nogodnomasters

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Reviews

Peep World
(2010)

YOU CAN TRUST ME
Nathan(Ben Schwartz) has written a novel based on his dysfunctional family to the dismay of his family. The main characters are whimsically introduced by Lewis Black doing narration. The problem with the introduction is that when things become dramatic, you don't feel connected to the characters, you just wish the scene would be over so the film could move on to something funny.

Nathan, this generation's John Irving, has his own premature issue. Sarah Silverman stars as his sister Cheri who is so upset by her portrayal as a B---- in the book, she is suing her brother. To add insult to injury, they are filming the movie about the book outside her apartment and her 70 year old dad is dating the actress playing her character. Of yes, Cheri is an actress too. This is the kind of irony the movie needed more of, and less of the serious stuff.

Nathan gives us some truisms, such as when his assistant says, "So that's why guys write...to get laid." Nathan responds, "That's why guys do everything."

The movie had some funny scenes and not so funny scenes. I liked it when Silverman was on the screen. Lesley Ann Warren, who looks great, plays the mom in an under utilized role. Recent Academy Award winner Octavia Spencer had a minor role. Nathan's two brothers are Joel (Rainn Wilson) an attorney who is considered a loser and face it, the guy doesn't have his life together and Jack (Michael C. Hall) who frequents peep shows.

F-bombs, brief sex, no nudity

Kuronezumi
(2010)

LET'S DANCE TOGETHER...OR ELSE
The film uses a book narrative about 7 rats to give you a quick introduction of characters, even if you don't know which one is which until later. Asuka commits suicide. Later her 6 friends get a text message from her to meet her in school at midnight. Here the vengeance killings begin. We get flashbacks as to the reason behind the suicide and killings. It seems Asuka was suffering some teen angst with boyfriend problems and her friends not wanting to participate in her idea for a rat festival dance. Oh yes, the horrible bullies got on her because she smiled too much. Yup. That's worth jumping off a building.

The slasher plot was slightly different. Always like those school girl uniforms. The scare factor was forced as was the plot. Somehow a girl in school uniform with a rat's head mask doesn't seem threatening.

The Defiled
(2010)

WHO CARES FOR BABY ZOMBIES?
"Defiled" is a black and white zombie film. The main character grunts like he is Tim Allen. The low budget aspect doesn't allow for zombie teeth that rip flesh. The action takes place in a woods near a city. There is some sort of biohazard accident which allows people to walk around with a clear plastic respirator masked attached to a pool hose going to an open conduit connector worn on the belt. Okay, it's low budget...no time for cardboard and crayons.

The plot is about zombie survival and group interactions.

Watch instead "Warm Bodies." Seen It? Watch it again instead of watching this one.

Available in a zombie 4-pack, "Zombie Horror Fright Fest" if you must have it.

Blended
(2014)

WHAT HAPPENS IN AFRICA
Jim (Adam Sandler) is a widower who is a manager for Dick's Sporting Goods. He is raising three daughters as tomboys. Lauren (Drew Barrymore) organizes closets and is divorced struggling with two sons. They meet on a blind date at Hooters that for some reason did not go well. What is clear is that the daughters need a mom and the boys need a father.

Through a series of improbable circumstances the two families are thrust together on an African adventure with predictable results.

The film had a feeling of "Just Go With It." Sandler and Barrymore create great on screen chemistry again. It is immaterial that you know what is going to happen, because you want it to happen. The kids were great on screen too.

Heart warming and fun film.

Parental Guidance: No f-bombs, sex, or nudity. Adult themes.

Legend of the Bog
(2009)

TOJ JOHNSON ALIVE AND WELL
If you loved watching bad movies with someone who looks like Toj Johnson, try this one out. The movie never really got scary, unless you are a midget clown. The bog monster isn't frightening and the shower scene was rated G.

