere, serviceable leads especially from newcomer Bailee Madison who was the soul of the film but Don't Be Afraid Of The Dark just wasn't dark enough. The story was told very classically and the whole approach was very light and old fashioned and it works best as a grimm fairy tale psychological/drama than a straight forward horror film that will probably disappoint hardcore horror fans such as myself but I just still admire it for what it got done. The film and premise though had so much potential and possibilities of being one terrifying horror film that will make fears of the dark grander than ever but the film just kind of played it safe with the whole idea and just didn't dig deep enough but the way it ends leaves the door wide open for potential and if you leave it in the hands of a more ballsy director for a sequel then that makes the possibilities endless. The most memorable thing about this movie was the hauntingly beautiful home and the land it's surrounded by it kind of reminds me of the house in The Haunting remake but this film kind of wasted it but the way that it was filmed was beautiful. In the end it starts off pretty spooky and bleak and ends pretty spooky and bleak but in between those there wasn't any true scares to be had, no terror and suspense because you pretty much knew what the family was up against and in for and they showed the face of those ugly and twisted little critters too soon and the more you saw them the more silly the situation becomes and they just could of done much more with this movie and had a great idea and premise but didn't really run with it like a titan. Overall though the adaptation of the creepy but cheesy 1973 t.v. movie of the same name was a faithful and technically superior remake which can't be said for most remakes out there and the whole dark fairy tale feel and storytelling of the film and the way it plays with your childhood fears makes it watchable and wickidly entertaining but don't expect to be scared by this film as an adult. Still love the posters though! 6.5 out of 10

Maniac
Maniac(1980)
½

To say that this movie is disturbing would be an understatement. It is filled with graphic violence against women which is an common and predictable theme in most early slasher films and in general. It has similar qualities and atmosphere from the movie Henry: Portrait Of A Serial Killer but less realistic and more gory but equally as chilling. There was a somewhat of a story behing the killer and why he became what he is but the deliverey of it wasn't that effective and all of the victims were cardboard cut outs so you really didn't care or root for anyone but just rolled your eyes in disgust but some of the chase and stalk scenes were suspenseful and filled with dread and a couple of jump scares here and there that got me but other than that this movie is pretty paper thin when it came to story and character developement and it was simply made for the gore alone which is the best thing about this film thanks to horror legend Tom Savani. The acting to me was weak but not awful but the one thing that makes this film somewhat memorable was the wickedly gory and disturbing climax which now helps me understand why it hit cult status and is easily one of the creepiest scene involving mannequins since Tourist Trap and it gives me goosebumps just thinking about it. Overall if you like your slashers gory, unappologetic, strange, fast pace and disturbing and trashy this one is for you. 5.7 out of 10

Dream Home
Dream Home(2010)

This has to be the most brutal, bloody, intense, shocking, over the top modern slasher movie since Inside and American Psycho, it was insane shit! The acting was pretty good and the lead actress Josie Ho gave an all out ballsy performance as Cheng Li-sheung who stops at nothing at making her dream home a reality even if it means murder and you will hate her in this film but also feel for her as well, the rest were just there for the kills. The things the movie lacked was suspense, terror, even pace, likable characters but the story was timely but I can't see that this was a true story at least not committed by one woman. Though for what it is and coming from hong kong it's one of the best of its kind and the gore effects alone would make Eli Roth and Tom Savani blush but for me I wan't my slashers with scares, suspense, likable characters to actually root for and not just a gore show or I would of just watched Sleepaway Camp. Overall it's an very mean spirited slasher film with inventive kills that kind of brought some new things to this genre and not for the weak stomach or heart but at the end of the day it's nothing more than just a gore film but I could of done much worse. Rent it but not a must see. 6 out of 10.

Reykjavik Whale Watching Massacre (R.W.W.M.)
½

Harpoon is an inventively bloody, odd, different, darkly humorous slasher film that had entertaining characters with nothing average about it. It's like Dead Calm meets The Texas Chainsaw Massacre meets Deadly Voyage meets Jason Takes Manhattan and it was very old school indeed but man the deaths were great and creative. The acting was good for the most part but the lack of character developement from most made it hard to care about them and like them but some of them were written pretty cleverly and made smart decisions when it comes to survive but on the other hand some of them made pretty dumb decisions but the standout and most brilliant one to me was Nae who played Endo, what a bad ass, tough chick and a firecracker not to be mess with, she was so entertaining. I never thought that the movie was scary just very disturbing and intense just like right out of a bad nightmare but it was so over the top that it was more entertaining than anything truly terrifying, the ending though was just lackluster and should of been better. Overall it's different from the average slasher film but at the same time it's just as disposable as the average slasher film mostly due to lack of story, character developement, scares and suspense but it's superior when it came to inventive kills, atmosphere and dark zaniness but it's pretty much Hostel on a boat and decent one at that. Rent it one day but not a must see. 5.9 out of 10.

Fright Night
Fright Night(2011)
½

What Scream did for slasher films is what I think Fright Night will do for vampire films and that is make them cool, vicious, entertaining and ballsy again and not a pussy. Colin Farrell does a great job at playing the vampire neighbor Jerry Dandrige and he pretty much makes the movie in his best role to date. The rest of the cast were spot on and convincing with newcomers Anton Yelchin and Imogen Poot holding their own and Christopher Mintz-Plasse from Super Bad and Kick Ass cracks me up as always as the goofy best friend turned vampire hunter Ed but he seems to be playing the same role in every movie and is a very limited actor, the scene stealer will have to be David Tennant as Peter Vincent, he was a riot, on the other hand though Toni Collette who is always good didn't really have much of a strong role but she made the most of it of what she was given. I thought the atmosphere was pretty good giving the sense of unease and dread throughout the movie and the gore was good enough but the effects especially during the transformation parts were lame and could of been much better and the 3D aspect of the film wasn't the worst I've seen and infact it was decent but it was unnecessary for this film but it was fun in some parts. The mixture of horror and comedy elements are usually always unsuccessful in these movies and is hard to pull off and ends up making the movie uneven but I'm happy to say that Fright Night pulled it off even more so than the 1985 original which I saw when I was a kid because this movie knows what it is and knows it's strengths and shows them in a balancing way as it will make you squirm on the edge of your seat one moment and laugh out loud the next and it knows how to show you a good time which is a success because that is the main reason why we go out to the movies in the first place. The ending was bad ass and effective and satisfying and I kind of want a sequel I mean hell the original got one why not but they need to work on the effects better because I don't know if it was intentional for the comedy part of the film or not but I didn't like it at all and this film deserved better than that. Overall it's the best vampire film I've seen in a long while and I hope that's the direction vampire movies are going and ditch the god awful Twilight series and wannabes for good because this film treated my inner horrorhound with respect and is one of the most fun times I had at the movies this year, I had a blast! Recommended!

Black Water
Black Water(2008)

This is one terrifying and harrowing killer croc flick and one that I put off for way too long as it is now one of my favorite creature feature of all time and is just as good as Rogue. The acting really surprised me as everyone especially the two female leads gave it their all and I'm talking about The Descent all out and made the whole ordeal raw and effective especially good when it's based off of a true story. It takes place in one location as three vacationers get stranded when their boat gets flipped over in crocodile infested waters of australia and from there on it's a fight for survival and brings the terror from Jaws back to the waters. This director is one to look out for as he has two successful and scary creature features under his belt with The Reef and now Black Water, man he is on a roll so far and I hope he continues because he is one taleted director of this genre and he knows how to build up the tension and suspense without showing too much or relying too much on CGI and every horror director should learn from him, this guy deserves his big break and check. His two films ends very similar and on a bleak note but quiet and haunting and I'm very surprised that his films are not getting that much recognition or praise and sure the story isn't anything that breaks new grounds but the terror and raw simplicity makes the film rise up above most horror films of today and it deserves credit, this one will leave you chilled to the bone. Overall Black Water is a solid and effective little creature feature one horror viewing that shouldn't be put off but a must see for any fans of Rogue, Jaws or creature features in general. Highly Recommended!!!! 10 out of 10!!!

The Help
The Help(2011)
½

The best american film of the summer and I'm predicting that it will be the best ensemble cast of the year because the acting from everyone was great and all had their shining moments. I haven't read the book but the story displayed on screen was a beautiful, touching, enlightening and heartbreaking one that will have people in tears, in laughter, angry and cheering and the same time and is definitely a crowd pleaser of a movie. Like I said before the acting was great and drives this film to success with all oscar worthy performances from everyone but most notably from Viola Davis who gave a subtle but emotionally hitting performance, Octavia Spencer who pretty much stole every scene and was pretty much the most entertaining character in this entire film, Bryce Dallas Howard who plays a wicked bitch very well and was committed with her role and the always lovely Emma Stone who hold her own and was the heart and soul of the picture. The Help makes you never forget about how bad racism was in our country and how the courage of one person can make a difference and change the minds of others with the perspective of the help and it just opens your minds and souls again about that dark time in our history that unfortunately happended. In the end it never dug deep enough with its source material but it had so many touching, entertaining moments and the story was so well told and the cast was terrific that it more than makes up for any loose ends. Overall it's the first contender to win best picture at the upcomming oscars and acting oscars but we will just have to see what other movies bring to the table. Recommended! You will never look at a chocolate pie the same way again. LOL!

The Resident
The Resident(2012)

The Resident was an good old fashioned, simple, unsettling and creepy thriller that was like a modern day Psycho or Peeping Tom meets The 4th Floor but just not as memorable. The film was pretty predictable but effective with its setup, atmoshere, a few scares and tense scenes. The acting was serviceable with two always talented leads Hilary Swank and Jeffery Dean Morgan who was especially creepy with his role but the story was just on the weaker side to me and never went above and beyond but was just good enough to keep watching but I can see why this never went to theaters even with leads like these but it's funny because it was miles better than the lame and safe theatrical released thriller early this year The Roommate. The finale was satisfying and kept me on the edge of my seat but in a way it could of been much stronger. Overall it never went below or beyond my expectations it was just simply good enough for me to recommend it and it's a great way to kill some time especially if you like hitchcock like thrillers.

Final Destination 5

This is the antidote on how to end a series on a high note and they should end things here because if they don't it will just be an insult to fans, at least this one. I would have never guess that the next installment of the Final Destination series would be the most suspenseful, twists galore, brilliant, most inventive deaths, though the third one was good times and the most twisted, disturbing one especially after watching the most lackluster one The Final Destination (4), it was a pleasant surprise in the biggest form. I'm surprised to say that this movie brings 3D technology back on my good side and is an actual film that shows that it was actually meant for 3D and not just a cover up and distraction to cash in more dough but of all the horror films out there that was in 3D this is the grandest of them all and is the best use of 3D ever! It comes to show that you can revive anything if you get fresh solid talent of new a director that is Steven Quale and better writing and cast all great ingredients for success, maybe that's what Scream 4 needed, I mean even the marketing was better. The surprise factor that has been missing since the first one is now back with a vengeance with a couple of twist that flips the entire series for the better and I have never seen any better executed death sequences in a horror film in a very long time and brings the fun factor back to horror films that has been missing since the first two Screams thanks to the torture porn, home invasions, found footage films as of late and it was a familiar face but a welcome, refreshing return to form and I loved it! Overall this might as well be the best and most entertaining and satisfying horror film of 2011, thanks Steven Quale this series and fans needed you. Highly recommended!! See it in 3D, heck even in IMAX 3D this film deserves your support.

Yellowbrickroad

This is definitely the WTF movie of the year to me and I thought that Antichrist was fucked up, this is just as worse. I thought that the acting was pretty good for an independent horror movie and the suspense and atmosphere was definitely there and it was a spooky little movie with a great premise but when it comes to it being coherent it fails. The film shines the most when it is at it's most zaniest, random and out there moments like when two characters get high from these berries or when gluteny consumes a character who can't stop eating candy, these types of touches were my favorite. Overall in the end it would of worked better as a short from an horror anthology than the full length film it was and the ending was just bat shit crazy and I had high hopes for this one but it was just mostly lackluster and disappointing when it comes to being an horror movie. 5.7 out of 10.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes
½

This has to be one of the most entertaining movie of the summer, pure popcorn fun! In the beginning it started off a little slow with character introduction and setup but once it got rolling it didn't skip a beat. It had its corny moments but for a movie about apes setting out for revenge it's brilliant than it has any right to be and packs a powerful emotional punch and message. The acting from the humans was alright but of course the stars of the show are the apes especially Caesar who is digitally portrayed with pathos by Andy Serkis thanks to the amazing special effects which to me are oscar worthy. The more the film gets closer to the finale the darker it gets, sure it was all fine, cute and nice in the begenning but this one show its teeth and claws with a vengence with an epic golden gate bridge battle of apes against humans that wronged them and another memorable scene that made me laugh and cheer at the same time when Caesar finally has had enough and stands up to a human tormentor and shouts "No!", loved that part. Overall the movie as a whole is uneven to me and the final act is anticlimatic but a hopeful start for more future sequels but the movie mostly gets the job done when it comes to escaping to the movies because it is truly an escape to wonderland and it's great for the whole family! Recommended!

The Reef
The Reef(2010)

The most heart pounding, terrifying, raw shark flick I've seen since Jaws, Deep Blue Sea and this is the most real deal one when compared to the classic Jaws film yet! Everything that Open Water gets wrong this movie gets right and yes the story is all too familiar by now but the fact that it's based on a true story and they actually use real sharks and didn't rely on special effects at all makes this an very effective, kick in the stomach shark film you'll see all year. The acting was very believable with likable characters you care about which makes the whole ordeal even more heart wrenching and the whole time you feel like you are right there with them and it was very blood curdling with suspense and absolutely involving motion picture. It ends on a very sad and depressing note but what the filmmakers accomplished on a very limited budget is amazing and puts high budget creature features hollywood spits out to shame and I can tell you right now that Shark Night 3D and Bait 3D have a tough act to follow. Overall GO OUT AND RENT IT NOW BECAUSE IT'S THE FIRST SHARK MOVIE IN A LONG TIME THAT WILL MAKE YOU SECOND GUESS ABOUT GOING FOR A SWIM IN THE OCEAN. A MUST SEE! 8.5 OUT OF 10

Kidnapped
Kidnapped(2011)

As a horror fan I wasn't impressed with this at all! It was brutal but not memorable, it was tense but senseless and predictable, it's not a game changer and in the end it was a pointless violent movie like the Funny Games remake that wasted good performances. It starts out with a normal well off family of three moving in a spacious new home when intruders break in and all hell breaks loose, yes it's familiar, same old formula that has been done to death and they don't even try to pull out any new tricks, sure the split screen was clever but I felt like I was watching a very violent episode of 24 or something and it kind of bugged me after awhile. The movie tries to be shocking but it came off as by the numbers and dull with a bunch of screaming and yelling without being truly terrifying and suspenseful and the ending was vicious but not satisfying at all and the very beginning bit didn't really make sense with the rest of the movie I mean was that the dad or a whole new dad and family that are falling victim to the crime, I just don't know. This movie really should be called Intruders because they all pretty much stay at their home while the intruders get money off them and no one literally gets kidnapped. Overall it's a way too familiar movie that tries nothing new and falls victim to the same old formulas and based on some critics rave reviews it's a very disappointing, violently senseless film that will make you roll your eyes in disgust than be scared out of your mind like the movie The Strangers which is a much better home invasion film. Not recommended!

Lifeboat
Lifeboat(1944)

One of the best suspense film of yesteryear I have ever seen! The acting was so powerful in this film I'm surprise no one even got nominated for an oscar and the situation of staging eight survivors stranded on a lifeboat after a german torpedo attack hits their ship is simple but effective and terrifying, kind of like Open Water meets Alive but not as much action but just as chilling and harrowing. I'm also surprised that this movie doesn't get as much attention than Alfred Hitchcock's other films because it's definitely one of his best, most memorable one and of all the films to be remade I crave for this one the most and though it's perfect already it can easily to me be improved upon and turn into one heck of a movie and it has oscar written all over it. Overall I can't recommend this early Hitchcock film enough, I loved it and it's one of my favorite film and if you like suspenseful, character driven, solid writing and survival movies this is a must see ASAP!!!!! CLASSIC!!!!

Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Coming from a not too huge of a fan of the series this is the best one yet but that's not saying much. They made the right decision to not hire back Megan Fox for this one, she's hot and everything but not her acting and the stunningly gorgeous replacement eye candy Rosie Huntington-Whiteley is much better and handled herself well and speaking of eye candy that's what this movie purely is eye candy galore. This third movie like the other two has a way too long of a running time and I'm talking about a 2 and half hour movie and almost 3 if you count the previews and it dragged too long in some parts that it put me to sleep. What I really liked about this movie is the breathtaking action scenes and it's laugh out loud humor, Sam's mom stole the show she was a hoot and Shia LaBeouf well plays Shia LaBeouf and there is a hilarious bit between Shia's character Sam and Ken Jeong's character Jerry it was hysterical. On the story side it is an improvement but there is no build up, no suspense, not enough developement and nothing gripping enough I mean there is a lot of action and funny parts and it is entertaining compared to the other ones but not much else than that so it shouldn't be that long of a movie but it is and I think it is soley made to see how far you can go with CGI and they pretty much succeeded at that because it is surely state of the art effects that will blow you away but it is souless and money hungry and that's probably why they keep making them. By the end I was exhausted and I don't know if it was the fact that I was sick when I was watching it but I lost interest in it halfway through and was anxiously waiting for the final battle between the transformers I mean get to the bottom of it already! Overall it's an improvement and has exhilarating action scenes and entertaining funny bits but it's just not great to me still and to me it's still a cash cow but a decent one at that.

Cyrus
Cyrus(2010)

An pretty eccentric comedy/drama that was handled in a very real, naturalistic way with three strong central performances from its three leads John C. Reilly, Jonah Hill and Marisa Tomei. The film had an amusing, hysterical start but as it moved along it became more and more slow moving and tedious and not the laugh out loud Step Brothers like film I was hoping it will be and in fact it was more deeper and meaningful than that and more of a character study but a pretty entertaining one at that. In the end it was not really clear in was it was going for weather it was comedy, drama or what the point was maybe it was about letting go, being truthful and making room for new people and accepting them in your life, I just don't know. Overall it had a promising start but never fully ran with it and never full ignited and just became more of a honest dramedy than being truly fufilling and even as a whole in the end but because the actors shine in this one I can let go of the flaws and go ahead a recommend this movie as a rental if you have nothing better to watch. More of a 2.5 out of 5 stars.

Horrible Bosses
½

Probably the best workplace comedy since Office Space and probably most people's dark fantasies about what they want to do to their horrible bosses played out gleefully on screen and it was so much fun! The actors here are hysterical and have so much chemistry together with Jason Bateman, Charlie Day and Jason Sudeikis playing buddies Nick, Kurt and Dale out to get rid of their horrible bosses played comedically brilliant by Jennifer Aniston who never looked or more sexy, Colin Ferrell like you never seen him before and the always solid Kevin Spacey. The film's script is somewhat a hit and miss but I haven't laughed as much during a movie since Bridesmaids and now this film while not as consistently funny as Bridesmaids it still got close to it than probably any comedy you'll see this year and I think these two films are going to be the best comedies of 2011 hands down and it will surprise me if another comedy coming out this year will top them, right now it's not likely. Overall it gets twisted but not too twisted, raunchy but not too raunchy, funny but not forceful and it movied at a natural pace and when things start to unfold it is hysterically funny much like an R rated Date Night or something and at that it's a first rate, crowd pleasing comedy and I recommend it to see it in theaters especially if you hate your boss and that will make a fun and entertaining time at the movies.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2

The last Harry Potter film is the best one I've seen and an epic, sad, magical and very satisfying send off to one of the most beloved franchises of all time, man time sure does fly. If you thought Deathly Hallows Part 1 was slow burn, atmospheric, creepy, moody and to me Emma Watson stole that show but this one is more jam packed in a good way with more action and adventure, more battles, more backstories, more entertainment and to me has a faster pace and this is Harry Potter's film, he owns this film. The acting is powerful and spot on and everyone should be so proud of themselves for doing the books justice for ten years, the trio Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint have grown into mature young adults and wonderful actors and it was neat watching them grow into their roles as actors and can't wait to finally see new material for them in the future they definitely deserve it as they finally graduate from Hogwarts. This was an emotional rollercoaster ride you'll laugh, cheer, maybe cry, thrilled, scared, mad and amazed by the craftsmanship on display here and this should definitely win in the special effects department at the oscars, it's a worthy eye popping film that dazzles. I liked the reunion of past characters and how they reunited together for one last epic battle at Hogwarts that will have you on the edge of your seat and was very crowd pleasing as audiences cheered on which made the viewing experience all the more special. This is what a summer blockbuster is all about because it had it all folks and it treated audiences with respect and this is now to me the best movie of 2011 so far but I doubt any other movie is going to beat it's epic proportions. Overall this series have grown into a magnificent picture one that will be remembered for years to come and a cap off that is near flawless and magically touching, farewell Harry Potter it has been a treat but this journey and era has come to a close. Highly recommended!!!!!!!

Bad Teacher
Bad Teacher(2011)
½

Bad Teacher had a great and hysterical concept going for it and the ideal cast and the performances were there but the execution and script were on the cheaper, safer side than being bad@ss and a laugh out loud riot. I do have to say that this is Cameron Diaz best role and performance I've seen in quite a while and she never looked better but at the same time she wasn't given enough solid things to work with and this movie just came off as Billy Madison part 2 than being anything fresh or ballsy it just didn't quite make it there and this has to be the most predictable and safest R rated comedy of the year or close to it. To me as well this could of used a bloopers reel at the end to make up for the gaps of not so funny parts but that's just me. Overall Bad Teacher just wasn't bad enough if you know what I'm saying I mean it wasn't awful but with great comedies like Bridesmaids out there right now this one fails in comparison when it comes to laughs and it's unfortunately to me at least forgettable and it's a shame because I love the cast just not the movie and that was a lame role for Justin Timberlake and a barely not there enough role for the hilarious Jason Segel. I think I laughed more at the trailers for upcoming comdies than this movie, that's not a good sign. Next! 5.8 out of 10.

In Her Skin
In Her Skin(2011)

An well acted, chilling, sad and disturbing true crime tale that's like a real life Black Swan with out it being all in her head or was it? This film starts off very grim and ends very grim and the sense of dread never leaves this film as a husband and wife desperately search for their 15 year old beautiful, ideal, golden child Rachel as she fails to meet her dad to pick her up after dance class and all clues leads to a very troubled, self destructive/hate young 19 year old Caroline their childhood neighbor. The movie is filmed in a very haunting way as in some parts you can hear ghostly whispers as the film travels to one location to the next adding a tragic tone to the already depressing film and it kind of reminded me of The Lovely Bones in a way. Ruth Bradley who plays Caroline to me is this movie, her performance was so believable, tragic, effective, scary and hauntingly memorable that she will make your blood turn cold, very oscar worthy. Guy Pearce, Miranda Otto who play the grieving but determined parents give heartbreaking and strong performances that will pull at your heartstrings and Sam Neill who plays Caroline's dad gives an always good performance. The murder scene in this movie is so realistic, disturbing, brutal and intense it will make you sick in anger and sadness and it's the kind of viciousness of something like the movie Audition and it's terrifying that this is a true story. Overall it did come to some sort of an conclusion and a sad one at that and the motive for the murder was jealousy, lonelieness, anger and her mental illness and it's the act of violence nightmares are made of and it;s one of the most tragic story and movie I've seen in a while and at that I don't know if it's a movie to really recommend but for the powerful performances it's worth seeing at least once. 6.9 out of 10

Blood Night (Blood Night: The Legend of Mary Hatchet)
½

This is one trippy slasher with an acid pace and ferocious violence and gore that will make Victor Crowley from Hatchet blush. The story, acting is senseless and laughable but for a b-horror movie it could of been worse, my favorite though is Danielle Harris who is always good in these type of movies and is sexy as always. The suspense is non existent but there were a couple of good jump scares here and there but this film seems to be focused more on blood and sex than anything and is more consistent at that than any horror film in theaters right now. I liked how it had a backstory to the killer Mary Hatchet but it showed her too much too soon that there was no terror or suspense to be had and it kind of played against the picture but it looks like Victor Crowley has found a future mistress. This film has a very retro look and feel to it that reminds me of slashers of the 1970's and early 1980's and that's one of the film's charms, the whole atmosphere seems to have been taken right out of those decades even the actors. I also got a Rob Zombie vibe from it too which isn't a bad thing but it was also very jumpy and skittish when it came to the filming which got on my nerves fast and some of the lighting was too dark a blurry that you couldn't sometimes tell what you were seeing. In the end though it was still just a pointless, brainless but a bloody fun slasher flick nostalgia. Overall the gore, nudity and Danielle Harris made this movie and without them then this flick would of completely sucked donkey balls. A good flick to watch drunk on halloween night with your buds. More of a 2.5 out of 5 stars.

