Demonic is a movie about these group of teenagers who decided to do summon the other spirits in a house where a mas murder happened in it while they were doing rituals to summon the demon. The movie had all of the horror elements. So many jump scares that are frightening, I recommend it to people and its really worth watching. Whenever there’s a horror movie that involves James Wan it is worth watching and what made the movie even greater is the plot twist at the end.
If you come to this movie hoping to be scared like the Conjuring, well this is not it. John (played by the guy who died in Supernatural, Ghostfacers) reprises his role as a stupid teenager who goes to a haunted house to catch ghosts on film, except now he’s the MAIN LEAD instead of the guy who dies first. Bad thing is, he still can’t act. The other teenagers also have personality as flat as cardboard–a weird pretty girl who think by proving ghosts exist she will not be mocked; an Asian; a guy who thinks he’s the leader; and the girlfriend. The only interesting people are the old detective and psychologist. They acted well and believable. Oh, and the ending, that was unexpected, because it was too convoluted. To be frank, there is not much scares. This is more of a mystery movie than horror. Plot holes abound and you will find yourself cursing as the teenagers make stupid mistakes. But it has a few nice scary scenes. Do watch this while waiting for Insidious 3!
But, This film has a sequence of errors. Firstly, the acting isn’t convincing, but moreso fake and emotionless. I believe that screenplay helps giving no authenticity to characters’ ideas. So now, strictly talking about the screenplay, it’s fair, but with a lot of confusion for me. The movie style changes: it starts jumping on the past to explain the present, where the “facts” are already done, but it for some moments, the present moment was like “let’s stop showing too much what happened in the house”. And John said he knew nothing, but later he becomes the story’s narrator! Overall, I would say that this is an OKAY film, it has an interesting end, but things are just good near to the end… until there, it is just about avoiding action. I’m not a terror movie lover, but this one could have potential to be much better. Nice to watch at home with friends.
Set in the distant past of 2011, when the Occupy movement was still roaring and all hope was not yet lost, Vladan Nikolic’s Allure struggles to make sense of an uprising that didn’t ascend to the heights many had hoped. It doesn’t help that the docudrama is arriving neither in the heat of the moment nor with more than a few years’ worth of hindsight on a movement whose full implications have yet to be sussed out. Nikolic does contribute to that effort, however, with a multicultural portrait of several women either directly involved in or tangentially affected by Occupy; the more he expands beyond this core element, the more interesting Allure becomes.
Inspired by true stories, ‘Allure‘ focuses on five women in NYC, who have come from different countries and settings. Each one struggles to overcome her personal conflict, set against the backdrop of greater political struggles and the global Occupy Movements. These separate, but intersecting multi-ethnic storylines touch and inform each other, and create a larger narrative, about gender, emigration, power, class, and personal politics. Crudely and pretentiously put, in hollywood’s pitch-language, it’s early Godard meets a 21st century digital anarchist cinema; more accurately put, it is an artistic rendition of intersecting multi-ethnic stories in present New York City, centered around women, and mirrored against the upheaval of economic and political unrest, the Occupy World Movement.
The filmmaker, originally from Serbia, has a sensitive understanding of the immigrant experience shared by many members of his cast — some of the strongest moments here are also the simplest, with people simply recounting their experiences. Of vital importance to this process is Aleksandar Kostic’s roving camerawork and grainy, black-and-white cinematography, though the camera’s agile movements often prove more kinetic and engaging than the halfhearted plot. At times there’s no way to be sure whether what’s on screen is scripted or candid, a formal tension that keeps the film on its toes while also underscoring that it’s more effective as an experiential mood piece than it is as a drama.
Married filmmakers Tina Mascara and Guido Santi have crafted a warm documentary, Monk with a Camera, about Nicholas Vreeland, grandson of legendary Vogue editor, Diana Vreeland. He’s remarkable for forsaking his posh world to become a Tibetan monk and abbot of the Rato monastery, the first Westerner to do so. In addition, he returns to the photography that he learned from Irving Penn to help save the monastery. The doc is restrained in its praise of this self-effacing spiritual leader, while letting others like Richard Gere and Nicky’s brother, Alexander, do the praising. The camera seems to strive for the most natural and least hyped aspects of Nicky’s remarkable vocation. As we follow him talking to monks and millionaires alike, the doc effectively makes believers of us who might be skeptical that such a transformation could be possible. See the monk in his adoptive habitat, just as if we too for the few moments of the doc decided to forsake our worldly stuff for a simpler life.