I will say that the people in this movie tended to be have more character than in normal one star productions. The rude American was funny at times, calling the cab driver, "McDuff, Gilligan and Darby O' Gill."

There seems to be a lot of cows on the road in Ireland. More comedy than horror.

Phantom from Space
(1953)

THE MAN HAD NO FACE
This is another typical film that starts out with narration explaining science to the audience. When a space ship crashes, it causes radio and TV interference. They track the source using "pinpoint direction finding devices." Yup, they didn't even have a name for it. Another good line was "radiation is going out with the tide."

There is a space man who wears a modified diving suit, although he himself is invisible which is really easy on the film budget. It is fun for geeks to watch because of the bad science. Not a film for serious science fiction fans.

Hollywood Kills
(2006)

THAT'S HOW I WANT TO PROVE MYSELF
Four people become pawns in a private filming and torture by a psychotic film maker. Country girl Sarah Dell (Angela DiMarco) wants to be in movies as does her roommate Chantelle Sholay (Gillian Shure). When Sarah's brother James (Happy Mahaney) and screwball cousin Vaughn (Mathew Scollon) come visit they decide to go out on the town, only to be lured and drugged by said film maker. Their torture is related to what they want most in life.

This is another "me too" kids in a warehouse type film. It keeps you engaged. Characters, other than Vaughn, are not memorable and developed to be bland. Our torturer (Dominic Keating) was not given convincing dialogue. Nice touch with the oriental twins filming everything.

Available on a 30 Horror Film Collection.

Parental Guide: F-bomb, sex, rape, nudity (Jazmin Daley)

Street Tales of Terror
(2004)

WOULD YOU CRY IF I DIE?
A drug dealer nick named Street (Loco) gets killed by a few of the people who dealt for him. The killing is witnessed by a homeless man (Wayne Dehart) who tells them true ghost stories in exchange for his life. After three stories we have the expected results.

The film was poorly acted, especially the youths in the first segment. The writing was formulaic so there were no real surprises. The horror aspect didn't work either. The movie has very little going for it.

Three episodes: 1) Drowned girl haunts the culprits when they are adults. 2) Aborted fetus haunts his mother. 3) Co-ed suicide haunts college.

Parental Guide: F-bomb. No sex or nudity.

Adrenalin: Fear the Rush
(1996)

FEAR THE FLICK
A new highly contagious virus is killing people, accidentally let loose in Eastern Europe. To make matters worse an infected killer cannibal is on the loose in a quarantined area of Boston immigrants. Delon (Natasha Henstridge) who has her own issues leads the gang that couldn't shoot straight against a man with a knife who is not John Rambo. Most of the film is consumed with a boring game of cat and mouse played out between our killer and the good guys.

The movie we are told takes place in Boston, but was filmed in Mostar, Bosnia-Herzegovina which has noticeably different architecture. The police cars are small and have "Policia" written on the back. Who will notice?

I was able to purchase this film along with 5 others on a contagious film 6-pack at Walmart for $5.00

Parental Guide: F-bomb, no sex, no nudity. Scantily clad corpse with arms covering chest.

In 3 Tagen bist du tot
(2006)

GRADUATION IS THE KEY TO YOUR FUTURE
After a close-knit clique of kids graduate from high school, their lives are still boring until they all get the same creepy text message, "You'll be dead in 3 days" (hence the clever title of the film). They all ignore what they think is a message from their creepy school mate Patrick (Julian Sharp) who is too much of a suspect for a movie. While the kids get kidnapped and murdered, the film doesn't show use the killer's face right away as the main suspect changes. The twist is nothing new to American audiences.

The film moves at a slow pace and is more of a serial murder mystery than a hard core slasher film. The swearing seemed forced and out of place, almost like Spock in "Star Trek IV".

My DVD defaulted to the German language. I needed to go into the set up and change it to English.

