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The night they walk among us: Trick r’ Treat September 28, 2009

Posted by kiddoinspace in horror, movies, review.
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Trick_r_treat

After a long wait, it’s finally here, the film many horror fans (include myself in that category) was expecting.

Trick r’ Treat is set in Halloween night, and tells us 4 different stories that some way or another, are connected. A group of kids pulling a prank, a virgin looking for the right guy, an old man dealing with a special visitor, and a teacher with a secret, along with some extra scenes that help connecting everything.

Trick R Treat

Creator and creation

The film delivers what it promises, and although it’s an anthology film, the stories are very well managed (well, at times it feels disjointed, but not too often) and the action between them flows perfectly, the action never feels rushed as the director takes his time to develop each of them. The atmosphere were the stories are set is great, there’s always that dark mood and sense of dread, since nothing is what it looks like. This is accompanied by great visual and make up effects, a detail that many modern horror films decide to change for CGI, here it’s almost non existent and it gives the film a nice feeling, it’s always a good thing to see those kind of special effects.

The film also succeeds at creating nice suspense and tension, which is helped by the overall mood of the film. It also has its comedic and cheesy moments, capturing that Halloween feeling perfectly, after all the holiday has a nice mix of those elements.

The words that end the review: This film has everything a horror film asks for, a perfect Halloween movie which captures the mood of the celebration.

The numerical rating value: 9/10

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When mokeys talk and food rains: Cloudy with a chance of meatballs September 27, 2009

Posted by kiddoinspace in movies, review.
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At first, Cloudy with a chance of meatballs may look like a bad movie, just full of great animation, some laughs, no substance, and as a way to, one more time, use the new 3-D technology so many films have been using lately. At first that’s what I thought, but then I decided to give it a shot, after all at least I could have a nice time seeing a movie in 3-D. When it finished I left the theater with a big smile on my face.

The story is quite simple, we have a guy, Flint Lockwood, who wants to be a great scientist, although nobody believes in him (except for his mom) and his inventions often fail. Then he creates what can be his greatest invention: a machine that transforms water into food.

This plot, as simple and straight forward as it may seem, delivers great things. It’s laugh after laugh after laugh, it just doesn’t relies on the physical comedy, it also delivers some great dialogue and hilarious scenes. Just take the scene when the father tries to use a computer to send an E-mail, it’s silly, yet very funny. It also takes its time to give us some good character development and the obligated moral message, which may not be as obvious or dramatic as the Pixar ones, but form time to time is good to see a movie made just for the laughs.  Even thought it is a child movie, Cloudy is much better that a lot of recent comedies.

While it delivers laughs, it also has some beautiful animation, that looks even better in 3-D. Scenes like the one inside the giant food ball shine a lot with this technology and there are some beautiful looking scenes through it that make the movie a pleasure to watch.

The words that end the review: Hilarious, entertaining and a pleasure to the eye. It’s a non stopping fun fest from start to finish.

The numerical rating value: 9/10

Attack of the Double Feature from Europe: A woman is a woman and Persona September 26, 2009

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woma

One day I realized I haven’t seen enough foreign films, specially from these two famous directors, Jean-Luc Godard and Ingmar Bergman. So I watched A woman is a woman and Persona, disovering two great pieces of filmmaking in the process.

Let’s start the feature with the weird and french movie called A woman is a woman. The plot goes something like this: The stripper Angela (played by the beautiful Anna Karina) wants a baby, but his boyfriend Émile doesn’t so she decides to go with Émile’s friend Alfred to have what she wants

How can I describe this movie? Ridiculous? Silly? Both? Yes, both of them, because it has a little of both, which actually is a good thing. The film is full of weird and funny situations, mainly between the main couple and their fights unleashed by the baby argument. The way Godard builds the whole movie and its characters is great. Sudden cuts, the use of text, the color lights and the situations the characters face, the randomess of some moments, all contribute to the mood of the film, but even though it doesn’t takes itself too seriously, it has time to explore relationships, what can somebody do to demonstrate love to that significant other (even of to means bashing his head in a wall), at times this gives the film some kind seriousness which doesn’t lasts long. But as Émile said “I don’t know if this is a comedy or a drama, but it’s a masterpiece.”

I had a great time watching the film, it’s a lot of fun and delivered more than I expected. Also, the presence of Anna Karina is always very welcome.

The words that end the review: It delivers great moments, its entertainig, original and funny. A great movie.

The numerical rating value: 9/10

 

persona

Now let’s move into the next movie, which is the total opposite of the previous review. The movie is Bergman’s Persona. It blew my mind.

Persona tells the story of an Elisabeth Vogler (played by Liv Ullman), an actress that entered a semi catatonic state, and her nurse Alma (played by Bibi Andersson). They go to a house by the beach to help Elisabeth get out of her state.

The two characters are alone in that house, and as the film progresses, they start to become one. The whole movie is an exploration of the relationship between the two women, and how the actress becomes the obsession of the nurse, which was there to help but becomes the opposite.

