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Tuesday, November 21, 2017

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PARANORMAL ACTIVITY

2009

Paramount Pictures/Dreamworks Pictures

Directed and Written by Oren Peli

Produced by Steven Schneider and Jason Blum

Two annoying characters who spend most of their time arguing while living in a strange house that makes noises is not a horror movie. It’s called marriage. Which can be pretty horrifying itself. But I digress. PARANORMAL ACTIVITY presents itself as a horror movie but it’s the least horrifying movie I’ve ever seen. With perhaps the exception of “Open Water” but let’s not go there.

Once upon a time a... Read More

It’s long been said in Hollywood that if a studio doesn’t screen a movie in advance for critics to review that usually means the studio has no faith in the movie and they expect the critics to tear it to bloody little bits. I’m not so sure about that. I think that sometimes a studio recognizes that critics just won’t get some films. Some films are as uncomplicated as a mayonnaise sandwich and those are the films that audiences will get right away. Such a film is ARMORED which shouldn’t even be called a ‘film.’ The term ‘film’ is too pretentious for this piece of work. It’s a movie,... Read More

One of the things that made “Serenity” so memorable was the performance of Chiwetel Ejiofor as The Operative, the movie’s main bad guy. Even though he was the antagonist and performed a number of truly horrific deeds during the course of the movie, there was no denying that Chiwetel Ejiofor’s acting ability blew everybody away and made The Operative a character that maybe I couldn’t root for or like but I came away from the movie feeling as if I fully understood his motivations. This cat was cruel but full of heart. Emotionless but radiating nothing but feeling. Cold as a February night in... Read More

Back in the 1970’s there was a television and motion picture director who became a legend in his own time. Known as “The Master of Disaster” Irwin Allen is the name that was most associated then and now with the disaster movie. The formula of a disaster movie is very simple: hire an all star cast of actors. Half of them should be one-time Hollywood A-listers who can’t find work anywhere else and the other half should be unknowns or rising stars. Stick them into a disaster such as an earthquake, a mile high skyscraper on fire or an overturned ocean liner far out on the ocean. Stir in multiple... Read More

I strongly suspect that THE SEVENTH SEAL is one of those movies that a lot of people say they’ve seen but they never have. You know what I mean. When you say that you’ve seen THE SEVENTH SEAL it seems to automatically cloak you in a shimmering, gauzy aura of intellectual film respectability. Hey, anybody can say they’ve seen PORKY’S or VIVA LAS VEGAS. But say that you’ve seen one of the true and honest masterpieces of world cinema, directed by the great Ingmar Bergman whose movies take us to existential levels that had never been imagined before he came along, people kinda take a step back... Read More

One the questions I get asked quite frequently by email, Skype, telephone and notes rubberbanded around thrown stones is: “What have you got against horror movies? You’re always knocking horror movies and saying they’re stupid and make no sense.”

That’s actually not true. I’ve said that a whole lot of horror movies make no sense. Even more not only make no sense, they’re stupid. Most horror movies depend on The Idiot Plot: a plot that depends completely and solely on everybody in the movie acting like an idiot to keep the story going. But there are a whole bunch of horror movies... Read More

In November 1919, President Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day (later changed to Veterans Day) with the following words:

“To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…”.

In the spirit of this remembrance, I would like to suggest watching... Read More

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