Fertile Ground

An frequently scary and jolting haunted house/possession flick with decent performances but miscasted leads that had no chemistry to make you care about their relationship. The atmoshere was perfect with a creaky, old and spooky house in the middle of nowhere that supposably is where serial killer H.H Holmes stayed at which makes the setting even more startling. The plot is very unoriginal and spoon feeds it to the viewers and actual has chapter titles for peep sakes, I mean did we really need those! The story follows a couple who is trying to move on after a miscarriage and moves into a old but spacious house that belonged to the husbands ancestors, then strange and spooky things start to happen, pretty much a been there, seen that story. The movie is a cross between Amityville Horror and Conjurer and it's soo much like your average haunted house flick that I'm starting to forget about it as of now, it's becoming a tired rehash not reboot for the genre but definitely more polished than most straight to dvd haunted house flicks, that's not saying much though. The ending was unclear to me because it never clarified anything and it makes you believe that the wife was just crazy the whole time or was it the house I just don't know. Overall it has decent scares a committed performance from the lead actress but there is nothing new or inventive here just a run of the mill horror movie to gain a buck but at that it's not half bad but not great either. Wait for television. More of a 5.5 out of 10

The Yellow Handkerchief

I really enjoyed this movie! The performances were subtle, layered, charming and fascinating and I'm surprised this movie didn't get noticed during the awards season. The raw landscapes, isolated buildings and the retro car they make there journey to a fresh start all make a hauntingly beautiful setting. The movie has a quiet confidence, artistic and a involving, star crossed story that for the first half leaves you in suspense, it follows Brett Hanson played by William Hurt who was recently released after 6 years from prison for manslaughter and hitches a ride to go back home to his wife with a young duo Martine and Gordy played Kristen Stewart in another great indie performance and she was stunning in this movie, Eddie Redmayne plays an awkward oddball but in a touching way and Maria Bello who isn't seen as much plays the wife May was excellent as always and man is she sexy. It just has a great story told in a real, beautiful way and is very relatable that makes it even more effective topped off with a very satisfying and touching ending that makes this an almost flawless indie. Highly recommended! More of a 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Super 8
Super 8(2011)
½

Super 8 is much better when it delivers a coming of age story/drama, character developement and tearjerker than when it delivers the sci-fi/action & adventure elements to the film. The acting was very impressive in this film from all of the mostly unknown child actors with Elle Fanning in her best role to date next to Phoebe In Wonderland and it's amazing to me that this thirteen year old graces the screen effortlessly like she is a verteran actress, it's uncanny. The story of forgiveness and letting go overpowers most of the action scenes especially the ending which may bring some viewers to tears and the natural bond between the kids reminded me of classic films like Stand By Me and The Goonies with a dash of Signs, Monsters and E.T. and is mostly like those films than being a full blown thrilling and terrifying sci-fi/action flick and to be honest this is just a retro family film than what trailers lead you to believe. There were a couple of plot holes that bothered me like where did all the missing dogs go? How did the monster get there in the first place and are there more? Was is just a mad science experiment gone wrong? Ect. When it actually shows the monster it wasn't scary enough and went the King Kong route and made it have feelings which was a tad cheesy and what I'm trying to say is that it didn't go horror enough with not enough terror and suspense for a monster movie or whatever it was aiming for which I still don't know because it tried to juggle a bunch of genres at once which in the end kind of played against it and became less effective as it moves along. I liked how it was paying tribute to all of the classic movies of it's kind of that decade but mabey a little too much because alll it does is make you rememeber the good old days of the movies that you longed for that it tries so hard to become that it doesn't focus enough on becoming it's own movie which sooner or later will be forgotten. Overall it was well made and a visual treat for the most part with very likable characters and impressive performances and a involving story with a huge passion for the movies at the handsof the director and producer makes this a genuine homage but not the classic everyone is making it out to be. See it with your family. Make sure you stay for the end credits for a nice little treat.

X-Men: First Class
½

This is the best X-Men film since X-Men 2: X-Men United and is full of rich characters, state of the art action scenes and effective performances from all of the cast, this is first class alright. I liked how the story of how the X-Men became a team and how they came to be who they are now in the series and I have never seen a prequel lay it out for us as well as this movie and I learned some things about certain characters that I didn't know before and it was like watching X-Men for the first time because it came off as very fresh and innovative unlike the crappy X-Men Orgins: Wolverine, this one makes me have faith in the series once again. There were some nice cameos here and there that had me grinning from ear to ear and was brilliant throughout thanks to the clever script and direction and some humor thrown in to balance things out but to me this is the darkest X-Men yet. I still though hold the first X-Men close to my heart as my all time favorite superhero/comic book movie but this one came pretty close to beating it but not close enough. In the end it showed how Professor X wounded up in his famous wheelchair, how they chose their memorable names and how they sided with eachother and how they chose their X-Men school ect. but I can't really see where they can take this new X-Men and their new lease on life could it go the Batman Begins and The Dark Knight route we'll just have to see and I can't wait! Overall it's not the best spring/summer blockbuster you'll see this year because I still think Fast Five still holds that title but it's by far the best comic book movie of the year and I recommend it! More of a 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Forget Me Not

Yes the movie is heavily cliched and the acting in some areas is more than weak as well as a less than impressive start but I can see an effort to be unique is on display here. The movie starts off like most generic slasher films with a cast of beautiful unknowns who just recently graduated from high school and throws a huge party, get drunk, have sex and after everyone leaves a handful of close friends decides to drive to a cemetary and play a silly game that's like ghosts in the graveyard. A mysterious girl then appears and wants to play with them and they let her, then things turn for the worst. To me from there on the movie gets way better with effective kills and a way more effective dragging a victim to their grave underground than in Drag Me To Hell, terror and suspense also come and maybe a too complicated plot and story for its own good but I give it kudos for trying to be ambitious. The acting too for some reason gets slightly better and far less annoying than it was in the beginning with Carly Schroeder from the indie film Mean Creek stealing the show. The film never gets truely terrifying and the zombie like ghosts though at some points creepy and scary were mostly not effective enough and seems too similar to the killer ghosts in asian ghosts flicks of the past and they could of done better in that department but for a limited budget they weren't half bad either. The twisted shocker of an ending which they all had it coming was very effective to me and kept me from giving it a lower rating but I just wish it had a better first half and setup like it did in the middle and last half and because of that it was uneven and it also could of gone further with its interesting premise. Overall it's like Prom Night meets I Know What You Did Last Summer meets Tormented and at that was an entertaining watch if you have nothing better to do or watch. Rent it! 6 out of 10

Vanishing On 7th Street
½

What started off strong with suspense and scares here and there and a intriguing and terrifying premise took the path to nowhere. I thought the acting was strong from everyone with a little backstory to all the characters on how they ended up where they are but the story disposes them pretty quickly that you almost don't care and becomes pointless in a rapid speed. The atomsphere was gloomy, haunting and unsettling and is pretty much identical to the setting in I Am Legend and has a more horrifying plot but too bad it didn't go deeper into it and pretty much ended before explaining a damn thing! Overall it had so much potential and wasted it all and it just came off as a short film from an anthology and wasted alot of great material here what a shame. Not recommended!

The Silent House
½

The Silent House started off strong that was filled with suffocating suspense and dread that was reminiscent of movies like [Rec.], The Abandoned, Them and The Others but when the twist is revealed it doesn't hold the same momentum. The leading female performance was convincing and solid but the script and story is almost non existent making the whole point of the movie unclear in its motive but it seemed to me that the lead gal was rape or something and they made her give up her child and the was the one event that was haunting her in that house and made her crazy and seek revenge on the two men but it's still not that certain to me, I don't know. The chilling, raw atmosphere and the spooky music score and the fact that it was one continuous take is what drives this arthouse/psychological chiller and that final scene with the lead girl walking aimlessly in the field with a doll in her hand taliking to herself is one of the most haunting images from a horror movie this year. Overall it could have been better and more clear and maybe one continuous take played against it but there is a uniqueness about it and a old fashioned charm about it that makes me appreciate the less is more aspect of the film but I was just not sold by the film as a whole but I'm curious on how the remake will deliver but I'm thinking it's not going to add anything new we will just have to see. Rent or not it doesn't matter. More of a 2.5 out of 5 stars.

I Saw the Devil
½

An highly intelligent, intense, violent, graphic, well acted and directed revenge/thriller in the likes of The Chaser, Death Sentence, I Spit On Your Grave and Law Abiding Citizen in its brutality but quite a step above in its cleverness. The film has an haunting first kill and terrifyingly raw and is pretty much the tone of the rest of the movie and sets up the revenge aspect of the film. The film then introduces us to secret agent Dae-hoon played fearlessly by Byung-hun Lee who is out for revenge after searchers fing his missing fiancee brutally slain and will stop at nothing to find the killer, which is an all too familiar plot and setting but this one pushes the boundaries even more with its twists and turns. Then we get more aquainted with the serial killer Kyung-chul played brilliantly by Min-sik Choi and is menacing in his role but looks like an everyday working man which makes it even more effective and shocking and gives the killer a more human touch than most movies of this kind. The movie's atomosphere is grim,bleak and filled with dread throughout but when the movie really shines is when the killer and the renegade meet face to face it was so epic and memorable they kick eachothers butt big time as well as play cat and mouse games trying to out smart the other those parts made the film entertaining, edgy and worthwhile but man at times it was hard to say who the real devil was they were both crazy mother fuc!kers and the conclusion made sure of that but in the end they were both regretful but what a shocker of an ending, it was powerful! The pacing was kind of uneven mainly because the movie was way too long at a 141 minutes that's just too long for a movie like this and in the end it came close but it really didn't do anything that much different to reignite the genre or make it stand apart from other revenge/thrillers I mean it was good but it wasn't spectacular and like other revenge/thrillers it was a very hard watch from beginning to end and isn't for everyone so keep that in mind. Overall it a tad overrated but an solid effort and addition to the revenge/thrillers but they're all just the same to me and I'm still waiting for one to truely blow me away because this one just didn't do it but it did slap me around a few times in its brutality, cleverness and ending and has enriching characters you care about but just didn't quite make it to greatness for me. Rental.

Love and Other Drugs

This type of movie has really been done to death now but the lead performances from Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway are so great and filled with chemisty and sex appeal that makes me almost forgive the movie for its many flaws. The problem with this movie is that it tries to do too many things genre wise as you laugh out loud one minute, crying the next, then it becomes raunchy and filled with nudity and then it tries to to the whole Jerry Maguire, Up In The Air, Definitely Maybe type of timely theme but it doesn't fully commit to any of them making the movie seem uneven and empty. I really liked the soundtrack from the movie that was a mixture of old rock and pop tunes so no complaint in that department. The way they handled Parkinson's disease was heartfelt, enlightening and devastating and Anne Hathaway delivered it in a believable, heartbreaking way and is her best performance to date, bravo! Overall the movie has an identity crisis but the performances more than make up for that and is the perfect date flick but just not a must see. More of a 2.5 out of 5 stars.

Bridesmaids
Bridesmaids(2011)
½

This is like a big fuc!k you to all the lame chick flicks out there as of now and a breakthrough, star making leading role for the brilliant and hilarious Kristen Wiig. I have never seen a comedy in a long @ss time that was as consistantly funny and I mean laugh on the ground with tears coming down your face funny as well as touching and for once genuine characters that you can relate to and have an instant, believable, bond and chemistry on screen that makes the ongoing crazy shenanigans all the more effective and hysterical. The showstopper, scene stealing, laugh riot Melissa McCarthy was fantastic and no wonder has her own sitcom and she should host or be appart of SNL or something she is so freaking funny I almost pissed myself! Maya Rudolph and Kristen Wiig should make more comedies together and are much better than Tina Fey and Amy Poehler were in Baby Mama, they are a comedy dream team and the rest of the cast is the cherry on top. The movie goes through typical issues from the average chick flick like jealousy, insecurities, narcissisum, cat fights, lust, self-doubt, self-pitty, self-destruction you name it but it deals with those is a more honest, realistic non surgar-coated way that was refreshing and smart from the norm and raises the bar so high for chick flicks (which is more anti of that anyways) and comedies in general that I personally can't see any comedy this year or in the future surpassing its comedy greatness, it's golden!!! Overall if you were waiting for a movie that will truely make you laugh harder than you ever laughed before in the theaters in a long time your wish has been granted, wear depends just incase because you might need them. Highly Recommended! The most satisfying comedy in the past decade that I never wanted it to end and forget about the overrated The Hangover and its unnecessary sequel and bring on Bridesmaids 2 already! 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Stake Land
Stake Land(2011)

By far the best horror film I've seen this year and probably going to be the contender for best horror film of 2011 just about beating Black Death. The film is full of dread, macabre, terror, pain and sadness but also filled with hope. The acting is surprisingly good for a independent, low-budget vampire/apocalypse flick with Nick Damici and Connor Paolo being the standout and to me breakthrough performances as vampire hunters on a journey to salvation. The atmosphere,vampires and unbalanced human beings doing evil deeds against one another sends chills down my spine and is terrifying and raw that makes this movie stand above the rest of its kind and raises the bar for vampire/apocalypse movies, it packs a bleak punch. The movie kind of though goes through similar territory from movies like The Road, Carriers, Daybreakers, Zombieland without the comedy aspect and a dose of Black Death but it still manages to stand on its own and it's very novel in its own right. The movie is pretty brutal throughout and doesn't hold back and is definitely not for the faint of heart or the easily offended and that's what I like about this movie because it's very bold and brave and is balls to the wall type of attitude that's rare and usually can't be found in most wide released, mainstream horror flicks and it's like a present to fans who like their vampire movies hard and mean and are sick of movies like Twilight who are giving them a bad name, so thanks for this movie it's a gem! Overall I was impressed and a movie like this deserves all the fans it can get and deserves a wide release and not shocking it doesn't because hollywood is too dense to see a great movie even if it slaps it in the face! The ending left it open for a sequel so I really hope we get to see the light of day of Stake Land 2, bring it on geniuses. Highly recommended! 3.5 stars out of 5 stars.

The Next Three Days

An highly entertaining, suspenseful, clever, well acted and tense escapist/thriller for the modern age but also slow moving and overlong. There is familiar territory it treads here from movies like The Fugitive but as well as some new tricks up its sleeve that tennis ball bit to unlock a car door is awesome and makes me want to try it to see if it really works. The movie has several twists and turns that you are constantly on the edge of you seat mostly with the last hour and the way Russell Crowe out smarted the cops is pretty nifty yet pretty implausible especially in this time. The way you figured out if she was innocent or not the whole time packs a punch and it makes you think that if someone that you loved and cared about was in jail for something they may or may not have done would you do the same thing if the justice system failed? Because that does happen an it's scary to think about if a innocent person is in jail and on death row. There was a couple scenes where I was like forget about your wife and hook up with Olivia Wilde's character because it's just not worth it but the more you learned about the truth it kind of was. Overall it's nothing fresh or innovative but it was a highly skillful, character driven, suspenseful, well acted jailbreak thriller that was filled with intensity and a pleasant and not at all bleak ending, good enough but not great. Rental.

Fast Five
Fast Five(2011)

Now this is what a sequel should be and that's bigger, better, more surprises, more action, thrills and a reunion of characters from the past sequels as well as fresh new ones which makes one bad@ss and rare sequel that manages to surpass the original by a mile and reignite the series, a success that Scream 4 failed to do with its series. From beginning to end there is unrelenting action sequences that raises the bar for action flicks, some twists and turns, epic fight scenes one including Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson, beautiful women, cars and locations, it's filled with testosterone and has tons of entertainment value and is the spring/summer action flick to beat. This is like if Speed and The Town had a baby that wasn't as smart as them but ten times more cooler and the pretty one everyone likes and definitely more fun and bad@ss. The acting on the other hand wasn't amazing but was expected but you grown to love these characters and they're just so awesome and again bad@ss that the flaw can be thrown out the window and for a action flick they're great and you got to love Vin Diesel and The Rock which are better than ever! There is one surprising bit at the end credits that made my jaw drop and makes me so freaking pumped for the next sequel, bring it on! Overall this is what I wanted it to be and more and what all sequels should be but unfortunately they're not and this is the most exhilarating, fun time I've had at the movie theaters all year and definitely makes up for the films that disappointed me this year so far like Scream 4 ect. and if you liked the last sequel you will absolutely love this one! Highly Recommended!!!!!!!!! EYE CANDY GALORE!

Acolytes
Acolytes(2011)

An gritty, intense, psychological/thriller that was harsh and surprisingly not that bad at all. I thought the filming was beautifully raw and atmospheric and is the film's best quality. The acting wasn't amazing but it wasn't half bad either and was naturalistic, the serial killer in it definitely sent shivers down my spine. The ending was pretty haunting and was nailbiting and was pretty bloody but a little rushed, though I didn't mind it much because the first half was a pretty slow build up and to me it just didn't have a strong enough story or script. Overall I still recommend you to give it a chance if you happen to stumble upon it because it actually is pretty decent considering its flaws. Not a must see though.

The King's Speech

Did it deserve best picture? Not really and I still think that should of went to 127 Hours but Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush give fantastic performances that made the movie worthwhile. The movie to me was overlong and slow moving and it just didn't make me excited or jump up and down when the main character overcomes obstacles I mean you root for him the whole way through and it was an fascinating story to be told but I was just underwhelmed by the movie itself. To me it's just an decent but yet another overrated best picture award winner. Overall it's not a must see but for the story and performances alone I recommend it. Rental. More of a 2.5 out of 5 stars.

Scar
Scar(2007)
½

Not as bad as reviews make it out to be and there is plenty of gory and relentless sadistic bits for gorehounds but it's pretty much just a pointless film on the never ending torture porn train. The acting wasn't amazing but it was actually pretty decent for this type of film with characters you feel for but at the same time weren't developed enough for them to be vital with Angela Bettis being subtle but effective as always and I was pretty impressed with Kirby Bliss Blanton and man does the camera love her. The atmosphere was spooky and bleak and made the perfect setting and I also kind of liked the different shades of colors when it did flashbacks to the present and just adds to the devilish mood. The movie was actually quite suspenseful as I didn't quite figure out who the killer was until the end and was kind of unsuspecting but the movie lacked terror and true scares and was just too vile and bloody mostly but I do give them kudos for trying new ways gross the audience out and turn stomachs. Overall it's not really near a solid horror film but as yet another torture porn movie it's not half as bad as I heard. Rental. More of a 2.5 stars out of 5 stars.

Water for Elephants

While I definitely think that this film adaptation of the bestselling book Water For Elephants was miscast and lacked sparking one on one chemistry between the leads it still was a magical, touching and intriguing piece of a love triangle caught in the middle of circus life. It's the kind of old fashioned storytelling that is rare to see these days and a enriching story that will keep you involved and caring about the characters and the female elephant was amazing and charming unlike any elephant I've seen in a movie before, she stole a lot of scenes. Robert Pattinson was actually not that bad as I was expecting but was a little too gentle and weak and mismatched with a stronger personality like A-lister Reese Witherspoon and just should chose someone not as well known and unsuspecting even with Robert but they made it work most of the time so it wasn't complete rubbish. Christoph Waltz is great as the bad guy once again but ever since Inglourious Basterds you cant really sympathize with his character even if they tried and from here on he might just get type casted in every movie he is in but does play a great bad guy so that's fine by me. Hal Holbrook is the actor that stood out the most to me as the elder Jacob telling the story of how he ended up working for a traveling circus and how he met the love of his life Marlena who is a performer at the circus which reminded me of the telling of Titanic or The Notebook but not as heart wrenching and definitely not as great as Titanic or memorable as The Notebook but it was more fascinating than The Notebook when it comes to setting and outcome. Overall it won't go down as a classic love story like the ones mentioned above but it is a rare treat with likable but miscast leads and an elephant that will touch your heart, not fantastic but I still recommend it for its charm.

Beneath the Dark

Now here is a different and intriguing psychological thriller that's more keen on delivering an novel story and suspense than anyhting else. The film opens with a couple played by Jamie-Lynn Sigler and Josh Stewart who give modest performances on a road trip to a wedding who get into a minor crash and decide to stop at a motel to get some rest then strange things start to happen that unlocks dark secrets within themselves. The movie is never scary, action packed or thrilling but it was unsettling, creepy, atmospheric and suspenseful like putting togething a puzzle or trying to solve a mystery novel before your done reading it and it's definitely different from the norm but at the same time it treads familiar territory. The movie starts out like Vacancy then changes to a Twilight Zone episode then a little bit of Passengers and Flatliners but enough creativeness to stand on it's own. The movie has a very slow pace and the beginning was confusing until you figure out what is going and how the stories and characters are connected. I really liked the ending because something comes good out of the tense, depressing and unsettling story and I was satisfied with the movie as a whole for the effort and the idea alone, kudos! Overall the look of the movie was simple, direct to dvd like but the story and the outcome is strong enough to recommend at least one veiwing. More of a 2.5 stars out of 5 stars.

Scream 4
Scream 4(2011)
½

The best sequel yet? Not even close and like a character says at the end don't fu!ck with the original and also in this case the trilogy! The opening of this film was almost a complete spoof an insult of itself with horrible acting from two actresses who are Aimee Teegarden and Brittany Robinson who probably got cast because they were hot and that's it and like Sidney says in the original classic they are just some big breasted girls who can't act who always runs up the stairs which they should be going out the front door it's insulting and yes it is indeed. I did kind of like the Kristen Bell and Anna Paquin bit it was entertaining but in a Scary Movie way but they completely under used Lucy Hale and Shenae Grimes who were actually good and believable and likable in their parts and didn't force it but they're not even real characters in the actual film oops did that just slip out, who cares. The film reintroduces us to the main characters Sidney Prescott, Dewey Riley and now Gale Weathers Riley but took a little bit too much time I mean tell us something we don't already know people but Courtney Cox brings her A game and is the highlight of that bunch David not so much and Neve just looks bored and I don't blame her! The new characters were ok Emma Roberts surprised me here and she goes bat shit crazy never seen that side of her it was entertaining to an extent but I really liked Hayden Panettiere as closet film geek Kirby that naming all the remakes bit was priceless and kind of sad because of the state of horror movies now, Marielle Jaffe as Olivia was good eye candy but the rest are not worth mentioning. The kills are bloodier but not really inventive and where were the suspense and chase scenes when you wanted them it's just ghostface shows up and you die that's it and some of them were cheesy like one victim saying "fuck Bruce Willis" after being stabbed in the head, lame but the parking garage part with Sidney's publicist was great! The reveal of the killer or killers was a bit shocking but in a bad way and wasn't convincing at all and the hospital scene was just hysterical in a Black Christmas remake type of way, too silly like one character says, you're right again! I just can't believe how bad this movie ended up being for me I mean this is Wes and Kevin's worst collaboration since the god awful Cursed maybe this was heavily cut too because some sites say that it's 1 hour and 43 minutes while others say 1 hour and 53 minutes or something maybe I saw the bad cut but I bet both are just as bad. This movie poked to much fun at itself that it pretty much becomes a sad and pathetic parody of itself and that pisses be off because I love the Scream series and people are saying that it's better than the third one not really maybe darker but that's it and I know it's Wes Craven's film so he can do what he wants with them but why would you shoot yourself in the foot like that and butcher your own series it's almost like an cop out in a way and you offically need to retire now because this aint no New Nightmare and you lost my faith and your touch it was great while it lasted. Kevin Williamson still kind of has the witty edge still when it comes to writing and I like how they were hating on remakes and reboots and technology in general how anyone can get famous off sites like youtube ect. but it shows that the other writer from Scream 3 did some rewrites for sure and that's probably when the cheesieness came in and it had a fair share of those. Another thing I want to say is that some parts from the previews weren't show in the actual film or the picture shown below and that's probably why because it was cut and edited for the worst what a shame and false advertisement. Overall the worst sequel of the bunch and I'm a avid fan of the series but they completely missed the mark with this one and it's an embarassment and sad state for the series that once was hip, innovative, suspenseful, scary, fun, witty but it's just a tired old joke now unfortunately and for peeps sakes no more Screams after this one, you guys did enough damage already. Not recommended!!!! 30% OUT OF 100%

Rabbit Hole
Rabbit Hole(2010)
½

This film about loss and grief and the different ways people deal with it will touch you to the core with its human emotions as well as entertain you surprisingly. The acting in this was fantastic Nicole Kidman, Aaron Eckhart and Miles Teller all deserve to get awards for their performances that were moving and very real that moved me close to tears which is rare, so kudos to them they were great. The film's insights were enlightening and makes you think and feel and I love how the ending played out which gives you alot of hope for the characters. The movie is sad but there were a couple of humorous moments that made me laugh which balanced the depressing parts out well so it wasn't a huge melodramatic film which like I said the film is filled with hope. Overall it's pretty similar to another movie about loss and amends The Greatest but this film is a tad deeper and I liked it a tad more and it's great to find a great indie gem like this one because they're always better than the overly produced crud that gets released to theaters way too often than intelligent movies like this one. Highly recommended! More of a 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Duma
Duma(2005)

A great family film about an orphaned cheetah and a brave and courageous boy Xan who takes him in a raises it and goes on an incredible, thrilling journey to bring him back to the wild. For his first movie I think that young actor Alexander Michaeletos is a natural in front of the camera and has tremendous chemistry with the cheetah making the fantastic story all the more real, effective and touching. I haven't seen a family film this intelligent and brave in a long time and I'm shocked that this didn't get a wide theatrical release because it pure quality of a picture with amazing south africa landscapes that would of been great to see on the big screen. This inspiring, emotionally involving journey has so much charm, loyalty, free spirit, adventure, intellect, wonder that any age will enjoy it and I can't believe how well trained these animals are in this movie it's astonishing. Overall if you like the movie Born Free you will absolutely love this diamond in the rough family adventure rare gem. Highly recommended.

