Da 5 Bloods
On the Record
I May Destroy You
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Prowl is a bit of a mish-mash between horror sub-genres, but it does have an air of creepiness about it and I found the first half of the film to be very effective for the most part, but the second half seems to drag and the less than earth-shattering revelations that the film throws at you do little to elevate it. A decent atmosphere and 'smarter than the average bear' characters do push this into the territory that would cause me to recommend this, but only mildly. There certainly are other films that do what this does and do it better.
Gothika does a good job of creating atmosphere and acheiving some mild creep out moments, but it never really acheives the emotional weight that I feel it was striving for. I think Halle Berry did a good job as someone who is seemingly losing her mind and the supporting cast was good, even Penelope Cruz whom I don't care for as an actress. Robert Downey Jr. gave me an odd feeling throughout the film, almost like he was playing a different character from a different film. It's hard to go into without spoiling anything. The effects were well done and the story was well paced. A decent film in the supernatural thriller genre that should be effective for most casual viewers of the genre, but it never really feels like it goes for broke with any of its ideas. A film geared more towards to general audience than genre fans.
Vanishing Point is a movie that seems to have acheived cult status almost for the sake of having cult status. Not to say that it is a bad movie, and admittedly I would most likely have enjoyed it more had I seen it before it turned 40, but I just never found it to be a fantastic film. Unlike Dirty Mary Crazy Larry, which after a slow start, keeps the car chases coming quickly with only brief slowdowns between. This, seems to be a slower film punctuated with brief car chases to remind the audience that this is supposed to be a car chase film. When Kowalski is burning up the asphalt, the sequences are well filmed and exciting to watch. The acting is decent and the characters are believeable, even if some of them seem pretty eclectic. And the ending, while fitting for a fugitive, left me feeling a little bit cold. The kind that makes you feel like you missed a scene somewhere that would have made the ending make more sense. Vanishing Point is a classic car chase film and well worth a look if you like car chase films, I just don't think that Vanishing Point the movie lives up to Vanishing Point the myth.
Battleship is a film that when I first heard of it, I felt it was utterly stupid and decided I didn't even want to see it, especially with the inclusion of an alien fleet. For whatever reason, I did decide to finally sit down and watch this and I actually enjoyed this to a certain degree. Although, from my expectations, it would have been a near impossibility to disappoint me. Sure, the story is daffy, the performances are bland and some of the action sequences feel like Micheal Bay should have had a co-directing credit. But as a mindless action film with wanton destruction and pretty visual effects, I found it entertaining. The aliens were threatening enough, although they looked liked their suit designs were stolen straight from Halo. The running time is a little too long for my taste, but feels considerably less punishing than the Transformers sequels. If you can past the Hollywood blockbuster cliches and the cornball acting and just enjoy the action, this might work for you. Just keep your expectations low. Very low.
The Flowers of War is a beautifully filmed movie that tells the story of a very ugly era in human history. It is well made and well acted, but having seen it, I am certainly left a little puzzled by the casting of an known American actor into the lead of a Chinese film. Not that Christian Bale is bad here, quite the opposite actually. It just seems strange to me. Unless, of course, the true events upon which the film is based featured an American person in that role. The film has a long running time, and it feels like it. This is more of a drama than a combat movie, ultimately feeling somewhat like a foreign version of Jarhead or The Hurt Locker. The pacing is slower than I would have liked, but I didn't wind up being bored with it. A good film, but there are far more compelling war dramas, both foreign and domestic.