“The Boy” on IMDB
Thriller/Horror, 104 Minutes, 2015
Motels are creepy. Alfred Hitchcock knew that in 1960 when he set his classic thriller Psycho [IMDB] in one. By their very nature they’re nowhere. After all, if you were somewhere, there would be a hotel, right? Motels are where people end up when they can’t get where they’re going. Motels are awkward, uncomfortable, and far from people or the hope of help.
“Me and Earl and the Dying Girl” on IMDB
Comedy/Drama, 105 Minutes, 2015
At first blush (perhaps second and third, as well) this is a movie trying too hard. It’s a quirky indie comedy/drama that runs, intentionally or not, slavishly through the quirky indie comedy/drama playbook. The question is, does it have anything worthwhile to say?
In the late 1970’s three friends, Sam Raimi [IMDB], Rob Tapert [IMDB] and Bruce Campbell [IMDB] were 20-somethings desperately trying to avoid mediocre lives. Nurturing life-long interests in film, they decided to pool their resources – all $1600 of them – and spent a weekend making a short horror film.
There will be spoilers ahead.
“Metropia” on IMDB
Mystery/Drama, 86 Minutes, 2009
The trailer for this begins “In a world…”, so you know it’s going to be something different! Or at least a different version of something you’ve seen before. Or maybe something exactly the same as what you’ve seen before, but with a different paint job.
This is that last one.
“The Sisterhood of Night” on IMDB
Drama/Mystery, 104 Minutes, 2014
Before I begin, an admission: I had no interest in seeing this. At all. I gave it a glance and dismissed it as another brooding, tween, After School Special melodrama. Somebody would offer somebody else drugs, they’d just say no. Somebody else would cry and so forth and so on. I am, however, married, and this film was shot in my lovely bride’s hometown at her former high school.
So, guess who got to watch “The Sisterhood of Night”?
“Star Wars Episode One: The Phantom Menace” on IMDB
Sci-Fi/Adventure, 136 Minutes, 1999
I won’t be seeing Star Wars: The Force Awakens [IMDB] for at least a few more days. I hate crowds nearly as much as I adore the franchise, so will sneak into an early matinee sometime soon. All of the fuss has made me think of the last “Star Wars” premier I was excited for. (more…)
“Fire City: The End of Days” on IMDB
Fantasy/Thriller, 101 Minutes, 2015
The idea that demons feed on our suffering isn’t new. It’s been a staple of fantasy and horror for hundreds, perhaps thousands, of years. The specifics vary, but one fact remains true: our misery is delicious. (To demons, at least.)
I had a craving for a little 13th century English history (like you do), but wanted it a little cheap; a little, um, dirty. Like when you could get steak, but you want a greasy hamburger. These movies looked like they might fit the bill: they were set at the right time and had about a dozen people from Game of Thrones in them.
“Ironclad” on IMDB
Action/Adventure, 121 Minutes, 2011
Way back in the 13th century, King John of England (Paul Giamatti [IMDB]) was a tool. A royal tool. Such a tool, in fact, that his barons rebelled and, with the help of the Knights Templar, defeated him. They forced him to sign the Magna Carta, which limited the power of the king. He promptly ignored it and brought in an army of Danes (who dressed like Scots, for some reason) to help him reclaim the country (that he hadn’t actually lost).
“POV” on IMDB
Horror, 84 Minutes, 2015, Official Web Site
[This review was completed at the request of the filmmaker. No other consideration was given.]
This is a no-budget experimental horror film from writer/director Richard Anthony Dunford [IMDB]. The story is told in real-time and wholly from the visual point of view of the main character. (more…)
“An Honest Liar” on IMDB
Biography, 90 Minutes, 2014
The first time I tried to see James “The Amazing” Randi in person was many years ago. I was living in Boston and he was appearing at MIT. A friend and I left work early and walked to the campus only to find that the auditorium was completely overrun. Well over a hundred people had already been turned away, and more were piling in behind us. We couldn’t even get a glimpse of the man.