Hanna
Hanna(2011)

Well I do think the action/fight scenes are bad @ss and intense and the acting is superb especially from Saoirse Ronan as well from Cate Blanchett but the story was kind of a mess a distant. It is visually, stylistically, mood, atmosphere solid and it has this energy and menance about that makes it stand out among other revenge/assassin thrillers and it has a unique direction that reminds me of some Quentin Tarantino movie, it's pure entertainment. The thing that didn't have me jump up and down for it was that it wasn't really emotionally involving story and character wise which made it cold and distant with no one to really root for and get excited about, it's just very grim throughout which made it not as fun as I would of like it to be but not saying that it's not entertaining watching a young girl kicking some major @ss because it is. The ending was pretty good but didn't seem like a complete conclusion and there were some unanswered questions but what a different and wild ride but it just could of had a stronger more concrete story and characters to go along with the goods. Overall I'm not going to say that I'm disappointed with the film because I'm not it just could have been greater or even a classic but it ended up more grindhouse with strong acting. I'm not going to take this away from it to describe it though and it's bad @ss! See it if you like movies like Salt just not nearly as fun or a must see.

Insidious
Insidious(2011)

What started off strong and terrifying and a good old fashioned less is more ghost story in the likes of Poltergeist and The Haunting quickly goes off in a different and unnecessary path. The acting was solid from everyone involved especially from Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne and Lin Shaye who were believable in their roles even though the story sometimes played against them. The creepy piano music and heart pounding creeks, slamming doors, thumps and haunting imagery drive the movie in the beginning and had me on the edge of my seat in fear and that's what was impressive in the first act. The cons were in the second and last acts where things got a little over the top and goofy especially when some of the demons were revealed and some of them looked like they were ripped from a comic book and that took every ounce of fear and suspense from the movie. They brought too many ideas to the table to be different from the normal haunted house flick that they forgot to focus on the most important thing consistently through the movie and that is genuine scares which it had in the beginning and chilling suspense, it became an unfortunate mess. That is when it becomes more like Dead Silence, Ghostbusters, The Frightening, The Haunted Mansion and Drag Me To Hell and House than a true horror film it was uneven and I didn't like the ending that much either, the movie surprisingly became flat. Overall much like the directors earlier film Saw it had so much potential as a whole to be a terrifying horror movie but just fell apart and ended up disappointing me as a whole but this film is better and he is learning and it was a somewhat unique viewing experience but in the end it rubbed me the wrong way, better luck next time. Wait for dvd and turn the lights out on a stormy night. More of a 2.5 out of 5 stars.

Morning Glory

This showbiz comedy has magnetic energy that is felt the whole way through with an undeniable irresistable, shinning and winning performance from Rachel McAdams which is her best to date. The supporting cast were hysterical and fantastic with Harrison Ford and Diane Keaton at the top of their game as well as an solid soundtrack that is perfect for this movie. Sure the story has been done before in movies such as The Devil Wears Prada, Little Black Book, Working Girl, Broadcast News ect. I could go on and on but it hasn't been this much fun and entertaining. The conclusion was as expected and it could have gone further and deeper with the story but I enjoyed it alot and thought it was charming, smart, funny, fast paced and highly entertaining. Overall it didn't bring anything new to the genre but what it brought was very appealing, warm hearted, amusing and will inspire most to never give up no matter how many hurdles you may face. Recommended!! 3.5 stars out of 5 stars.

Source Code
Source Code(2011)
½

In the likes of Minority Report and the most recent sci-fi thriller The Ajustment Bureau which it's most like when it comes to human connection, story and characters which it's mostly driven by than action and CGI. I thought Jake Gyllenhaal and Michelle Monaghan had enormous chemistry and were very likable and worth caring about and Vera Farmiga is good as always as the communications specialist and is always belivable in every role she takes. The film is complex but in a good way and is very involving making you think the whole way through as though you are right there with him solving the puzzle and it never insults your intelligence. The ending was kind of surprising and complicated but never really confusing because it just made sense to me and I'm glad it ended that way, it was very satisfying to me but it kind of left the door open because to me it didn't come off as a complete conclusion but who knows maybe it was. Overall it was a very genuine hollywood sci-fi thriler that you walk away very pleased which is rare these days an very smart, well crafted movie. Highly recommended! 3.5 stars out of 5 stars.

Made in Dagenham

An amazing, inspirational true story of how one woman changed the workforce and the lives of every woman. I thought it was well acted but the heavy brit accents treaded on the mumbling side but well acted non the less. The story is familiar kind of like the movie Norma Rae with it's heart and soul in the right place but it just wasn't as memorable to me. This movie kind of had a slow pace so it was kind of hard getting into it at first but once the social political side kicks in it's hard hitting, entertaining and sharp making the whole viewing experience worthwhile. Overall that's all what it takes is one voice, one human being to stand up for what is right and for everyones rights and just for that she made a change in the world for the better, it's absolutely gratifying to see a true story like that. Recommended!

Donkey Punch
Donkey Punch(2008)

An tense, chaotic, brutal, sexy but sometimes too sexy and slickly, stylishly made thriller in the likes of The Ferryman without the supernatural undertones, Dead Calm without the story or scares and Very Bad Things without the humor. In the beginning it felt like I was watching a hip music video or some Laguna Beach episode and it treads almost into porn territory with its full frontal nudity and pretty long sex scene and if you read the title of the movie you know what's going to happen in that scene. After a freak accident on a beautiful yacht all hell breaks loose on how differently they try to handle the scary situation and the blood starts to flow. The acting was decent but not great and it was sometimes hard to understand what they are saying with their strong british accents and it's funny because on a SNL episode they make fun of how hard it is to understand what people are saying in british films sometimes and it's absolutly true. It doesn't have much of a strong story and the lack of character developement it was hard to care what happened to anyone but the brutal, graphic kills and the intensity makes up for that as well as the scenery. It has a pretty shocking ending that was haunting and effective. Overall it wasn't completely original and the characters were bland and thin but I can see that an effort to bring a new twist and spin on thrillers of this kind was brought to the table and I think it accomplished what it set out to do for the most part and for a movie called Donkey Punch it wasn't half bad. Rent it for a boring night at home.

Vertige (High Lane)

This is to me a much better companion piece to The Descent than The Descent: Part 2. The acting was ok for the most part and the story though blurry and unoriginal kept me interested and on the edge of my seat. The stunning scenery and heart pounding rock climbing scenes alone drive this otherwise typical survival/thriller to new heights and the bridge scene was absolutely terrifying. This film is like Cold Prey for rock climbers which this film is also very similar to but what brings the film down was lack of originality, true scares, cleverness, underdeveloped characters and a weak finale and for a movie like this it was pretty dry. I'm still not tired of these type of survival horror movies and I still have hope that one day a movie like this will come along and surpass the original The Descent but for now I'm fine with this. Overall it has a memorable first half of nail biting rock climbing scenes than it treads into familiar horror territory with a weak version of Hatchet's Victor Crowley and it ends with unfilled plot holes and you think to yourself that this movie could of had a much better and fresh second half but it didn't and it will get eventually lost in the shuffle but it was decent while it last. Rental.

Battle: Los Angeles

While it didn't meet my expectations and the theme is becoming tiresome it still was an overall entertaining, tense, chaotic and relentless action but disheartening moviegoing experience. This is more on how the military would handle the end of the world and if aliens try to take over than civilians perspective and survival like in Independence Day and 2012 which are two more enjoyable films. This movie is more bleak and a harshly more realistic outcome than some sweet hollywood ending, this one is rough and tough. The acting was great in this with a standout performance from Aaron Eckhart who defenitely carries the film and is a bad@ss action star in this and he should be in more movies like this. The special effects are very amazing in this but reminded me of Terminator: Salvation but it really didn't bother me but they could of done it better and more uniquely or at least creepy. The thing that bothered me was that it never really showed the attacks on the cities just briefly on the news they showed on t.v. screens in the movie so it never had an indepth look on the attacks just after the fact. It also left no room for suspense it just got right into the action and the battle that it became mostly predictable and at almost 2 hours it was nonstop explotions and loud noises that your ears may be ringing at the end of it. The story was also kind of flat and familiar and wasn't strong enough to be memorable and it had so much potential to be better than it ended up being and it could of been the next Independence Day or even better than that but fell short disappointingly. Overall it was disappointing but thankfully not as bad as it could have been thanks to a stellar center performance and effects and makes up for a good popcorn flick but unfortunately not a must see. Rent it!

The Adjustment Bureau

The was a really neat, suspenseful, refreshing, entertaining, mesmerizing and thought provoking sci-fi/fantasy thriller. The chemistry between Matt Damon and the lovely Emily Blunt was pitch perfect and will swept you away in their romantic journey and overcoming obsticles to be together which is old fashioned but in a good way. This movie kind of has a similar theme as Inception but the way they executed it will have you thinking about it long after it's over than just being confused of it all and has a much warmer demeanor than Inception as well and you relate to the characters more and the only thing Inception has on it is in the effects department but this movie is way more inspiring and imaginative. To me this is definitely the best movie so far this year and it might as well be the stand out film of 2011 but we will just have to see. Overall this was an intelligent, nifty, romantic, thrilling, unique, classy, complex but in a good way and one that entices the mind and a memorable one at that which comes once in a blue moon and I highly recommend it. Go see it!

Salt
Salt(2010)

This is one bad @ss, sexy, twists filled, action packed, fast paced, clever spy thriller that one dreams and hopes for. Angelina Jolie never looked so good kicking butt and this is almost as good as Wanted but more menacing. The chase scenes, the explosions, the suspense will have you glue to the edge of your seat with your seat say wow did that just happened. This is one rollercoaster ride of of movie and when you think it's over it keeps going kind of like the Mission Impossible movies and this movie will blind side you with its unrelenting pulse pounding action that any dieheart action fan will absolutely love. This movie is not for the faint of heart and there is no happy ever after but man this is what great action movies are made of, balls to the wall. Overall while not totally original it has a backbone and a unrelentless to it that leaves nothing to be desired because it gives you everything you want in a action/thriller and then some and I highly recommend it. Buy this one!

Cedar Rapids
Cedar Rapids(2011)

An goofy, big hearted, wonderfully casted independent comedy about a small town insurance salesman who heads out to Cedar Rapids where the real world meets him head on. I had high hopes for this comedy that has a dream team of actors and had a couple of really funny scenes but it just didn't go beyond that point and I found a lot of gaps between the movie where I didn't laugh at all and it headed towards dramedy way too many times where it felt uneven when it came to laughs. It seems that they're are a lot of independent comedies as of late that try to achieve the greatness of movies like Juno, Office Space or The Hangover but fall short, the same thing happened to Due Date and Extract it's becoming tiresome. I thought everyone did a great job and had their funny moments but the star of the show is the hilarious John C. Reilly he was a riot! Overall this was a feel good comedy that could of been much funnier than it was and for that I'm disappointed with it because it wasn't consistent but it was a decent and enjoyable time waster but if you are going to see it wait for dvd or matinee. More of a 2.5 out of 5 stars.

Welcome to the Rileys

This is the type of movie that shows Kristen Stewart's true raw talent that's pretty much nonexistent in the lousy Twilight films and this is the type of indie drama that she to me was born to do in this industry, this is her best performance to date. The film follows two grieving parents Doug and Lois performed solidly by James Gandolfini and Melissa Leo, that lost their only child in a horrific car crash and the aftermath leaves their marriage in ruins and the wife now never leaves the home and the father ends up cheating until he meets a young runaway/stripper Mallory played by Kristen Stewart. He descides to live with her in her run down new orleans home to take care of her and fix up her place to make it livable as though it was his own daughter. The wife cant bare the isolation any longer and descides to take a road trip to meet her husband in new orleans and is shocked to learn he is living with a 16 year old stripper. She calms herself learning that he didn't sleep with her and soon finds herself taking care of her as well like it was also her daughter and the situation brings her and her husband closer together again. The film was an very engaging and moving and sometimes tough viewing experience and a slice of how harsh life can get and the struggles and obstacles that is brings you and it's only the way you handle them that makes you a stronger and better person. The ending was the only problem I had with the film because it just didn't feel complete or climatic but it was a sweet ending because it seems that Mallory cleaned herself up and the parents seemed to move on and be happy again but it just didn't finalized anything but it was good while it lasted but it just could of had a better and much clearer conclusion. Rental.

I Spit On Your Grave

There are few movies out there that make me sick to my stomach and this is for sure one of them. As far as remakes go this just doesnt cut it, sure it ups the ante as far as vicious, gory violence goes but this was just too much with no suspense and no logic for it to be necessary or to exist. The Last House One The Left remake was far better than this, it has better performances, better suspense and a much better payoff than this nasty little thriller. I do admit that I liked the original I Spit On Your Grave because it was a gem of a rape/revenge thriller with a memorable female performance from Camille Keaton but this female lead Sara Butler was somewhat less believable in the performance. The rapist in this one were less menacing and more annoying than in the original but man did they get it bad in this one, Im still shocked and shivering. The atmosphere is almost exactly the same which is a good thing because it has this raw, isolated and very eerie look to it which makes the scenario all the more effective and Im glad they cut down but not by much of the rape scenes but still just as sadistic and senseless. I didnt like the new ending at all because it just ended and I would of like more of a aftermath and yes thats how the first one ended like when it comes to abrupt but it was less effective and haunting this time, the movie is just pointless to me and it seems like it was just made for the gore scenes and even at that its unmemorable and tasteless. Overall if you thought that the first one was a hard sit wait until you see this stomach turning but thats all its good for thriller, other than that I cant find anything to recommend about this unnecessary remake. Not worth your time unless you like torture films which Im growing tired of. Next! More of a 2.5 out of 5 stars.

Monsters
Monsters(2010)
½

More of a character, adventure, survival piece than your average creature feature but one that's ambitious, intelligent, suspenseful and magical. It was pretty slow moving but it has a good build up and the filming and effects looked like a million bucks considering its low budget and two likable leads. To me this is much better than the other similar film District 9 because it was more involving and more believable and this one I didn't beg it to end because it got better and better with each minute and you relate with the two leads and root for them and when it does end you want more of it. The monsters were astonishing considering the budget and were haunting and at the same time gave you the chills, brilliant filmmaking that brought thrills to this movie. It didn't have much of a original story but the way they delivered it was effective and relatable but the one thing that disappointed me was the abrupt ending that makes me crave for a sequel which I hope they bring in the near future. Overall it didn't exceed my expectations but it didn't go below them and it has this certain quality, charm and drive in it that you rarely see in these type of movies and I give it extra credit for that, well done! Recommended! More of a 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Ondine
Ondine(2010)

An mystic, mesmerizing, realistic fairytale set in the beautiful and breathtaking Ireland. Its about an recovering alcoholic fisherman (Colin Ferrell) who catches an mysterious woman who calls herself Ondine (Alicja Bachleda) who soon forms a romantic bond with him and affects his life and people close to him but she bares a mysterious secret. The acting was charming from the three leads and full of chemistry and charm and Alicja Bachleda gives an enchanting performance as Ondine. This movie moves at a slow but steady pace and is story and character driven and is more of a real life, modern fairytale than a pure fantasy but at the same time it's dreamlike and captivating and enriching. Towards the end it gets a little too dark that it somewhat sucks the blissfulness of the movie but it does have that happy ever after. Overall it was an very pleasant viewing experience and nothing too deep or complex just simply fresh and devine like an ocean breeze, an old fashioned romantic, fantastical, drama but not a must see but I will recommend it if you like these type of movies.

Black Death
Black Death(2011)

One of the most compelling, chilling, suspenseful and suffocatingly tense medieval/thriller I have seen ever, pure macabre! Set during the Bubonic Plague's first stages comes a group of men including Ulrich (Sean Bean) and Osmund (Eddie Redmayne) who wisely set out on a task to find necromancer a woman who may or may not have ties to satan. The acting comes from subtle but incredible force and intensity that makes you glue to your seat on the edge and when the violence comes it's not over the top but very graphic and realistic so squeamish beware! The movie is very grim from start to finish and never lets up and you never know where the story is going to take you and it was refreshingly but harshly bleak, the creepy, nightmarish atmosphere makes sure of that and caps it off. When the story makes a fictional turn I was a bit disappointed because in the beginning it was more raw, intriguing and historic but the twist of that turn was very chilling and unsuspecting. Towards the end it gets unbearably dark and horrific and one character makes a turn for the devastating worst, what a shocking depressing conclusion. Overall it was an impressing entry to the genre and one that I wont soon forget about the world's darkest times. Highly recommended!

The Roommate
The Roommate(2011)

What a virgin of a stalker/thriller! The movie didn't do anything right and was a rehash of movies like Single White Female in the worse possible way, it showed nothing at all, it was all done off screen and not in a good way! It has more in common with the other bismal offering from screen gems Obsessed and crazy stalker drama from One Tree Hill than anything that deserves to be released on the big screen. It has a lot of plot holes too that didn't get filled and had no real motives to why she does what she does, was she just born a sociopath or was there some deeper meaning? It gave me nothing. The acting sucked but was expected and the director chickened out on giving the villain more crazier and horrific things to do and if he did it didn't show it and it's funny because in one scene Leighton Meester's character Rebecca calls this one supposed victim a pussy for running off and that is exactly what this movie is a pussy for not doing more. A creepy thriller atmosphere is nonexistent and once again screen gems has another turd on their hands and like they say to singers that they are tone deaf this studio is story, thrills, bold, character, atmosphere, scares and anything that remotely has entertainment value, DEAF!!! Overall I was expecting the worst but wasn't the worst it was just half @ssed, safe, ordinary, unoriginal, watered down pile of lightweight junk! Not recommended! Don't waste your money like I did. More of a 1.5 out of 5 stars.

The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard
½

This is what I call a good raunchy comedy that brings the goods! Man was this hilarious from start to finish about a failing car dealership that desperately seeks help from expert salesmen and that brings Don Ready (Jeremy Piven) and his dysfunctional team. There were a lot of great cameos in the film including Will Ferrell that were hysterical in there roles, I was laughing out loud more than once and I haven't laughed that hard at an comedy in quite awhile and it felt good but there are a lot of one liners in the movie so pay attention because they're freaking hilarious. This movie has the same over the top and unbelievable humor in it as the films like The Stepbrothers, Cadillac Man, Harold & Kumar and Hot Tub Time Machine so get ready to laugh. This movie didn't get a lot of great reviews so I kind of avoided it for awhile but now I regret doing that because this is the funniest comedy I've seen in a long time and it is balls to the wall entertainment that doesn't hold back and I dig comedies like that, sure it doesn't bring anything new to reinvent the comedy genre but who cares the movie doesn't try to do that and it knows what it is and it's a comedy that deserves to be called a comedy plain and simple. Overall I had a blast watching this movie and was consistently funny and I might as well buy this film that's how much I like it which I don't say that much about films because I'm not much of a rewatcher or buyer but that's how much I like this movie and I recommend it if you want a good laugh. More of a 4.5 out of 5 stars.

The Way Back
The Way Back(2011)

An enduring, courageous well filmed and emotionally committed performances drive this slow moving journey into a touching and inspiring one. The thing that I couldn't truly invest in was the underdeveloped characters, it was sad when some of them perished but I couldn't connect to them as a whole but they seemed humanly as a whole as the all wanted freedom in someway or another from the war and that was the only connection I had with them and I felt like I was there with them in that harrowing and exhausting journey to eternal haven. The raw scenery was haunting, majestic, awe inspiring and at the same time grim but definitely unforgettable. The performances were all great but no one really stood out for me they all kind of blended in to me but were all pretty interesting but I just wished I learned more about their characters for me to care about them more but definitely good just not memorable. Most of the movie is them walking and falling like flies so it doesn't have much action or thrills and it take a whole lot of patience but the amazing true story is what makes me have all lot of admiration for it and the ending was very emotional and cheerful but the very last part with the guy and his wife I just couldn't completely make it out if it was real or his imagination again. Overall if you like movies like Alive,Red Dawn and Defiance you'll probably should take this long journey but go in with all lot of patience and no expectations and see where it will take you. Rental. More of a 65% out of 100%

Nowhere Boy
Nowhere Boy(2010)
½

An emotionally involving, superbly acted and intelligent biopic about mega music legend John Lennon's younger years. Though I was quite disappointed that it wasn't a full biography about his life and the fact that it didn't play any of The Beatles greatest hits I was still very pleased and touched by his early story and his motivation to be a rock star. The movie was fascinating and kept my full attention and I was very impressed with the performances especially from Aaron Johnson as John Lennon who was nothing short from brilliant, what a breakout performance that I'm shocked that this movie didn't get much award nominations. There were many sad points to the story dealing with his upbringing and his mother that is truly heartbreaking and even more sad that this talented musician's life was taken from him too soon from a mad gunman, it's disheartening. Hopefully in the future they will make a good biopic about the band itself because although this one is very impressive it left me wanting more. Overall it was a solid coming of age story and a brief introduction into John Lennon's early life that will mostly put tears to your eyes than to sing and dance. See it, definitely deserves one viewing. More of a 75% OUT OF 100%

Animal Kingdom

It was gritty, disturbing, captivating, well performed with a hard hitting crime story. I thought that it moved at a pretty slow pace that introduces us to a 17 year old boy whose mother overdosed and soon finds himself no chose but to be drawn to the criminal family his deceased mother was trying so hard to keep him away from. The criminal family soon finds themselves in hot water as crooked cops go after them one by one and doesn't trust anyone even their nephew and they do whatever it takes to hush people even if it means killing them. There were pretty brutal killings in this movie but there were pretty spread out and the suspense builds slowly like boiling water or like a tea kettle and towards the shocking ending you're on the edge of your seat. The most memorable performance will have to be from Ben Mendelsohn who plays an hauntingly dark and strange character with ease as Andrew Pope Cody and as well as Jacki Weaver who plays the happy go lucky weirdo and psychotic mother and grandmother Janine Cody who would do anything for her boys, man she was oblivious from right and wrong. Overall it wasn't the best crime movie I've ever seen but it was hard hitting, involving, intriguing and down and dirty gritty just like a crime movie should be but there is just something missing that could of made it a classic, maybe it was the pace I don't know but it made a interesting and somewhat harrowing watch. Rent it but not a must see in my books. A 6.5% out of 100%

The Social Network

I was really wrong about this movie. It is hands down the most enlightening, absorbing, fascinating, timely, intelligent and provocative film of 2010. The cast was so talented and believable in their roles and the writing brilliant and the direction slick and relevant supported by mood/atmosphere and musical beats and notes that helped tell and amazingly crazy and brilliant true story of a young harvard college student Mark Zuckerberg who launched an internet landmark facebook out of basically a hunch. Jesse Eisenberg played a mad genious perfectively and it's no wonder why he got nominated and the supporting cast was great and ideal but man after learning about this guy through this movie he was a genious but not a good person in nature it seems as he kind of used people and berated them but he is a tech wizard. The pacing was kind of an issue for me as there was alot fast talking through most of the film but it kept me interested and engulfed in its story so I let those flaws slide especially at the end when you find out the aftermath of it all it was amazing. Overall does it deserve all of those awards yes certainly because it's an powerful movie for our times but it really wasn't my favorite of 2010 but it definitely deserves best picture at this coming oscars which it will probably recieve and there is no agruement to me about that. It makes you think long after it's over like I wonder how other stuff like facebook was created and launched? See it! Recommended!

Buried
Buried(2010)

Okay what the fu!k kind of ending was that!!!! Ryan Reynolds was terrific as a one man show about a truck driver that wakes up and finds himself buried in a wooden coffin with tools for instance a cell phone which he desperately communicates with the outside world and finds out some type of group put him there for ransome. It is claustrophobia at it's most terrifying and there are tons of edge of your seat moments with little time to breathe, it doesn't let you go, it's unrelenting tension and suspense. I know what kind of movie I was getting myself into but I kind of lost my patience with it when it just took place in one area and it could of bounced back and forth between the coffin and the outside world a little bit to speed up the pace and action. What makes me most frustrated with this film is that towards the end it manipulates and teases you with conclutions and it pissed me off, why would we want that in a movie that we paid for? Overall it was a fine performance from the one man show actor and it was suspenseful and intense but I can see why it didn't get much of a wide release in theaters because it was pretty much in the end a pointless exercise of survival that could of been so much better as a whole but wasn't and I'm extremely disappointed with it. Don't waste your precious time on this one. Not recommended!

The Town
The Town(2010)

Ben Affleck has done it again in whats to is one of the best film of 2010 The Town. This is one of the best esemble cast of the year next to The Fighter, everyone gave it their all. This gritty thriller is pretty dynamic and suspenseful, tense with a few surprises here and there and is the best bank robbery tale Ive seen in a very long time and it could very well become a classic or cult following. Jeremy Renner is an actor to be reckon with and if it wasnt for Christian Bales powerful portrayle in The Fighter he would of walked away with his first oscar, Ben Affleck really impressed me here and he is becoming better and better at his craft with age and I cant wait to here what his next directorial project will be, that dude is talented. There were fantastic car chase and foot chase scenes that with have you grinning from ear to ear and on the edge of your seat and when the violence hits it hits brutally. Overall this is the best crime/thriller of 2010 that Ive seen and if you like heist films youll love this one but the ending was kind of unexpecting but still satisfying, this thriller is near flawless and I highly recommend it! More of a 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Please Give
Please Give(2010)
½

A refreshingly brutally honest indie dramady about relationships and just being completely real with yourself and with other people. This movie cracked me up on how the characters interacted with one another thanks to a smart, hilarious script that's true to form and very entertaining. The cast was great and the direction solid and I don't know why you always have to rely on independent films for brilliance but you do. It didn't resolve some things in the end but I still liked how it ended because it ended on a pleasant note and I enjoyed it alot. Overall if you like movies like Friends With Money and The Kids Are All Right you'll enjoy this little hilarious indie. Highly recommended!!

