Movies

They Live (1988)

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Next up in TSPDT is #993, They Live. I read the summary, saw the poster and thought it’d be right up my alley, but I was wrong… like painfully wrong. From what I understand, this movie’s on the list because it’s a real cult classic. Like with any cult classic, it wasn’t popular when it was released but gained a following in later years. These tend to be hit or miss… this time, obviously, it was a miss.

This movie is so cheesy and ridiculous that I couldn’t take it seriously or enjoy it. When I watch these kinds of movies, I find it hard to write anything because I don’t have defendable reasons why I didn’t like the movie, I just didn’t like it. Rowdy Roddy Piper’s acting left a lot to be desired and made it impossible for me to relate to his character. Now I’m going to be superficial: his mullet was too intense and distracting; and his clothes… well the 80s is strong with this one. I try to tell myself that they’re just products of their time, but it doesn’t help me enjoy it any more. Aside from the looks and acting, the most distracting element in the entire movie was the music. It was so dramatic and goofy that it took away from every scene and made it into a joke. I guess the scene that was actually meant to be a joke was the extremely long fight scene… like 5 minutes long. I just wanted it to end, but it kept going on and on. He doesn’t want to put on the damn glasses already!

After bashing almost everything about this movie I’ll be nice and give it points for 3 things that I enjoyed. The first being the alien practical effects which I really dug. The aliens are so creepy and cool without their skin. Seeing them in the posters was one of the reasons I was excited to watch the movie in the first place. The second thing I liked were the TV speeches. The song “House on a Hill” by The Pretty Reckless starts with an excerpt from this speech and I had no idea it came from this movie. I actually kind of like the speech and now I’ll think of this movie whenever I hear that song. The final thing that stood out for me were Holly’s eyes. I’ve never seen eyes so blue in my life; they’re this pale icy blue that pierces into your soul. With eyes like those I think she could do better than the poorly acted, mullet haired, flannel wearing character of Nada.

Well that’s all I have to say about They Live. I don’t think I’d personally put it down as one of the greatest 1000 movies ever made. It’s one of those movies you have to try for yourself and see if you like it. Hopefully it’ll be your cup of tea.

Verdict: 6.5/10 I brought the bubble gum, but I’m all out of ass

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Movies

Forbidden Planet (1956)

forbidden_planet.pngContinuing on with my messed up out of order reviews, next up is Forbidden Planet which now sits at #843 on TSPDT. I messed up even worse this time around because I had this movie sitting around for months and wanted to clear out my to watch list so I watched it without even knowing it was a TSPDT movie. I initially only wanted to watch it because it’s quite highly regarded as one of the top sci-fi films. It’s about these men that land on a forbidden planet and there’s a robot in it and cheesy romance, and a young Leslie Nielsen.

I’m a big time fan of sci-fi… it’s definitely my favorite genre of movie, but this one just didn’t do it for me. I can see why it could make it on the list because the effects and the ideas were pretty advanced for 1956. Unfortunately I just didn’t enjoy the story at all. In fact, I zoned out part way through the movie and as a result I don’t really have too much to say about it. The sci-fi aspects were fine I suppose, but it’s the romance that really didn’t work for me. In fact, you could say I hated the so called romance plot line. How dare that woman wear such revealing clothes? Look at her up there. Doesn’t she know how slutty that makes her look? She’s such a distraction to the men who can’t control their urges. Show some respect for yourself and cover up those arms and v-shaped section of your chest. You know, just like Leslie Nielsen is doing… look how covered up he is. It was also great how the men kept trying to take advantage of the fact that she didn’t really know much about hugging or kissing. Very classy… just stick your tongue in someone’s mouth who has the sexual maturity of a child. It also used the 50’s story telling device of making people fall in love after a few days of meeting. Seems to be very common in the 40s and 50s but it’s always bothered me. They barely know anything about each other but are somehow in love. Right, I definitely believe that. Now I’m so invested in these character I really hope they make it. End rant.

I don’t have anything else to say about this movie. That “romance” was so distracting that I didn’t even care about the sci-fi elements. I didn’t really enjoy this and I would only watch it for completion sake.

Verdict: 6.4/10 Not suitable for children on account of those sexy sexy arms!

Movies

Flatliners (2017)

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I heard all the bad reviews for this movie but I’m too damn stubborn to listen. I needed to experience the awfulness for myself and experience it I did. Flatliners is about medical students who kill themselves to see what the afterlife is like before they’re brought back to life. I love the premise for this movie and was actually pretty excited to see it, but once Ellen Page was revived things started to take a turn towards the dumb and unbelievable. She suddenly knows the answers to all these medical questions and can recall the smallest details from things she read years earlier. I almost broke my nose I facepalmed so hard. That part was really stupid, but it wasn’t the part I liked the least. I couldn’t stand the supernatural, horror aspect that started about half way in. How in the hell do these people actually get hurt by these hallucinations? It’s explained that they were actually doing it to themselves, but that makes no sense. Let’s just go through one of these hallucinations, shall we? This is what would have happened when Jamie is having his hallucination on his house boat: he puts down the knife, then picks it up again, then goes to grab the knife but is shocked that it isn’t there, he then throws himself off of his boat into the water, while pulling himself up onto the dock out of the water (using both hands mind you) he stabs himself in the hand using his other hand. I refuse to suspend my disbelief for this… I refuse! This explanation doesn’t make sense, so I guess they’re being haunted by real ghosts and in that case how come all the people who’ve had near death experiences never claimed to see ghosts before? No matter how you spin it, this movie completely lost all credibility in my eyes.

Another thing I noticed but don’t usually care about is the editing. After Jamie has his hand stabbed it just cuts away to Ellen Page recording a video of herself. What the hell? What happened to Jamie? Ok fine I can give the movie one free pass. So now Ellen Page is taking this video and some supernatural stuff happens to her and you see Jamie standing outside her building until it, out of nowhere, cuts to people swimming in a pool. The next scene had nothing at all to do with what happened to Ellen Page. It didn’t need to go here… resolve what happened to her and put this somewhere else in the movie! My free pass was already used up so at this point I was starting to get annoyed. Now Jamie is talking to his ex and he’s standing in the street like maybe she’ll say something or something important will happen… then it cuts away to Marlo in her bed. What happened to Jamie?! Stop cutting away when things are happening! You’re given no resolution or time to process anything because they immediately cut away to something else entirely. I don’t normally notice these things, but it really bothered me here and it took me right out of the movie.

You should just trust the reviews on this one, it isn’t worth your time. It’s a jumbled mess that doesn’t seem like it really knows what it wants to be.

Verdict: 5.3/10 Flatlined half way in and couldn’t be brought back… RIP

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

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