F-bomb, brief sex, brief nudity (Julia Rosa Stöckl,Nadja Vogel)

Lincoln
(2012)

WITH MALICE TOWARD NONE
This was not the movie I thought I was going to see. This film is about the passage of the 13th amendment to free the slaves. It looks at the various backroom dealings with lame duck Democrats in order to obtain its passage. As a docu-drama it would make for an excellent showing in the classroom if not for the F-bomb Steven Spielberg insists on putting his his films (aka "Super 8") in order to ruin it for kids.

Sally Field played an excellent Mary Todd Lincoln capturing her period of perceived insanity. Tommy Lee Jones plays a very important role as Thaddeus Stevens, who was instrumental in the passage of the amendment. Daniel Day-Lewis creates a complex Lincoln, one that goes against the grain of former Lincoln performances. This film does not include the Gettysburg address delivered by Lincoln, but presents it by having others recite it. There are no Lincoln-Douglas debates, no rail splitting, nor does it show how his mother was killed during a zombie infestation as does other films.

The beginning of the film seemed liked an "Oliver Stone" revision of history where African-American soldiers speak up to Lincoln about inequality. This appears to be one of those scenes designed to compact history for the screen.

Parental Guidance: No sex or nudity. 1 F-bomb about midway through the film.

Blue Jasmine
(2013)

IT'S CALLED LOOKING THE OTHER WAY
Jasmine (Cate Blanchett) is a socialite who has fallen on hard times. She moves to San Francisco to live with her blue collar sister (both were adopted and not blood related). Jasmine is in a constant state of drink, prescription drugs and nervous breakdown. She cannot function in her sister Ginger's (Sally Hawkins) world. Jasmine had the good genes and was mom's favorite, yet for me Ginger was the real hero as I never developed any empathy for our title character.

Allen works the juxtaposition to the max using flashbacks to compare Jasmine's current state to that of her past and also to the life of her sister Ginger. The flashbacks are not all chronological.

I am a fan of the Wood Man, I loved "Midnight in Paris." I kept waiting for the cleverness to hit me. Was it in the lyrics of the song "Blue Moon" which reflected Jasmine's life? Was it the juxtapositions? Was it the similarity to "Streetcar...?" Where do I look at this film and say, "Only Woody Allen could have done this?" It wasn't there.

Cate Blanchett does give a great performance and makes the film worth viewing. I am glad I just rented it.

The Theory of Everything
(2014)

LOOK WHAT WE MADE
This film is a brief history of Stephen W. Hawking (Eddie Redmayne), arguably the smartest man of our time or ever. To the Homer Simpson crowd he is known as "the wheel chair guy." The film is not only biographical, but gives hope to people with ALS. In circa 1963 Hawking was given two years to live. Apparently God saw fit to give him more time to prove he doesn't exist. You get 25 minutes of Hawking before he is diagnosed.

It is also a love story and includes a brief history of his wife Jane (Felicity Jones) who struggled and fell.

Hawking is an iconic pop cultural figure too as his book took complex ideas and made them available for the masses. If you watched the film "God's NOT Dead" it is Hawking who they parse in an attempt to prove God's existence, i.e. you must prove Hawking wrong first to prove God exists. He is that powerful of a figure.

The film omits quite a bit of his life and work, but hits the highlights in an abbreviated and sometimes low budget fashion. For instance we see him enter the chambers to be awarded and then afterwards. We don't see the act itself. Steven also likes to frequent certain type of California adult entertainment establishments. This is reduced to him looking at a Penthouse magazine. The famous runaway wheel chair accident is omitted.

If I had one criticism of the film it is the ending when they run the film, i.e. time backwards as it shows the producers have no idea what Hawking really said about reversing time. It couldn't be like that due to the laws of entropy. The smashed glass could not put itself back together. Hawking specifically states this in his book.

A movie for science buffs and non-science folk alike.

No f-bombs. One Damn. Shows near nudity from an open Penthouse. Some between the lines indications of infidelity.