Give 'em Hell Malone
½

This is one bad @ss crime thriller in the likes of Shoot Em Up, Sin City and Kill Bill. I liked how it mixed classic style and modern style and to me it was almost like an homage to both. It was chaotic throughout with bloody and twisted action scenes, the body count is unrelenting. The acting was as expected for a movie like this but still bad @ss non the less but the guy who played Matchstick was pretty memorable and reminded me of The Joker from The Dark Knight and there were alot of twists and turns that were unsuspecting but story wise it has been there before but this movie is nothing to take seriously its meant for pure fast pace entertainment and it succeeds with flying colors at that and I loved every minute of it and didnt want it to end, I had a blast! Overall the ending obviously hints at a continuation and if you like over the top crime thrillers like the movies mentioned above you will enjoy this and I cant wait for its sequel if there is one I hope. Recommended! More of a 3.5 out of 5 stars.

The Hamiltons
½

An low grade horror film about a psychopathic family of siblings who are stuck to fend for themselves after their parents die. Like another reviewer said it's like Party Of Five but to me it's Party Of Five meets Henry: Portrait Of A Serial Killer and a dash of Let The Right One In but not even close a good. The acting was just pretty weak to me but the story sort of makes up for it and the twist I didn't really see coming and the ending alone makes me want to see a sequel out of this but unfortunately it has more cons than pros. The most disturbing and unsettling scene was when the two twins of the family chase this one girl around the house calling "come here kitty kitty" but the rest was generic direct to dvd material. This is dysfunctional to the extreme and what an depressing viewing but it makes you be thankful that you have an normal family but then again the twist makes you see them in a new twisted light that helps you understand why they do what they do and it was a pretty clever one that will change your perspective of the film quite a bit. Overall it was an messed up movie one that suffers from weak acting and budget and if it had a larger budget and in better hands it could of been pretty darn good but it is what it is and it's more of a dark and violent character study drama that could of been much better. Lets hope that a superior sequel is on its way. Rental. More of a 2.5 out of 5 stars.

The Fighter
The Fighter(2010)

Wow, talk about methodic acting! Everyone deserves an oscar from this movie, well maybe not Mark Wahlberg but he's better than usual but the best performance is from the amazing Christian Bale in a powerful role you'll have to see to believe, great work! The story has been told before but it was gripping and inspirational and has to be the greatest boxing comeback movie since Rocky or Million Dollar Baby that will have you cheering for the underdog. Man some of the people in this movie were so convincing that it looked like they picked them off the street and told them to play themselves especially Mickey's family which has the most entertaining lines in the movie, they were hideous but I got a kick out of them, they were hysterical! The actual boxing matches except the final one weren't all that and it was more interesting and entertaining to see his family life and how he overcame obstacles to get to that final match. Will it win best picture at this coming oscars? Possibly so but I personally think that award should go to 127 Hours but acting and story wise it is the best of 2010 or from the last couple of years, acting doesn't get much better than this and I loved it! Overall it's not as good as the previous mentioned movies above but there is very strong craftmanship here and a underdog comeback story that's worth the price of admission alone and it has a neat little segment that shows the real men that inspired this film. Bravo! Highly recommended!

And Soon the Darkness

I was so pulling for this thriller to be good but in the end it was forgettable. It stars Amber Heard and Odette Yustman who are the two most gorgeous actresses in hollywood right now whose characters go bikepacking through Argentina but of course one goes missing and the other one races against time to find her before she gets killed. This plot has been done to death now like from movies like Turistas, Trade, Shuttle, Wolf Creek you name it but I was just wishing it will do something fresh with it but it doesn't unfortunately. The acting was ok but the standout was Amber Heard which performance wise is her best so far but no one really had a strong script to work with at all and it was just a bunch of wandering around and chase scenes that never gets your heart pumping. It was disappointingly tedious, predictable and plot hole induced and it wasted so much time doing not much of anything but towards the ending it was decent so was the setup but it fell flat big time in most directions. It's unfortunate that Amber Heard and Odette Yustman seem to always pick disappointing or lousy horror or thriller flicks because they always have so much potential but they always let me down with their choices. The ending is what I hate about this movie the most because it was so weak and anticlimatic, lets just say it didn't answer alot of questions. It's a turkey! Overall it wasted talent, beautiful locations and my time and I didn't see the original but if it's better than this movie didn't do it any justice at all. Skip it!

Den du frygter, (Fear Me Not)

Well it was interesting, well performed, nice set up and a decent twist I didn't see coming but it could of taken it to the next level. It's about a father named Michael who is unhappy and decides to take a leave of absence from work and try an experimental drug to help him unwind but has psychotic side effects that threatens his simple, privilege life. This could of been so much more terrifying than it ended being and it seemed like it didn't know what direction to take whether it was a startling psychological/thriller or a deep character driven drama. I thought it was very slow moving but I stuck it out thinking something big was going to happen and when something actually did happen it didn't take it anywhere or to new heights, it just ends. I was thinking to myself when the credits rolled, "what was the point of it all or trying to make"? It didn't explain anything completely and all I got was that he had a bad childhood but they never went into it at all, I hate when movies do that. Overall it was an intriguing movie with fine performances that had so much potential but pretty much fell flat to me and not worth seeking out and wasting time one but hopefully the semi similar upcoming movie Limitless will be more thrilling and stronger than this one. Skip it. What a waste!

Winter's Bone
½

One of the most engrossing, grueling, tense, well acted, gritty drama of 2010 that has a raw and cold atmosphere to boot that fit it perfectly. To me this is definitely a little bit overrated but newcomer Jennifer Lawrence gives an effortless, natural performance that's deserving of an nomination because she hits it out of the ballpark just like newcomer Hailee Steinfeld did for True Grit, it's memorable. This movie is pretty depressing from start to finish but I loved the simple and hopeful ending but what a harsh movie because believe it or not there are people that live like that in America and are struggling like that and it's just haunting. Ree Dolly played by Jennifer is on the hunt for her drug dealing father who fails to show up at a court pealing and has her and her siblings struggling to survive and meets some ugly, untrusting people along the way that threatens her safty if she rats them out. This movie is kind of like a slowly ticking timebomb as struggles against time to find her father that might or might not be dead and to keep her home or get kicked out in the wilderness. It has a pretty harrowing finale that will keep you one the edge of your seat. Overall not the best film of the year but one of the very strongest and watch it for Jennifer Lawrence alone. Recommended!

True Grit
True Grit(2010)
½

Yet another great, hugely entertaining, suspenseful, thrilling, memorable, witty and a potential best picture at this coming oscars from the Coen brothers. All four of the leads give riveting performances and I was especially impressed with Matt Damon and Hailee Steinfeld who already at a young age is nothing short of a revelation and at her first starring role already gives her star making and breathrough role, I hope to see great things from her in the future. I haven't seen the original classic starring the great John Wayne but if it's anything like this one I will have to track it down and watch it and compare the two. This has to be the best revenge western movies I've seen in years or at all and makes me want to see even more on the big screen which we don't see much of them or at all these days and makes me want to rent more of them because after this one I am a fan! This is kind of similar to another recent great western thriller and also a remake 3:10 To Yuma starring Russell Crowe and Christian Bale but this one seems more like a real classic one but both are just as good and bad @ss. This is more of a character piece than the nonstop action western you'll expect but there are plenty of edge of your seat goodness but that left room to get to know all the characters well and care about them greatly and when the ending hits it's shattering and unsuspecting and slightly unfufilling but in the revenge western sense they got the job done. Overall it's one of the best films you'll see in 2010 and will probably be in most of your dvd collections in years to come. Highly recommended! More or a 4.5 stars out of 5. See it ASAP!

The Greatest
The Greatest(2010)

I'm very surprised that this wonderful film about grieving, loss, life and amends didn't get much if any awards, it deserves way better recognition than that. There was some subperb performances from all of the leads that deserved nominations and Carey Mulligan is much better in this film than the overrated An Education because I was beginning to think that she was an overrated actress but she proved me wrong here. Pierce Brosnan and Susan Surandon gave emotional demanding performances and are at the top of their game most notably Brosnan. The story will definitely tug at your heartstrings throughout because it is devastating and you relate to it someway or another and it hits you hard emotionally like it did for me especially if you lost someone that is close to you. It's a shame that it didn't get much of a wide release in theaters or get strong critical reviews because it's a movie that deserves to be seen and appreciated. Overall it's like How To Be meets Juno meets Where The Heart Is but with a stronger more dramatic emotional punch and I strongly recommend it. More of a 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Tangled
Tangled(2010)

A very fun, enchanting, witty and entertaining take on the Rapunzel tale that's sure to put a smile on your face the whole way through. It's old fashioned but at the same time it's up to date and the effects though nothing fantastic was beautiful to look at and it would of been even better in 3D maybe but I'm just not willing to pay 12 bucks to see a movie especially if rowdy brats ruin the movie for you , I mean no movie now or probably in the future is good enough for me to pay that rate and I was even hesitant to pay 10.50 because I usually go in the mornings when it's cheaper, it's just not worth it most of the times. The movie could of done without the musical bits because it just didn't need it at all and they weren't even good anyways but at least there were very few of them. The two animated leads has to be the best looking pair in an animated film to ever grace the screen, their expressions and chemistry were so lifelike that you sometimes forget you are watching an animation, they bring so much life to the movie. The villain was pretty good but nothing we haven't seen before but the last bit with her was pretty memorable and you got to love the horse and the camillian/frog which are the funniest characters in this entire movie, they were hysterical. Overall it was charming, pleasant, funny, entertaining and makes you get lost in their fantasy/adventure and towards the end it will touch your heart but after a few years you will probably forget it unfortunately and it has nothing on How To Train Your Dragon and Toy Story 3 and it's just not as funny as Shrek to have memorable staying power. Cute and sweet but wait for dvd.

Going the Distance
½

It's like 500 Days Of Summer with more ranchy scenes and laughs and without the bittersweet ending. Drew Barrymore and Justin Long are at their top rom/com game and have enormous chemistry and they just seem right for eachother on and off the screen. The supporting cast was hysterically funny and almost every scene they were in made me laugh most notably Christina Applegate, Jason Sudeikis and Charlie Day. The movie was more realistic and humane when it came to relationships than what most rom/coms hollywood spits out the machine have, you related to them and rooted for them all the way. Overall the movie has appeal, it was witty, smart, charming, laugh out loud, relatable, spirited and happy ever after, what more do you want? It's not groundbreaking but it takes the romantic/comedies in the right direction. Recommended!

Black Swan
Black Swan(2010)
½

Natalie Portman gives an oscar worthy performance of her career as tortured Nina Sayers who obsessively strives for the lead role in the ballet Swan Lake, I think though it's still not the best we are going to see from Natalie Portman but it's a huge stepping stone in her career. This movie is so relentlessly dark, intense, suspenseful and vicious that it hardly lets up for you to breath and man is it a haunting and sad tale of paranoia, ones fears and dark secrets and obsession for perfection and I think the last lines was "I was perfect". The supporting cast was also really strong most notably Vincent Cassel, Barbara Hershey and Winona Ryder which her small role could might as well be her comback because it was so powerful to me. It has a very strong sexual content and undercurrent that might turn some viewers off but to me it just adds to the braveness and daring of the film. This movie is also unexpectingly terrifying the whole hospital stabbing scene disturbed the hell out of me and it's hands down the most cunning film of the year. Overall it's a powerful, dark psychological/character study of one womans mind spiralling into madness and ends on a tragic note and it's a movie that I will not soon forget but sorry to say that to me it's not the best movie of the ages that I thought it would be but it's definitely quite an electrifying moviegoing experience. Darren Aronofsky proves that he is a brilliant director of detail and style. Recommended but I warn you that it's a tough watch and afterwards you will feel drained. More of a 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Did You Hear About the Morgans?

Definitely better and more charming than I thought it would be. Sarah Jessica Parker and Hugh Grant though an odd and random cast were great together and have better chemistry together than I thought, they feed off eachother pretty good and were hysterically funny. The story is predictable and not that original but is entertaining and the script was surprisingly sharp and witty. The movie also has a pretty solid supporting cast with Mary Steenburgen, Sam Elliott and Elisabeth Moss from Mad Men who has a couple of the funniest lines in the movie she cracked me up. The ending of the film was also pretty good and blissfull, this whole movie will make you feel good after watching it. Overall it wasn't a memorable rom/com but it was easy breezy getting through it and was satisfying enough to recommend it, a pleasant surprise judging from top critics reviews of it. See it with your spouse.

H.H. Holmes - America's First Serial Killer
½

An basic, old fashioned documentary about a mad brilliant serial murderer who called himself Dr. Henry Howard Holmes (H.H. Holmes) but his real name was Herman Webster Mudgett. It says the he was the first documented serial killer in America he killed 27 people in his own man made torture palace in Chicago but rumors say the body count could be up to 200! This true story was so chilling and shocking it made my jaw jop the whole viewing and it's terrifying to think about what he did and almost got away with it just like Jack The Ripper which that case happened around the same time, he just made one small mistake of telling a fellow inmate of his dark plans and forgetting to pay him to hush him up. This guy is probably one of the most scariest serial killers I have learned about in awhile and it gives me chills up my spine that he says that the devil was always with him when he did these horrible things and it's even more scary that from the outside he looked normal and handsome and could of had everything wealth included but he turned to killing it's just baffeling and horrifying. I can't wait to read the book The Devil In The White which is based on this case and is reportedly being made into a movie starring Leonardo Dicaprio as H.H. Holmes and I'm anticipated for the film already. Overall if you want to see a chilling look at America's first serial killers that's basic and to the point here you go but I have a feeling someone can make a better one on this case. Recommended! More of a 3.5 stars out of 5.

Paranormal Entity

If Paranormal Activity and The Entity ever had a baby then Paranormal Entity would be their basterd child that wants to be just like them. I'll admit that this movie creeped up on me and creeped the hell out of me and has chilling scenes and had a few tricks up its sleeve to make it stand on its own but lets be honest here it's a copycat and a ripoff that tries to gain money off of Paranormal Activitiy's success but who cares at least it's a pretty good one at that. It's uncanny how similar the lead girl is to the lead girl in Paranormal Activity they're like twins but this girl gives a darker and more serious performance and yes you will see her naked. I think though that the woman who played the mom gave the best performance as a widow who tries to contact her dead husband but instead releashes hell onto her home. Overall it doesn't bring anything new to the found footage genre but I don't think that was their goal either, they just brought what was good and scary about them and added a few scare factor ideas of their own and they got the job done, they spooked me. Keep them coming. Recommended! Watch with all the lights off at night and try to go to sleep afterwards, good luck.

Mother and Child
½

An well acted, written and directed melodrama that might not end the way you hoped and expected that's both bittersweet and fufilling. It's about adoption, healing, love, lost, redemption, closure and pretty much motherhood and human behavior that's brutally honest. The runtime is unnecessarily long that makes the pace drag a bit but it's all worth it in the end and has an emotional punch throughout that is at sometimes hard to hold back tears. I'm a bit surprised that this didn't get much recognition or a wider release and Annette Bening gives another oscar worthy performance as a hotheaded and bitter woman that aches to locate her daughter that she was forced to give up for adoption when she gave birth to her at fourteen, Kerry Washington and Naomi Watts also give adward worthy performances. Overall I was impressed with it but it's depressing but it's also filled with hope and I recommend it. More of a 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Law Abiding Citizen
½

This was an entertaining, messed up, violent and suspense driven cat and mouse thriller, it's Saw meets Death Sentence. It's an very unplausible movie and at some scenes made me roll my eyes in disbelief but the ways he set up his killings was very clever and gnarly. Gerard Butler was great as the father bent on revenge and justice after his wife and daughter were brutally murdered and I've never seen him this good since 300 and he is pretty much the only standout actor here. It has a rapid pace and action throughout and was unpredictable about who was going to be the next victim and I just had a blast watching him out smart people the whole time, good popcorn movie period! Overall there is nothing really fresh here and the plot is ludicrous but the deaths were inventive and was unpredictable and was entertaining, no dull moment here but the ending though satisfying could of been better. Recommended!

Grey Gardens
Grey Gardens(2009)

An extremely fascinating and captivating drama about a mother and daughter both named Edie Beale who isolate themselves from high New York society to their East Hampton mansion. It's just baffling and devastating to see a beautiful home and property and two beautiful women slowly deteriorate over decades span, it's just very sad. This film makes you get in their psyche and makes you realize they're not like everyone else, they think differently and see the world differently than I guess you and I but it still makes me wonder why did they get to that point why couldn't they just move on with there lives and love life and sell the home, I guess it's the only place they felt comfortable and safe, still it's frustrating and makes your heart ache. Drew Barrymore and Jessica Lange give fantastic portrayals of the Beale women and it's no wonder why Drew Barrymore won a reward for this. The direction and filming was great as well and sets the perfect mood and atmosphere for the time periods and brings so much layers to the film and is period piece done right. Overall the film is bittersweet to me, the ending was somewhat satisfying and in the end they were both at peace with their lives but it's just a very gloomy and sad movie that makes you think what could of been with their lives but it's an amazing story I won't soon forget. Recommended for the amazing portrayals alone.

Sex Addict
Sex Addict(2008)

I have never seen a horror movie soo hilariously vile and so much raunchy sex scenes in my life! The acting was so bad that it was good same with the story and the effects and the script. This is one of those movies that it's soo ugly you just can't look away and stop watching, the whole fetus thing was so wrong but it was a riot. Overall it's camp and raunch at its best but I will never watch it again. Watch it if you are curious but you have been warned! I think I need to take a shower now after watching this.

The Wolfman
The Wolfman(2010)

Definitely not as bad as top critics make it out to be. The mood, gore, atmosphere and thrills were absolutely perfect in this movie and the cinematography was eerie and breathtaking and the werewolf effects and costume design is spot on. The acting was decent especially from the two leads but not much chemistry and their characters were too underdeveloped and stale to really care about their fate but the actors come off strong enough to put that aside. It seems as though they were too focused on the effects and action to really put together a strong and novel story that makes it surpass the original and make it stand apart from other werewolf movies but it's for sure the best looking. Overall it doesn't have much suspense or story to help reboot the werewolf genre but it was more than a decent watch and in terms of atmosphere it drives off it and the look is much similar to Sleepy Hollow and From Hell. Not a flawless reimagining but a better than expected one. Rental.

Red Velvet
Red Velvet(2009)
½

It's like Before Sunrise meets slashers like Scream but on acid! The movie is kind of a fresh take on the genre with ok performances from the leads which to me the movie was more interesting with them talking and bickering and making up zany horror stories than when it becomes a reality. To me it fails at a horror/comedy because there weren't enough laughs and it fails at an actual horror movie because there weren't enough scares and suspense, it just becomes a typical, self aware slasher movie that it looks like it was going against. It was ambitious and there were a few nice gory bits and it is somewhat a change of pace for psychological/slashers but the ending just sucked and didn't make much sense, was it all in his head? I don't know but it could of had a much better twist. Skip it. More of a 2.5 out of 5 stars.

When in Rome
When in Rome(2010)
½

I thought this movie was very enjoyable from start to finish with a performance from Kristen Bell that shines. Sure it's predictable and brings nothing remotely new to this genre and is somewhat similar to Love Potion #9 but it just has that feel good romantic comedy with likable leads that's irresistible. There were several scenes that made me laugh and two scenes in particular that made me laugh til it hurts, the small yellow car bit and the dating in the dark bit, man that was hysterical to watch! Every movie Kristen Bell has done I tend to like but I do think she should break away from these romantic/comedies for awhile and do something new which she kind of is with the upcoming Scream 4, either way I don't mind because she's good in my book. Overall if you are a fan of Kristen Bell which I am you'll enjoy this movie and the Rome scenery. More of a 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Splice
Splice(2010)

What starts out as a pretty strong, captivating and somewhat moving science fiction/drama soon falls apart in its last act. The acting, mood and atmosphere were all solid as well as the premise and the creature is beautiful but it just got more strange as it moved on and it lost my respect for it. It is a very smart movie compared to most in its genre and it could of been great kind of like Gattaca meets Frankenstein but it turned into something more like Species meets Jeepers Creepers but more weird and not as entertaining. I just don't know why they decided to throw in horror elements towards the end I mean it just didn't need it and it lost any novel soul it had at that point which is disappointing because it could of been something more, something special. Overall if you are looking for a gory sci-fi/horror movie look elsewhere but if you are in the mood for a strange character driven sci-fi/drama with some unnecessary horror elements thrown in here you go. I for one say skip it. More of a 2.5 out of 5 stars.

Hatchet II
Hatchet II(2010)

This sequel has better kills and laughs than the original but it just wasn't scary, suspenseful or superior and as wickedly fun. If it wasn't for Danielle Harris give it her all performance and for the standout kills this would have been garbage but it's still pointless trash that's all about gore and nothing more. I can't explain why this was pulled from theaters because it wasn't that bad it's in the lines of the recent Piranha 3D movie and that wasn't pulled but lets be honest it's more direct to dvd material anyways. Overall it wasn't worst than the original but it wasn't superior either it just got the job done and I'm glad the ending didn't leave it open for a sequel but that's probably not out of the question yet but I hope it is because these two movies are just not that good to start a franchise but so wasn't Saw. Wait for television. More of a 2.5 out of 5 stars.

Fritt vilt II (Cold Prey 2)
½

An sequel that is just as good and kick ass as the original! I thought it was more violent and action packed this time around but not overly done because just like in the original it focused on suspense and scares and character development more than gore and torture which is very rare in slashers these days. I thought the acting was just as strong or even better than in the original with our strong, heroine female lead who I think is very sexy, hollywood should recruit her! There is not one dull moment in this film and is more fast paced than the original but it also has a build up too and is twice as entertaining and thrilling but the things that kept me from giving it a full 5 star rating is that it kind of lost its slasher touch making it more like an action/thriller with an body count and was less scary. The last half was fantastic though and kept me on the edge of my seat and had me rooting for the lead to survive and the film leaves it open for a Cold Prey 3 and I can't wait! Overall this is the best slasher series I've seen since maybe Scream 1 and 2 because to me it's near perfection when it comes to slasher flicks and I highly recommend it for fans of the genre. More of a 4.5 out of 5 stars. SEE IT ASAP!!! AS WELL AS THE FIRST ONE IF YOU HAVEN'T YET!

Centurion
Centurion(2010)

This director never fails to impress me! This is pure epic in scale and hugely entertaining from start to finish with characters that you root to survive. The story isn't very original and is pretty much bloody graphic fighting and extreme chase scenes but man was it beautifully shot that would of been awesome on the IMAX screen but it never had a great wide release and it's a shame that it never made it to my theater, he's a talented director of raw mood and atmosphere. The pace was also very rapid because before you know it it's over and it definitely left it open for a sequel or sequels and I look forward to going further with this epic bloody journey. Overall It has epic bloody battle scenes, breathtaking scenery, solid acting and it was a blast. Sure it didn't have much of a original story and some characters were underdeveloped but if you enjoy movies like Gladiator, Spartacus: Blood and Sand and 300 you'll enjoy this one for sure. Highly Recommended! Can't wait until Neil Marshall's next offering, he hasn't failed yet, knock on wood.

127 Hours
127 Hours(2010)

Danny Boyle has outdone himself this time as well as James Franco in a film which to me is hands down the best film of the year, oscar contenders get ready to be defeated! From beginning to end the movie has energy, creativity, fun and intense thrills and the best one man show since Cast Away. You get invested in this character and relate to him and feel that you are right there with him with his fight for survival and just a heads up for the squeamish that things get pretty graphic in some scenes and if you read the book you know what I mean. This movie is so inspirational, moving, intimate and makes you want to live life to the fullest and it shows how precious life is, you'll be thankful to be alive and well. The cinematography is outstanding in this and Danny Boyle deserves an oscar for best director because this is ten times better than Slumdog Millionaire. Overall this movie is flawless to me because it has an amazing true story, a great performance from James Franco, stunning filmwork, never dull,slow or predictable it is masterful work! Highly Recommended!!!

Mutants
Mutants(2009)
½

This was actually pretty good, it didn't break any new grounds and it has a tired theme but the action, gore, pace, performances and atmoshere make up for that. This movie is like a cross between The Road, The Crazies, 28 Days Later and Carriers, to me that's not a bad combo but unfortunately it's not as good as most of them. What I liked the most about it was the emotion and the bond between the lead actress and her infected husband and the fight for survival until the somewhat satisfying ending that was kind of anti climatic. Overall not completely original and it was pretty predictable for the most part but the way they delivered it was a good effort to me and I have to give them props for that but definitely not a must see or repeat viewing but if you are not sick of these type of movies it's very watchable.

