Archive for the Thriller Category

The Witch: Terror Felt but Unseen, Unknown

Posted in 8, Horror, Independent, New Releases, Ratings, Reviews, Sci Fi/ Fantasy, Thriller with tags , , , , , , , on February 27, 2016 by mducoing

The WitchIn modern cinema, audiences often rebuke films that leave nothing to the imagination, and yet, this is often exactly what they are asking for. The Witch is a slow burn horror film that is equal parts madness and supernatural and both gives too little and just enough to unsettle observers for far longer than its run time.

Premise: A family finds horror and a terrible fate alone in a Wood. Result: A brilliant, yet understated horror film that places tension in every crevice.

The Witch follows a devout family of Puritans in early established America, recently expelled from their Plantation Community for unclear reasons that appear to stem from the very devotion they hold dear. Father William (Ralph Ineson), mother Katherine (Kate Dickie), eldest daughter Thomasin (Anya Taylor-Joy), eldest son Caleb (Harvey Scrimshaw) and two horrid twins Mercy (Ellie Grainger) and Jonas (Lucas Dawson) and infant Sam. They are even more radical in their love of God than others and their reckless reproach has estranged them in a world where life is difficult enough without the terror of solitary.

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Room: Haunting

Posted in 8, Drama, Horror, Ratings, Reviews, Thriller with tags , , , , , on February 21, 2016 by mducoing

RoomThere are films that frighten audiences. Others that lash, others that endear, others that fester and still others that cause emotional arrest. All these are true of Room, a film that handles an unspeakable tragedy in such a mundane manner as to make one wonder and ultimately succumb.

Premise: After five-year-old Jack and his mother escape from the room that has been their captivity, life afterward is more challenging than they dreamed. Result: A mesmerizing, tragic drama far from ordinary.

It is a room. In it are things, ordinary things that anyone might expect to find in any ordinary home on any ordinary street in any ordinary town. There is a small skylight to let in the dim glow of the sun. And these regular belongings appear to be owned by normal, if unkempt people, a young boy and his average mother, lounging about, sleeping, transfixed by television or mundane tasks about the kitchen.

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The 2015 Bang, Marry, Kill Orgy: Rob Cohen, The Wachowski Siblings, George Miller, Tarsem Singh & J.J. Abrams.

Posted in Action, Action, Bang Marry Kill, Comedy, Comedy, Date Movies, Drama, Sci Fi/ Fantasy, Thriller, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 18, 2016 by notlaz

Bang_Marry_Kill_Logo

To answer your last question, yes, the Dutch eat farts.

I did it last year, so in the spirit of not having anything better to do, here’s the 2015 Bang, Marry, Kill wrap-up.

BB-8 approves

BB-8 approves!

What? I reviewed 5-ish directors in 2015 for movieMixology’s Bang, Marry, Kill series. Each right before they released new movies into theaters, in a crass attempt to piggy-back site clicks off their hard work. All while I nurtured my alcohol addiction and lazily threw out dick jokes.

The tortured artists: Rob Cohen, The Wachowski Siblings, George Miller, Tarsem Singh and J.J. Abrams.

Their 2015 masterpieces: The Boy Next Door, Jupiter Ascending, Mad Max: Fury Road, Self/less and Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens.

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Spectre: Messy, Long and Boring Cover Up the Fun.

Posted in 6, Action, Drama, New Releases, Ratings, Reviews, Thriller with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on November 27, 2015 by mducoing

Spectre - IMDBCinematic Law: long and anxiously awaited sequels typically disappoint. Often catastrophically. While not every sequel is a plunge into the abyss (T2, Aliens are just two superiors films), these are often exceptions that prove the rule.

Spectre, while technically the fourth installment of the Daniel Craig Bond franchise, is often considered as the sequel to the mega-hit Skyfall, the final act to director Sam Mendes’ Bond Oeuvre. Viewed in this light, our mentioned cinematic law remains firmly intact.

