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White Settlers (2014) Directed by Simeon Halligan




This sounds like a horror movie, it looks like a horror movie but no, it really isn't a horror movie as well.

It's actually weird how this movie presents itself as a horror movie to you, while in fact it's more of a "Straw Dogs" type of thriller movie. And when I say it's more of a "Straw Dogs" type of movie I actually mean that it's a very blatant rip off of the 1971 classic "Straw Dogs", which got remade in 2011 as well. And oh no, this most definitely isn't a very good or effective rip off either.

Just imaging an incredibly watered down version of "Straw Dogs", without any of the psychological aspects, suspense, story development or characters. This movie really doesn't have an awful lot to offer, simply because it isn't doing an awful lot in the first place.

It's pretty hard to describe this movie, since it doesn't just falls into one category. Sounds like a good thing perhaps but in this case it really isn't. Like I said, if feels and looks like a horror movie but aside from a few jump scares, it features no horror elements in it at all. Guess you could that it's still a bit of a slasher but it's a slasher without much violence or blood and gore though, so could you really call it a slasher? The story is more suitable for a thriller type of approach anyway but the movie itself seems to disagree on this. It tries to be as dark possible and look violent and suspenseful, without ever actually doing anything violent or truly suspenseful.

I keep saying this but dark doesn't equal atmospheric. It's one of those movies that seems to think that it's enough to feature a dark look, in order for it to work out as a suspenseful and scary one but forgets all about actually setting up some good tension, suspense or mystery with its story first. It just doesn't work like that and it only makes the movie a terribly flat and uninvolving one to watch.

At the same time, it's still really far from the worst movie you could watch. At least it isn't as formulaic and generic as the title and cover of the movie might suggest it is and yes, it also indeed still has plenty of good and original things to offer. Because it's far from a generic movie, it also is far from being a boring or predictable one, though that doesn't mean that all of its twists work out as good or effective ones as well.

I really can't recommend this movie, though there obviously are worse movies you could watch.

5/10

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How to Murder Your Wife (2015) (TV) Directed by Riccardo Pellizzeri




Don't worry, this isn't a movie that shows you how to actually kill you wife. As a matter of fact, it's more a movie that shows you how to NOT do it, which at the very same time actually is my main problem with this movie. Not that I want to kill anyone (yet) but it divides the movie too much into two separate parts, that don't work out together too well.

And no, this isn't a remake of the 1965 Jack Lemmon comedy by the same title. It's actually a movie that's based on a true story, that took place in New Zealand in 1977. It's one of those movies that makes you wonder how much truth is actually in it though. After all, it takes a comedic approach to its premise and features nothing but extremely exaggerated, almost cartoon-like, characters. This isn't really a complaint though, since I'm pretty sure that the movie wouldn't have been much good to watch without any of its comedy and lightheartedness but at the same time it also feels weird of course for a movie with a premise such as this one, that involves a murder and is based a true story, to take a comedic approach and to go for laughs, rather than any kind of drama or suspense.

I'm not sure if the premise itself was even good enough for a movie. It's only 'special' because it involves the murder by an elderly, tender looking, guy on his wife but other than that, there isn't much special to the story really. I kind of liked the fist half of the movie, that was all about the planning of the murder but I can't really say the same about the second half as well. So the first half is all about planning the perfect murder but once the crime is committed..well, it's far from the perfect murder really. The main character does the one stupid thing after the other and makes mistake after mistake. Really, the title instead should have been "How NOT to Murder Your Wife". All the hard work, planning and buildup doesn't amount to much, once you see the eventual outcome of it all. It makes you wonder; what exactly was the point of the first half of the movie?

Sure, it sets the tone and setups all of the characters for the movie but still, once the second half kicks on you'll soon start to realize that it's in too much contrast with its first half. The fun and lightheartedness of it all is still the same but the story does start to shift a bit. While the first half of the movie was still all about the Alf Benning (Simon O'Connor) character and told pretty much everything entirely from his perspective, the second half gets told more from the viewpoint of the police officer who got put on the case. He never shows up in the first half and the police doesn't play a role at all in it, so when it happens it all seems a bit too sudden and like an odd choice for the movie to suddenly switch sides. I have to say that it even made the main character look unsympathetic. In the first half you still were able to feel his 'pain' and understand his actions and motives but in the second half, when everything gets told from the 'opposing' side, he suddenly seems like a big, unsympathetic, fool. You even want him to get caught and convicted, which isn't an odd thing to want but it is for this movie, in which you are clearly supposed to care and feel for the main character, considering how his character got treated and the story got buildup like during its first half.

