Follows the mold of every single found footage stalker movie made just a little more oversimplified is all.
With a 30 minute plot (40 at the most) stretched out to 81 minutes and most scenes mainly being day to day scenes of the family doing regular things at home this movie is far more boring than it is disturbing.
The acting is... okay I guess, the family does act kind of like a family does. The stalker we only see from time to time and he's weird I guess, which makes sense.
I just looked at the credits and saw that Amy Smart was in it which surprised me, she was in it in retrospect but you couldn't really see it was here because she was only in one scene sitting by a table with the "hidden camera" being very far away.
So yeah if she is what makes you want to watch this don't bother. But then there is no real reason to bother watching this period.
Although TV series like SURVIVOR can be quite entertaining they are for the more part very much manipulated in multiple ways, the producers put up challenges that they think will benefit certain more interesting characters and conflicts are at times nothing more than a production.
Here we get none of that, no votes or backstabbings or alliances, no competitions to get immunity or extra nurishments etc. Not even any contact with any outside human sources such as a camera crew or anything because they have to film their experience themselves.
The rules are really simple, 10 people are taken to isolated places in the wilderness miles apart from each other. They then have to try to survive off the land, build shelter and find food sources to last them as long as possible.
All while surrounded by packs of wolves, bears and cougars and dealing with often extreme weather conditions.
The person who stays the longest wins, 500 000 dollars.
So there are no gimmicks or game twists merely survival of the fittest and that is why this is a reality series that is definitely well worth checking out.
The movie peaked my interest despite the low rating because these sorts of romantic drama-thrillers with a African American cast tend to have a lower rating than (at least I feel like) they deserve, for instance 'OBSESSED (2009)', 'NO GOOD DEAD (2014)' which both I liked a bunch.
But in this case the rating was justifiably low.
It starts out okay enough,even though Jaz Sinclairs acting is dodgy from the very first moment she pops into the film, and in all honest Regina Hall doesn't prove herself to be that much of a dramatic actor this time. I like her in comedies though but yeah not impressing here.
Morris Chestnut is easily the best actor in the film (well if you count out Michael K Williams who just appears pointlessly in 2 scenes) but not even he can save this.
But in the end the biggest problem with the film is not the acting but how stupid the plot is, again starts out okay but falls apart 1 hour in or so, and it becomes a constant struggle not to raise an eyebrow on some of the decisions the characters make in the film.
It's like a Lifetime movie really, and not one of the better ones.
No it's not groundbreaking in any ways shape or form and yes the characters are all stereotypes and yes the acting is a bit dodgy and yes it's riddled with clichés.
But, that's sort of the point, it's meant to be a spoof on the genre.
Now I'm not saying it's a great film (or maybe even a good one) by any means but personally I think it's more entertaining than for instance the 'Scary Movie' films. At least this has a fairly coherent plot and does not rely solely on stealing scenes from other movies and putting a funny twist to them but deals more in terms with homages.
It's a comedy first and horror second, and although some of the jokes are a bit on the cheap side (well most tbh) and don't always work overall it does fairly well at entertaining the 80 minutes it's on.
With some decent kills as well as some overthetop twists, twists that had this been a serious movie one would have rolled their eyes over but as this is not it works at poking fun on the genre.
Best bits are the scenes with William Forsythe as a good ol Scottish laddie, they are just a couple but they are pretty hilarious.
I don't know how many times I saw this on VHS when I was young in the 90's, but it was a whole lot.
Now while some movies I watched as a kid lost it's flare a bit for me in adulthood, this one in 2017 still holds up as a timeless classic.
Something that perhaps helps with the feeling of timelessness is the lack of rap music of the time which these sort of movies usually have a lot of, only instrumental music with more symphonical vibes and even a bit of folk music and some jazz elements are on the soundtrack.
There are a lot of similarities between this and the TV SERIES 'THE WIRE', I think it's safe to assume that the creators of that definitely had this as a bit of an influence when creating it.
Boasting of characters that feel real and actors that feel genuine in the parts they are playing, with Sean Nelson who had just turned 13 when he filmed the lead in the movie pulling one of the finest child-performances in, well, ever.
And great intelligent writing too match.
Plus it has all the stupid dope moves one could ever want in a dramatic feature.