I can describe Persona as an  new experience in film. The whole duration of it went by like 2 minutes, the characters were so interesting that it took my attention and didn’t let me go until the credits were rolling. The relationship just hade me asking for more, I wanted to know what was coming next, how will they be affected as one becomes the other. Let’s not forget the amazing work of Andersson, which makes the whole experience even better. This is one of those films that gets better with a rewatch, when you get things that went unnoticed the first time, and rediscover the ones you already got as we try to find a meaning to all of it.

The words that end the review: I will only use one word: Perfect.

The numerical rating system: 10/10

Never mess with a gypsy: Drag Me to Hell September 8, 2009

Posted by kiddoinspace in horror, movies, review.
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drag-me-to-hell

Raimi, Raimi, Raimi, where have youe been? After years of bad horror movies and endless awful remakes (both with a few exceptions) something new was needed, then you make your comeback with this. Awesome.

Since the Evil Dead franchise, Sam Raimi hadn’t made a horror movie. He gained fame with the great Spider Man trilogy and decided to come back to the genre that started his career as a filmmaker. The Evil Dead franchise is remembered byt fans (including myself) for being the perfect combination of dark humor and horror, this can be seen clearer in the second movie, since the first one is more horror and the third one is more comedy.

You see that old lady behind the poor blonde chick? Well, she's a bitch.

You see that old lady behind the poor blonde chick? Well, she's a bitch.

Drag Me to Hell is exactly that, the perfect combination of both horror and comedy. The atosphere in whic the protagonist is placed is very different from those of ED, here we have the monster attacking the girl in the middle of the day, in common and known places full of light. Yet, Raimi succesfully manages to create a sense of dread ans suspense through the film, delivering some great scares along the way.

The comed moments are just as effective as the scary ones, and at times they come one after another. We are scared and then we laugh, perfect combination. Raimi knows exactly how and when to do this to make those moments more effective. There’s also a lot of cartoonish violence that remined me of ED II, which makes the film a lot of fun to watch and very entertaining.

The only issues I had with the film was the use of CGI, I prefer horror movies with good make up effects (which it also has). The other one was the main actress, she could have added more charisma to her character. Besides these two points, verything else was fine for me.

And by the way, there’s alos a talking goat.

The words that end the review: With the right amouns of horror and comedy, this movie is sure to entertain. Beleive me when I say that it is a lot of fun to watch.

The numerical rating system: 9/10

Of murder and fate: Natural Born Killers September 6, 2009

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naturalbornkillersfrontvg8

Natural Born Killers may be one of the most intense, weird and fun experiences I have had while watching movies. Hearing the plot of the movie about a couple who goes into a murder rampage across america, I was expecting something in the lines of Kalifornia, wich has a similar plot, also  it was written by Tarantino (although Stone re wrote it and changed nearly everything), so ther was kind of an image of it in my mind . When the movie started, I realized I was in for a ride, a very bizarre ride.

The whole film is presented as if we were inside the mind of these couple of killers, the whole film feels as if we were living a fantasy, the look, feel and editing, all contribute to this. We suddenly change to black and white, there are images appearing out of nowhere, constant cuts, the camera angles, etc. create the mood of the film perfectly making some moments a lot of fun to watch and very entertaining,  a great example of this is the prison mutiny scene. Sadly, the whole frenetic pacing and constant cuts make the film annoying at times.

The film plays as a satire and a criticism to violence and media. There are no villians nor heroes, everyone here is, in their own way, both. It deals, in it’s own over the top and unserious way, with how amercia and the media make serial killers icons, how they transform them into heroes, but when things turn around, they start calling those idols monsters.  

The acting here is excellent, veryone from the protagonis Harrelson and Lewis, to Downey and Lee Jones )Lee Jones was my favorite) give great performances that go according to the general mood of the film, they go into full crazy mode.

The words that end the review: Over the top, fast paced, violent and fun. This words describe this critic to violence, Its only sin is that it fells into annoyance at times.

The numerical rating system: 8/10

A beautiful tale of murder: The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford September 3, 2009

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jesse james

I saw this movie knowing absoluteley nothing about it, well, I knew Jesse James gets killed, everyone knows that, but besides that, the whole point and plot of the movie was unknown to me I heard alot of good things about it but nothing more. That mystery made me want to watch it even more. By the time it ended I was very surprised and pleased for what i’ve just seen.

In some way or another, thanks either to the title or american history, everyone wo comes to see this movie knos that at some point Robert Ford will be killing Jesse James. Knowing this some questions came to my mind, if the murder of Jesse James is an important to the plot, how is the movie going to keep the viewer interested? and, what place does the mentioned murder takes in the movie?

First of all, the pacing of the movie is slow and steady, it never has any mayor changes but it never gets boring. It sets a great mood to the whole film. The photography is gorgeous, the beautiful and different landscapes appearing look fantastic, the different settings are perfect making the movie a pleausure to look at. The direction and th use of the camerea just help to make the film look better, capturing amazing and bautiful moments. An lets not forget the soundtrack, a perfect companion piece to the film, trully original and haunting.

assassination

A great shot from the movie.