I Love You Beth Cooper

A very enjoyable, spontaneous, fun, smart and frequently funny teen flick in the likes of Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist, Can't Hardly Wait and Sixteen Candles. There wasn't a single thing that I didn't like about the film other than the fact that it wasn't completely original but at least it was full of life and energy the whole way through. The cast were great especially Hayden Panettiere who I think is on here way to stardom after this flick, she deserves it by now, Emma Stone watch out! Overall it's one of those movies that you don't want to end but it starts well and ends well and I have no complaints. Recommended! More of a 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 1

I'm going to admit that I only saw the first Harry Potter film which I enjoyed but for some reason or another I never rushed to see the other ones, I regret that now. I really liked this movie that is now more of a thriller/fantasy than a kids adventure which makes me like it even more, this is dark and relentless, with a violent, menacing streak in a hard PG-13 type of way, it's intense and full of dread. The acting is fantastic and I can't wait to see these actors explore other films after this series comes to a close, you'll root for these characters and care about them and feel what they are going through from scene to scene. The atmosphere and the scenery is absolutely fantastic and sometimes feels like you are watching a classic supernatural/horror movie because they're some creepy, startling scenes, haunting work! Although the movie clocks in at a little over 2 hours it has a very steady pace that has you constantly interested and involved and makes you think and before you know it the end credits roll and has your anticipation for the next and final Harry Potter film, I will be in line for that one! Overall this is the best fantasy adventure I've seen in years and the darkest one to date with some light humor thrown here and there but certainly no childrens flick, now I'll have to rent the other films in this series to get it more. Highly recommended!!!

Resident Evil: Afterlife

This is probably the only horror series that I don't listen to the critics negative reviews on because I usually don't agree with them when it comes to the Resident Evil franchise but I should of listen this time. They did nothing interesting with the story and if they did it didn't work like for instance the 3D technology was very flat to me as well as the acting, action, suspense and pace even the freaking zombies were lame and weren't used that much at all talk about no thrills man! This has to be the most distant one from the game and is the dullest one because I found myself dosing off through some scenes, there weren't even jump scares that I can remember which made the movie even slower. Why can't this series get a grib and actually be completely faithful to the game series for once because the games were so much scarier, suspenseful, smart, action packed, and full of adventure and mystery and has a much better and involving story and characters than this junk, they blew it this time! This movie should be fun, exciting, scary, action packed, thrilling, smart, witty, suspenseful, full of atmosphere and mystery and though I do give it the atmoshere part because it does look nice but it doesn't have the other elements, it just was a dull and lame experience. Overall Milla and Ali look hot as always but this series needs a serious reboot and a new director because this one didn't give the game justice and made it too high tech and The Matrix like and made it into a hot mess and laughably bad. Not recommended! 1.5 out of 5 stars.

Sympathy
Sympathy(2007)

Well it didnt have my sympathy. It has laughably bad, over acting and it bored me right away so I turned it of after 10 minutes. Its DOA! Avoid!!!

Easy A
Easy A(2010)

I liked it but I didnt love it and I think that its slightly overrated. Emma Stone though is a star in the making, she carries the film and then some and if it wasnt for her the film would of been pretty by the numbers. I do like that it gave homage to other teen classics like Cant By Me Love and I thought that it was in some parts smartly written and I thought that it was pretty funny in that I cant believe they just did that or said that type of way. The movie had an whole sarcastic tone to it that kind of got old after an while and sometimes it tried to hard to be different and funny that it kind of gets desperate to the point that it gets a little overboard and it shockingly treads very close to rated R territory and Im sorry but lying and pretending to be a bed hopper and getting money for pretending to sleep with people isnt really laugh out loud materiel at least to me but it does have guts for that, Risky Business comes to mind. Its kind of like Saved meets Clueless meets Mean Girls meets The Heathers meets Cant Buy Me Love ect. which are pretty superior to this but in the end it finds its way and stands on its own. Overall not the laugh out loud riot I was hoping for but its the most entertaining, smart and ballsy teen flick Ive seen in a while and a star vehicle for Emma Stone which will hopefully catapult her to greater roles. Wait for dvd.

Devil
Devil(2010)

I think that movie critics are being a little too harsh on this mystery/thriller because believe me it's not that bad especially coming from M. Night Shyamalan whose only good movie was The Sixth Sense which was over a decade ago! I thought that it has a good and intriguing story that will have you guessing and on the edge of your seat and some decent twists that I didn't see coming. It was slickly filmed and has a steady pace and some decent shocks so it definitely looked nice when it came to atmosphere and mood but it's some of the acting and a lack of action that really holds it back from being truely great and terrifying. I do have to give it to M. Night Shyamalan for actually delivering a good and surprising final twist that wasn't ridiculous and silly it's his best since The Sixth Sense, continue on this new path M. Night! Overall don't listen to the critics and give this mystery/thriller a chance, just don't expect a full blown horror movie full of scares and action but take it as a mystery, who done it thriller that's story and twists driven. Recommended! More of a 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Harry Brown
Harry Brown(2010)

I really liked it! Michael Caine is a bad @ss gangster in this as a man fed up with the violence in his neighborhood and takes matters into his own hands when people close to him become victimes of senseless acts. When the violence hits it hits hard that it sometimes becomes unbearable and gutwrenching to the point when Harry Brown gets revenge in the most hardcore way possiple you cant help but to cheer and root for him. The acting was great and you believed in every character and man was it tense and suspenseful, it grabs you and doesnt let go as you are pinned to the edge of your seat in shock and the gritty and suffocating atmosphere is just the cherry on top. Some people are saying that it has a slow build up and even if it does I really never noticed because I was so into the nailbitting story that it never bore me and its the best dvd that I rented in a long time. Overall if you like movies like The Brave One, Man On Fire, Eden Lake, Fish Tank and Death Sentence youll definitely love this one. Highly recommended! More of a 4.5 out of 5 stars.

The Secret in Their Eyes (El Secreto de Sus Ojos)
½

This movie definitely takes alot of patience getting into it because of its slow build up and lack of action but it kind of pays off in the end. Despite its pacing issues you become involved in the intriguing story and characters and the twists and turns especially twords the end as the suspense builds. The acting was strong and the direction was strong but I just think it is very overrated and way too long and I just couldn't get 100 percent invested in it until the halfway mark, I just wasn't that impressed by it but it did have a great twist of an ending. Overall not the sensation that I was hoping for but it was a pretty solid story driven and suspenseful character study but I'd wait for television for this one. More of a 2.5 out of 5 stars.

You Again
You Again(2010)
½

You know what, I thought that this was quite enjoyable, light hearted, frequently amusing and very fun. This is yet another movie critics are being too harsh on, sure its silly, predictable and unrealistic but it all comes from the heart and it has a great talented cast. Think of it as this years Four Christmases but without the christmas part but it has that same goofiness to it and it made me laugh throughout, it has that feel good charm about it that makes you grin the whole way through. Overall its an very easy flick to get through and has two hot leads and you got to love Bette White, there is also a cameo from Cloris Leachman which was hysterical. Recommended! Take the family! More of a 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Inception
Inception(2010)

This film is ridiculously overrated! It was slow, confusing and tried too hard to be clever and different right from the start that it ended up being a mumble jumble mess! I left after a half an hour. No thanks! Like the joker said in Christopher Nolan's other much better film The Dark Knight "why so serious"?

The Experiment

A very intiguing, tense, entertaining and shocking psychological/thriller of cat and mouse game. Adrien Brody and Forest Whitaker were great and proves why they won an oscar before because theyre amazing actors in every sense. The movie is fast pace from the start and doent let you go. There were some parts especially towards the end that I think they could of amp it up more but it is a very solid effort and remake as well. Overall it doesnt surpass the german version but it comes very close and I think that this remake should of gone to theaters instead of Adrien Brodys other remake Predators which was weak and boring because at least this film will have people talking, this is Lord Of The Flies for adults! Recommended!

Let Me In
Let Me In(2010)

This has to be the most overrated horror movie Ive seen in quite some time! I dont care what people are saying because I think it brough really nothing new to the story and it didnt bring it to a new level, it was too faithful to the original which I thought was a tad better but not all that. The leads were great but Ive seen better from them and it seems like they whisper to eachother more than anything but I still think that they are likable compared to most child stars. The sound and feel of the film is much better but pretty much the rest is the same and if I wanted to see the same film I would just rent the original Let The Right One In. There wasnt any true scares or amazing gore at least that we havent seen before except for the acid scene which will make you squirm in your seat and it has a slow build up but the thing that draws you in the most is the story and the love the two leads have for eachother so this is more of a drama/thriller than a full blown horror film so youve been warned. Overall this is one the most disappointing film Ive seen this year but I still have respect for Matt Reeves who directed the brilliant Cloverfield which was fresh, suspenseful, thrilling and different the same cant be said about Let Me In. Wait for dvd or just watch the original which is pretty much the same film. More of a 2.5 out of 5 stars.

Case 39
Case 39(2010)
½

This is what Im talking about! I thought that it was highly entertaining evil child flick full of jump scares and spooks thats perfect for the halloween season, this is old school with a modern style. Renee Zellweger is good as always in what I think is her second horror movie in more than a decade and I dont blame her for waiting so long after she was in the turd Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation, thank god that this was not a stinker as well. This is one of those rare horror films that really didnt deserve to be sitting on the shelf, collecting dust, while bad remakes like A Nightmare On Elm Street get released right away, I dont get it. Overall even though it got a tad predictable and ridiculous towards the end it was still a good watch and is what most horror movies should be spooky and entertaining and without being too serious and loaded with twists and gore and Im glad it took the old fashioned route yet still have it modern in style, good job! I didnt think I was going to say this about this film but I kind of want a sequel! Recommended especially if you like movies like The Omen, Orphan ect. More of a 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Frágiles (Fragile)

A classically told ghost story that oozes atmosphere and suspense and has a really creepy ghost. The acting was solid and the way the kids get injured and the way people get killed is pretty twisted but it barely had a body count because it's not that type of ghost story because it's more the less you see the better and it worked for the most part. The pace was pretty sluggish and it could done alot of things much better but it somehow kept me interested on what was going and it will spook you in The Others, The Devil's Backbone and The Orphanage type of way. For a movie that was made back in 2005 and finally getting a wide release it didn't deserve to be kept in limbo that long because there was no reason to because it was pretty solid from beginning to end, those studios have to stop doing that unless a movie is so bad that it deserves it. Overall go in with low expectations and don't expect anything groundbreaking or jump scares a minute and go in expectiong a good old fashioned chills. See it.

Backyard (El traspatio)

It had a strong and powerful true story on their hands but they delivered it in the most generic and boring way possible. It had potential but it went nowhere so I turned it off half way through it. Disappointing! Skip it!

Temple Grandin

A pretty extraordinary biopic about an extraordinary woman with autism Temple Grandin. Clair Danes gives the best performance of her career and if they ever give an oscar for best actress for a t.v. movie she deserves it and I just wish she was in more movies because it's rare these days to see her in one, theatrical at least. It was very enlightening to learn more about autism and it is crazy how the mind can work, she was so brilliant and it makes me want to meet her and go to one of her speeches because it'll be so fascinating. The direction was great, the story was great and the acting was outstanding, this is a must see t.v. movie that will astound you and educate you about autism. Highly recommended!!!!

Night of the Demons

This is one of the worst remakes I've seen lately that is as cheap and half@ssed as its cover art. The acting was horrible especially from Monica Keena which I should call miss giggles alot, man was she laughably bad. There was no scares except for the mirror part and the demon effect were lame and even the original that was made in the 1980's had creepier effects than this and is pretty sad that even their acting was more believable. The soundtrack was out of place and was annoying and the house though oozes atmosphere was too obvious and not as spooky as in the original and they could of picked a creepier Angela which was played by the hotter than hell Shannon Elizabeth. The other thing that bothered me about this flick is that it rushed too quickly into things that it left no room for suspense and terror and overdid things, like do we really need to watch a demon orgy, it just became a big mess, insults our intelligence and it was a joke. The thing that kept me from giving it a one star rating is that I like how they kind of showed the house's history and how demons got there and the whole underground tunnel part was entertaining but that's about it. Overall it could have been a crazy, creepy, entertaining thrillride that could of surpassed the original but fell flat at everything. AVOID!!

Unstoppable
Unstoppable(2010)
½

This was too simplistic, ordinary, safe and predictable for me. The acting from all was fine as expected but where was the excitement, rush, thrills, fear and suspense that you usually get from these type of movies, it was too basic, t.v. movie of the week for me. It had the smarts but no flare, it had the pace but no energy at least to me. It wasnt an awful flick but it wasnt anything new that we havent seen before and it looked like it was pulled from the mid 1990s but this is one of the most disappointing movie of the year. Overall if you want a lightweight version of movies like Speed and Twister here you go. Skip it!

Altitude
Altitude(2010)
½

This was quite the ambitious little thriller and quite an impressive first feature from director Kaare Andrews, I'll give kudos for that! The characters were suprisingly layered and had substance and weren't that annoying as I thought they would be because you care about what happens to them, the acting was also surprisingly decent. The special effects though sometimes not that great were also pretty impressive for a first feature film, the story's twists is the one thing that got me the most and made the film rise above most sci-fi/thrillers that are direct to dvd. Overall if you like movies like Frequency and The Mist you should be able to find something to enjoy about Altitude. Recommended. More of a 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Due Date
Due Date(2010)

There were some parts that I laughed at loud and Robert Downey Jr. is great as always but this seems like an The Hangover knockoff which I think is very overatted. Zach Galifianakis seems to be playing the same character in every movie which to me will only take him so far but he days play weird fantastically. Overall there is not much to say about this film, it wasn't awful but it wasn't good either, it's just another failed attempt at making a good road/buddy comedy. Next! More of a 2.5 out of 5 stars.

The Kids Are All Right
½

The is one of the best, most well acted, written and directed films I've seen all year and is the first one that has a good shot at winning at the oscars. Annette Bening was absolutely incredible in her role as a same sex mother and if she doesn't nab that oscar I will be shocked. The one thing that kind of rubbed me the wrong way was how they treated one of the characters towards the end of the film but other than that this movie is pretty much flawless. This movie is also very smart and very engrossing and is kind of a lighter version of a much darker American Beauty. Overall I liked it alot beacause it made me smile, laugh, enlightened and was also a little touching in some parts and is what one critic wrote.. a slice of life. I highly recommend this rare treat. More of a 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Megamind
Megamind(2010)

I have to say that I do agree with some critics that say that it's kind of a rehash of recent and past animated hits but it takes what was great about them as well as having some new tricks up its sleeve. The cast was great most notably Will Ferrell as Megamind he was hilarious and you pretty much root for him more than anyone in the film. I really like how they had classic rock songs like highway to hell from ACDC and Bad from Michael Jackson as well as some brilliant inside jokes for adults and great stuff that kids can relate to, so it targets both crowds not just the kids. Overall it's not the best animated film in years but it's one of the smartest in awhile and is something that the whole family can appreciate. Recommended!

Rohtenburg (Grimm Love)

There are few movies out there that truely get under your skin and mess with you mentally and emotionally, this disturbing movie does just that. The movie gives you a pretty good background of the two men with tortured souls that has glimpses of their anything but normal childhoods that makes you feel their pain that leads to their horrible, beyond belief demise as they carry out their shocking deed of cannibalistic proportions. I kind of surprised that Keri Russell picked a movie this drastic but I bought her performance and I welcome her to this genre. It has a great, chilling atmosphere and it draws you in right away and doesn't let you go, you'll be intrigued and dumbfounded and this is definitely not a movie for the squeamish. Overall this movie is gruesome, shocking, devastating and scary what humankind is capable of doing to themselves and others and is a tough movie to watch and I will watch it with caution, an open mind but I will not say go see this ASAP but if you happen to stumble upon it give it a shot if you can't find anything else but I for one will never want to watch it again.

The Happening
½

This movie wasn't bad at all and surpassed my very low expectations. It was very creepy, suspenseful and was very chilling and somewhat terrifying. I think I'm gaining a little faith back in M. Night Shyamalan after seeing this one and Devil and he is almost like an masterful artist because I think people are going to really appreciate his work after he is gone, he's a genius and I hope this is a new beginning for him and just forget about the bad taste past films discluding The Sixth Sense. I'm sorry but most of the acting not all was pretty bad especially from Mark Wahlberg, they should of picked a different lead but the stand out was the woman who played that creepy old lady, man was she menacing! The villain in this is pretty sill but it somehow works because of our modern culture and global warming, it will kind of freak you out when you think about it but the climax could of been better and bigger though. Overall if you like The Twilight Zone type of movies you'll enjoy this sci-fi/thriller that's a small step in the right direction again for M. Night Shyamalan. Recommended! More of a 3.5 out of 5 stars.

The Evictors
The Evictors(1979)

An spooky little supernatural/horror tale that relies more on suspense and atmosphere than gore and over the top scares and that has one of the creepiest house ever with a brooding killer that lurks outside the property. The acting was pretty good for a not well known horror movie and there were some scenes that will keep you on the edge of your seat but most of it was very slow paced and takes alot of patience and low expectations to appreciate it. The thing that pulls it all together is its startling story that just kept me intrigued for the most part. Overall it was simple, moody, suspenseful, atmospheric and chilling and for a movie that came out during The Amityville Horror craze its pretty solid just watch it with an open mind, low expectations and alot of patience because its a slow build up and doesnt have alot of action but its watchable for a rainy night. This one though begs for a rated R remake! Check it out. more of a 2.5 out of 5 stars.

Manson, My Name Is Evil
½

An interesting take on Charles Mansons story and followers but a bit too arthouse and satirical for my liking. I left it on to see if it was going to get better but I just lost interest in it and then it was over. Not recommended! They just need to stop making movies about him its getting old and tiresome.

Paranormal Activity 2

An very superior sequel that had a handful of jump scares that will keep you up at night, if not you have no soul. To visual style, acting, pace, suspense and ending it does it better than the original to shocking results, this is the best haunted house flick in years! This series got me again because when it starts it starts out pretty normally like you were watching some strangers home videos then strange things start to happen and gets creepy and escalates the terror and somewhat raises the bar for the haunted house genre, believe me you will see nothing as scary this year alone or maybe even for the next couple of years because for me I left the theater shaken with goosebumps and breathless! Don't listen to the haters like Roger Ebert because this is good rare horror that you don't see much at all at the theaters these days and I can't freaking wait for the third movie which they better make because this is now my favorite horror series. The other thing that was clever is how they tied their story with the original and the twist was messed up and disturbing, this is a must see for every halloween! GO SEE IT NOW! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!

Dark Mirror
Dark Mirror(2007)

I thought this flick had alot of potential and you can tell that in some of the scenes but it never really ran with it and ended up being lifetime movie of the week material. It had an identity crisis, it was like one part psycho/slasher, one part psycholigical/drama mystery and one part haunted house flick but it didn't really focus on any of them well and the twist at the end was too complicated for its own good. I thought it was way too slow moving with not enough action and the overall effects were generic to me. I never thought it was scary or unnerving, it just was t.v. material, the acting was pretty decent though but not amazing either and I just thought it made an interesting premise into a pretty dull experience, I guess it's another case of would of, could of, should of. What a let down! Overall I was disappointed in the movie but there is definitely alot worse out there to rent but then again there is even more exciting movies out there as well. Wait for television! More of a 2.5 out of a 5 star rating.

Abandoned
Abandoned(2010)

An pretty simple but suspenseful thriller that to me is very similar to Flightplan but set in a hostpital. It had an very hitchcock like vibe to it as the innocent Mary Walsh who is played by the lovely Brittany Murphy what is tragically her last role is accused of being crazy when she reports that her boyfriend of 4 years is missing from the hostpital and finds out that they have no record of him being there. This was a pretty basic movie when it came to action and it was almost borderline lifetime movie of the week to me but it was very watchable and kind of kept me on the edge of my seat guessing why this was all happening to her and the twist which I kind of saw coming from a mile away was pretty messed up but still pretty standard though. The acting was mostly on the weaker side but Brittany Murphy's performances always has this charm to them but you can sadly tell that her state of health wasn't good in this movie and it looked like they tried to hide it by putting alot of makeup on her but her hair looked greasy and crusty it was tragic to see. Overall it wasn't the best movie ever and I've seen it done better before but if you like Brittany Murphy you should check it out because she pretty much saves the movie from completly sucking but don't expect anything out of the ordinary. More of a 2.5 out of 5 stars.

The Gray Man
The Gray Man(2009)

An unsettling, horrific and shocking true crime/period piece/drama that was surprisingly well filmed, portrayed and sported some decent acting for a direct to dvd film. I thought the story was well told of child killer Albert Fish and gave good enough details about his life though some of it was a mystery but you can see that a great effort was put into this movie and it definitely surpasses the very disappointing The Black Dahlia and is somewhat similar to the Clint Eastwood film The Changeling but with a lower budget and unknown names. There were several disturbing scenes and some of those are not for the squeamish but most of it is off screen so it makes you use your imagination of what happened to the victims which makes it all the more chilling. Overall this wasn't amazing but there is a very solid effort to be found in this movie and I'm going to go ahead and recommend it especially if you are a fan of true crime stories. Not half bad!

Dorothy Mills (Dorothy)
½

Just to make things clear this is not a supernatural/horror movie not even close as the poster and the description makes it seem but more of psychological/drama about possession and hidden dark secrets that a small island town is keeping. I thought most of it was very slow moving but at the same time it was very fascinating and intriguing that I wasn't that bored with it and I thought the girl that played Dorothy Mills gave an memorable performance. Nothing in it was that creepy, scary or disturbing, it was just interesting and well played out as well as moody and tragic. I was going to give this 2 stars but I thought the ending was solid and it was a nice change from the normal horror offerings as of late but it's not a horror movie really. Overall this is more of a 2.5 out of 5 than a 3 but if you enjoy psychological movies you will probably like this but if you want a full blown horror movie you might be disappointed. Rent.

The Descent 2

Does it surpass its predecessor? No unfortunately and it's probably a result of the original director not helming it this time around, so this is pretty much not the Aliens of sequels. Shauna MacDonald returns as the soul survivor of the first one and wakes up in the hospital confused and as a result a rescue crew and police force her to go with them to the dark depths of hell once again to search for her friends. I think Shauna MacDonald is strong here once again but there is no more layers to her character anymore and the supporting cast were ok but not as strong as the first cast with an exception of the woman cop and another female character that gets killed off way too soon. The gore is nasty than ever here and the atmosphere and fight of the fittest the same but the most important factors that made the original a hit which are suspense, fear and claustrophobia are missing here and they didn't add anything to improve upon that which was very disappointing and a shame not saying there wasn't any jump but cheap scares because there is several of them but nothing truely terrifying. There is nothing effective in the story anymore and no surprises and is pretty much a rehash of the first one but this time it wasn't effective and I just don't see a strong effort here just a cash cow and the ending made it all pointless in the end, what a waste. Overall I guess if you try to recreate a solid horror movie but at the same time do a sequel isn't always as great but as far as creature features go it wasn't half bad and is entertaining compared to most but it's just not a good sequel. Rent but not a must see.

Meadowoods
Meadowoods(2009)

There is no reason for this movie to exist. It was slow moving and it wanted to be something like The Blair Witch Project with a serial killer, snuff film twist but when a movie like has already been done before it isnt effective or relevant anymore unless you do something strong and amazing like Cloverfield or Paranormal Activity, they simply didnt do anything new with the material. The three unbalanced individuals who are mostly at the centerpoint of this so called film got on my nerves pretty quickly and were more bratty buttheads than truly menacing, I just didnt buy it from them and the one that was the less crazy of the bunch was a coward and waited to long to be the hero in the game. I was pretty impressed with the victim and thought she was pretty believable in her part and seemed like the smartest person in this movie that falls victim to village idiots. There is nothing in this movie that is bloody just unsettling and disturbing especially the box scene which I felt claustrophobic just watching it and was pretty interesting here and there getting into some of the characters psychie but they didnt dig deep enough for us to care and the ending just plain sucked and it just didnt give me anything. Overall this was pretty flat and dull exercise in torture blah, blah, blah, blah!!!!! Not Recommended! Zero stars!!!!

Babies
Babies(2010)

An enjoyable, charming, heartwarming documentary about babies around the globe and the difference, similarity on their life as a baby. This was a nicely photographed film and a pretty memorable one at that but it kind of bothered me that there wasnt much dialogue or narration and when there was in different countries there wasnt any subtitles which was a bummer because I was really interested on what other cultures talk about on an normal everyday basis and their imput on parenting and because of that it made the pacing sometimes sluggish with a series of clips that you could probably find on youtube or home videos but that still doesnt make it lose its charm. Overall there isnt much else I can say about Babies, it wasnt a brilliant documentary but a very adorable one that will lift your spirits high and I recommend it for mothers or parents to be but thats pretty much it. Worthy of a rental. More of a 2.5 out of 5 stars.

Iron Man 2
Iron Man 2(2010)
½

In many ways to me at least is better than the first one to the cast, acting, pace, thrills and definitely more witty and entertaining. Robert Downey Jr. is on the top of his game here as Tony Stark he was cool, funny, brilliant and bad@ss but mayby a bit too cocky but that's his character I guess. The supporting cast was great and Scarlett Johansson though hot as always looks better than ever and she really impressed me here, Mickey Rourke made an effective villain but I could hardly understand him most of the time or bought the accent, Samuel L. Jackson is cool as always but the standout person here was Sam Rockwell but Gwyneth Paltrows and Don Cheadles character really didn't do much for me this time around sorry to say. I really had a fun time watching this flick from beginning to end and it really surpassed my expectations and it's definitely what a summer blockbuster should be, an escape. The final act wasn't as thrilling or effective as the final act in the first one but it was definitely exciting but it kind of left me wanting more still just like in the first one but just like what Spider Man did for me this will probably get better and better with each sequel and I can't wait! Overall it has solid performances, action, laughs, thrills and it was just brilliantly done, an improvement but there is still some flaws to be tinkered with but I still recommened it for the fun of it all. More of a 3.5 out of 5 stars.