Mental Scars
(2009)

WHY IS THIS HAPPENING?
Dedra Lanucci (Teresa Alexandria) plans on removing a car junk yard and replace it with a parking lot. A slasher with childhood flashbacks roams the cars and kills at will, day or night. There are also some very white Native Americans who fit into this thing in order to make the plot inane.

The film is low budget and is plagued with awkward plot filler scenes caused by poor writing. The acting was bad. Teresa Alexandria almost had a good line...just kidding. How does a fat white guy get to play an old Native American? The sound quality could have been better and some of the movie looked like it was filmed with Super VHS. The blood dripping from the wrench looked like transmission fluid, and most likely was. The film has some camp value especially at the end when the plot is explained and a guy says what I was thinking in comparing a junk yard to a parking lot.

Parental Guide: F-bomb, sex, nudity (Teresa Alexandria).

A Nocturne
(2007)

BLACK IS THE NIGHT. BRIGHT IS THE DAY.
This could pass for an art film in Australia. The feature opens with three subplots. We see a vampire couple awakening in a sparsely furnished room. There is a family at the dinner table concerned about their aunt and a man who speaks poetically as if he is reading 19th century literature. We later discover he is a cannibal who eats the corpses after the vampires suck their blood. A girl from the family is also a vampire. We also get to see another vampire outside of this group.

The film opens with Chopin, then goes into a sound track provided by "Spider Goat Canyon" a light death metal sound with no lyrics. It was good for the slow motion swagger. The theme of this feature should be somewhere in the two soliloquies that bored me during the film and I suppose they tied into the Nietzsche quotes at the beginning and end. The only thing I could get out of it was life is an abomination, or maybe just vampires, or we are all vampires one way or another, or Chopin music is the meaning of life. Life is not a bowl of Cheerios, but then again neither is Cheerios, Life.

Parental Guide: F-bomb. Full frontal nudity (Alex Spears, Vanessa de Largie) Best film at the Melbourne Underground Film Festival 2007.

Remote Viewing
(2018)

What dead body?
Dad teaches a class on remote viewing and Morgan silver dollars. He draws stuff that others see elsewhere and tries to teach this to no avail. He takes a group of amateur egotist wanna-be filmmakers with him and also his family on a treasure hunt.

The film has a dead body in it but is not horror. It is a drama with light humor and a pseudo-science background. The whole Vegas scene was an egotistical waste. I liked the idea that the script was fresh, but the execution was not good.

No sex or nudity.

Likvidator
(2011)

SAFE DRIVING IN EXTREME CONDITIONS
This film was made in the Republic of Kazakhstan which accounts for the oriental looking actors and Russian script on everything. If you want to know what the Russian documents say, you need to set up the film with English subtitles. The dubbing was horrible and included foul language not in the subtitles. In one scene a man pushes a woman out of his way onto a bed. He says, "Shut you face" but the subtitles read "relax" giving the scene a slightly comedic "What's Up Tiger Lily" effect.

Arsen (Aitzhanov Berik) is a former special agent working as a body guard. When his brother is killed, Arsen uses his skills to avenge his death as a vigilante. As he does, two elderly gentlemen seem to show up at random and want to recruit him for ???? With the law hunting him, and kills adding up, the higher ups in the business world have hired Vinnie Jones to kill Arsen, because that was the biggest named actor Kazakhstan could afford and only for the last half of the film.

The movie did have a twist I didn't see coming, perhaps due to the translation issues. One of the certificates in the dossier of Arsen is "Safe Driving in Extreme Conditions." Eat you heart out Jason Bourne!

PARENTAL GUIDE: F-bomb. No sex, no nudity.

Nightshift
(2018)

It is real
Amy (Ashleigh Dorrell ) is an Irish-American going to school in Limerick. She gets a nightshift job at the Limerick Hotel where 10 years ago some gruesome murders happened. They never found the killer.