But really, it's just an harmless little movie to watch. Nothing too special or memorable but certainly nothing too terrible either. So its story doesn't also work out too well but luckily that never turns the movie into an horrible or annoying one to watch. It's definitely still a fun lighthearted movie, that's all about its comedy and never any drama or other aspects really.

6/10

Poltergeist Activity (2015) Directed by Andrew Jones




Oh no, Andrew Jones does it again. He took two popular and recognizable words associated with the horror genre, slapped them together and voilà! There's a formulaic sounding movie title for you! Good and clever marketing of course but at the same time also terribly uncreative, cheap and even somewhat annoying. When I see a title like this I'm even inclined to say that a movie like that already deserves a couple of points in deduction but no, don't worry. Once I got passed the title I was able to take the movie for what it was and I even have to say that there were some genuinely good and interesting elements in it.

The movie still remains a very mixed bad though. I for instance was really liking the movie when it was working on its mystery and setting up the story and tenons but whenever there was supposed to be a jump scare or other horror related elements in the movie, the movie fell flat for me. It's an odd thing of course; an horror movie without any good or effective horror in it and I also do believe that this is going to be the reason why most won't like this movie but to me it still luckily had some good things to offer as well.

I for instance liked how the movie sounds and looks formulaic but actually is a quite original one when it comes down to its story and the way it gets told. It most definitely isn't a predictable movie to watch and it does a pretty good job fooling its audience at times by turning into something different then you would expect.

It also has a pretty good style of its own. It doesn't try to rush things or feature tons of cheap jump scares in it. It really doesn't try to force anything upon you. Sure, there are still plenty of generic moments in the movie and it heavily 'borrows' from a movie such as "Poltergeist" at times but compared to 80% of all other modern horror movies this one definitely does a pretty good job with taking an original approach to things. It isn't one of those movies that feels or looks like any other, low-budget, modern horror production, which always is a positive thing to say.

In short this is a movie with plenty of good ideas and elements in it but not everything works out well enough though. All of the horror falls flat, which is the main reason why most won't like this movie but it's still one that never becomes terribly unappealing to watch. It's just too original and creatively put together for that, though I definitely wouldn't go as far too call this movie a great or totally recommendable one as well.

5/10

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Air (2015) Directed by Christian Cantamessa




The preservation of mankind has never been this boring to watch. I mean like wow! I don't have the attention span of a 10-year old but that doesn't make me immune to boring movies.

I just really, really don't get what the film-makers were trying to do and say with this movie. There is no good main story, no interesting characters, no good tension, no mystery. no nothing really. There is absolutely nothing in this movie to ever grab you or to peak your interest with.

It's obviously one of those slower and more serious type of science-fiction movies, which is fine and can work out very well, however not in this case. Slower and more serious type of science-fiction can be absolutely great and fascinating to watch, as long as they mange to deal with some interesting and thought provoking themes and issues. So what are the themes of this movie? I have no clue really. I also really don't know or understand the purpose of the whole story, that for most part really doesn't seem to go anywhere with anything. It's not that the story is complicated or anything, it's just that there hardly seems to be any story at all. It has an interesting sounding premise but the movie does absolutely nothing with this. It's a movie about some big themes and serious issues, however none of the themes and issues come across as 'big', important or interesting as well.

This all maybe still could have been fine, as long if the movie had some solid and interesting main characters in it. That not the case however. The characters are all flat ones, that you hardly get to know at all and there also isn't a very good chemistry between the two main leads Norman Reedus and Djimon Hounsou. They are too different from each other and never have any good or interesting interaction with each other. And we are supposed to believe that these guys have been living together for, who knows how long.