It's a film about a teenage boy who's not quite like everyone else, I believe autism was the diagnosis he was given.
He does not communicate very well but is beyond smart, I am not a very good communicator myself so I can most definitely relate to that and there are some scenes that get genuinely emotional for me (and anyone else I imagine with half a heart).
Perhaps I'd wish for a more complete ending but maybe that would been a little too Hollywoodesque and this is after all a movie that is very much rooted in reality so it made sense I suppose to end it the way they did.
Votes For Hire... I mean Guns For Hire... Or do I?
Considering a somewhat acceptable rating of 5.4/10 and how absolutely awful and embarrassment of a movie this is to everyone involved, I can only come to the conclusion that the higher ratings were from either people directly involved or people that were paid to fix the rating (their are legitamite businesses that specialises in that).
I don't know what got somewhat respectable actors like Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Orlando Jones and Tony Shalhoub to appear in this tired crapfest, and based on their performances (which are their worst of their careers by far) I can only suspect that they were dared into making appearances in it or something.
The reason I gave it a 2 instead of a 1 is because I have to be honest, I stopped watching halfway through, there was literally nothing that was remotely interesting. Not even the terribly constructed cheesy lesbian sex-scenes (which starts already by the startcredits of the film) could keep my interest.
Oh yeah the movie was filmed 10 years ago, but no company wanted to release it. Then Jeffrey Dean Morgan got signed on for a role on the biggest TV show on earth THE WALKING DEAD, and what do you know all of a sudden there was interest enough to release it and so it was in the last week of 2015. But he's not the lead for the record and again, truly terrible.
Started out okay with Lukas Haas trying out something really different to his previous characters he's played playing an effeminate gay man and managing pretty good at avoiding to look as a stereotype.
But it gets fairly obvious fairly soon that the plot really isn't gonna go anywhere.
I kept looking at the time-bar to see how much more of this I had to take unfortunately most times it seemed like far too much so I actually ended up putting the laptop on and multitasking cause it was just a hassle to just sit and watch this film which boring is a understatement.
So felt a bit cheated as there is some obvious manipulation of the rating system. 49.8 % of the (current) ratings are 10/10. If you watch this movie you will undoubtedly see that no sane person (who wasn't involved with the film) would rate this a 10/10 which is the masterpiece rating.
And if you look at the other raving reviews you'll see that not a lot of them have rated many other (if any) films than this one, and 2 of them that have have only rated and raved about one other movie and that is 'Crazy Bitches' another movie by the same director as this.
These are typical signs of a fraudulent rating, so that is why it's currently so high. If you take away all the 10's which are arguably fake the rating would end up being something like 4.0/10 and not the current 6.7/10 and that's a far more reasonable rating for it.
The soundtrack was alright though so there's always that.
Didn't really dig this too much, started out watchable but got below mediocre as it went along.
The movie feels like it was aimed primarily for teenagers in mind so I am probably not the target audience, even though I can enjoy movies like that usually anyways as long as they are well-made enough. But didn't think this one was.
The plot is the biggest issue, the whole set up of how the watchers and players scheme works just doesn't make a whole lot of sense and the plot holes just piles on top of each other after a while.
And the acting is not the best, Emma Roberts and Dave Franco are usually pretty solid but they couldn't make this movie any better, rapper Machine Gun Kelly might want to take a couple acting classes or something... Could be the director's fault though I guess.
Also the music was very intrusive, really loud electronic, club pop music being played almost non-stop... I don't mind some of the songs on the soundtrack (even though some I definitely did) but even the okay ones got distracting.
So yeah not too impressed even though it had a cute moral tale message in the end for the audience it's aimed towards.
If you are an adult I recommend '13 Sins (2014)' with Mark Webber instead, far superior movie with a similar plot in terms of the game side of things at least.
A different spin on Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer
Mark Twain fans might be slightly disappointed by the portrayals of their favorite characters but it's best to see it as more as a modern day homage to the books than anything else.
Also a heavy dose of crude humor, it's a comedy of errors first and formost more so than the epic adventures of the books it is inspired by.
Set in present time our dear Huckleberry Finn is a ex con and Tom Sawyer is his childhood friend who ended up becoming a police officer, albeit for no noble reasons.
Kyle Gallner is always good and he is definitely the best actor in this film and delivers a lowkey but very good performance as Huck, Adam Nee is entertaining as Tom but his character is pretty one dimensional... But so are most of the other characters.