Amy is afraid of the dark, a feature that was not utilized that well. The feature demonstrated Stephen King influences, and there were times I thought I was watching the master himself. The soundtrack needed to be more engaging and the revelation of the killer's identification didn't go that well, primarily due to a lack of suspects, Scooby-Doo.

Nice ghost-slasher.

Guide: F-word. No sex or nudity even though Amy takes two showers.

Diagnosis: Death
(2009)

GENRE MIXING
The movie has a simplistic plot, perhaps as a spoof of horror movie plots which have all blended together. It is basically a comedy with a horror background. I enjoyed the role of Nurse Bates, using the infamous Bates surname. Suze Tye has a really gorgeous set of eyes which come through even as an evil nurse. The animated skeleton with smoke love making scene was original, but not clever or well done. They could have placed the animated characters into impossible positions. The beginning scene of parents attempting to bribe the teacher reminded me of the movie "Serious Man" where the bribe became a moral dilemma for the Jewish teacher, unlike this movie. The movie has sexual scenes, no nudity, and Suze Tye's eyes. I think they should use Jackie Chan and Lindsey Lohan for the American version.

Secrets of the Clown
(2007)

YOU'RE TOAST
The film had me guessing...guessing how the main characters were related to the director/writer/producer/editor. They actually had a casting for this film when picking people out at random would have worked better.

In the small town of Carol Steam, Illinois, a couple is murdered by a clown. After the credits Val (Kelli Clevenger) and Bobby (Paul Pierro) have a break up. For some reason Val leaves without her most prized possession, a clown doll. Soon friend Jim (Jay O'Connor)who was rough with said doll, is brutally murdered outside their home, with Bobby knocked out. For some reason there are no police in this movie who question the key witnesses or suspects. Things escalate and Bobby goes in and out of dreams and comas so you can pick which plot you like least.

This is one of those films where the writing and acting are so bad it is a major distraction.

Parental Guidance: F-bomb, no sex, nudity (Susie Grant, Michelle Brancato) Not worth watching for free.

The Limits of Control
(2009)

METAPHOR FOR LIFE
The movie is slow with very little action, and dialogue which repeats itself with every new matchbox. A quiet unnamed man meets with two guys, at an airport, who give him very little instructions. They send him to Spain to meet people in order to get information which he must piece together. Our loner (De Bankole) carries along a simple carry-on bag but has 3 changes of suits that are never wrinkled. He wears a different colored suit in each city. He drinks espresso with two cups, making him easy to identify to his contacts. He does Tao-Chi at night, most likely to relax from all that caffeine. The airport is symbolic of the gateway where souls pass.

The contact code phrase is "You don't speak Spanish, right?" spoken in Spanish. The counter phrase is "No." Once contact has been established, the contact talks about life and uses a phrase from the original airport conversation. At this point they swap matchboxes. Our loner then opens the box and pulls out a small piece of paper with numbers and letters on it, some sort of code. From what I gather he quickly deciphers the code mentally, afterward he eats it. Symbolic for man getting hints or clues from God, but not knowing what they are. Early on he meets a woman (the one in glasses on the back of the box) who is naked in his hotel room. Her clothes allergy remains for several days as our loner refrains from sex. Symbolic of birth, or maybe the teen years.

The characters he meets get older and give him different advice, eventually he gets a quiet ride (symbolic of the hearse) after a cemetery and dirt speech. Here his death is symbolized in a large building with the furniture covered. He then has his final confrontation (PLOT SPOILER) where he uses his "imagination" to pop into a guarded fortress and kill the "controller" a symbol for God, played by Bill Murray. Or perhaps we are symbolically killing Bill Murray for all the stinker movies he has been in as late.

Our loner returns to the airport where he puts away his bag with 3 suits, exits and steps into the light, most likely symbolic of reincarnation.