It's also funny how this is a science-fiction movie that absolutely never feels like one as well though. It's mainly because the movie constantly feature the same settings, that don't look futuristic at all. You never get a good sense of the world that it's set in, or a good understanding why things are the way they are in this movie.

It was obvious to me that the movie was being deliberately slow and vague about things to provide the movie with a certain style and atmosphere. All of these movies want to be the new "2001: A Space Odyssey" it seems but very little seem to understand what it takes to create a fascinating and engaging movie, that has a wonderful artistic style and is a feast for the eyes and mind. In other words; everything that this movie isn't.

Also it's disappointing to see how this movie isn't ever effectively building up to anything. There are some scenes in this movie that could potentially have worked out as some tense one but they never do. The movie seems to have no clue how to handle its tension or mystery and how to tell things in a both engaging and interesting way. The lack of good sound and music also add to the reasons why none of the tense moments in the movie ever work out as such.

I won't say that this is one of the worst movies of the year but it definitely is one of the most boring and forgettable ones though!

4/10

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Rz-9 (2015) Directed by Iain Carson




Oh man, how to even approach this movie? You know what, I'm not even going to say that it's a low-budget movie, I'm just going to take it as an amateur production, since it really doesn't look and feel like a movie made by professionals. And guess what, I really can't say that it's a bad movie for an amateur production.

I have definitely seen my fair share of low-budget- and amateur productions and there just is no denying the fact for me that this movie was one of the better and more impressive ones that I have ever seen. No, of course it's not a great one, or one that everybody absolutely MUST see. As a matter of fact, most people probably won;t even be able to finish watching this movie or appreciate any aspect of it. But it's like I said, for an amateur like production, made on a shoestring budget, It's actually still quite an accomplishment and it even is a pretty well made movie.

The movie doesn't start off much promising though. At first it seems that this movie is going to be a teenage boy's fantasy and it looks more like one that got made by a guy who played a bit too many Halo and Call of Duty games but as the movie progresses it luckily soon start to become apparent that the movie has plenty of originality in it as well. As a matter of fact, it really isn't trying to be one or two particular movies, as these type of movies often tend to do. No, it's really being its own thing and it actually does a pretty decent job setting up its world and characters.

It's one of those movies set in a dystopian future, in which a group takes on the system. Doesn't sound like anything too original or exciting but the story really has some good elements to it. One of the things that is particularly good about it is that the movie never turns into a predictable one. It helps to keep the movie fresh and interesting to watch but at the same time it also makes it somewhat of a messy and confusing one. At times you just really don't know anymore who the good and bad guys are, which seemed to be intentional but not less annoying or confusing because of that.

One of the things I also really don't get about these sort of productions; If you're going to make a movie without any budget, why choose to do a science-fiction and action production, that requires tons of special effects and futuristic looking props, sets and costumes? Needless to say that the special effects are never convincing, though at the same time I also have to admit that the costumes and props aren't all that bad and not even the cheap and simplistic looking special effects were all that terrible. I have most definitely see far worse, even in professional movies, that cost 10 times more.

Even the acting was pretty acceptable. There wasn't one performance in the movie that made me cringe or made me hate the character. Not saying that any of the characters were all that strong or well written but the movie nevertheless did a pretty good job with them, which definitely helped to make the movie a perfectly watchable one, that doesn't even annoy with anything. It also never bores and it luckily really has plenty of creativity and originality it.

It overall is a pretty well done and shot movie, with a few clumsy moments in it but even the more complex action scenes still look acceptable, even though some characters seem to be able to survive barrages of bullets and CGI blood is always a big no-no with me.

As long as you can accept that this is an amateur movie and take it for what it is, you'll see that this movie isn't all that terrible and should be able to have a pretty good time with it as well.

5/10

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7 Days in Hell (2015) (TV) Directed by Jake Szymanski




Just like tennis, there are some hits and misses in this HBO short sports mockumentary but I overall do still feel that this was a pretty well made, fun and good watch.