An Education
An Education(2009)

I have to say that I'm a bit disappointed in this film that was praised by critics and gained award nominations because I just didn't think it was as big as everyone made it out to be. The performances were expert and effortless and Carey Mulligan did a beautiful job but the next Audrey Hepburn no way but she did look similar to her. The filming was gorgeous with breathtaking and elegant scenery and it captured 1961 perfectly as well as the values back then, it looked so classic looking. I thought it moved at a pretty slow pace and the story though enlightening was simple and has been done before and was pretty similar to Mona Lisa Smile which I think is a little more interesting than this film sorry to say. There are a few surprises here and there one involving her love interest which was shocking and upsetting and it really didn't end the way I was expecting but at the same time most of it was pretty predictable. The title really says it all because in the end the most important thing she needs to have for herself is an education and go to college which was rare back in those days, I think it's a good coming of age message. Overall I liked it but didn't think it was the bees knees I mean I just was expecting alot more from it and getting more reaction out of it and it just didn't wow me and if it wasn't for the performances and beauty it would have been pretty dull if you ask me. Wait for t.v. for this one. More of a 2.5 out of 5 stars.

A Nightmare on Elm Street

Did these fools ever seen A Nightmare On Elm Street movie before? I mean they got everything in this tepid remake wrong to the casting sorry but Jackie Earle Haley just sounded like batman on steroids to me and was way too serious with no spunk and wise craking personality like in the original with Robert Englund and the victims were too distant and boring other than Katie Cassidy who did a decent job. All of the set ups looked the same to me and were uninspired and not creative at all and all of the jump scares were cheap and forced leaving no suspense at all and the gore scenes weren't that great other than the final act which step it up a bit from the dull and disappointing first act. I appreciated that they gave a pretty intriguing backstory to Freddy Krueger depicting why he was haunting everyones dreams and later turning violent towards them but they went too far into it and wasted opportunities on greater potential and I liked it more when you didn't know that much visually becuase this movie killed the mystery and spookiness of Freddy. The CGI effects in this movie were lousy and lazy and failed miserably at recapturing the 1984 classic and that's what is wrong with hollywood because they rely too much on star power and special effects than focusing on the more important things and that's why they fu!ck up alot of movies because they lose the heart and soul of the film if it had it at all. I'm also getting sick of directors of music videos all of a sudden doing a high budget remake that is usually always a bad sign, stick to what you know better and don't mess up classics, do more research next time! I'm very disappointed in this remake because it could have been soo much better if it was in the right hands and with a much better cast and it's funny that a movie dealing with nightmares makes you want to fall asleep than hide under your covers, they butchered a classic! Overall it was lame, different in a bad way, no connection and wasn't truly scary, darkly humorous or entertaining and wasn't fun or memorable, it was too freaking serious also in a bad way and they failed in every way possible and if it wasn't for the pretty good last act I would have given it a lower rating. They should have not bothered this classic and don't bother making a sequel because it will probably suck anyway even in 3D! Not recommended! More of a 1.5 out of 5 stars.

The Human Centipede (First Sequence)

Much like the Hostel films this movie aims to shock, terrify and repulse and much like a nightmare you beg for it to stop. This movie raises the bar when it comes to grotesque, stomach turning violence and is a crazy new turn in the horror genre yet it has similar elements from other films like Martyrs, Hostel, Pig, Vacancy ect. which doesn't make it feel that original as it should have been and it just ended up being a rehash of them than surpassing them but I'm happy to say that it didn't suck balls like Martyrs and the horrendous Pig which made you mad, annoyed and frustrated than anything. I thought that Dieter Laser plays an fantastic psychopath and chilled me to the bone and he is a villain that could give anybody nightmares, great work! The supporting cast was ok but over acted sometimes but I have to give it to them for making their horrible situation raw and not make it a laughing stock which it could have been. The ending was a little bit of a let down and was anti climatic and I really didn't think it went to the lengths which it could of gone but it definitely backs up its title The Human Centipede because while you like it or not you will see one in this movie, bring a bucket just in case! I really don't know how they're going to do a sequel to this it just doesn't make sense right now other than following it from the ending but where will it go from there unless it's a prequel which I can picture that happening than a straight up sequel, I'm interested to see what they're going to do with it. Overall I didn't love it or despise it I just thought it was a very descent, well made shocker that's bolder than most hollywood theatrical released horror movies these days and I give kudos to the cast and crew for that and it had me glued to my seat in horror on what was going on and that's what a horror movie should do and I recommend it. Not for the squeamish!!

Feed
Feed(2005)

Yes it is vile, disturbing, and all kinds of wrong but it was never dull and it kept me on the edge of my seat in its shocking value. This was like The Silence Of The Lambs on steroids and viagra and if you want to go on a diet this movie will definitely make you lose your appetite. I thought the acting was pretty strong and it moved at a rapid pace with an bizarre and unsettling story about a sick and disturbed man feeding women to death and storing their fat and a cop who discovers his psychotic antics and wants to bring him down before the next woman becomes another victim. There was alot of graphic sex scenes in this film that it almost feels like your watching a fetish porno film and that makes it definitely not for everyone and definitely not for the sqeamish, so beware. The director has some balls making a movie like this and I have to give it to the cast and crew for having some guts to be apart of it and delivering the goods for the most part. The ending had a pretty twisted twist and makes the movie all the more horrific but bold, this flick is messed up! Overall I recommend it with caution but I will never watch it again ever and it was pretty sleazy and tasteless but I've seen worse movies that were pointless. More of a 2.5 out of 5 stars.

Tony
Tony(2009)

This so called movie was extremely boring with no action, thrills intriguing story and not even shock value to make it worth a dime. I didn't think the acting was that good at all just very strange and the atmosphere sucked and sometimes I felt like I was watching a documentary. People are saying this is the uk answer to American Psycho and to me it doesn't even come close and at least that one was entertaining but I do think it comes close to Dahmer but not close enough because that movie was more chilling and you had a backstory to make sense of all of it but this film had no good direction. The pace was sluggish as hell and I dozed off a few times and for a serial killer flick it was pretty dry and lifeless and what the hell was up with that ending, it was one of the worst endings I have ever seen and makes me look down on it even more. Overall this is pretty generic material here and it's not a horror movie or even a thriller because it doesn't thrill or scare you or even entertain you it just left you feeling cold and wanting more and didn't bring anything fresh to the table. What a bore! Not recommended!

Peacock
Peacock(2010)
½

This was quite a strange, intriguing, disturbing and sad character study about a man with a split personality disorder created after his abusive mother passes away and gets worse after a train crashes in on his secret world. I thought Cillian Murphy did an fantastic, oscar worthy performance as the damaged individual with the disorder as well as a solid supporting cast but this is definitely his movie. At first I thought that the town was going to figure it out that he is living two lives as a man and a woman but he effortlessly fools them and bewitches them and I'm just baffled that they couldn't figure it out. As the film goes along it gets more and more complexed and you soon find both of his different personalities plotting against each other which was a crazy and bizarre plot turn that I really didn't expect to happen but it was very interesting and kept me glued to the screen in its mystery. The one thing that kept me from giving it an higher rating was the lousy and anticlimatic ending which pretty much made the viewing pointless and it made me frustrated and disappointed. Overall it wasn't awful but it really needed a better ending but definitely worth renting for Cillian Murphy's brave performance, other than that it's really not a must see. More of a 2.5 out of 5 stars.

The Daisy Chain

A poor man's Orphan in a way without the scares, violent kills and brilliant twist. The Daisy Chain started out pretty intriguing with a couple dealing with the loss of their newborn and two years later they're expecting again and decide to move away from the city and to the husbands childhood home and things start to get strange and freaky after they meet a troubled, autistic child named Daisy who may or may not be a changeling. The movie was just very generic and a knockoff with weak, lackluster acting, uninspired filming, it was boring!!! All of the answers to my questions at the end of the movie were thrown out the window and makes us figure it out which makes me despise it and what the heck does the cover art for this film have anything to do with it, very misleading because it makes it look like it's going to be a horror movie but it's not it's more psychological bore! The movie is completely unnecessary and a waste of time and it also reminds me of another movie called Dorothy Mills and even that movie manages to outshine this one. Overall this is nothing near fresh and riveting though it did have a tiny bit of potential somewhere in it but it's pretty much dead on arrival. Skip it!

How to Train Your Dragon
½

Now this is what I'm talking about! A movie that truly embraces and takes advantage of its 3D IMAX touch and it was quite an exhilarating, charming, fun, funny and touching animation feature that gets everything right. You will recognize alot of A-list stars in this pic including Gerald Butler but this time it wasn't an distraction or had an ego and that's why most animation pics work because their is no ego involved just a vision and a story. At first to be honest I was hesitant thinking this might be just another overrated movie and didn't really win me over right away but once the dragon training and building relationships starts to unfold it wins your heart if you have one. After that it doesn't look back and becomes enchanting with amazing visual effects that actually made me say wow now that's amazing and beautiful and it was just breathtaking during the dragon flight scenes. I heard some critics comparing it to Avatar when it came to the flying scenes and I have to say that to me it surpasses it by a mile when it came to that and when it came to heart & soul, adventure, personality and the magical excitement, it made me feel like a kid again. This one will lift your spirit touch you to the brink of tears and thrill you with its eye popping 3D IMAX effects which to me still needs some work but this movie brings it in the right direction. Overall this is great for everyone young to old and it's in the lead for being the best animation film of the year and while not as great as Up I think it was close to being just as great as it. Highly recommended! More of a 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Kick-Ass
Kick-Ass(2010)
½

Kick-Ass should really be called Hit Girl because she pretty much saves the movie and kind of inspires people around her to be stronger and badass, she steals every scene. At first I thought that this movie was a little uneven when it came to balancing laughs and hardcore violence and some of the jokes worked for me and some didn't even put a smirk on my face and it was pretty childish and over the top for the most part but everyones inner nerds fantasies are fufilled and then some. In the beginning also I really didn't buy or take anything seriously in this film and thought to myself when are you guys going to back up the title instead of being dorky and strange, then Hit Girl comes and saves the day. When the ass kicking starts it comes in full and glorious fury with a action packed finale that was worth the wait and price of admission and that's when it earns it's name and my approval of being Kick-Ass! Overall it's very refreshing to see young kids and teenagers without superhuman powers kicking some major ass and becoming the mysterious superheroes it's almost controversial seeing them shed some blood and that's why I love it even more because it's kind of ballsy but it's pretty much a love it or hate it type of film. I say shut up, get off your ass and see Kick-Ass which will probably be the most fun time at the movies you'll have this year. More of a 3.5 out of 5 stars. BRING ON THE SEQUEL!!!!

The Final
The Final(2010)
½

This movie surprisingly packs a punch and is pretty controversial, clever and as suspected sadistic but not as gory as it suggests but very violent. The movie makes you think and at first makes you want them to get revenge but then it gets over the top and makes it hard to choose sides in the end and of course there is always a better way of handling harsh situations than doing harm to others and to yourself. The acting wasn't as irritatingly bad as I was expecting and I was kind of impressed with the tormented teens getting revenge on the cruel in crowd especially the girl and had a very brilliant Audition homage. This was kind of like a ballsier version of Saw meets Battle Royale but makes it there own and I love their ambitious effort and the masks and costumes they wear was just genius and kind of simular to The Strangers which might have been another clever homage. I think the director and creators knew exactly what they wanted to set out and do and did it with unapologetic ease and just ended up pulling it off for the most part and I have to say that this is the best after dark horrorfest film so far this year because it's quite the sleeper gem hit. Overall this was a cautionary tale about bullying, revenge and a disturbing view on what people will do if they are pushed to the limit and their emotions go unnoticed, very disturbing and sad because it happens maybe not in the way the movie shows it but it happens unfortunately and it needs to stop. Recommended! Pretty powerful, insane stuff here. More of a 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Date Night
Date Night(2010)

I thought it started off pretty slow when it came to big laughs but when the laughs start they are nonstop. Steve Carell and Tina Fey are hysterical together and show great chemistry, they were a riot! Compared to recent action/romantic/comedies as of late this one manages to do it right which can't be said about the awful The Bounty Hunter which I walked out on. This was just nonstop fun when things get rolling with great cameos from stars and I have to say that I have faith in Tina Fey again because I kind of lost it when she did the disappointing Baby Mama but I think if she is paired with the right person and has the right script it can be comedy magic, so hopefully there is better things to come from her in the future. Though sometimes a distraction from the comedy it had crazy action scenes and a car chase that will have you on the floor laughing as well as a pole dancing scene that was hilarious and the funniest part. I don't know why and I don't know how they could do it but I kind of want a sequel from this because I had a blast and didn't want it to end even though it was kind of uneven when it came to mixing action and laughs but you can't ignore the leads efforts and comedic talents. Overall I didn't love it but I think this might be #2 on my list of the funniest comedies of 2010 and I recommend it if you want a couple of good laughs but just don't expect them in the first ten or fifteen minutes of the film. See it!

Bandslam
Bandslam(2009)

This was a pleasant surprise! It was clever, hip and witty with alot of great music and fine performances. This is like a cross between Nick & Norahs Infinite Playlist and School Of Rock that is just as good as the both of them. It moved at a great pace and it always succeeded at entertaining me and surprising me with its brilliance. This is probably the smartest teen dramedy Ive seen in a while and a good coming of age tale and the director did it with ease. Its a shame that this didnt get much reconition at the box office charts because its just one of those movies you could just watch over and over again and have in your collection. No its not groundbreaking or anything amazing but it was just very sly for its kind which is rare these days and is a very welcome edition. Overall this was like a diamond in the rough and a feast for the ears and I loved it as it surpassed my low expectations. Highly recommended! More of a 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Adam
Adam(2009)
½

I thought it was a pretty straightforward but enlightening film about a young teacher who falls for a man that has aspergers syndrome. It was very pleasant and genuine throughout and very touching with an fantastic and believable performance from Hugh Dancy, which to me has to be his breakout performance. I thought it was very sincere and delicate how it approached the syndrome and it taught me about the syndrome which I knew little about until now and it was just so beautifully displayed and told that you will fall for this film. I liked how it wasnt so serious most of the time and was kind of humorous in some parts and charming and though it didnt end how I wanted it to I still think it ended on a very happy and hopeful note. Overall I enjoyed this film alot and was very uplifting and feel good and I recommend it to anyone that has a heart because it will win you over, a class act. More of a 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Sherlock Holmes
½

I thought Robert Downey Jr. did a marvelous job playing Sherlock Holmes and had a solid supporting cast and was very entertaining for the most part but definitely not an fantastic movie adaptation. I not very familiar with the whole Sherlock Holmes stories but I dont remember that it was supposed to be witty, flashy and funny which took away the atmosphere and suspense and it bothered me and I just couldnt let it slide on by. Nothing in this film really stands out to me and I feel like it was trying to be like Pirates Of The Caribbean which I liked more than this and thats how to me it kind of lost its identity and didnt become as memorable. The film is never boring but I do think its a tad too long with action scenes too far and in between that I started to fall asleep a bit and I felt like some of the dialogue was monotone and mumbling that it was hard to understand what they were saying. The look of the film was great but sometimes the filming and editing seemed over the top and flashy that it kind of gave me a headache but I loved the fight and chase scenes. The ending pretty much sets it up for a sequel which I dont mind but hopefully they will improve on some elements. Overall I wish I would of liked it more but in the end it wasnt up to my standards but Im definitely not saying it was a bad film becuase its far from it but it could of been a whole lot better than this but its a decent, fresh start to an potential franchise. Rental. More of a 2.5 out of 5 stars.

The Chaser (Chugyeogja)
½

I thought that this was a very well done thriller that was a roller coaster ride of emotion, pace, anticipation and I was on the edge of my seat especially at the shocking and shattering finale. To be honest in the halfway mark I started to lose some interest in it because it was moving pretty slow developing the clues and characters but once it gets going again it goes full speed and never stops and I was blown away with the end result and like I said its like a roller coaster because it goes up slowly with you anticipating the rush and fear then it goes full speed then cools off to go full speed again for its conclusion. I thought the acting was spot on and fantastic while the filming was expertly done when it came to atmosphere and grittiness, when it gets down and dirty its very graphic and brutal but then some scenes are left to the imagination which is more disturbing sometimes than actually seeing it take place. The finale was bittersweet to me but I like how it was so unpredictable with its twists and turns that it will take your breath away and thats how I overall was pleased because it definately got me back for the ride in the end. Overall its kind of like Seven meets The Departed and I can see this film being remade and has the ptential to be even better and a potential oscar contender just like how the remake of The Departed ended up being, this is gripping entertainment at its best and no it wasnt as good as reviews are claiming it to be and it wasnt perfect by my standards but compared to some american thrillers as of late this is rock solid! Chase it down! Recommended! More of a 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Hot Tub Time Machine

I haven't laughed this hard at a comedy in a long time and I'm happy to say that this is the comedy to beat this year because I just don't see any comedy being as hilarious, fun and entertaining as this one. Everyone had their funny moments but the scene stealer, star of the show will have to go to Rob Corddry because man was he hysterical! I had a feeling that this was something special and I'm happy to say that my expectations were met and then some and I kind of want a sequel out of this. This definitely takes you back to a more simpler time big hair and all and before high tech gadgets but I for one would not want to go back to the 1980's. This is probably the most raunchy comedies I've seen on the big screen in while and nothing was hold back and was unappalegetic when it came to crude jokes and was so off the wall and that's how I like my comedies most of the time if it works and it definitely works here. To me this is a comedy that I will remember especially having a title like Hot Tub Time Machine and I will put this one on my list to buy when it comes out on dvd. Overall this was a laugh out loud riot from beginning to end and it was a brilliantly zany comedy which is to me a step above The Hangover which I think is overrated. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! A MUST SEE!!

Clash of the Titans

To be honest I've never seen the original but if it's anything like this pile of steaming poop than I don't want to see it because this sucks balls! To the acting, story, CGI, and especially the lousy, good for nothing 3D effects that pretty much rips you off is all flat and uninspired. This is the second movie this year that I walked out on and got my money back because I'm just not falling for this hollywood bull crud anymore and I cherish my money and want my freaking moneys worth, step up your game guys come on, I mean you guys get paid all this money to deliver duds like this, cheap, very cheap! Overall avoid this like the plague! ZERO STARS!!!!!

Defiance
Defiance(2009)
½

Another solid, eye opening film about the holocaust that was action packed, riveting, devasting and will always be shocking that this horrible chapter in history went on and left so many murdered human beings, it's disgusting! The acting from everyone was very strong and Daniel Craig has never been better and demands the screen and there is alot of intense action and violent scenes that will put you on the edge of your seat and was suspense laced. This was very well filmed and was hauntingly beautiful and the forest where they hide was breathtaking. This was an amazing and powerful true story brought to light and is a shame not more people fought against the nazis the way they did during this horror because just too many people got murdered over nothing and when we finally step in it was too late. It's a crime that this didn't get noticed that much when it was in theaters and judging from critics reviews its underrated because it's one of the best war movie about the holocaust out there and it just got released in a bad time when so many of these movies were released, it unfortunately got lost in the crowd. Overall this was a definate crowd pleaser but it's not a masterpiece and not my favorite but it was just plain good and I highly recommend it. More of a 3.5 out of 5 stars.

The Stoning of Soraya M.

An very important film to watch and a very tough watch as well, it will stir your emotions and break your heart, it makes me very angry that this disgusting practice still goes and how people can just stand there and do nothing. This is very similar to the film The Passion Of The Christ to the brutality that it's victim endures and pretty much dies for other peoples sins, it's an outrage. The acting was strong in this especially from Mozhan Marno who plays Soraya M. as well as Shohreh Aghdashloo who plays Sahra who tells the tragic story of The Stoning of Soraya M. I never been so distraught and on the edge yelling at the screen in a while and it will definitely drain your emotions and be warned that the stoning is very graphic and horrific and shocking that I had to cover my eyes a bit so if you are squeamish go in the other room because it's very hard to watch mentally and physically. Overall this is a powerful story that was well filmed and acted and needs to be seen and heard and never fogotten but I will probably will never want to watch it again. Recommended with caution.

Hachi: A Dog's Tale
½

This was a simple movie that was to the point but at the same time it was a pretty slow build up but what a wonderful true story about a wonderful precious dog that makes Marley & Me a run for their money. I was so touched at the end of this film that I was so teary eyed and that tells alot because I usually never cry during a movie, it definitely pulls at your heart strings towards the end and yes you'll cry more at this end than in Marley & Me or in Old Yeller. The acting was ok in this film but it really wasn't its strong suits but the real star of this film was that beautiful dog that played Hachi and if a dog was ever up for an oscar this one is at the top of the list, it was so beautiful that it distracted me from everyone else in the flick, I want one! Overall this has to be the best canine movie I've ever seen at least in years and I highly recommend it to everyone that has a love for man's best and loyal friend. See it!!! More of a 4.5 out of 5 stars.

The Bounty Hunter

Wow this was pretty awful, dull, lame and a complete disaster when it comes to chemistry, romance, action and laughs so it pretty much fails on all counts. I think they're either bad actors or Gerard Butler and Jennifer Aniston need to fire their agent because lately they have been making duds, DOA. I was never a fan of Gerald Butler but I'm getting to not enjoy Jennifer Aniston anymore and might avoid her movies for now on after watching this useless piece of trash. To be honest I walked out of this movie before it was even halfway over because it was boring me to tears and was not entertaining at all! Overall I urge you all to not waste your hard earning cash on this talentless junk that was spit out of the hollywood "I just want two major stars in my good for nothing flick so I can get some quick cash" laziness machine. ZERO STARS!!!!!!

Fish Tank
Fish Tank(2010)
½

In many ways similar to the award winning Precious: Based on the novel Push by Sapphire but this time it takes place in the slums of the united kingdom, with a less abusive but just as bad mother and just as gritty and depressing. I thought newcomer Katie Jarvis did an remarkable job as the troubled, damaged teenage girl on a desperate struggle to breakaway and I'm surprised she didn't get nominated for an oscar because to me she is way better actress than the girl in Precious. Michael Fassbender from Inglourious Basterds was also good as her risky love interest but I hated him in this movie because in the end he was such a scumbag! This movie draws you in their world the moment it starts to the bittersweet end and it was so raw, riveting and fearless that I didn't want it to end and it also reminds me of the other indie flick Thirteen. Overall I didn't love it but I liked it alot and this is gritty drama at its best and I recommend it especially if you liked the previously mentioned flicks above. More of a 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Alice in Wonderland

This was a very mesmerizing experience that was full of imagination, fantasy, color, magic and distined to become a classic just like an artists masterpiece. This was quite darker and different in some aspects than the original and to be honest this is the best version yet and it made it even more glorious being in IMAX 3D which is a vision to behold. I thought Mia Wasikowska was great as our new Alice and I couldnt keep my eyes off her and Johnny Depp and Anne Hathaway were good as expected and I also loved the cat but the scene stealer, showstopper of the film will have to go to Helena Bonham Carter as the red queen, she was fantastic and hysterical, big headed and all. Tim Burton is back to his A game with this one and he created the perfect atmospheric, visual experience and chose the perfect actors for the parts, its also the first movie of the year or in awhile for that matter that I wont mind seeing again. Overall judging from some reviews and critics this is underrated and is a much better 3D eye candy experience than Avatar which is highly overrated to me and Im glad that it opened with higher numbers than it. Highly recommended! See it once, see it twice, see it three times, its that good!!!!

Bright Star
Bright Star(2009)

An very enthralling, heartbreaking biopic that had gorgeous cinematography that is just a feast for the eyes to behold. I got sucked in from frame on and is probably the best and devastating period piece, love story I've seen since probably Titanic, well maybe not that good but close. This movie is so delicate and beautiful I couldn't look away and Abbie Cornish gave and fantastic, breakthrough performance as John Keats love interest Fanny Brawne and I'm surprised she didn't get nominated for any awards. It's unfortunated a sad that John Keats never got to live his success and fame as he died a very young of 25 and that Fanny Brawne never got over him but his poems sure do live on. Overall this should of received awards for costume design, cinematography and best actress but got snubbed but I highly recommend it as you will find yourself lost in it's beauty and love story. More of a 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Dead Snow (Død snø)

An gory as hell zombie flick that is just as funny as it is thrilling. I had a blast watching this movie from beginning to end and it blows any recent horror/comedy out of the water well maybe not Zombieland but it was close. The movie is pretty predictable and nothing really new but it had so many out of nowhere gore scenes that made my jaw drop that it more than made up for it, if you are squeamish you have been warned. I thought all of the characters were witty and likable but no one was safe in this movie and that was kind of a crazy change of pace in a way but I was still satisfied with the bloody and insane finale. The filming and atmoshere kind of reminds me of the slasher Cold Prey which is also from this country though definitely not as good but it was just as solid and breathtaking when it came to atmosphere as well. Overall this was one kick @ss zombie film and probably the best one Ill see this year and I highly recommend it if you are fans of Evil Dead, Zombieland, Return Of The Living Dead, Shaun Of The Dead ect. gorehounds will be pleased for sure. Highly entertaining, fun, thrilling and I want to see a sequel to this! A must see!

