Movies

The Veil (2017)

Picture a shirtless muscular man with an emotionless expression on his face.

The Veil’s done it… this is the one that finally made me lose all faith in Netflix recommendations. Netflix told me it was an 86% match for me, and that couldn’t be further from the truth. I’m in pretty much the opposite situation I was in for my last review. This movie is so bad that I don’t know how to even review it. It felt like a college student’s final project before graduation. The costumes were cheap, the story was confusing and jumbled, the ending was awful and the acting left a lot to be desired. I don’t think there was a single thing I actually enjoyed in this movie, but for the sake of this review I’ll go into each of these points a little more in depth–at least as in depth as I can manage.

The costumes were like stylish burlap sacks. The bad guys had black burlap sacks and the good guys had white burlap sacks. It was all pretty bland and boring to look at. There was one colorful character though, and that was the king. Colorful he may be, but I swear they borrowed an old Burger King mascot costume. I couldn’t stop laughing every time he showed up on screen.

The costumes were so bad they were funny, but the story was so bad it just upset me. I had no idea what was happening for most of the movie. The parts I did understand, I think I only understood them because they were such cliches. Some guy is a chosen one, has to save a princess… boring stuff with nothing new to bring to the table. The actors couldn’t even sell me on any of their lines. The delivery was absolutely awful. The actress who plays the princess was the worst of the bunch. She didn’t show an ounce of emotion throughout the entire movie. She always had this deadpan expression on her face and it drove me nuts. Poorly delivered bad dialogue had me watching the time left just waiting for the end. When I thought I was finally free of this nightmare, the movie gave me one last surprise… a completely insane ending. I had to go back and watch it again just to make sure that it made no sense, and I was right… it made no sense. The movie suddenly went into like a Terminator time travel story which only cemented my hatred of it.

This was just not good in any way and I wouldn’t recommend anyone to waste their time on it. That’s all I’ve got to say about this movie, and Netflix recommendations… you’re dead to me.

Verdict: 4/10 Try a 0% match

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Movies

The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957)

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Before I get into this, let me just apologize to spiders everywhere for what I said in my last review. When I told you to bring it on, I was just joking… I didn’t really mean it, I swear. I’ve learned my lesson and from here on out, I know my place.

With that out of the way, let’s get into this interesting movie from the 50s. The Incredible Shrinking Man is about… a man who incredibly starts to shrink. Something about insecticide and radioactive material, but that doesn’t really matter. This movie is all about the effects. If you’ve read any other reviews of mine you might notice a trend of me heavily commenting on effects. You might be thinking to yourself, “Great, she’s about to destroy this movie because effects from the 50s can’t be very good by today’s standards”. Well, jokes on you cause I’m actually going to say the opposite. I was very surprised at just how well the effects held up. They really built giant objects and sets to make the man look small. I loved the scissors which earned the screenshot position for this review–they looked and sounded totally real. When he was trying to move them, I really believed it was a little man trying to move a normal sized pair of scissors. When he bent the pin into a little grappling hook, I was losing it. I loved all his ideas and how he re-purposed everyday items into tools. The most shocking thing for me was the giant wedge of cheese. It was definitely not a real giant wedge of cheese. It looked like it could be styrofoam but then the guy ate it so I don’t really know what to believe. Either the health and safety regulations were extremely relaxed 60 years ago and eating styrofoam was just a part of the job, or cheese in the 50s isn’t what it is today.

The one part of the movie, as you might have already guessed, I did not enjoy was the giant tarantula spider boss. First of all, I could have lived without seeing a close up of a spider’s face and its disgusting hairy legs through the entrance of the matchbox. Second of all, were tarantulas just common types of spiders to find in your basement in the 50s? That’s all I can bring myself to say about this part of the movie because even thinking about it to write this review is creeping me out. I’m just gonna go ahead and block this out of my memory.