Mockumentaries can often be fun to watch, as long as you play by certain rules. This shorts breaks some of those rules though. which prevents it from ever turning into a truly great- and absolute must-see. Thing that somewhat bothered me at times was how it took things a bit too far at times. And I'm purely talking about the comedy aspects here. At times it felt far too forced, which made things both unconvincing as well as somewhat awkward at times. The movie also truly didn't need any of that. It was a good and fun mockumentary when it was being subtle with things. Yes, the movie was more fun when it felt authentic, as opposed to when it felt more like a silly comedy.

Having said that, no there isn't much more negative to say about this movie. It's simply a too good, too well made and too fun little, short, movie for that, that provides quite a few laughs. It features a pretty entertaining concept involving fictional tennis players and the rivalry amongst them. It uses 'archive' footage as well as well as interviews with those who had the honor of being around Aaron Williams and Charles Poole. The fictional tennis players are all obviously based upon real-life tennis players from the past and you don't have to be a big tennis-fan to see and realize this. Sure, they are some over-the-top characters, like they've come straight out of a Will Ferrell sports comedy but it works.

Reason why it works is unquestionably due to the actors that all show up in this movie. The main characters are played by Andy Samberg and Kit Harington while also actors such as Will Forte, Fred Armisen, Lena Dunham, Mary Steenburgen and Michael Sheen show up in bit parts. I especially liked Michael Sheen in his role as sports talk-show host and it also was pretty ironic how John McEnroe as himself gave the best second best acting performance of the movie.

Maybe it's true though that the mockumentary should have focused more on one main aspects, instead of constantly taking its 'story' everywhere. It all feels a bit too random at parts and it isn't always clear what this mockumentary is actually trying to do or say with its story. At times it feels like it's far too concerned with making you laugh and not enough with trying to tell you a decent story as well. Perhaps it's also all due to the fact that this short still is a rather long one. It's about 40 minutes long and maybe it would have been better if at least 10 minutes from it were cut, in order to keep a better pace and to give the movie a more narrow and concentrated focus.

Not the perfect mockumentary but still good enough for a few genuine laughs.

7/10

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Harbinger Down (2015) Directed by Alec Gillis




Ice, scientist...seeing those two things should be enough for you to realize that this is going to be a "The Thing" rip off. And indeed, this movie ultimately is nothing more but a watered down version of John Carpenter's "The Thing", that really doesn't bring anything new or exciting to the table.

Apparently this movie got made by a bunch of people who were displeased with the "The Thing" prequel or perhaps rather said; the movie was made by the practical effects team who got booted from the 2011 "The Thing" prequel after the movie decided to replace all of the practical effects with CGI. It should all make you want to root for this movie but in all honesty, it just isn't a great movie and even the practical effects aren't all that great to be fair.

All of the "The Thing" similarities are of course therefore also no coincidence and it's all very deliberate. That doesn't make it less of a rip off though in my opinion. This movie maybe got made with all of the right intentions but at the same time it's also basically doing nothing original of its own, which is just inexcusable. Is there any reason for you to watch this movie if you already have seen John Carpenter's "The Thing"? No, absolutely not. Not even if you're big fan of that movie there is absolutely no reason why you should watch this movie. Chances you are only going to end up feeling disappointed with this watered down and unoriginal, modern, re-envisioning of "The Thing". And yes, I'm very well aware of it that "The Thing" also was a remake itself. Huge difference however is that it brought plenty of new things to the table and completely took a different approach to it's concept, which was both original and effective and helped to redefine the horror-science-fiction genre. None of that can be said about this movie as well.

The movie probably thought that using practical effects only was going to be enough to get people excited and to get them to see this movie. Well, if only things were as simple as that. Thing these movie unfortunately didn't seem to realize is that you need a good story and some solid characters as well if you want to make your movie a good and engaging one to watch. The story is just far too poor and there really isn't ever an awful lot going on in this movie. There also really is a lack of mystery and a good sense of danger and suspense. Stuff just seems to happen, without a good buildup to it and people just seem to die, without you first getting to know any of the characters. It's therefore also really hard to care for anyone in this movie and to feel involved with anything that happens in it.

I have to say that it still is a pretty good looking movie, with some impressive sets and camera-work. It's definitely not a cheap- or unprofessional looking movie and it has a pretty decent atmosphere in it, that indeed is reminiscent of the one in "The Thing".