There is no real action. There is full frontal nudity, but no sex. Tlda Swinton, one of the more interesting characters talks about movies. This should open up the life metaphor. Later you see her escorted by two men in black suits with sun glasses (they represent grim reapers). God watches over us through a black helicopter.

If this movie isn't a metaphor for life, then it is just a lousy film.

A Bothered Conscience
(2006)

TELL-TALE TRESPASSERS
There are a number of ways to deal with trespassers. Some work better than others. Certainly, hunting them down and killing them rates at the top of preventing the violators from doing it again.

The opening scene was an Ed Wood special. The man (Dennis Smithers Sr.) is wearing an old military style shirt with the sleeves cut out, but it has a new looking airborne patch on it. The son starts out walking on his dad's left, then he is suddenly on his right.

Trespassers are shot and stabbed. They are killed but never tortured. The movie flashes forward 20 years. The son Lucas (Stephen Martin) is grown. After 41 people have gone missing, the sheriff (MacFarland Martin) is getting a bit suspicious.

Dad eventually gets killed. Junior now must learn to kill trespassers on his own, except now he has descent into madness as he sees trespassers they have already killed. Shades of the Tell-Tale Heart! Now the problem with this madness scenario is that the dead walk like zombies and appear even when Junior can't see them.

And as for the twist at the end...my problem with the twist is that there was no clue during the film that is was going to happen. It was like putting space aliens in an Indian Jones film.

No sex or nudity.

Shôwa kayô daizenshû
(2003)

IT'S A SAD HAPPY SONG
This is a good dark comedy, some of which actually translates well, of two feuding Showa Karaoke groups. One group consists of young males. Sugako initiates the feud by killing a member of the woman's group who refused his sexual advances. The "middle aged" women call themselves "Hemmi" which appears to be a form of Hemi or half since they are all divorced. The method of killing escalates with each kill. This would make a great American film. Warning: The DVD back cover has plot spoilers in that it shows the first three kills.

Guide: F-bomb, nudity, sexual groping.

Harvest of Fear
(2004)

RELAX, I'M A DOCTOR TOO.
The slasher code states that kids who have sex by the lake must die. This movie starts out honoring that code. The killings happen around a annual harvest festival when college kids converge on Devil's Lake. The last one happened 20 years ago, now they are happening again. Same murderer? Copycat? There are a number of suspects: The family of the convicted murderer who claims their son/brother was wrongly accused. A new guy in town, son of a former resident. The old sheriff who believes they are connected. The deputy who is jilted. The creepy town pathologist.

After 8 people are killed the sheriff proclaims, ""Although there have been nine murders, we're not ready to say that any of this is connected." The movie just wasn't that great. The characters and dialogue were bland as were most of the murders.

F-bomb, sex, good initial nude scene with topless chase through woods.

A Kiss of Chaos
(2009)

ODD CHARACTERS
Let's see how odd we can make characters and relationship. Phoenix lives in an apartment she once lived in as a child. Her mother killed herself in the same place. There is a bad coke deal that goes down and Angel shows up shot at Phoenix's place (with 5 kilos of coke), a one time boyfriend, until he lost her to the lesbian who lives down below. He has seen a movie where a bullet was removed from a leg with a hot knife, so he wants Phoenix to do it. Phoenix's sister calls her and needs help. She sleeps around quite a bit and is suicidal. She had just killed a man (John?) by shooting him multiple times in the head using a stuffed teddy bear as a silencer. She tells her sister he killed himself.

The guy who dispose of the bodies sells them to a Chinese food place which uses them to make General Tso's chicken. The man who is killing everyone to try to find out where Angel is located is the incestuous brother of the lesbian. Phoenix and the lesbian are attempting to find a buyer for the coke on their own, while Angel is having sex with the psychotic sister. Once the psychotic sister finds out the neighbor is a lesbian, she goes and visits her... but hey! She is HIV so things never happen.

There is a certain comedy element to the interconnection of the characters and the story, but it is told in a sober fashion so we don't laugh.

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