After seeing Stephen Lang being absolutely brilliant in 'DON'T BREATHE (2016)' I must say I was a little let down by his (too) mild performance in this one.
But overall the performances are good enough.
There were a couple times where I thought they should have wrote this or that differently in the script but overall the plot is also good enough.
So yeah overall, no masterpiece but... good enough 6.5/10.
Shows initial promise but doesn't really come to much
Seems a bit like a student film, I know James Franco is in it but he's held film-classes and stuff so it's not unreasonable to think that he was asked to appear in a couple scenes by his students.
Now that's not necessarily a bad thing, and initially it shows some promise but it doesn't amount to a whole much
It does feel rather realistic though, the characters do talk and act like a lot of youths do and act like morons for no particular reasons half the time just like many youths do. The ending was extremely out of the blue though.
And there isn't a whole lot of material to connect with, the plot despite it's realistic nature isn't deeply constructed enough and they could have made one of the characters a bit more likable perhaps where as with this none really are.
But it's still not enough for me to write off the directors and writers completely for the future with this being their debut full length feature film, I think their best work is to come though, everyone have to start somewhere and it's not absolutely terrible by any means.
I just saw the poster for this and realised it's actually based on James Franco's memoir book Palo Alto stories, just like 'Palo Alto (2013)' was so if that's what draws you to want to watch this I'd suggest watching that instead cause that's far better and a more complete piece of work.
A slow-paced stylish dreamlike psychological dramathriller that kept my interest rather well.
The story-telling is a bit vague at times and occasionally flat out incoherent but that suits the film and it's main character's state of mind who is a bit of a daydreamer, and is not always 'in touch with reality'.
It's a bit of a mystery so the less you know regarding the plot the better you'll probably perceive the film.
It felt a bit like something De Palma might have done in the 70's if he made a French movie. A bit film noirish. I'm sure there are other French directors that would be better to be referencing but I haven't seen tremendously many French films I must admit. Turns out it's actually a remake of another little known French film from 1970 by the same name.
Just read the main actress Freya Mayor's bio and I was really surprised to find out that she is Scottish, she seemed to be speaking French rather well so thought she was a native French (although I of course is no expert on that). Anyways she played the role well.
It's a very visual film some critics claimed it was a 90 minute musicvideo, I don't agree with that but I guess I can see where they are coming from. There is a lot of music in the movie and occasionally rather limited dialogue, but it works IMO and the soundtrack is great. And the cinematography is excellent.
It might not be a movie that's something for everyone's taste but it suited me just fine.
After watching and liking 'the other Obama film' of 2016, I must say I was let down by this.
Although the 2 films were made by completely different people and studios, comparisons between 'Barry (2016)' and 'Southside With You (2016)' is inevitable.
Both movies are about Barack Obama, the former 'Barry (2016)' was about his younger days in college as a angsty young man (before Michelle came into the picture) in search for an identity, a film which I very much enjoyed. In fact I put it on my 'best of 2016' movies list.
So this movie should be right up my alley right? well I can't say that it was, 'Southside With You' has a far less interesting premise, it's basically a fluffy rom com turned political drama halfway through. And it's all in all not very interesting.
And I have to say I found Michelle Obama as a character in the film rather annoying and self-centered, Barack was acceptable but he failed in comparison to the actor who played him in 'Barry'.
Perhaps if you are really intrigued by Michelle and Barack as a couple it will be interesting for me, but I can't say I am personally so it's a miss for me.
One thing one can't say about this movie is that it's typical.
A pretty unique film, which is rarely seen in films these days.
I can't say too much about the film because it's sort of a mystery, wrapped around a coming of age drama story with some horror elements here and there to spice things up and on top of all that add on a talking hamster.
If I was to compare it with some other movies I would say something like a mix of Mysterious Skin meets The Perks Of Being A Wallflower meets Donnie Darko, now while it isn't as great as those said films it isn't too far off either, it is a competent piece of filmmaking by it's own merit.
And well acted all across the board.
Might bump the rating up on the rewatch but we will see, 7 is still a solid rating coming from me.
Emotional documentary of the Boston bombing and impact on it's survivors.
Well-made documentary about the Boston bombing that took place during the Boston marathon in 2013.