But well, even though practical effects are awesome, I just can't say that all of the practical effects in this movie looks awesome as well. Some of the creature costumes look cheap, some of the wiring is too obvious and at times it's fake look even becomes too much of a distraction from the movie. Not even sure if I can say that all of it is too blame on the movie its effects. The lighting may have been a part of the problem as well at times.

I have seen my fair share of "Alien" and "The Thing" rips off though and there still is no way for me to deny that this actually remains one of the better ones out there. It's never a terrible movie to watch and despite never being original, tense or scary, it also never really bores. It's not a bad effort and only if it featured some more creativity and a stronger story in it, this could have been the ultimate "The Thing" 'fan-film'. Because lets face it; this movie ultimately really is nothing more but a fan-film. An 'expensive' and well done fan-film but a fan-film nevertheless, that tries too hard to please the 'master' John Carpenter and pay homage to his movie "The Thing".

Not the worst done genre movie out there but if you want something fresh and original than this movie truly is not the one for you.

6/10

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Lavalantula (2015) Directed by Mike Mendez




In this day and age in which modern monster movies are become more and more popular again it's actually hard to come across one that works out as a good and fun one as well, especially when it's a made for TV movie, with the budget lower than a TV executive's monthly income. It makes it all the more awesome and surprising to finally come across a movie that indeed works out as a wonderful to watch- and fun one!

It's hard to get these type of movies right. It's especially difficult to find a balance between its silly concept, the story, the comedy in it and the effects, especially when you have to work with a low budget and on a, no doubt, tight time-schedule. Most movies therefor aren't even really trying and they are just simply being as formulaic, safe and predictable as they could possibly get and it doesn't even seem like the film-makers are trying at all to produce a good or remotely original movie. For them it's all just another paycheck and just a day at the 'office' but luckily there also still are some film-makers who manage to put some obvious love and effort into their movie, even if they don't have an awful lot to work it.

For me there only are an handful of directors nowadays who I trust when it comes down to low budget monster/disaster flicks; The Kondelik brothers and the director of this movie Mike Mendez, who previously also did the movie "Big Ass Spider!", which doesn't sound very likely but actually is a surprisingly good and definitely highly fun movie to watch. And this movie doesn't differ in that regard. Of course "Lavalantula" isn't a great movie but it's a good one, that besides is highly fun and entertaining to watch.

What this movie does very well is that it manages to be funny and silly, while still featuring some decent character and somewhat of a story as well. At least it's following a story, without featuring too many needless distractions in it that don't add anything to the movie at all. Actually, there still are plenty of random characters and moments as well in this movie but big difference this time around is that it actually adds to the overall fun and creativity of the movie.

There are plenty of good and fun moments in the movie, that help to make this an highly entertaining one to watch, even though it obviously never becomes a great movie as well. But did you honestly expect such a thing from a movie that involves giant, fire-breathing, spiders? Luckily the movie knows what it is and doesn't ever attempts to give the movie any form of authenticity or grounding. It rather decides to have some fun with its concept instead. Yes, that of course makes this more of a comedy than a horror or science-fiction movie but that of course isn't necessarily a bad thing, especially not when it works out as well as it does in this movie.

Yes, even Steve Guttenberg works out as a good and entertaining main lead for this movie. I must say that even though the story and dialog is kept deliberately bad for most part, the action never becomes anything cringe-worthy to watch as well. All of the actors seemed to know and understand what type of movie they were in but at the same time they never acted too goofy or over-the-top.

It's still a cheap movie, so of course it's not a perfect looking one as well. The special effects really aren't anything too special and yes, you can nowadays create all of those effects yourself with an iPhone (the movie itself even jokes about this) but I'm still willing to give all of the effects a pass in this case. Really, it's the worst I have ever seen and in this particular case it also adds to the atmosphere and charm of the overall movie.

Nice...movie.

7/10

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Stung (2015) Directed by Benni Diez




Well, to be fair; this movie is exactly what you would expect it to be. Not great, with a silly premise and heavy on the gore but is it fun and decent as well? Not enough unfortunately.