At the start of the movie we are presented with Robert Ford joining the James band. From here the movie explores the characters of Robert Ford and Jesse James and their relationship. Little by little we are shown a bit of the personality of these two great characters, every scene in the movie serves the pusrpouse of advancing plot and characters, and it does an excellent job at that. We get to know the two of them perfectly. The story is carried

Then the murder comes,  it’s a powerful moment. A great an influential event within the movie.

The words that end the review: Beautiful cinematography and directon with an original soundtrack a  great story and amazing characters. You can’t ask for more.

The numerical rating system: 10/10

The new shape of evil: Halloween August 31, 2009

Posted by kiddoinspace in horror, movies, review.
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halloween_poster

With the recent release of the new Halloween movie and the fact that I’ve never seen a Rob Zombie’s film, I decided to go out and rent this movie, although some people warned me that this was a horrible, horrible thing to do. As you can guess, I did it anyways.

Before seeing this movie I totally erased Carpenter’s movie from my mind. This was to avoid comparisons since this is a remake, we are seeing a different take over the original, and many people compare both, but I didn’t came here to see to original.

I'm sure they are brothers or something.

I'm sure they are brothers or something.

From the beginning we can see that Zombie decided to take this movie from a whole different angle. The film is now centered in Michael and how he became the crazy killer he is now. This may be the strongest part of the film, and I really liked how things turned, here we have a more human Michael, with motives for his killings, he’s not just a blank face anymore, he became something else. We can relate at some point to what the young Michael went through and understand him.

To me this is a great idea from Zombie, it gives the movie a nice twist. I think he went in the right path when recreating the character, but in  the way he missed some really important things that could have improved this film a lot more.

First of all, this movie lacks the most important elements of a horror movie. Suspense and good scares are gone, Zombie just puts some cheap jump scares here and there, he focused to much in telling the story of his villian that he forgot he was making a horror movie. Yes, there’s a lot of blood and killings (those scenes are quite brutal) but it really isn’t enough. At times, specially when Michael finally reaches Laurie, the movie falls flat and becomes boring.

The other big issue I had with the movie was the pacing. After we see all of Michael’s story and he escapes the asylum there are continous cuts. We see Dr. Loomis doing something then we cut to Laurie, then to Michael, then to Loomis again and so on and on. This cuts ruin the pacing, leaving the movie without space for the building of suspense.

Rob Zombie had a great idea in his hands, it looks like he is a capable director but his attention was caught up in other things. I really hope that H2 is an improvement over this.

The words that end the review: Halloween is wasted potential, a great take on Michael’s story was ruined by a poor execution.

The numerical rating system: 6/10

Songs from a bloody future: Repo! The Genetic Opera August 30, 2009

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 repocartel_grande

 

Before starting this review I must confess you something, I’m a sucker for this kind of movie.

Last night I decided to rewatch this movie, for a long time I’ve wanted to watch it since the whole concept of Repo! and the way it looked was very appealing to me, my only doubts about it was the musical side of it since musicals aren’t my favorite genre.

The story of Repo! The Genetic Opera goes something like this: In a not so distant future the world is plagued by a sudden wave of organ failures, everyone is in danger an a lot of people is dying. Then GeneCo is created, for a fair price they will replace your organs but if you don’t pay the Repo man will come back for it.

As you can see the concept is quite original, and is in this plot where the stories of all our charcters develop. We have the young sick child Shilo who just wants to see the world, her father Nathan who has a double life as a doctor and a Repo Man, Rotti Largo the founder of GeneCo who needs a new heir and Blind Mag GeneCo’s official spokewomen. These are our main characters, all their stories will cross and a good amount of drama (and gore) ensues.

The backstory for them is presented to us in a different way, here we see a series of “comics” telling us what happened 17 years ago. I felt this method a s a cheap way for presenting part of the story, but since the whole movie is sung (hence why it is an opera, don’t expect normal dialougue) that must have been the best way for us to know about the past events.

Luigi (left) and Pavi (right) Largo. Cool characters.

Luigi (left) and Pavi (right) Largo. Cool characters, one is obsessed with female faces the other one is crazy.

For being a movie made entirely out of songs and with no dialogue, the writters did quite a decent job creating and developing characters, there are some interesting people in here, specially in the Largo family (see picture), and the character of the Repo man along with his whole moral struggle is great, one of the film higlights.  The major problem here is that sometimes, when we go from one scene to another the continuity is lost, both scenes feel totally disconnected, and this happens quite often.

Through the 97 minutes of Repo! we are presented with a beautiful looking movie, the sets, costumes and photography look really good, setting the whole dark/gothic mood perfectly, it’s a pleasure to see. All this imagery is accompained by a nice rock soundtrack, songs like Zydrate Anatomy, Chase the Morning (with great Sarah Brightman vocals), Let the mosnter rice, and others provide a great soundtrack.

The words that end the review: Repo! The Genetic Opera is worth seeing, great visual with good music and a decent story. It suffers in the direction department, but the fact that not even Paris Hilton brings this movie down is something good.

The numerical rating system: 8/10