Premise: Bond is on a trail to uncover a sinister organization at the heart of all his woes. Result: Disappointing.

Spectre finds Bond (Daniel Craig) -some time after M’s (Judi Dench) death- in Mexico City on the Day of the Dead, stalking a villain of some sort. A minor chase then ends with a thrilling helicopter battle above the crowded Zocalo resulting in the death of said villain.

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Sicario: Brilliant, Exciting, Terrifying. A Feel Good Movie from Hell.

Posted in 9, Action, Drama, Ratings, Reviews, Thriller with tags , , , , , , , on October 23, 2015 by mducoing

Sicario - IMDBDirected by Denis Villeneuve (Prisoners, Enemy) and written by Taylor Sheridan, Sicario, simply put, is a journey, largely that of Kate Macer (Emily Blunt) who realizes the world is much, much worse than she had ever imagined. While only 121 minutes, this expedition will take our characters and each of us a far greater personal distance than we might ever want to go.

Premise: An FBI agent unwittingly crosses lines she never dreamed while aiding in the escalating war against drugs at the border area between the U.S. and Mexico. Result: Brilliant and thrilling thought piece from the moment it begins to long after it ends.

It is no secret that the drug war, the endless drug war, is both cruel and unrelenting. Agent Macer confronts these realities daily in her Arizona universe. She has a keen sense of Justice, Right and Wrong and this determination keeps her motivated in the endless battles ahead. But when her boss, Dave Jennings (Victor Garber) introduces her to an opportunity to go deeper past the frontlines than ever before, she has no idea what is truly coming.

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The Final Girls: Good Time!

Posted in 7, Comedy, Horror, New Releases, Ratings, Reviews, Thriller with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 17, 2015 by mducoing

TFG - IMDBWhile not nearly as impactful and groundbreaking perhaps as Cabin in the Woods, The Final Girls is a very fun satirical take on Slasher Films. Enjoyable from moment one, it mixes comedy with horror with drama and genuine emotion to deliver a genuinely intelligent good time.

Premise: Wayward teens are transported into a cult-classic slasher film. Result: A really well-delivered, fun time throughout.

Directed by Todd Strauss-Schulson, The Final Girls focuses on the legacy of slasher classic Blood Camp, an obvious parody of Cunningham’s horror staple Friday the 13th. At its center is Amanda Cartright (Malin Akerman), Nancy in the film, who twenty years later is still struggling to distance herself from that role and become the breakout star she’s always dreamed to be. But as she and her daughter Max (Taissa Farmiga) drive to dinner one day after a failed audition, rocking out to Bette Davis Eyes, a fatal collision leaves Max an orphan.

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Dope: Fantastic and Unnerving

Posted in 8, Comedy, Drama, Ratings, Reviews, Thriller with tags , , , , , on October 9, 2015 by mducoing

Dope-IMDBWriter/director Rick Famuyiwa delivers one of the more intriguing, humorous, painful and provocative films in recent memory. Dope is one of the more powerful stories audiences will experience this year based on imposing raw storytelling with an exhilarating twist.

Premise: Malcolm, a geek who’s surviving life in a tough L.A. neighborhood, has his life abruptly change after a chance invitation to an underground party. Result: A good, thrilling film that challenging the lenses by which we see the world.

Our story begins with a group of young teens Malcolm (Shameik Moore), Diggy (Kiersey Clemons), and Jib (Tony Revolori) poised to somehow make it out of the slums that otherwise should have smothered them. If nothing else, it is the strong identity these three have cultivated -as preposterously anachronistic 80/90s hip-hop artists- that has kept them isolated, unified and firm.

But when Malcolm finds himself with a brick of coveted contraband, as a result of being quite literally in the wrong place at the wrong time, he and his friends sink into a nightmare. The ensuing film is a poignant thought piece on race, color, uniqueness and identity while also delivering the pacing and power of a modern thriller.

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