Maggie: Slow But Interesting

Posted in 7, Drama, Horror, New Releases, Ratings, Reviews with tags , , , , on May 20, 2015 by mducoing

Maggie - IMDBThe world has seen no shortage of zombie films, covering countless scenarios meant to torment observers with chilling and monstrous scenes. Maggie is not that sort of film at all. While chilling, director Henry Hobson has delivered a film that focuses far more on the emotional reality of slow decay, of the tragic horror that awaits the victim of the disease rather than the victims of what the afflicted shall become.

Premise: A teenage girl is infected by an outbreak of a zombie-creating disease that takes months to fully incubate. This is the story of her descent into death. Result: A relatively powerful, nuanced film that while not particularly energizing, makes most of the right moves.

In the midst of a scourged Midwest at the center of what appears to be a global pandemic, we have Maggie (Abigail Breslin),a young girl who was somehow or other bitten by one of these creatures afflicted with what is known as the NecroAmbulance Virus. It is a truly saddening ordeal that afflicts her, her father Wade (Arnold Schwarzenegger), her step mother Caroline (Joely Richardson), her friends and all those around her.

A young girl bitten. We have seen it all before…but arguably not like this.

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Ex Machina: Beautiful, Staggering and Chilling to Watch

Posted in 9, Horror, New Releases, Ratings, Reviews, Sci Fi/ Fantasy, Thriller with tags , , , , on May 17, 2015 by mducoing

Ex Machina - IMDBWhile the concept of AI is by no means new in modern filmmaking (A.I., iRobot, Chappie, Her to name a few) writer/director (Alex Garland) has delivered a tale that has a powerful new perspective on the notion of Artificial Intelligence. Scene after scene, moment after moment is a slow-burn thrill for audiences with a very smart, hyper-cynical perspective on humanity and the things that make us the Intelligent Being we believe we are.

Premise: A young programmer has been selected to help test a breakthrough artificial intelligence artificial intelligence that is even more than he suspects. Result: An immediate classic, this film will torment its viewers and have them coming back for more.

While it is certainly an understatement to say that Ex Machina is a pleasant surprise, it may be the only thing pleasant about it. The storyline, performances and visuals are disruptive, unsettling threads in a tapestry of genuine discomforting thrill. It is survivable electrocution by film: the energy will not destroy us but will create a wave of genuine terror, disquiet and unexplained pleasure from which we cannot escape.

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Unfriended: Technology-Driven Horror and Fairly Interesting. Fairly.

Posted in 6, Horror, Ratings, Reviews with tags , , , , , , , on May 17, 2015 by mducoing

Unfriended - IMDBDirector Levan Gabriadze and writer Nelson Greaves have delivered a routine entity/haunting horror film but with a twist. The entire film exists across multiple technology platforms that largely re-energize the typical found footage/ single-camera vantage point films with generally good results.

Premise: A group of friends meet online and find themselves haunted by a mysterious, supernatural force using the account of their dead friend. Result: While cliché on the surface, the clever and effective use of technology helps keep the film feeling fresh and frightening.

Blaire (Shelley Hennig) and Mitch (Moses Storm) as well as friends Jess (Renee Olstead), Adam (Will Peltz) and Ken (Jacob Wysocki) decide to Skype in one night, just like any other, to discuss weekend plans, gossip and to be “kids these days.” Their conversations move quickly and viewers can see, via Blaire’s computer, the multi-tasking nature of contemporary modern culture.

Of course, today also happens to be the anniversary of Lauara Barnes’ death, a student that took her own life one year earlier when video footage of her surfaced on the internet that ultimately ruined her reputation. And these fine, attention-span deficient teens happened to have been her friends.

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Bang, Marry, Kill: George Miller

Posted in Articles, Bang Marry Kill, Comedy with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 15, 2015 by notlaz

Bang_Marry_Kill_Logo

 Subject: George Miller

George_Miller_-_Happy_Feet_2

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Birth date: He refused to leave the womb until the Battle of Manila was over. George began making bold political statements from a very young (fetal) age.

Birth place: The nightmare factory known as Australia; where you have to check the toilets for murder before sitting, and even the teddy bears have poisonous fangs that spit acid.

Occupation: Harry Potter cosplayer. Director.

Best known for: Giving the world Mel Gibson and gay penguins. But unfortunately not in the same movie…

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Furious 7: Eventually They All Run Outta Gas

Posted in 5, Action, Ratings, Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 14, 2015 by mducoing

F7When acclaimed horror director James Wan (Insidious Part II, The Conjuring) announced that he was taking the helm of the Fast & Furious franchise, there were high hopes. While the film was not a complete bust, still filled with high intensity and mind-blowing action sequences, the general make up of what is delivered is disappointing, messy, and lacking in the tight-laced substance found in the previous iterations.

Premise: Deckard Shaw seeks revenge against Dominic Toretto and then other things happen a lot also. Result: Messy and Boring.

Furious 7, fundamentally, is a cyclone of plot and performance. Beginning with the re-introduction of Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham), brother of the previous installment’s arch villain, Owen Shaw (Luke Evans), in a whirlwind of littered bodies and general devastation, we are thrust into what appears to be a revenge tale.

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The Woman in Black 2 – Angel of Death: Way Better Than the First

Posted in 7, Horror, Ratings, Reviews with tags , , , , on May 8, 2015 by mducoing

WIB2Despite its clichéd title and the general malign it has received by critics, writer/director Tom Harper has delivered a sequel that is by far better than the original.   While certainly not perfect, it largely delivers on the eeriness promised by the film’s premise and cinematography and places the franchise squarely back on track.

Premise: 40 years later at Eel Marsh House, a group of orphans evacuated from WWII London arrive with their caretakers, awakening the house’s darkest inhabitant. Result: A pretty good, creepy time that’s better than the first.

Considering the ponderous, vastly disappointing 2012 remake, it is almost impossible to believe that this film would actually be worth watching. But somehow it manages to reset the story and deliver what it should have all along.

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Chappie: Powerful and Fresh Take on the Subject

Posted in 7, Action, Ratings, Reviews, Sci Fi/ Fantasy with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 19, 2015 by mducoing

ChappieWriter/director Neill Blomkamp (District 9, Elysium) delivers a far stronger film than expected with Chappie. While its resolution fizzles, the rest of this film is a mesmerizing dialogue on humanity and child abuse.

Premise: Crime in Johannesburg is controlled by a mechanized police force. When one police droid is given new programming, new life is born Result: A fresh new take on artificial intelligence and true life.

Deon Wilson (Dev Patel) sits atop his own world. His para-military automatons are wildly successful in helping to police the endemic catastrophe that is the Johannesburg city streets. But, he wants more, he wants to reach the answer to artificial life and despite repeated denials from CEO Michelle Bradley (Sigourney Weaver) and jealous madness from rival Vincent Moore (Hugh Jackman) his obsession grows.

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