Alright now where was I? Right… the ending. The ending was actually pretty interesting in that maybe a new race of tiny people is the future. Maybe he was just the first of his kind and the radioactive mist stuff will make more like him. This is one movie that I’d be interested in seeing a sequel of. They could do it like an epidemic where the mist got into the city and now everyone is shrinking. Dammit Hollywood, you better be reading this… I want to see that sequel. Just put some money into this instead of another foreign horror movie remake.

Anyways, this was a pretty cool movie and I definitely recommend giving it a watch. Not sure how horrifying this really is, to me it’s more of a sci-fi or thriller than a horror movie, but an interesting one all the same.

Verdict: 7.8/10 Another reason to never own a cat… dogs for life

Movies

The Mist (2007)

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As unbelievable as this sounds, The Mist is about a small town that’s terrorized by… a mist. That really took me by surprise, but once I got over the shock of it, I was left with an emotionally confusing movie. I just don’t know how to feel about it. There are a lot of moments I genuinely enjoyed and there are ones where I nearly broke my nose face-palming so hard.

I’ll go ahead and start off with the best part of the entire movie, and that’s, hands down, Thomas Jane’s performance. He is just amazing and completely carries this movie on his back. You see him go through a believable range of emotions as this mist starts to attack, and the last scene of the movie is so well acted that it rips your heart out of your chest and throws it on the ground. Then there are the characters in this movie that are just so annoying; Mrs. Carmody, the one dimensional religious freak; Brent Norton, the neighbor that for some reason believes the entire store is trying to trick him… like get over yourself buddy; and Carol from The Walking Dead’s character, who thinks someone is actually going to walk her home in this mist and gets mad when they don’t. Such unlikable people with unbelievable motives and actions. I also thought it was a little unfair of the movie to provide such spoilers for The Walking Dead. Killing Andrea and Dale? Not fair! Carol gets to survive? Come on! Boy am I glad I watched this after watching that show or I’d be pretty upset.

On top of all my issues with the characters, the special effects were pretty… 10 years old. I guess the movie tried its best, but those effects dated real fast. Thankfully they didn’t detract too much from the story because I still bought into what was happening. It was built up really well and the whole premise was interesting. The spider like creatures shooting acid webs just gave me another reason to murder any spider that enters my house. Try it spiders… bring it on!

This was an alright little horror movie with a fantastic final scene. I mostly watched it for the ending, which I think is pretty well known at this point and if you haven’t watched it yet I’d definitely recommend it. I think I might even go back for a rewatch on upcoming Halloweens.

Verdict: 7/10 If you’re gonna do a shout out to The Thing, do it with sweet effects not just its poster

Movies

The Lobster (2015)

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The Lobster is a sci-fi movie set in a world where everyone must be paired up at all times. If you’re single you’re brought to a “Hotel” where you can meet a partner… or be turned into an animal if you don’t. Loners are the scum of the earth: police are constantly asking them for papers, they’re tranquilized and captured like wild animals, and they’re turned into wild animals if they don’t find partners.  In this extremely weird world, we follow a newly single man into the hotel where we learn about the rules and consequences of this society. Scene by scene we’re fed more information until, by the end of the movie, we finally feel like we have the whole picture. There are essentially 3 different sections of society: the Hotel, the City and the Woods. The Hotel is for loners looking for partners, the City is for partners, and the Woods is for loners who want to stay alone. This movie manages to take us through all 3 sections so we can see how each of them live and how each of them might feel about the society as a whole. It also allows the audience to form their own opinions about each of the sections.

While the structure of the story was the strongest part of the movie, I did have problems with some of its details. The first is that I don’t really understand why they had to be turned into animals. It brings up a lot of unanswered questions for me, like are all animals on earth former humans? If that’s the case, then whenever we eat a lobster or cow are we really eating people? Do the animals have memories of their past human lives? One scene in the movie suggests that they do retain some memories which makes the prospect of us eating people even more disturbing. How can a camel survive in the woods? Why would a person want to be a lobster when obviously it’d be cooler to be a bird since you can fly? I wish I knew the answers to these questions, but sadly I’ll never find out. Just like I’ll never find out what happens to the main characters because the movie just ends. I’m really getting tired of movies that end with ambiguity and unanswered questions. I can appreciate this in the right movie, but I don’t feel like this movie deserved that kind of ending. You don’t know for sure whether he’ll end up with her or not. For me it doesn’t work because the movie never played with the “will they, won’t they” story element. It’s sort of tacked on for a cheap ending. Sometimes I don’t always want to make up my own ending for movies, I want to watch the ending that the director envisioned. When the scene cut back to the woman sitting in the booth I had this feeling the movie might be ending and then I saw the black credit screen and I was just more upset than anything.