The Last Station
½

I thought this was an pretty interesting, lively, enlightening biopic that had great performances especially form Helen Mirren which I think is very oscar worthy. I was always interested on what was going on and cared and was fascinated by every character and was entertained by them. I never heard about Leo Tolstoy before this movie nor read any of his books but he seemed like a very fascinating and celebrated figure and might consider reading his books after this but I wish they would of done a full biography on his life but this will have to do for now. This moved at a pretty slow but steady pace and it seemed longer than it was but in the end I'm glad that I watched it but would probably not watch it again. Overall it wasn't amazing but it was one of the better biopics I've seen in awhile but I suggest waiting for the dvd for this one.

Antichrist
Antichrist(2009)

Holy shit was this weird and sadistic! It had an breathtaking, beautiful, classic and haunting look to it like nothing I've seen before but the story/plot I just couldn't make anything out of it other than the female character was a very troubled and sick woman who didn't believe in god or was a sadist or something like that and went over the edge after the death of her only child. I thought the performances were great and very brave but I just can't see anyone really enjoying it and in a way I felt dirty for watching it, if there is a line this film definitely crossed it. To be honest the film never bored me and was captivating but it was an artsy fartsy mess and I almost didn't feel like I was watching an actual film I mean it was just frustrating and an exhausting experience. No this is not a horror film at least to me but this is more of an erotic, psychological, artistic and brooding drama with some disturbing shock moments thrown in but I still don't know what to make of it I'm just baffled. In the end it was bold but I was confused what I just saw and was expecting more of an creepy possession flick but got erotic artsy fartsy bull crud, very disappointed! Overall avoid like the plague!!!!

The Crazies
The Crazies(2010)
½

This is one solid, action laced, intense, entertaining thrill ride of a remake done right for once! Everything about this is great from the acting, filming, shocks, mystery, gore, pace and story that I didn't want it to end, a sign of a terrific thriller in my books. There were a few solid jump scares here and there but this is more of an apocalyptic/thriller than a full out horror movie to me but the gripping action and the gnarly situation make up for that because to me these type of virus, apocalypse films are more terrifying than some guy in a mask chasing bimbos around. This was like a mixture of Carriers, 28 Weeks Later, Resident Evil, Phantoms ect. so if you like any of those films you'll love this wild and crazy ride. I can't find any flaws about this movie other than the fact that it's not the most original movie around but it's a remake so who care because I'd take a good remake any day than some watered down crap! Overall I loved it and didn't want it to end and would mind a sequel and this might even be the best thriller or horror movie I guess we'll see this year but hopefully not. Highly recommended but then again I have a soft spot for these type of movies. More of a 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Colour from the Dark

This supernatural/horror movie was way too ambitious for its own good considering it's very limited budget, talent and the story was just too over their heads, I've just seen way too many movies like it and most of them are way better than this mess. The only part that I liked was the creepy dream sequence in the beginning that makes you think that this might be a pretty good and spooky flick but I was dead wrong. It pretty much went nowhere terrifying from there and it was like a broken record going around in a pretty generic and boring path that lost my interest but I stuck it out waiting for something better but it never came through for me. It's a shame because judging from the trailer it looked like it was going to be one scary flick but I should know by now not to judge a movie by it's trailer but was so much looking forward to this flick, I'm very disappointed in the poor performance on display here. Overall this was pretty much a huge failure on all counts and very generic through and through, this could of been so much better if it was in the right hands. Not recommended!!! More of a 1.5 out of 5 stars.

My One and Only

This was a piece of sunshine compared to most romantic/comedies these days that it actually has genuine laughs, entertained me, was satisfying, has a neat story, it also has a little bit of an intimate coming of age drama as well. The performances were great in this and Renee Zellweger was a delight to watch and it cracks me up and was interesting that this was an loose biography on actor George Hamilton's childhood with his mother and how they went on a journey to find love and self discovery. This also worked as a period piece as well and it captured the 1950's perfectly and added even more character to the flick and I don't know why but this flick kind of reminds me of the other road flick Calendar Girl, it's better of course. Overall this was an highly enjoyable movie that had not one dull moment in it and it's just one of those rare feel good flicks of yesteryear. See it! More of a 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Coffin Rock
Coffin Rock(2009)
½

There was nothing wrong with this movie but the problem for me was that they took an old stalker formula a did nothing new or novel with it and in the end it was forgettable. The acting was actually really good in this and pretty much drives the film along with some brutal, disturbing and shocking scenes but nothing that was truly terrifying or scary just unsettling. This movie wanted to be movies like Fatal Attraction, Cape Fear or Inside but didn't quite make it to their greatness and to be honest it was slow through most of it and there wasn't any action until towards the end and sometimes I felt like I was watching a lifetime movie of the weak because it was pretty average on most counts. Overall this thriller had so much potential to be horrifying but fell flat to deliver most of the goods so I can't quite recommend it but if you happen to catch it on television someday I'd say watch it but don't expect much from it but it was an ok but disappointing watch. More of a 2.5 out of 5 stars.

Mother's Day
Mother's Day(1980)

Yes this was a trashy, sadistic, brainless, backwoods/horror flick but one of the good ones. This was such a wacky flick that it will make you laugh at one point of the nonsense going on and on the edge of your seat with fear the next and it was like an odd cross between The Last House On The Left, American Gothic, Psycho, Just Before Dawn and Deliverance with a little of The Final Terror. The Acting wasn't the best at all but at the same time decent for a trashy b-movie and I was definitely rooting for the three leading ladies which I didn't expect any characters to be likable and worth rooting for. This was a wild, weird and crazy ride from start to finish and it just had me glue to the chaos that was going on and to me this was a pretty memorable horror movie especially one that had no class. It's going to be very interesting what the remake has instore for us and what Rebecca De Mornay will do with the mother role, hopefully it will be way better than this but just as crazy. This was bloody a brutal at times but you could tell from frame one that it had a very limited budget which made most of the kills not that effective and loses some of its shock value but they sure did try and make it inventive. Overall this was mostly entertaining, not that scary or suspenseful but there were some moments here and there but it didn't have a good backstory to it all and that made most of it senseless but it was rewarding in the end but man this was one strange, fuc!ked up movie and I liked it, an undiscovered horror gem in a way. Can't wait for the remake! See it if you are fans of backwoods/horror!

Shutter Island

Was the wait worth it? Not really but what I wished would of been more of a horror movie with genuine scares and hard hitting fear turned out to be a dark and gritty psychological/drama and a devastating character study. Leonardo DiCaprio did an fantastic job in this film and I wont be surprised if he gets nominated for an oscar or actually win one come next year oscars because he definitely deserves one because he is one of the best actors in hollywood period! The cinematography was haunting and beautiful in this and set the perfect tone for a psychological experience and the music score was also above average though it was kind of overbearing for the movie it turned out to be. I was constantly using my head for this one and it was like a puzzle in a way but not as boring putting the peices together and I was always intrigued throughout, this one is a mindbender. The twist blew me away but disappointed me at the same time but it was heartbreaking in the end and it loses most of its horror, thriller, shock value and it turned into a complete drama and to me it could of been so much more than that. Overall it was a good watch but no way as good a Martin Scorsese's past films but if this is his weakest the man is one talented guy. Wait for dvd for this one! More of a 2.5 out of 5 stars.

Dead Tone
Dead Tone(2010)

This was a fun and entertaining slasher with brutal and bloody slayings but it was extremely unoriginal with alot of dumb characters running around like chickens with their heads cut off. The whole concept has been done to death now and it tried too hard to be like a film like Scream or Urban Legend and it ended up more like a weaker version of Valentine. This film looked like it was made in the 1990's and it should of been released in that era because it might of done better because that's when this type of film was hip but now it's just not that scary or that suspenseful I mean it just failed at it though there was a couple of jump scares here and there but they were cheap. In the end there wasn't anything clever about this slasher at all and they could of done a better job with their material but I guess they wanted to rip off slashers of the 90's, very uninspired and pointless in the end and they left it opened for a sequel but I say don't bother. Overall Dead Tone was dead as a doorknob, BRAINLESS! It was kind of fun though while it lasted but not much thrills can be found in this slasher. Skip it or watch it if you haven't seen any of the slashers of the 1990's. More of a 2.5 out of 5 stars.

Saw VI
Saw VI(2009)

Certainly not the worst the franchise has seen but still not as good as part 3 but it did come close especially more than the last two. The acting wasn't as by the numbers this time and I was pretty impressed with newcomer from vh1's scream queens Tanedra Howard's small but serviceable first performance as Simone, not half bad. I have to say this might be the bloodiest one yet in the series and they're getting better with the story adding a few twist here and there but it's still annoying going back and forth between scenes because it just makes it confusing but they're getting better, slowly in a way. I still think this is an overrated franchise and pointless on making more and it's just violence in the sake of violence and it's just not scary, suspenseful or rewarding and it's very tiresome now but it'll be interesting what they will do come this october when it'll be in 3D but probably just a rehash with the story going nowhere. Overall it's an improvement over the last two but not a huge one and it'll definitely satisfy gorehounds but anyone else might find this to be too gruesome and pointless to get into but I say add it to your queue if you are fans of the long lived franchise, to me though it's way past its due and I think they should wrap things up with part 7 this year and why not go out with a bang in the glorious 3D. Watch it or not it really doesn't matter if you lost your interest in this series with the last two.

Frozen
Frozen(2010)
½

I'm not jumping up and down for this one but I thought it was a very well done survival/thriller that had some shocking, gruesome scenes as well as some thrills and definitely chills. The acting was pretty decent but the stand out here is newcomer Emma Bell who gave an heartbreaking performance as one of the stranded skiers on a ski lift, man I felt all of her pain. I thought the director did a great job using different techniques with the camera and used his one location effectively that makes you think and feel that you're right there with them on that ski lift, the thought just terrifies me but doesn't make me fear going skiing just makes me think twice about going on a ski lift. I think it's a tad overrated saying it does for skiing what Jaws did for swimming, not really and to be honest it's more Open Water than Jaws just with more action and a different situation, sorry it just didn't put the fear in me, it just had me feeling sorry for them and rooting for them than actually being scared. It will have you thinking throughout questioning what would you do in that situation, what lengths would you go in order to survive and some of it to me wasn't plausible while other scenes were very realistic and will have you on the edge of your seat. What makes this so special is the fact that they took a simple idea and went to great lengths to make it powerful and had three leads that could be anyone's friend, sister, brother, lover and it makes you feel for them even more and makes the whole situation more unsettling and shattering with some scenes that will make you a little teary eyed, good effort. This film actually has a heart and is refreshing from most horror offerings lately but it's more of a drama/thriller and I can't wait to see what director Adam Green has up his sleeve next! Overall it could of had a slightly better conclusion and I don't think it's going to be the best genre flick of the year because I just don't see that happening but if you want to see something different, new and bone chilling go support Adam Green's latest effort Frozen, though more of a renter on a snowy night to me. Recommended!

Triangle
Triangle(2009)

I hated this film!! I'm going to be pretty rough on this because I had such high hopes for this thriller that stars the lovely Melissa George who gave a pretty good performance as a somewhat unbalanced mother of an autistic child who needs some alone time and decides to go on a sailing trip with a couple of friends but soon finds that was a mistake and finds herself stranded on a huge abandon ship that is in some kind of weird timewarp. I think she is wasted here, it also had nice production values and had you thinking and on the edge of your seat throughout. The thing is that it didn't make much sense at all and is one of those movies that makes you make up your own ending to what just happened but that didn't help either and it still didn't make much sense. I added this to my queue thinking I was going to get a creepy burmuda triangle mystery/thriller movie but all I got is an never ending thriller version of Groundhog Day and not in a good way. There were some pretty violent, bloody scenes here and there but not worth mentioning and had a great atmosphere that didn't deserve to be in this mess of a film. Overall this was a HUGE disappointment to me on all levels because it had so much potential but never went anywhere and left me confused and hanging and it's a shame because there seems to be alot of effort put into this just not in the story or script which was a mess to me. NOT RECOMMENDED!!!!!

Red Road
Red Road(2007)

What starts of as an fascinating mystery/thriller turns around and becomes more of a slow moving drama about grief, loss, revenge, moving on and forgiveness and it was a pretty good one at that but this film is definitely not for everyone. I thought the acting was pretty strong and believable and you felt her pain and struggle of the loss of her husband and her daughter and her odd way with dealing with it and it was just an intriguing but slow journey to find out what really happened that day to them and how she struggles to accept it and move on. This movie really had me guessing and thinking and surprised me in a couple of ways like thinking a certain character is more ruthless than they ended up being and how the mood changes towards the end and ends on a sad but positive note, believe me this is not a full blown thriller. There were some dark, erotic scenes in this film that is not for all tastes and might turn some viewers off so be warned. Overall this was not great but it was an interesting look at life, loss and kind of redemption and it was pretty satisfying, not really what I thought it would be at all but it's worth a look only once though. Don't expect too much from this film or you will be very disappointed, this one requires alot of patience. More of a 2.5 out of 5 stars.

Edge of Darkness
½

An very riveting, edge of your seat thriller with Mel Gibson at the top of his game. This one plays out like most revenge flicks and is nothing we haven't seen before but what a wild, bloody, slow burning ride until the touching end. This one reminds me a little bit of another revenge flick The Brave One though to me not as powerful but definitely hits you were it counts with some surprises here and there that will startle you and make you jump a bit. You'll root for this vigilante all the way and was quite entertaining seeing Mel Gibson being such a bad@ss and he was great in his role as the grieving father on the edge to get justice for his murdered daughter. It even more upsetting to see what his daughter died for and even more rewarding to see revenge served. Overall this was a very solid and satisfying revenge/thriller nothing more nothing less and it's great to see Mel Gibson back in top form. Recommended! More of a 3.5 out of 5 stars.

In the Loop
In the Loop(2009)
½

What an very cleverly written, very funny, smart and wickidly entertaining political/satire in the likes of Burn After Reading and I loved every minute of it! I think every comedy from the united kingdom has been great and laugh out loud funny and it's no wonder why america steals their ideas all the time because they're witty and clever and it makes me mad that they are already remaking Death At A Funeral. I thought it was well delivered and performed by everyone thats to the amazing script at their hands and if Diablo Cody can get an oscar nod for Juno they should get one for this movie and not the overrated Up In The Air, it's just maddening. This is just one of those movies that you never want to end because it gets better and better and once it's over you can't wait to watch it again or share this with your family and friends especially in these times. I'm very surprise that this didn't get a wider release or have better success and reconition because to me this has to be the best political/comedies I've seen in 2009 or in years. Overall my complaint is that it ended pretty quickly and was a little rushed but I urge everyone to check this out because it's a must see in my books. Highly recommended!!! More of a 4.5 out of 5 stars.

7 Days (Les 7 jours du talion)

Man this was a very depressing, grim, brutal and a very hard watch that will stir your emotions. I thought this dark drama had solid acting and a powerful message but it had a sluggish pace and I didn't agree with the main character's actions to advenge his daughters rape and murder and it's not one of those revenge thrillers that you root for the guy getting revenge, I pretty much felt sorry for both of them. It makes you think what would you do in that situation, what actions would you take if that happened to your child? In the end I can't find anything that I really liked about this film, it just was way too bleak for me and it really didn't bring anything new to this genre and it just brings your mood down big time. Overall there is some torture scenes in this movie that is not for the squeamish but it focuses more on the characters and how they deal with the crime than being that type of film, again more of a drama and judging from some early reviews it's overrated and nothing I will recommend or would want to see again, your're not missing out on anything amazing. DEPRESSING STUFF!!! More of a 2.5 out of 5 stars.

Legion
Legion(2010)
½

You know what, screw the critics and the bashers because I thought this religious themed horror/thriller was very entertaining, goofy, funny and at the same time thrilling, this is not a boring flick folks. Sure it's not the brightest movie and is very predictable but saying it's boring with bad acting and calling it the worst movie of the year as some people are claiming, NO WAY! I've seen way worse movies out there with bad acting like the other religious themed horror movie House, now that one sucked and was a snoozefest. The acting in this film isn't the best ever but it isn't horrible as people are saying and at least they make it interesting and fun in a late night grindhouse flick sort of way and that's fine by me because it didn't bore me but I have to say that it has a pretty random cast of stars in this movie. This was pretty graphic and violent at times but it wasn't as gory as I thought it would be and it was almost more of a action flick than anything but there was some fun, creepy and wacky scenes here and there. My one complaint is that there was too much dialogue and jibber jabbing between scenes and not enough demon attacks and it could of had a better conclusion. Overall it moved at a fast enough pace, was fun and entertaining with a likable yet random cast, had enough action and thrills and at parts was goofy and funny, not one dull moment for me and what else could you want and expect from a movie especially like this one, definitely not the atrocious, dull movie I was expecting. Overall go in with very low expectations, don't take it seriously and you might have a good time with this popcorn flick, I know I did. Recommended! More of a 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Blood Creek
Blood Creek(2009)

Well this was different and very bizarre supernatural, nazi, vampire, zombie, revenge flick or whatever it was trying to and you know what because of that odd mix it was very watchable and entertaining. I thought it moved at a pretty quick pace and was never dull but the plot and story was pretty much all over the place and was sometimes confusing on what it was setting out to do but to me that made it intriguing and made me infixed. The acting was ok but not the films strongest suits and Dominic Purcell seemed to be in his Prison Break mode, however the filming was top notch and had a great spooky atmoshere and had good production values for a direct to dvd film and yes there will be blood and plenty of it for gorehounds, it also has a very creepy looking villain that is like a cross between pinhead and freddy krueger but wearing a black, The Matrix like trench coat, pretty menacing guy. Overall this was kind of was a unique little horror movie that could of been a little bit better in its delivery but for what it was it wasn't half bad and it was entertaining, can't stop watching type of movie because of its weirdness and I recommend it for a late night rental if you've got nothing better to watch, don't expect a scary film, have low expectations and don't take it seriously. More of a 2.5 out of 5 stars.

Passengers
Passengers(2008)

This movie really surprised me, it was a pretty suspenseful movie that packs an emotional punch. The acting in this movie was good and had characters that had depth to them, it's a movie that will have you thinking the whole time guessing what's going to happen, which I kind of saw the twist coming but was still dumbfounded and was very touching and tearjerking. I think this is a extremly underrated film that deserved a wider theaterical release and deseved better credit than what it got. I thought everything about this was great but the only bad thing I could say is that they kind of market this film like it's a creepy supernatural/thriller which it's not because it's much more meaningful and deeper than that and it's more of a psychological/drama and a good one at that. Overall if you like movies like the recent The Lovely Bones without the visual dazzle than you will definitely like this one. Recommended!

The Lovely Bones

This was a very touching, hauntingly beautiful, difficult and devastating film about a young girl who was raped and murdered and isn't ready to go to heaven so she is stuck in the in between from heaven and earth to see justice and bring her killer down. I haven't read the book but what I've heard it seems like they had a difficult transition from book to film on their hands. To me I think they did a marvelous job with the film and it was expertly acted by everyone and Mark Wahlberg really impressed me here as the grieving father who wants justice and answers. Saoirse Ronan to me is a fearless actress in the making because it seems like every role she takes on is challenging, Dakota Fanning watch out! I liked how they did this film with class and care without showing us any of the graphic, bloody details but just after the fact and I'm glad they went that way because it was already grim to begin with. The director captured the atmosphere and the 1970's perfectly and it was just an amazing visual feast for the eyes especially for a movie like this, it was extraordinary! I never cried during a movie but there is alot of scenes that will pull on your heartstrings, it did to me. It surprisingly ended well and as a whole I was very satisfied with this film and I think it's a diamond in the rough, a gem of a film that I will remember for years to come. Overall I don't quite understand why this isn't getting rave reviews and is criminally underrated but I urge everyone to see this film if you want to see a movie out of the ordinary. Highly recommended! More of a 3.5 out of 5 stars. Job well done Peter Jackson!

The Ramen Girl

This turned out to be quite a charming, heartwarming, funny and uplifting tale about one womans true calling after her boyfriend leaves her in tokyo to pursue a job elsewhere. It's still very sad and shocking that Brittany Murphy is no longer with us but this movie proves that once again she was a fine and very charming and lovable actress that won't soon be forgotten. This movie will definitely make you hungry and crave ramen noodles and just make you in a very happy mood, very spirited movie! This movie shows that life can throw you curve balls but you should never lose touch with yourself and your soul and do everything with passion. I thought the supporting cast was a delight especially the ramen chef teacher he was hysterical! I'm surprised that this never got a theaterical release because I thought it was very appealing and a winner in my book, sure it's not the best movie ever and was pretty simplistic and nothing we haven't seen before but it's sunshine compared to most. Overall if you enjoy movies like Simply Irresistible or Chocolat ect. you'll like this movie. Recommended!!!

Daybreakers
Daybreakers(2010)
½

I'm happy to say that this vampire flick doesn't suck in a bad way! It had strong visuals, a great cast, graphic bloodshed, fast paced, action laced and vampires that are actually scary and menacing and that are not fuc!king dreamy! It has been quite a while since I've seen a vampire flick that actually delivered and wasn't so stylish and teen oriented, excluding 30 Days Of Night of course which was great as well, this film brings this kind of genre back to life and it's about time! I thought the ending was pretty weak especially what came before it but I does open a door for a sequel and I for one really hope they go through with it because this story is definitely not complete. The acting was pretty good for a vampire movie but kind of underplayed but good none the less, no one really stands out, well maybe Willem Dafoe if any one. Overall I recommend this if you are sick of people talking and gushing over Twilight, forget that film and go see a real vampire film that actually has some teeth and meat to it. GO SEE DAYBREAKERS!

Trucker
Trucker(2009)
½

This one is a sleeper hit in my eyes! The acting from everyone was soo good in this film that it throws any flaws out the window and if it wasn't such an indie, straight to dvd film it should of recieved some awards in the acting and directing department. The story is pretty simple and not very original at all but the way they delivered it was outstanding. I think this is similar to movies like Come Early Morning, Julia, Where The Heart Is ect. so if you like movies like that you'll enjoy this one. The characters and the performances really pulls you in the moment it starts to ending credits, though the ending was kind of abrup but touching none the less. I really think this is overlooked by critics and is underrated and I think it deserved a better theaterical run than being dumped to dvd which it didn't deserve. I see good things in the future for Michelle Monaghan after her performance in this film and I never seen her carry a film on her own as well as she does in this movie, great job! Recommended! More of a 4.5 out of 5 stars!

Fifty Dead Men Walking
½

An captivating, tension filled thriller that had strong performances and an unforgettable, powerful true story that will start a discussion for days, it's amazing what people can do to each other and how far they will go to do it! I thought it had some slow parts here and there but it had a lot of nail biting action chase scenes and some brutal torture scenes that's not for the squeamish. The filming was atmospheric and gritty and very raw but the main attraction is the story which I think drives the film to an amazing reality that this actually really happened to this man and this society and is still happening to him and it ruined his life, it's just baffling! Overall it didn't exceed my expectations but I was pretty satisfied for what I saw and I will go ahead and recommend it if you like true crime thrillers or flicks like The Bourne Identity movies.

The Strangers

A very creepy, intense, suspenseful thriller that will have your heart skip a beat. The acting was strong, Liv Tyler gave it her all and I hope we see more of her in the future, she is a great, deserving actress. Definately the scariest american horror movie so far this year. If you liked Them(Ils) you'll love this.

The House on Sorority Row

A very underated slasher film. It is kind of like I Know What You Did Last Summer but better in my opinion. I loved what the killer was wearing towards the end, very creepy! The acting was surprisingly decent. The ending kind of left you hanging in suspense though, but that really doesn't ruin the experience. Deserves a sequel! I heard that they are doing a remake, I hope they don't make it PG-13 and F it up like they did with Prom Night. Overall I Recommend this slasher gem!

Poltergeist II/ Poltergeist III

Both were pretty good but far from as great as the original. The second one is pretty creepy(that cane guy gave me the chills)with the cast still on the ball, but what a crappy ending! The third one is probably the most different from the trilogy with only Heather O'Rourke being the only original cast member to return. I did think it was the most violent one and the ending was haunting knowing that Heather O'Rourke(RIP) died before finishing the movie, so they had to use a body double for the final scene. Overall both didn't have the spark and weren't that memorable like the first one. Still worth a rental. I heard they are remaking the first one, they definitely have a tough act to follow.

The Zero Boys
½

This movie was a surprisingly entertaining slasher/adventure movie with a very creepy atmosphere. The acting was ok, there was some suspense and creepy scenes. The only problem I had was the abrupt ending. This is one movie that deserves a sequel or a remake. Recommended if you like backwoods slashers.

Class of 1984

A highly entertaining thriller with a very brutal climax. One of the best from the 80's and a underated gem. Dangerous Minds has nothing on this. It's scary that this movie is kind of close to reality. Check it out if you get a chance!

Poltergeist
Poltergeist(1982)

One of my all time favorite horror movie! This movie has it all when it comes to supernatural horror movies. It has very strong acting from all of the leads, and creepy, memorable scenes that will stay with you. The best of its kind and nothing has topped it yet. An instant classic!