This movie knows what it is, so it's constantly very self-aware. This, as always, can go both ways; it can make the movie very fun and entertaining to watch but it can also make a movie lame and almost tedious to watch. And to be honest, I'm starting to feel fed up with these self-aware and tongue in cheek horror flicks. Why can't horror movies be fun anymore without constantly having to wink into the camera, referencing other genre movies and clichés, while also deliberately, forcefully, exaggerating everything and be as crazy and silly with its concept as possible. Instead of this making the movie entertaining it makes the movie, more often than not, annoying to watch. It also pretty much ruined all of the horror aspects that a genre movie such as this still needs to have in it in order for it to work out as an engaging and effective one.

Needless to say that this movie never becomes a scary or even remotely tense one to watch. There is never a good buildup to anything and as I said before, it just simply wants to be as crazy as possible. Unfortunately not crazy in a very creative way as well. Everything is rather predictable due to the way how certain scenes and shots get set up. The horror purely relies on its gore, which still is pretty fun and impressive to watch at times but it's not anything that helps to make this a very good horror movie as well.

I liked how the movie wasn't a constant CGI-fest and I appreciate the fact that the movie was using mostly practical effects, which does make it odd though that the movie still made the choice to feature some pointless and fake looking CGI in it as well at certain parts. Give me some fake looking puppets and ketchup for blood over fake looking CGI effects any day of the week! It at least shows that you have been creative and put some serious time, love and effort into the making of your movie.

Normally I would complain about these movies being too long but in this case it feels far too short, strangely enough. It's around 90 minutes long but just when it starts to pick up some pace and starts to feature some good and fun moments in it, it's over again. Even though I wasn't liking the movie overall, I still felt disappointed with it ending as soon as it did, as contradictory as that may sound. Perhaps this also had to do with the fact that the movie wasn't really building up toward anything and the movie doesn't feature a big and tense or spectacular climax in it.

The lack of story is apparent, pretty much from the first minute on already. None of the characters feature any interesting arcs, there is no mystery and there is no clear goal. Because of this the movie can never buildup to anything, which results in it being a rather pointless and forgettable one to watch. It's also the type of movie that features as many characters and lines of dialog in it, just to fill the movie up with so that it isn't under an hour short, even if it doesn't add anything to the main story of it. Sure, because of that Lance Henriksen is in it as well and that's never a bad thing but this unfortunately also made the movie do some cheap Alien-movies knockoff moments that were too much of a distraction and felt too forced, without adding anything to the fun of the movie.

It's still better than the average modern genre attempt and it's not entirely without fun but it ultimately really is nothing more but a very forgettable and mostly ineffective killer animal movie, without any good horror in it.

5/10

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Time Out of Mind (2014) Directed by Oren Moverman




Could this movie be this year's "Arbitrage" for Richard Gere? While "Arbitrage" wasn't a perfect movie, Richard Gere still was surprisingly wonderful in it and it even earned him an Oscar nominated, which was well deserved in my opinion. This movie also has Oscar material written all over it. It's a drama, in which Richard Gere gets out of his comfort zone and plays an homeless man. But alright, let me stop teasing; No, Gere most definitely won't get an Oscar nomination for his role in this movie. The movie and the character Gere plays doesn't make enough of an impact.

While the movie still starts off pretty well and promising, it soon starts to turn into too much of a tedious one, that constantly keeps repeating itself with its story and isn't making enough progress with anything.

The movie doesn't really feature a story in the classic movie sense. It's more like an observation of a character who wanders around and tries to come to terms with himself and the situation that he's in. In a way it feels more like a documentary, which is typical for Oren Moverman's style of directing and the movie also isn't ever forcing the drama down your throat. It's also a movie in which the main character isn't ever saying all that much and the movie movie pretty much lets its scenes tell you the story. It works, in the sense that it makes the movie a well shot and even somewhat original one but it only works for so long though. After about an hour it starts to become apparent that the story isn't really going anywhere with anything and the movie keeps showing and telling you the same things over and over again, which obviously doesn't make this most compelling movie you could watch.