With tons of video-footage covering most aspects the actual marathon, the bombing and even the chase of the suspects afterwards etc, but it's first and foremost a documentary about the victims and about overcoming a tragedy.
Focusing primarily on some of the survivors dealing with the aftermath, not only physical issues such as losing limbs but mental as well and we get to follow them around on a day to day basis as they try to piece their lives back together.
It gets very emotional at times and it was a struggle occasionally to hold the tears back.
This movie had a lot of potential, an autistic accountant who knows how to kick some serious ass could have made for one heck of a ride.
But it ends up falling a bit short and ends up just being decent.
The first half moves on pretty slow but the biggest problem with it I found was the fact that even though Ben Affleck is the lead of the film, the focus is too often switched on other characters that have little to no significance to the plot but are there more or less to work as narrators in order to give us a bit of the puzzle pieces to figure out who he is.
But could we not just have had more scenes with the man himself instead?
I get that Affleck's character is a man of few words but there is multiple ways around that, plus Ryan Gosling in 'DRIVE (2011)' hardly had any lines in most scenes and that's a great film so it's definitely doable. And if they did that they could have dug into the depth of the character more.
And although I normally like Anna Kendrick I felt like her quasi- relationship with Affleck was forced and overall it just doesn't come together as good as it could have had.
So, all in all not terrible by any means but could have been so much better.
No it's not perfect, the writing could have been better and I Kate McKinnon didn't do a whole lot for me and Owen Wilson was a little too 'typical' albeit not bad.
But overall it still managed to entertain. A bit slow in the first half but the second half quite the opposite.
Based on a true story, although I'm sure as with all Hollywood films they change tons of stuff around, especially in this as it is a goofy comedy.
Zach Galifianakis is funny in the lead, but surprisingly it's Leslie Jones I found the funniest in a smaller role maybe tied with Jason Sudekis who shows up in the second half... and Kristen Wiig wasn't too bad either.
So yeah if you want to watch something silly and like the main cast then yeah why not give it a go.
Has some great scenes but loses it's spark whenever Art isn't around
I cannot express how great of a performance Michael Sheen as art was in this film.
I actually thought he was a genuine person with celebral palsy when I watched it and it wasn't until I went to IMDb that I realised that he was not and I uttered 'Holy crap! that's Michael Sheen!' I kid you not, he really was that believable.
He is also the very best part about the movie, vulgar and hilarious but still charming.
But the lead is of course Ron Livingston and not Michael Sheen, and whenever Art isn't around it simply is not at all as interesting or entertaining.
What feels like a terribly forced romance subplot with Melissa George (whom I usually like) taking up too much of the running time with unnecessary conflicts and in the end just feels pointless and other stuff which I can't go into details without spoiling stuff.
Yul Vasquez as Mike was also pretty good but a missed opportunity not to develop his character further.
In the end it was still watchable but there was potential for so much more.
It's okay... Kinda like a watered down Nickelodeon version of 'The Hunger Games'
The basis of the plot is more or less the same as 'The Hunger Games' the exception that the teenagers aren't sent out on a island or whatever to fight to the death but instead the choice of who deserves to live is based on a written test.
Now that said there still is some action in it but I'm not gonna get into any details as that would kind of spoil it a little bit.
The leads are played by vine artist and youtuber Logan Paul (yeah I don't know who that is) and Peyton List (who's an actual actress go figure) anyways they are... okay...
Even though the characters and plot is underdeveloped it was still okay to watch (probably just once though) that said I don't think it's worth the 6 pounds it currently costs to stream it on Youtube, ridiculous price (but that might change).
Tom Sizemore plays a white and proud big-shot in the Ku Klux Klan who get sent to jail and get the misfortune of having to share his cell with a Mexican, played by Hector Jimenez (mostly known for being Jack Black's sidekick in Nacho Libre).
It's a rather simple tale and 50% of the film is just Tom and Hector together in a cell so if you have a strong disliking for either of those then perhaps this film is not for you.
But if you don't and you maybe even like them then yeah for sure it's worth a spin.
Visually it could have been a little better looking, but I suppose there is just so much you can do with a cell to make it look good on film.
It's not gonna win any awards for most original screenplay or anything.