Aside from the ending and unanswered questions, my other problem with this movie is the fact that it’s supposed to be a dark comedy. I didn’t actually realize this until I finished the movie and was reading other reviews. All these reviews were harping on how funny it was and that’s when I looked back and realized that I didn’t laugh once. I legitimately thought it was a serious movie. I can see scenes that were probably supposed to be funny, but it didn’t hit the right notes for me. Granted, comedy is very subjective, but as a dark comedy this movie missed the mark which might be a problem since it’s supposed to provide some satirization of our own society and satire generally implies humor.

Lastly, in rapid fire, here are more things I just didn’t enjoy about this movie. I didn’t enjoy the way the lines were delivered, the bluntness of what they were saying, the narration, the fact that a near sighted person can only be with another near sighted person, the weird no masturbation rules at the hotel, and the weird grinding of the men to get them all excited. This movie has some interesting ideas, but nothing felt fleshed out enough for me to really get invested in it. I watched the entire thing but I don’t think I’d ever re-watch or recommend it.

Verdict: 6/10 Needs less bad omen dog killing and more Léa Seydoux being French

Movies

Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970)

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Time for some B-Movie reviewing fun! Beneath the Planet of the Apes is the sequel to the original Planet of the Apes. It starts off where the first one left off by literally playing most of the ending from the first movie. I was really into the first half because it seemed like it would be a good continuation of the original story. We get to learn some more about the ape society and see how they’re at war with the gorillas. They probably should have just stuck with the whole ape vs. gorilla plot and ended it with a giant monkey war. Unfortunately, they chose to go way out in left field and… well, look at that screenshot above. If you’ve never seen this movie before you might have thought I posted a screenshot from the wrong movie, but I assure you that this is it. Beneath the planet of the apes is a society of evolved telepathic humans. They can communicate through thoughts and when we first meet them that’s all they do; they don’t even speak. Then they decide that they’ll speak to Brent instead since it’ll be easier for him. If telepathy is more powerful, how come for the rest of the movie they continue to speak even when there are no non-telepathic humans around? It’s like the writers said “Hey look at this super cool idea. Got the idea? Ok, great, now we’ll just have them talk cause we’re too lazy to keep it going.” They could have done it like a voice over narration where it’s not them talking and feels like the audience is receiving their thoughts telepathically.

That’s enough of that ridiculousness, let’s move on to something else. It’s time for rapid fire fails! The apes call each other “men” or “people”. The mouths aren’t synced right with the voices so it looks like some kind of English dub. When Nova bites it, she dies with her eyes open so it happens suddenly yet she stays standing up. The buildings are encased in stone like a mountain grew around them. I don’t see how new york would end up underground like that in just 2000 years. Brent tests out the greenish black water to see if it’s drinkable.  A wise man once said, “If it’s brown, drink it down; if it’s black, send it back.” The telepaths wear these human masks for seemingly no purpose other than to say to their god, “I reveal my Inmost Self unto my God,” and pull them off. Apes using a sauna… I don’t want to imagine what sweaty hairy apes smell like.

There were some things I liked about this movie though. Don’t burn me at the stake for this, but introducing Brent as the new lead instead of Taylor was a great move. It… uh… has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that he’s younger and more in shape… absolutely nothing! I wish this movie had come out earlier so The Time Machine could see how to show a race of humans that can’t talk. Brent trying to talk to Nova was just like George trying to talk to Weena, but The Time Machine wimped out and just made the Eloi talk cause they were lazy I guess.