Them
Them(2007)

One of the scariest, intense and shocking horror movie I've seen in years. It's brutal, disturbing and a terrifying journey into the darkest side of humanity. The acting was believable and the ending made my jaw drop. Hollywood forget torture/porn and watered down PG-13 crud and make horror movies scary again. The french know their horror movies. Highly recommended!

The New Kids
The New Kids(1985)

A pretty entertaining thriller. The final showdown was cool and the acting was ok. It could of went without the cheesy 80's soundtrack, but I did like the suspense score. More of a thriller than a horror movie so I don't know why they label it as one. A decent watch but very 1980's.

Battle Royale

A controversial but brilliant action/thriller that keeps you on the edge of your seat. I thought some parts were a bit strange but overall a very entertaining ride. See which friends will last till the end. Recommended!

I Spit on Your Grave (Day of the Woman)

Not as bad as some make it out to be, but it's still very violent and sadistic when it comes down to things.Camille Keaton was great(whatever happen to her?) I think it was slightly better than Last House On The Left but I still think Death Weekend is the superior rape/revenge movie of that time. Worth a check if your are into these type of movies.

Road Games
Road Games(1981)

I thought this was a decent movie, with pretty good acting in it. I liked how it kept you guessing and there were some suspenseful scenes in it. My problem was that there was not enough action or Jamie Lee Curtis in it and the pace kind of dragged. But overall it was a pretty good Hitchcock like thriller. Worth at least one viewing.

Hansel & Gretel

An very unique, atmospheric, challenging, tragic and sometimes creepy psychological/drama that has drops of horror in it but not much. I thought the story was intriguing but mostly confusing and the acting and filming was mostly top notch but this one makes you use your brain to figure stuff out which was frustrating in some parts especially the ending. To me this is overrated and some people say it surpasses Pan's Labyrinth and The Orphanage but I think those two films are superior to this, not saying it's bad it's just not as good. Some parts in this film are visually amazing and it enthralls you from beginning to end but I was still a tad disappointed with the final result. Overall don't rent this thinking your going to see another korean horror movie because it is far from it but do rent it if you like fantasy, story and atmosphere driven dramas because this one is one of the more decent ones out there but be prepared to be patient for the slow build up. More of a 2.5 out of 5 than a 3 to me.

Up in the Air
½

An very fascinating movie that packs a life lesson punch but at the same time it was very frustrating and depressing and not really the perfect hollywood, escapist film for the holiday season. To be honest it's just another overrated, oscar driven film that has great acting and a true look at life up in the air. Jason Reitman seems like a talented filmmaker but it seems though he is having a hard time topping his film Juno and the success that followed it I never thought the movie was dull and I got a kick out of George Clooney's character and him doing his job and Vera Farmiga is a pleasure and solid as always but I hated her character at the end of this movie! The highlight in the acting department to me was Anna Kendrick, this was definitely a breakthrough role for her, she did a great job. Throughout the movie I couldn't uderstand if it had a distinct message to it or if it had one at all and I wasn't a huge fan of the gloomy ending, it made you feel bad and all bummed out and I'm sick of all of the oscar race movies that back hands you on how unfortunate life can be and how lonely it can be on top or in this case up in the air, we all know this already and when I go to the movies I want to escape from the real world not have a reality check! Overall it was enlightening, had great acting and like I said very fascinating and I never lost interest in it the whole time but calling it the best picture of the year...NO WAY! Wait for rental or on demand. More of a 2.5 out of 5 stars.

Intruder
Intruder(2009)

This has to be the most amateurish, sloppy, dull, senseless slasher I've ever seen! The acting sucked, the kills sucked, there was no intriguing story to follow and unlikable leads, this film oozes no budget, no talent, it was just painful to watch these people waste their lives on such a crappy horror flick, it's just pathetic! There is nothing about this film that is redeeming and the ending was so anti climatic and didn't make much sense at all! The only thing I will give it props for is maybe the filming because I kind of liked how they experimented with the lighting and the colors creating a pretty spooky atmosphere, but that's it! Overall it wasn't scary, suspenseful or even a high enough body count for you gorehounds and it had a sluggish pace, in the end it had me scratching my head and mad that I wasted my queue space and wasted my precious time on this crud! Do yourself a favor and AVOID THIS FILM!!!!!!! ZERO STARS!!!!! If you like movies like this go rent Frayed instead because it's much better than this poor excuse for a movie!

Deadline
Deadline(2012)

This was quite a haunting film that was suspenseful, atmospheric and chilling to the bone. It is very sad to believe that Brittany Murphy's untimely death at the age of 32 was soon after this film was released and it makes the movie all the more eerie, gloomy and unsettling and I always thought she had alot of talent and this movie shows it, the camera loves her, what a waste and shame that we never got to see her true potential because to me she had alot of it, RIP. The story isn't all that original and it kind of reminds me of What Lies Beneath and it did have a slow build up and it kind of ended on a anti climatic note but the performances were solid for not having the most solid of scripts and had enough creepy scenes and a few jump scares to keep me interested. Overall if you want to see an old fashioned psychological/thriller that isn't over the top on gore and scares and focuses on more simple things like character development, atmosphere, creepy sounds and build up than you will probably find this film to be pretty decent. Watch it, you could do alot worse. More of a 2.5 out of 5 stars.

The Blind Side
½

Going into this movie I honestly had zero expectations and didn't think I would be interested in it at all but it won me over big time. I thought Sandra Bullock gave one of her most winning performance of her career so far and I loved her in this and Tim McGraw wasn't half bad either and the rest of the leading cast were just so darn lovable, this movie will definitely make you feel good. The true story is so neat and wonderful and drives the film, it's pretty touching and great and very uplifting. I thought it kind of sugar coated some subject matters and steriotyped but it was a piece of sunshine and fresh air for the mind and soul, it was enlightening. Overall this is the perfect movie for the holidays that every family should go out and see. Recommended! More of a 3.5 out of 5 stars.

500 Days of Summer
½

A fresh, unpredictable take on the romantic/comedy genre that was smart, charming and entertaining. I like how the movie was filmed and everything seemed natural and not forced and the leads have enormous chemistry. I thought the story was well told and layed out and it was well played out and it ended on a surprising but good note. This is definitely not your average love story and I liked how it didn't play by the rules and that made it very enjoyable. Overall I'm not saying it's the best romantic/comedy ever because it isn't but it's definitely the brightest one I've seen in a while. Worth a rental!

Brothers
Brothers(2009)

I was really satisfied with this powerful drama, the performances were excellent and had depth and had an involving story that will keep you glued from start to finish. Brothers had an effective vision on the war and how it can break someone and their lives back home and it was heartbreaking as well as captivating and when things start to boil over it came fast and was intense and sad. I thought it had an good direction and was very polished and defined and it was just a good drama that had some meat. Overall I thought this was pretty flawless but no classic by any means but I can see this film getting nominated for oscars come awards season, I thought it was really good and I recommend it but I warn you It's pretty bleak. More of a 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire

Wow! What an very bleak and devastating story about a young woman named Precious who is under extreme abuse from her mother and is pregnant with her second child from an horrible situation and is doing her best to break away. I thought there were some powerful performances from great actresses that played either horrible, emotionally damaged or unique human beings and some of the scenes will shock you and make you emotinally sick to your stomach but it wasn't as bad and explicit as I thought it would be but it was pretty tramatic stuff going on in this movie. I think this movie has a good message behind it and shows you that no matter how bad your situation is in life you can always push yourself out of it or it can drive yourself to do better things and create a better life for yourself and there is always a reason and a story why some people act the way they do especially behind closed doors. In the end it makes you appreciate you and what you've got and ends on a bittersweet but good note and deserves best and supporting actress oscar nominations because I think it's the best I've seen all year from actresses in one movie. I recommend it but it's very depressing and grim and I didn't think it was the best drama picture of the year as some people are claiming it to be but it's a strong piece of work and craftmanship. Worth a rental but not a must see.

The Hangover
The Hangover(2009)

This was an very outrageous comedy that was unpredictable, raunchy, fun and one wild and crazy ride and I liked it but to be honest didn't love it like everyone else. The characters were histerical but I didn't relate to any of them and alot of the scenes were unrealistic and that's why I had a hard time finding some of it funny but more silly. I definitely liked the setup and the crazy script and the soundtrack was killer but the thing that kept me intrigued was its unpredictability that kept me wondering what insane thing was going to happen next. There is alot of celebrity cameos that will put a smile on your face but was kind of distracting. The title says it all because your pretty much experiencing a hangover with them as your dazed and confused on what's going on and in the end the ride was so worth it! Overall it wasn't the laugh at loud riot I was expecting and the material has been done before but I thought it was very entertaining and very fun just not the must see comedy of the year. Worth a rental! More of a 2.5 out of 5 stars.

Scream 3
Scream 3(2000)
½

Definitely the weaker one of the trilogy and not really a good way to end the trilogy. It did have a little more action in it and laughs but far less scary, suspenseful, and intelligent than the first two, but still an entertaining ride. I still think they should make a 4th one, and make it better than this one. But that is just my opinion.

Scream 2
Scream 2(1997)

One of the better horror sequels out there, though not as good as the first one and I didn't like who the killer or killers were. But in the end it was a clever, whodunit, slasher with some scares and action thrown in. Recommended for Scream fans.

Scream
Scream(1996)

One of my favorite horror movies. It's scary, witty and intelligent, with great acting. This is more of a homage than a spoof which is a good thing in my opinion. Slasher fans this is a must see! What's your favorite scary movie? This one!

Farmhouse
Farmhouse(2008)

This definitely takes torture films to a whole new level with it's brutality and very dark subject matter with a twist that will shock you to the core. I thought the performances were all pretty good but sometimes fell flat but nothing distracting and is very graphic and twisted in some scenes that is definitely not for the squeamish. There was dread throughout the moment it started and it will have you guessing how it's going to end and you will probably be wrong because it's devastating and horrific. The production values are pretty basic lifetime movie of the week material but that doesn't make it lose its effectiveness and being downright disturbing and dark, very dark. Overall this is a pretty solid thriller about a couple that tries to start a new life after the death of their child but wound up fighting for their lives and I recommend this slow trip to hell for the twist alone.

Fritt vilt (Cold Prey)

An fantastic slasher movie! It has the scares, suspense, decent acting and a creepy story about how the killer became who he is. I thought the first killing was pretty bloody, but the rest was pretty dry for a slasher, but it doesn't ruin the experience of the movie at all for me, it makes up for that believe me! It had the perfect, creepy atmosphere that gave me the chills, and a edge of your seat ending. Can't wait for the sequel! A MUST SEE!!!

Pontypool
Pontypool(2009)

I thought Pontypool started off as a pretty strong slow burning, startling, intriguing, clever, witty and suspenseful virus/zombie thriller or whatever it was. It ended up eventually spinning out of control into something ridiculous, outrageous, confusing and silly that made me roll my eyes a few times and it was like this whole big build up to nothing thrilling. The acting was strong and believable and the characters were likable and relatable and were worth rooting for but against what kind of left me hanging. The filming and atmosphere were ok but it kind of bugged me that it took place in a radio station the whole time and all the action and chaos happended mostly outside and we only heard the comotion on the airwaves but it did keep me on the edge of my seat. I think some horror fans might be disappointed that this movie isn't that gory at all and is mostly about its characters and suggestion and suspense than scares and fast pace action but to me that didn't pay off very well at all and just left me hanging and wanting more. Overall I liked their idea and thought it was pretty fresh and smart but the execution of it could of been better and clearer, this reminds me of the movie The Signal which was a little bit better and more entertaining than this one so if your a fan of this genre check that one out but don't expect much from that one either. Skip it! More of a 2.5 out of 5 stars.

The Escapist
The Escapist(2008)

An harrowing, gritty, taut, tense, thrilling prison break/thriller that will captivate you until the shocking, bittersweet conclusion. The film was atmospheric and gloomy and the performances were solid but not showy and it did a good job keeping you in suspense. It never reaches to great lengths and it wont stay in your memory forever but this is probably the best prison movie I've seen since The Last Castle and It's better than most movies of its kind but it just wasn't that theatrical or amazing as I thought it would be. Overall this prison break movie has an heart and a soul and has an involving story and characters to root for and was quite an jarring experience but frustrating. Recommended! More of a 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Basement Jack

An moody but ultimately lousy slasher flick that had no story we've haven't seen before, very bad acting that will make you laugh and is one of the film's biggest problem and it also had a lame, pathetic killer that bored me to tears. This is kind of similar to the other direct to dvd slasher Frayed but no where near as entertaining and suspenseful as it and is very uninspired. I thought this had poor production values by the cheap effects and the unbelievable lightening and thunder storms and it wasn't smooth or solid about anything and to me it was a waste of money to make in the first place because at least Frayed had some terror in it and was fast paced, this one will slash you to sleep. Overall this is a waste of shelf space and is a not so bright slasher that wasn't slick, scary, suspenseful, entertaining or bloody inventive enough to be worth your time. Not Recommended!

The Echo
The Echo(2008)

This remake improves a little bit on the original and is far more better filmed and managed to be creepier. I thought the performances were pretty good and modest but nothing that packs a punch and if you seen the original you pretty much know what's going to happen and what is going to be the outcome in the end so they pretty much didn't add anything new or major to the story. I never thought anything about it was all that scary or terrifying just creepy, chilling and atmospheric and when all is said and done it's just another american horror remake but one of the more decent ones and one of the slickest ones out there but nothing groundbreaking. Overall if you are still not sick of asian supernatural/horror like movies that's low on gore and high on chills and atmosphere and if you enjoyed the film 100 Feet here you go, just don't expect anything new or unique. Worth a rental.

Train
Train(2009)

What originally was suppose to be a remake of the Jamie Lee Curtis star slasher pic ended up taking the wrong route and decided to be it's own movie and guess what it's another torture flick, come on! Not once was it not cliched and it wasn't suspenseful, scary, original or inspired it's just another rehash of Hostel and not in a good way. I thought the acting was not very good from anyone except from Thora Birch who got unfortunately stuck in this rotting waste of a horror film, the filming was alright and it had the perfect setting but not much ignition, the only part that had me on the edge was when they were being chased throughout the train and they get trapped in a room and they soon find themselves in pitch black as the train goes through a tunnel, that was a pretty good part but the rest seemed too familiar. This movie just didn't seem focused and was pointless in the end and they should of went with the original idea of a remake of the slasher Terror Train which might of had a much better payoff than this, it was just forgettable rubbish trying to cash in on the torture craze. Overall this was like Transsiberian meets Hostel and not in a good way, it had flaws and the whole thing was problematic and rushed, yes it had alot of gore but there seemed to be no room for suspense, terror and scares and that's maybe why they stuck with just Train for the title and not Terror Train this time around. Not recommended!

Bakjwi (Thirst)

This was a strange and different new take on the vampire genre but I was definitely not into it this time around. It was too slow with boring leads which I didn't see sexy at all which you usually expect to see in a vampire flick and I just found the story uninvolving and wasn't effective. I can't believe the last vampire film that I actually really liked was Bram Stoker's Dracula and that was like 17 years ago, that had the atmosphere and everything down perfectly, here was too much drama and not enough horror and thrills. I am almost kind of giving up on these asian horror movies because most of them these days seem to be mostly weird and too complicated which is one of the reasons why I couldn't get past an hour with this one so I turned it off, wow what a disappointment! Definitely overrated! Overall I can't find a thing about it to recommend it unless your into strange and different from the norm asian horror flicks with a vampire this time than you might like it but other than that I'd say skip it because you are not missing out on anything thrilling and amazing or worth your time.

Star Trek
Star Trek(2009)

This was the most exhilarating, electrifying sci-fi adventure of the year or maybe even the decade and is definitely the one to beat this year but I doubt any other action film or sci-fi film can be this entertaining or a feast for the eyes as this one. I thought the cast was spot on and refreshing and the director is BRILLIANT! To be honest I have never seen one Star Trek episode or movie so I was a bit skeptical hearing that they were doing a prequel but they proved me dead wrong because to me this is a sci-fi masterpiece or at least close to it. I loved every moment of it and I didn't want it to end and I can't find anything I didn't like about, it was flawless! J.J. Abrams is a masterful director and I can't wait to see what he throws at us next and I hope there is a sequel on the way because I'm dying for one now. Extremely recommended!!

Ne le Dis à Personne (Tell No One)
½

An very complicated, mysterious and suspenseful thriller which was mostly hard to figure out but maybe that was their goal. I thought the acting was solid and was beautifully filmed with some nice classic music which was kind of out of place for a thriller but I didn't mind it at all. Sometimes it got a little slow moving in some parts and it was lacking action but that chase scene made up for it a little. I was going to give this a lower rating but I thought it was clever, classy and intelligent and ended on a good note so I gave it a 3 star rating but more of a 2.5. Overall I was slightly disappointed with this thriller and it is overrated but worth at least one watch but not a must see.

Angels & Demons
½

This was just way too slow moving and to be honest dull for my liking, I felt like I was in history class watching a long history lesson and I was tempted to walk out a couple of times but I wanted to wait to see if something great will happen but nothing did. The acting wasn't bad but it came off as a bunch of college professors preaching back and forth so nothing exciting here. I thought the filming was nicely done but the highlight of this movie was the explosion in the sky part which caused an chain reaction, it was an pretty amazing scene but other than that it was like a long lecture. Overall a lackluster movie that had the potential to be better but it came up short, I'd say go rent the National Treasure movies instead because they are way more entertaining and fast paced than this. More of a 2.5 out of 5. Skip it, not worth sitting through.

100 Feet
100 Feet(2008)
½

One of the better supernatural/horror movie to come out in recent years and it is a shame they didn't give this film a chance for a theaterical run because it's definitely good enough for it. It had alot of intense parts that will make you jump out of your seat and one very graphic scene that will shock you and make you squirm in disgust, man did that ghost do a number on that guy. I thought the acting was strong from all, Famke Jenssen was good as always, we don't get to see enough of her in films but when we do it is always a pleasure. I thought the filming was pretty good and captured a creepy enough atmosphere for a ghost flick and I thought the ghost was pretty menacing but they could of done a better job with it. I also liked how it ended. Overall if you want a fast paced supernatural/horror movie with enough frights to get your heart pounding here you go. Recommended! More of a 3.5 out of 5.

Plague Town
Plague Town(2009)
½

An very nightmarish horror movie that was filled with scares and wit and just had this odd/creepy charm about it and despite some misteps and a anti climax it ended up being a pretty solid horror offering that's sure to creep you out or in some parts make you giggle. The acting was nothing special but nothing horrible either and the filming wasn't high budget stuff but that just adds to the charm and the director definitely knows how to create an spooky atmosphere that looked like right out of someones scary dream, nice job in that department. The movie also sported some nasty, creative and bloody kills that was the cherry on top. Overall I liked this movie more than I thought I would have and I hope there is a sequel on the way because it's definitely set up for one. Recommended if you are not tired of killer kids flicks yet because this is one of the better ones! More of a 3.5 out of 5.

Dead Wood
Dead Wood(2007)

An fantastic little horror gem that was an pleasant low budget surprise. This was an ultra creepy supernatural/horror movie that kind of reminded me in some parts of the horror film The Blair Witch Project but a better version of it and without the shaky cameras. I thought the acting was better than expected and the atmoshere top notch with enough scares to please. This is one of those movies that gets better and better with each passing minute and ends with a bang! I urge them to make a sequel because there is plenty of room for one. Overall I can't recommend this enough because it will surprise you in more ways than one, so turn off the lights and get ready to get spooked! Strongly recommended!

Terminator Salvation
½

An special effects extravaganza that was fast paced, thrilling, sometimes intense and to me an satisfying entry into the Terminator series. Sure it kind of lost its heart and spirit that the last Terminator movies had and I sometimes felt that I was watching the Fox television series Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles but that didn't bother me because I love that series. It kind of had that The Road Warrior feel and look to it too but again those movies were great as well so no complaints from me. I thought Sam Worthington was the best actor and the most memorable person in this entire movie, he even out shined the great Christian Bale. This was not as entertaining or to be honest as memorable as the last Terminator movies especially the 2nd one but it is the most different when it comes to mood and atmosphere because it is a tad darker and more serious than the last ones. Overall I recommend it because it didn't disappoint me but it still wasn't my favorite Terminator movie the 2nd one still is but it's an welcomed action packed, thrill ride, didn't beat Star Trek though. More of an 3.5 out of 5.

Eden Log
Eden Log(2007)

Pardon my french but what the fuc!k was this! I mean most of it wasn't explained other than that they were using humans for energy or something and most of it was hard to see what was going on and that got old really fast! There was hardly any dialogue in it so I can't really judge the acting but what was displayed was pretty good and you can read their emotions well. I thought the filming was too artsy fartsy but sometimes especially the ending it was visually stunning. This was just one complicated mess and it made me fall asleep because there wasn't much going on the whole time other than the main guy going on a boring wild goose chase to figure out how to get out of the underground place and to know what the hell is going on and when he does it still doesn't make much sense. Overall do not waste your precious time on this sci-fi/thriller it's not worth it believe me! AVOID!!!

Wicked Little Things

This was an alright supernatural/horror movie that had a few scares here and there and was very atmospheric but it was lacking suspense and intensity. I thought the acting was ok but nothing great and the story was pretty intriguing but nothing that pulls you in right away, at least for me and I just didn't think that the kids were that scary looking and they were too many of them. This is kind of similar in some ways to Plague Town but not as creepy or entertaining. There was just nothing that special about it that makes it stand out from other horror movies of its kind and to me it's kind of forgettable, worth a rent though. Overall it was alright nothing great just more of the same. More of a 2.5 out of 5 than a 3 star rating.

Dance Flick
Dance Flick(2009)

Definitely the weakest Wayans brothers movie to date! I think I rolled my eyes more than I laughed this time around because I think most of the jokes were bad timing and some were out of place, like what does Twilight, Ray, The House Bunny, Dreamgirls ect. have to do with spoofing dance flicks, I mean it was just idiotic and wasn't funny just lame. Most of the decent parts were shown in the preview and they did a good job making it look like an hilarious spoof and I dislike dance flicks so I was excited that the Wayans brothers were doing a spoof of them which to me was too little too late, but I'm glad that they finally did one, but too bad it wasn't that funny or clever like they did with the first Scary Movie and maybe the 3rd one too. I thought that Damon Wayans Jr. seems to be just as funny as the rest of his family, too bad the movie wasn't but he seems to know how to carry a movie so I thought he did a pretty decent job in his first big movie. Overall this is yet another lousy attempt at spoofing and this should be a wake up call to hollywood to stop spoofing movies unless you are going to do it right and be clever about it, NOT RECOMMENDED! More of a 1.5 out of 5 than a 2 star rating.

The Burrowers
½

An atmospheric, sometimes intriguing and mysterious western/creature feature that almost plays better as a pure western/mystery than a horror movie, at least for me. I thought the acting was pretty strong from everyone but they didn't have much of a strong script to work with so no one really out shined others and no one to really root for but they were likable enough. This movie dragged on for way too long and it took them way too long to figure out what was going on because you pretty much figured it out way before they do, so you pretty much wait until they wake up and smell the coffee. It just didn't have enough action in it so it ended up being very slow and when you finally see what the burrowers look like was a disappointment because it was generic looking cgi and they weren't scary at all. Overall this had the potential to be much better than it was because it was nicely filmed, acted and had a good atmosphere but everything else wasn't that special just dull to me. More of a 2.5 out of 5 star rating. Skip it!

Drag Me to Hell
½

Okay I'm just going to say it, I WAS DISAPPOINTED! Maybe because I'm an experienced horror fan but I didn't find anything terrifyingly scary or as most people are saying hilarious about this flick, it was just very goofy and cartoonish but I will give them one thing and it's that it was intense in some parts and has a brilliant sound/music score that forced me to jump in some parts and I applaud them for a great effort and job in that department. I thought the acting was pretty solid with both Alison Lohman and Justin Long being very likable and charming and worth rooting for as always but I have to say that Ellen Page should have done this goofy horror movie instead because I think she would have owned the part more and I just pictured her more for the role. I really wanted to love this movie but I wanted to see a nicely blended or pure horror movie that was highly praised by critics not a goofy/cheesey one. This is not Sam Raimi's best horror/comedy to date The Evil Dead still is unfortunately but I'm glad that he is back in the genre so maybe his next horror offering will back up the good reviews if it gets them that is. Overall this is an ridiculously overrated horror romp that was not what it was all cracked up to be but it did have this entertaining, grindhouse charm to it and has an memorable villain and has an better effort from the cast and crew than most horror movies these days but it doesn't deserve an 94% on rotten tomatoes I mean come on, I guess the critics got caught up in all the hype. Maybe Jennifer's Body will do a better job at blending humor and horror together because this one kind of lost it's steam and fear factor once it started to get a bit silly. See it drunk, it'll definitely might be more entertaining that way;

August Rush
August Rush(2007)
½

This was an very good fairy tale like drama that pulls on the heart strings while enlightening you and was an gift for the eyes and ears. I thought there were some fantastic child actors in this movie most notably Freddie Highmore who plays August Rush, he's like a male version of Dakota Fanning and Keri Russell, Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Robin Williams were also good in their roles, bravo! It did get a bit corny in some parts but the film never loses it's magic. This movie pulled me in from the the moment it started until the heartfelt happy ever after ending that makes you want to st