One of last scenes with Nicholas out with a large format camera sums it all up: there is some poor “real” monk who has probably never seen NYC or Paris or LA carrying all of Nicholas’s camera equipment around like a slave. That is the real story, and why I think less of this movie because it didn’t explore this thesis. How about interviewing that monk carrying around all that photog equipment, or asking some of the monks that survived the genocide in Tibet & China to comment on what they think of this western-poser and the special treatment he gets. Nicholas still lives a life of a celebrity despite his monk status, and is treated quite different than other monks. I thought it was going to be about a talented Tibetan monk who takes world-class photographs, and heart of story would be his art. The photography is just a sidenote in the movie – a means for fundraising.
And beyond: becoming the abbot of the monastery that he has helped to renovate. A story that Mascara and Santi seem to have willingly chosen to report without indulging in mere controversy (something that it would have been so easy and obvious to achieve given Vreeland’s prior life as a photographer and socialite), but rather observing from a distance this remarkable experiment in deeply reconsidering one’s own essence. Beyond what could have been perhaps just another expected, almost obvious, exaltation of Buddhist philosophy’s impulse towards achieving inner spiritual balance through change, this unpretentious, yet very coherent documentary ends up leaving you inspired (and perhaps even reassured) from a much broader point of view, Buddhist or not.
When a stranger, Thaddeus, is found badly wounded near the village, miner Li Kung and his wife Ah Ni offer him refuge. As he heals, he becomes entrenched in a conflict that pits the townsfolk against the evil Master Ho, his nefarious Beetle Clan and the terrifying Lord Pi. Our main iron fisted character Thaddeus “the blacksmith” (RZA) returns now trying hard to follow in the ways of peace (opting for a more quiet existence than his past years of violence). Reputation proceeding him, Thaddeus now covers his iron fists in gauze to avoid confrontations.
The positives in this movie would be the story, which is quite decent. And apart from Tagawa I was only impressed with Carl Ng’s performance that made the story watchable till the end. Although it leads to big disappointment as the story progresses with very bad fighting scenes. A good fight would be one key factor we expect from this movie that lacks, apart from number of other elements like poor acting, poor selection of cast.
It’s fairly perfunctory for both a martial arts film, and a DTV action film, as it’s not very good but it’s not aiming to be brilliant either. If this had been released into theaters, and not DTV, it would’ve felt inferior because it’s a profound drop off from the original. DTV feels appropriate because we can forgive some of its quality issues because it doesn’t feel like a real sequel. It feels like Mean Girls 2 or any other of the DTV franchise films that have propped up over the years. If you don’t expect much out of this you won’t be disappointed but it’s not a good film.
If you liked the first film, you should like this one. This is also done in a grindhouse style combining a martial arts film with a hip-hop soundtrack. Part 2 gives you the ending of previous film, which I found to be a confusing mess anyway. You don’t have to have seen the first film to enjoy this one, it gives you enough information. Maybe is not one of the best action movies of the year, perhaps far from that, but the movie has some valuable elements that make you feel satisfied at the end. Is a kind of crazy movie that some times make you remember the style of action of movies like Kill Bill. I give a C+ rating, for this entertaining action movie.
Lady from Shanghai, a shark-infested Film noir, is a perennial art-house favorite. On the big screen it is a rare visual feast, with Welles’ trademark off-kilter and gorgeously chaotic direction elevating it far beyond its weaknesses. The film’s most famous sequence, the much-imitated, never-surpassed Fun-house Mirror Scene near the conclusion is one of the greatest scenes in cinema. Still, nagging questions remain, and not just with the sketchy plot. Chief among them is how good would “Shanghai” have been if Orson Welles had creative control?
Welles disagreed with many modifications that were introduced by Harry Cohn and Columbia Studio. His chief complaints were with the audio. Welles objected to the repetitious music which appears throughout, as well as the obvious (i.e., “Disney”) musical effects. Welles wanted the Fun-house scene to be silent and the swimming scene to have more ambient sound. Cohn also insisted on adding a singing scene for Rita Hayworth. Welles wrote a famous 15-page memo to Cohn arguing his points. Welles’s suggestions were completely ignored. In Cohn’s defense, the singing scene works. Also, the consistent music perhaps adds necessary balance to the unusual visuals. How Welles came to make the deal with Cohn is worth retelling. In 1946, Welles is simultaneously personally bankrupt as well as desperately trying to keep a Mercury Theater production of “Around the World in 80 Days” afloat. He is informed by a creditor that he has two hours to raise $55K or shut the production down. At a bookstore, Welles finds a copy of “If I Die Before I Wake” by Sherwood King, which he has not read, and calls Harry Cohn, pitching it to the studio boss enthusiastically. Cohn wires Welles the advance that saves the theatrical production. Welles subsequently reads the book and learns how implausible the story is.