The theme of underdogs going against the odds to try to win big in competitions have been done countless times before and the script follows the same mold more or less as far as that goes.
But what it does have that's a little above the average is some truly likable characters that you just can't help but to root for.
4 Hispanic teenagers from a rougher part of town, some with no paperwork to live in the US attempts to rise above what is expected from them (which in short is really not much) and become the first group from their school to enter a robotics competition.
The cast is nothing short but excellent, with lesser known actors as the teenagers but also George Lopez as their teacher and in supporting roles there are Marisa Tomei, Esai Morales and Jamie Lee Curtis.
The soundtrack is also really really good with latino acts such as Frankie J, Fonseca and Ozomatli mixing some pop, rap and r&b and latino, will definitely try to see if the soundtrack is avaible somewhere.
So yeah if you're looking for something to get your emotions going and something that's also based on a true story then this should definitely do the trick.
I watched this a couple years back and I kid you not, I could not remember a single thing about it. Ended up rewatching it today and eventually some things came back to me.
It's about 2 teenage-friends in a smalltown in the middle of nowhere; Casper and Dominic. Dominic is a 'good kid' while Casper is the town 'bad boy' who's extracurricular activities involves being part of his father Drug business.
The pace is really slow but the acting is good enough to still keep your patience (especially Emory Cohen who's absolutely brilliant as Casper).
While the main focus is on them there is plenty of other characters that are put in focus from time to time, one of which is Casper's father (albeit he's not very fatherly) played by Aiden Gillen who most people will recognize as Petyr Bailish from Game Of Thrones).
And even though there is a criminal element to the plot I should point out that it's not a crime-movie in that regard, most of the film is about life in a small town and all that that entails.
The characters feel realistic, especially the teenagers whom I can imagine a lot of people can relate too and visually it looks nice as well.
But although the movie does have a lot of plus-points I have to consider the fact that I had managed to forget all about it and that it lacks that extra emotional punch, so I can only get myself to give it a 6, a strong 6 though.
Not a movie that everyone will enjoy perhaps, the weird plot alone is bound to test the patience of many viewers looking to watch perhaps your standard rom-com (which this is not).
Now mind you it is in a sense very much both a romance and comedy but it's also (perhaps even mostly) a fantasy film.
I can't go into any details without starting to spoiling stuff (even though a lot of the plot is open for interpretation) but if you're looking for something different and unique then this might just do the trick.
Has a bit of a rocky start though which makes you wonder where on earth this is going and occasionally the plot is a bit all over the place but if you give it some time and look aside some of the flaws then it should be worth your while.
James Franco and Sienna Miller both deliver fine performances in the leads and David Carradine has a nice supporting role, the soundtrack is also really good and give it that extra push so you can get all the right feels.
With a cast like this that alone should make for a pretty interesting movie, but unfortunately that is not the case and it is a rather forgettable tale.
So forgettable in fact that I forgot I had already seen it a couple years back and didn't realise until when I (re)watched it today 30 minutes in when Steve Buscemi shows up in an awful blonde afro wig that I had indeed seen it before.
It's supposed to be a comedy, but it's just not particularly funny. And in the end when the "mystery" is solved (I say that lightly because it's pretty obvious and it's not a mystery movie as such) in retrospect the script is rather stupid as well.
I made sure to write a review and rate it this time around so I don't have the misfortune of possibly watching it again in a couple of years when I very possibly would have forgotten about it all over again.
A very weak 4/10 from me, it would have been less if not for Peter Dinklage and Theresa Wayman.
Yeah, I spell that wrong intentionally. Why? Well because the movie is about a deaf guy which is something we don't often see movies about.
It's based on the life of professional wrestler/fighter Mark 'The Hammer' Hamill.
The build of the movie however is a bit more typical for the sports-genre and perhaps it could have had a little more edge at times (gets a little Lifetime movie like occasionally), but it's still worth seeing for sure.
All deaf roles are played by actual deaf people as well which is pretty cool and gives you an insight of how deaf people react with one another, not all that much different from us with hearing.
Standouts include Russel Howard in the lead and Shoshanna Stern (who's sort of the it-girl when it comes to def actresses you probably recognize her from a TV-series Jericho and Weeds) and Michael Anthony Spade.
Rating a 7, really close to giving it a 8 though I might change it at one point we will see. A really strong 7 if nothing else.