In my opinion the movie spends far too much time on the Richard Gere character struggles and how he tries to come to terms with himself. Yes, he's homeless and down on his luck, we get it, why doesn't the character though? It isn't until the last half hour of the movie that the character finally decides to change things around but it's all too late really. Not just for the character in the movie (come on, you know these type of movies are never going to end well) but also definitely for us as the viewers of it. I had definitely already lost interest at that point, not only in the movie itself but also most definitely the main character. The movie tries to keep- and tell things in a very subtle way but some more exposition definitely wouldn't have done any harm to this movie.

I still feel that the movie has plenty of value in it though. It does provide a pretty interesting and raw look into the everyday life and struggles of an homeless man, without really ever exaggerating anything or make things too (melo)dramatic to watch.It still never managed to grab me as well though and I must say I never even felt sorry for the Gere character, which again, was mostly due to the fact that the movie explains very little. Did he himself mess up? Did the system mess things up for him? Was he a victim of circumstances and is that something that could happen to all of us? I don't know, since the movie doesn't provide any answers to that, which at times makes it hard to feel any kind of emotions toward the character. Maybe it's true that the movie doesn't want you to judge its character and all it wants to do is provide an objective view but simple fact is that it makes the movie a too shallow and at times uninteresting one. It really isn't the type of movie that ever hits you hard with any of its themes or scenes. It actually feels like a forgettable movie instead, that probably will do well at the festival circuit because of its concept, style and people involved with it but it's really not an effective enough movie for me to call it a great and recommendable one.

Just never effective or interesting enough as a movie, that's what it all comes down to eventually unfortunately.

6/10

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Big Sky (2015) Directed by Jorge Michel Grau




Chances are you have never heard of this movie and chances are that you're not going to remember it for a very long time either, even after watching it.

No, it's not a terrible movie but I just don't know who to recommend this one to. It's a thriller but more the kind of thriller that focuses on the dramatic aspects of the story, without ever becoming truly interesting or engaging though. And that really is the biggest problem with this movie; it isn't an engaging one to watch, due to a lack of any good characters or some decent enough story development.

The movie starts off slow and it just never seems to be able to pick up some good pace. And really, nothing wrong with a slower and more subtle kind of movie, as long as it manages to become interesting, tense and/or surprising with things. Needless to say that this movie never achieves any of that, without becoming ever becoming a terrible movie as well though. It's like I often say; there just isn't enough in this movie for me to hate it as well. It isn't doing much, which also means that it isn't doing an awful lot wrong. I therefor really can't hate the movie but I obviously can't call it a very successful- or recommendable one as well.

Thing I also strongly dislike about these type of movies; why do they have to so darn dark to watch? And I don't mean dark with its themes, characters or story, no, I simply mean dark in a visual way. Why can't there be any colors? Shooting your movie in a dark and moody way doesn't always make it atmospheric as well. It in this case makes the movie instead a dull and unappealing one to look at. I also definitely lost interest in it pretty early on already, which wasn't just because of its pace or story.

It's really a missed opportunity for this movie that it didn't featured any stronger and better characters in it. The right actors for it were there but the writing obviously was lacking. The story wasn't only never truly interesting enough, it also lacked a clear goal and purpose, not strong enough villains and 'heroes' you just could never cheer or feel for because you didn't ever get to know enough about any of them. The dialog also was particularly bad at parts, which contributes to the fact that neither the story or characters ever work out well within the movie. It even made some of the acting look bad, despite having some pretty good and capable actors in it, such as Kyra Sedgwick and Frank Grillo.

Sure, I have seen way worse and I can't say this is a terrible movie but that in this case doesn't make it a good or recommendable one as well.

6/10

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Raiders of the Lost Shark (2014) Directed by Scott Patrick




Of course the only reason why anyone would ever want to see this movie is because of its title and cover. You know it's going to be bad but yet you can't help but feel intrigued at the same time. And yes, it's definitely as bad as you would expect it to be and no, it's not 1% as fun or awesome as its title or cover suggests it is.

It's an amateur film, as simple as that. It got made with no real money or talents involved. It's a cheap looking film, with bad acting, terrible dialog and a script that you could barely even call a script at all. But luckily the movie knows what it is and it isn't taking itself very seriously neither. It's never trying to be a clever or realistic but instead one that's silly and fun to watch. In a way it works but I just really can't call the movie a good one as well. It's just a too poorly made movie for that.