Despite the film’s duality (with the audio reflecting the studio’s wishes and the visuals from Welles), the finished product is one of the best film noirs in the genre. The cast is solid. Welles is the standout; however, his’ portrayal of an Irish commoner (seaman Michael O’Hara) receives mixed reviews. Welles casts his estranged wife (Rita Hayworth) in the eponymous role in the hopes of preserving their marriage. Welles had her famously red hair dyed blond, to the displeasure of many of her fans. While “Shanghai” has crazy plot turns it is splendorous to take in, especially in a theater. Local cinephiles should lead a horse-drawn carriage in the direction of the revival theater screening it to watch it all over again.
Its style over substance. But what style! The images in the film are amazing and Welles does things with the camera most other filmmakers just wouldn’t do. The acting is strong overall and the funhouse finale is a master class of imagery. The plot is pleasingly complex and although it can be distracting at least it keeps you guessing and isn’t just totally conventional. The characters are all corrupt but they’re also developed and overall it’s an interesting enough movie overall and is certainly stunning to look at. You can never see what’s coming next and it doesn’t feel totally flat in terms of substance. Although Orson Welles’ movies seem to show off a bit, here there is visual sparkle and depth to show off. This noir isn’t up there with The Third Man or Laura, but it is a good, solid effort with some very strong elements and some weaker ones. A lesser known Welles film which is worth your time, although it’s more a well done film than an entertaining one.
Batman vs Robin is a sequel to Son of Batman and is the 4th (5 if you count Justice League: Flashpoint Paradox) animated movie in the DCAFU. Unlike Son of Batman, Robin is front and center. Focusing on his relationship with his father, Damien must choose to follow his father’s teachings or become the assassin he was meant to be. The Court of Owls are the big baddies this time and they’re creepy and menacing. Batman is back and he must learn to let his son be who he wants to be instead of turning him into something he’s not. The Talon, the Court’s main assassin, is great though he does some very extreme things. Nightwing returns in a bigger role than the last movie and acts as the voice of reason during the story.
It is high on story & animation. It blends both the factors, most efficiently. J. M. DeMatteis’s Screenplay is definitely dark, but it holds tremendous appeal. The twists in the tale as well as its action-sequences, are so well-structured. There is no place for boredom here. Jay Oliva‘s Direction offers some of the most brilliant animation I’ve in seen in recent times. Background Score is top-notch.
I am always very excited when new animation movies are released and this was no exception. I felt the story line was good with Batman training Robin up but for me the theme throughout seemed to me as Batman was weak. I can sort of see why they did it as to show Robin the correct path but for me it did not come off as a topical batman movie. Normally he is portrayed as the more clever and darker of the super heroes. Everything in this movie is way better than Son of Batman, but has its flaws. The fights are insane and are creative. The acting is superb portraying Damien as a strong character instead of a whinny brat. The movie is full of Easter eggs so keep a close eye out. Some scenes are way to dark for an animated movie, specifically the flashbacks. Some of the fights are very bloody and very graphic. So if you are watching this to watch Batman defeat lots of bad men then you will be disappointed as there is only a small stint of this towards the end. If you are wanting to see a more caring and nurturing side of Batman then you will enjoy this movie.
Based on a short story by Steven Millhauser, “The Sisterhood of Night” is a narrative film project that describes itself as a modern version of the Salem witch trials. Equal parts “Gossip Girl,” and “The Blair Witch Project,” the story chronicles of a group of teenage girls who have banded together to form The Sisterhood of Night, a group that gathers deep in the forest after dark. But when the resident gossip girl of their small-town high school exposes the group on the Internet and accuses them of engaging in illicit activities, the secret is out. The girls refuse to explain themselves, and the town becomes more and more suspicious. The girls take a vow of silence to protect their secret — and then, the witch hunt is on.
This is a difficult film to label, the trailer might suggest a ‘Mean Girls as witches’ storyline as in The Craft, but this is not a horror flick, there’s no supernatural element. It’s about female friendships and being true to oneself, there are familiar high school themes of peer pressure, popularity, a dash of cyber bullying, but thankfully none of these are pressed too hard, so it never devolves to a dreary message movie. The filmmaking and acting was terrific. Georgie Henley did a great job as the main female lead as did Kal Penn, as a Guidance Counselor. The storyline was intense, but humor added in between the dramatic parts of the plot worked very well. Since the main characters are teenage girls, I would imagine that it would be that age group that is drawn to this film.
You could say the plot uses The Crucible as a rough template, but best to discover the specifics for yourself. The director has a great visual sense, and Georgie Henley is a real find as the lead character Mary Warren, she has a natural charisma and commands every scene she’s in. Maybe there are one or two obligatory plot turns, but overall the narrative unfolds in surprising ways and lands with real emotional punch.