All in all, this movie was actually pretty entertaining and if it weren’t for the ending it would have gotten a much better verdict from me. That plot just didn’t do it for me though.

Verdict: 6/10 Needs more ape gorilla horseback fighting

Movies

Interstellar (2014)

So I finally got around to watching this since the DVD sort of came out. I have very mixed feelings and I’m not sure exactly what I think of it. I’ll go with the traditional format and start with what I did like. Obviously, the visuals were stunning, the other planets looked beautiful and the general atmosphere was just great. Some of the science parts of the movie were really interesting and for the first maybe 1.5 hours I was really into it. After that I feel like it went off the rails and changed direction which didn’t really sit well with me.

The biggest problem with the movie for me is the overall script/story. I don’t really understand why NASA didn’t know where Cooper was the entire time. It’s not like he’s in hiding, how hard would it be to find his address or phone number and ask him to fly the space shuttle. I was willing to put that aside and not count it against the movie, but then NASA starts telling him their entire plan within the first few hours and I find that hard to believe. While I think the acting was good, young Murph suffered from a case of overacting. I guess you can argue that she’s pretty young, but it really took me out of the moment, specifically the scene where her dad gave her the watch. Speaking of taking me out of the moment, all the talk of love made me sigh the biggest sigh I’ve ever sighed. Scientists almost disregarding logic and science entirely because of love made me feel like I was watching an after school special. Now another problem I had with the movie is how Doyle died. He stares at his impending doom instead of hauling ass back into the shuttle. I don’t really understand why he needed to be out of the shuttle when Brand was being brought back in when he could’ve easily been half way inside. If Brand didn’t make it back then would he have stayed outside to die with her? Doesn’t make sense to me, what a pointless death. And while I’m on the topic of not making sense, let’s fast forward to the last 30 minutes of the movie. Murph sets her brother’s crops on fire and tries to steal his wife and children away while he’s gone. When he comes back, he should be furious at her… but she says complete nonsense to him and hugs him and he just stands there and takes it. No repercussions from that act of sisterly love at all.

I guess I have a lot of negatives to say about the movie, but overall I did enjoy it so that was enough to pull the verdict up. If they took some of the cheese out I probably would’ve gone up some more.

Verdict: 7/10

Anime

Shinsekai Yori (2012-2013)

Well this is my first anime review so it should be interesting. It took me way too long to finish this 25 episode series. I don’t like using the term binge watch, so I’ll just say I watch things in small chunks unless it’s really short or really good. The first half of this show was the latter. I liked the mystery and the art style which reminded me of Ghost Hound, one of the first anime I watched. It had this nostalgic feeling for me, but nostalgia does not make a good show! There were really interesting episodes with a good story behind it, but it got VERY heavy into terminology and history half way through. I am just awful at remembering names, places, terms etc. which is made worse by the chunk watching. This is not a show to watch lightly because it’s very easy to get lost and when that happens it becomes really hard to enjoy. Another thing that I thought was both good and bad is the fact that a lot of characters just disappear. I love that they have the guts to just remove characters from the story and not introduce some Deus Ex Machina so that no one will be sad. If you’re gonna go for it, really go for it! On the other hand… I was sad. Not only did some characters I liked disappear, but I don’t think I’m a huge fan of the wide time span of the show. It starts off with the characters as younger children then keeps jumping forward in time. I found it hard to really connect with a character to keep me invested in watching it.

I guess I did the complaints first, so now for the positives. I’ve been following new anime for years and this show really does stand out. It looks beautiful and the story is really fleshed out. There is no bimbo character with huge boobs, as is the trend among many anime, and there are no girls with inhumanly high pitched voices to irritate my ear drums. This was a more… mature show, which I really liked, and I rarely if ever felt my intelligence being insulted. If you don’t mind putting in a little work for this one, I think it will be worth the watch. It’s ranked 97th right now on MAL and for good reason. If my ability to retain terminology was higher I’m sure this would have gotten an 8/10 because I really enjoyed the first half.

Verdict: 7/10