The movie is following a whole bunch of different story lines and characters but to be frank, I had no idea what was going on in this movie. I had no idea what each character was up to, or what even his/her name was. I also still have absolutely no idea where the shark came from and why he kills people in shallow water in lakes. It's also crazy how the shark is supposed to be a mega-sized one, yet he (or she?) looks no bigger than an ordinary great white shark. And why does he fly exactly? I just really don't know and it shows you how confusing and nonsensical this movie gets to watch at points.

And while the movie is only 70 minutes short, it's pretty obvious that the film-makers were running out of ideas pretty early on already. All that basically happens in this movie is that one or two people keep going into the water and end up getting eaten by the shark. Not much else is happening really and it's annoying how scenes feel stretched out and most of the time utterly pointless as well. The movie is filled with needless character, pieces of dialog and scenes that just don't add anything to the story at all.

It's a cheap looking film, which does not only shows with the special effects but also look- and sound quality in general. It's as if they couldn't even afford a tripod at times and shot all of the scenes from the hip, without a real plan. 'We'll fix it in post-production' must have been one of the catchphrases often used by director Scott Patrick while shooting the movie.

I'm sure that the film-makers were having plenty of fun while making this movie and I'm also sure that to them this still remains a very fun movie to watch but for everyone else it's just a cheap, very amateurish movie, without any real creativity or good and memorable moments in it.

2/10

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Bad Asses on the Bayou (2015) Directed by Craig Moss




The 'Bad Asses' series is a bit of a weird one for me. I couldn't stand the first movie, while I surprisingly enough really enjoyed the second one. This third movie is a bit in between. It's an enjoyable enough movie to watch but at the same time it's also far from a very good one.

Aren't Danny Trejo and Danny Glover getting a bit too old for this sh!t? Well, as awesome and as physically strong looking as Danny Trejo is (he could still kick my ass), it isn't exactly very convincing when he beats down guys twice his size and half his age. And Danny Glover...well, Danny Glover is just Danny Glover. No, it really makes most of the action and fight scenes in this movie far from convincing ones, as well as the concept of the movie in general, in which Trejo and Glover play vigilantes, who won't back down for anyone.

But luckily "Bad Asses on the Bayou" and the previous two Bad Ass movies aren't ones that take itself too serious. As a matter of fact, they are more comedies than straightforward action flicks really, which is a good thing but at the same time also something the movie is struggling with. The movie struggles at times to find a right balance between the action, drama and comedy. At times the action works, at others it really doesn't because it's either something too ridicules or something totally unconvincing. At times the comedy works, at others it really doesn't because it comes at an inappropriate moment in the movie and the timing is totally off. The movie is like that, all throughout really. It's filled with some good and fun moments but also with some absolutely terrible ones. A real mixed bag.

The story, as you would expect, is a very simple and straightforward one. It's such a straightforward and simplistic one that the movie itself seems to forget about its own story at times. It actually makes the movie somewhat confusing to watch in parts, when it goes all over the place and totally overboard with its story and characters. I'll admit that at times I couldn't even understand anymore what was going on and what the characters were trying to do. It doesn't always matters to be honest, since the movie still remains a perfectly enjoyable to watch during those moments but it of course doesn't make it a very good movie as well.

The story as well as the storytelling is lacking and structurally and technically there is a whole lot wrong with this movie, that feels like a low-budget action movie that got turned into a comedy to conceal the fact that it's a low-budget one. But really, I have seen worse. Far worse! (Such as for instance the first "Bad Ass" movie.) The movie as it remains a perfectly fun one. It isn't trying to be anything brilliant, serious or groundbreaking and it's definitely a movie you could have a good and fun time with, if you're in the mood for something fun, light and simple...and short. It's only 85 minutes long, credits included.

It also seems like there is a part 4 coming soon, so there is no stopping the 'odd couple' Trejo and Glover! I'm definitely interested in seeing a fourth movie though I know very well that the chances of it being a great movie are very slim.

5/10

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