Paul Auster wrote a novel about an Argentinian-born silent screen, comic star named Hector Mann called “The Book of Illusions”(published in 2002) that haunted me for days on end after I reluctantly turned the last page. A contemporary of screen legends such as Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, and Harold Lloyd; Auster, with his usual expert cageyness, adroitly blurred the line between fact and fiction, making the reader lose sight of Hector Mann’s fictitious non-existence. When the South American slapstick comic actor left Hollywood, he continued to make films in secrecy at his own private movie studio. It was the notion of a film history unbeknownst to the public sector that drove my imagination, like an alternate universe. In “Hollywood Chinese”, the Auster novel came rushing back to my head with an almost visceral immediateness, as this smart, incisive documentary discloses the existence of a Chinese female director named Marion Wong, who made silent films which accurately depicted Chinese-American life at the advent of commercial motion picture exhibition during the early tens. Clips from Wong’s “The Curse of Quon Gwon” possess an uncanny look of otherworldliness, like something that shouldn’t exist at all. What’s truly remarkable about this lost film is that it has value beyond its ethnographic qualities; Ms. Wong was clearly an accomplished filmmaker in her own right.
“Hollywood Chinese” is admirable for its balance in representing both sides of the controversy behind the creative casting procedures that Hollywood regularly carried out in such films as Sidney Franklin’s “The Good Earth”(Caucasians playing Chinese) and “The Flower Drum Song”(Japanese playing Chinese). On one hand, there’s the reminder that Hollywood is an industry, a business whose only goal is to turn a profit, so it’s nothing personal, asserts the interview subjects from this camp, when a Anglo-American actor like Paul Muni puts on a yellow face. But then there’s the other camp who take issue with being misrepresented, especially by Japanese actors, for instance, Miyoshi Umeki in Henry Koster’s “The Flower Drum Song”, especially during the post-WWII period, when the Chinese were subjected to Japanese domination. Although there is anger, most notably by “M. Butterfly”-star B.D. Wong concerning Gedde Watanabe’s performance in John Hughes’ “Sixteen Candles”, the anger is mostly held in check(there is a little bitterness from actress Joan Chen when she recounts her lack of film offers after Bernardo Bertolucci’s “The Last Emperor”).
The filmmaker shows tremendous restraint in not making mention of the obvious irony behind Rob Marshall’s “Memoirs of a Geisha”, in which Chinese actors played Japanese actors. Or maybe it’s bias. “Memoirs of a Geisha” strengthens the argument that Hollywood is about box office receipts, and not cultural sensitivity, since the casting of Zhang Ziyi and Michelle Yeoh as Japanese geishas was clearly a business-based decision born out of economic necessity. There are simply no bankable female Japanese stars.
The plot is reminiscent of other great work (sarcastic) by Fred Bailey who still somehow manages to sell his scripts and have movies made out of them. The story is just SO ordinary that it will never stand out. The acting is terrible, that’s what you get from using models as actors. You must have a huge ego to be both director and actor, unfortunately it rarely works, only Tarantino manages to break the barrier. The action scenes had NO tension whatsoever, the danger happens always AFTER the hero is safe and sound, especially during the library scene.
One of the great pluses is that for once, the running time is sensible. It drives me crazy that so many movies these days run close to two hours. The underwater scenes were on the dark side, made worse by the need to wear glasses for the 3D. Considering the cost and technical requirements that must have gone into them, the 3D undermined those scenes. Some of the supporting actors make for entertaining watching. Michael Gleissner played the duplicitous villain really well. Laury Prudent does a solid job, although I think there should have been some explanation as to how and why her character was operating a station on a remote Philippine island. Jaymee Ong and Amelia Jackson-Gray delivered the best performances after Michael Gleissner. I also enjoyed the performance of the actor playing the main Philippine officer.
For those of you who don’t know the elegant and fabulous Bebe Pham – Vietnamese Supermodel Extraordinaire, this was her US debut. The suspense thriller takes place on the beautiful islands of Philippines. The movie started off a little slow but picked up speed, action and intrigue as the film progressed. I didn’t notice I was holding my breath during the underwater fight scene! Mick Gleissner and Amelia Jackson Gray did a great job in their roles. Bebe could use a little coaching in the acting. At first I didn’t care about her, but I did warm up to her her sister, played by Jaymee Ong. But this is more of an action film and I liked the underwater scenes in 3D.
The action scenes are decently staged, the pick likely being Amy getting chased around a library by a slew of thugs, though the final ship-board encounter is nicely done as well. However, embarrassing sloppiness counters this, such an abduction scene where it looks like the same henchman climbs into the car twice, once in the back and once in the front, while Amy’s hands mysteriously get bound, albeit with the sort of constraint she can literally shake off. It works mostly as a very nice promotional piece for the local tourist board, and if you’re looking for something pleasant looking and possessing absolutely no depth, you could do a lot worse.