DrStrangeblog's Profile - Rotten Tomatoes

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Rating History

Fatal Desire
Fatal Desire (2004)
4 years ago via Flixster

Quite an engrossing Lifetime movie-of-the-week detailing a real-life story of online seduction leading to murder with echoes of Double Indemnity. Anne Heche gives one of her best performances and Eric Roberts shows he has a sensitive side. Yes, they are the stars of this movie, Flixster has their facts wrong.

The Descent
The Descent (2006)
4 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

ORIGINAL 2.5 STAR REVIEW:

'The Descent' Takes A Fall

What starts off as a promising, filmed-in-England suspense tale about what befalls a sextet of female spelunking friends degenerates into a routine "they're all around us!" horror movie, complete with a ridiculous final *gasp* shot. A shame and a disappointment given its reputation. I would have preferred to see a more fully character-driven, who-can-you-trust? scenario that is hinted at during the first half, however once the other elements are introduced midway the proceedings become routine with a capital ROUTE. As in, I could instantly see where it was headed - right down that craggy shaft.

I will say there is a lot of rewatchability in this flick because of the characters and direction, just like in Dog Soldiers Neil Marshall knows how hold an audience's breathless attention. Some of the gore is the most gruesome I've ever seen (not necessarily a good thing), the capper is the setting of a broken leg bone - I have to look away during that scene! Incredible to realize the cave interiors were actually filmed on a sound stage.

UPDATED REVIEW:

I was right about its rewatchability, the characters and their bonding are so tightly knit that it makes their predicament and fear that much more dreadful. I realized that I should review the movie that was made and not the movie I think they should have made, and as it turns out they made one of the scariest, most effective horror films of the 2000s. The creatures and their outstanding freaky makeup show up after 57 minutes so there's plenty of white-knuckle suspense leading up to all hell breaking loose. The cast is terrific with Natalie Mendoza as Juno one of my all-time favorite horror movie heroes. Or is she really a villain? You'll have to decide for yourself. One more note, I saw the US ending when writing the first review, the original ending (available on the Unrated DVD) is a big improvement, even if it leaves us scratching our heads a little.

Burn After Reading
4 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

Remember a time you told a joke that you thought was hilarious only to be met with a smattering of polite chuckles? That's 'Burn After Reading'. The premise of a fitness club worker with low self-esteem and her meathead associate trying to sell what they believe are top secret documents to the Russians in order to pay for her boob job looks promising on paper, but too much goes wrong in the translation the film. The Coens have never had a bigger star cast (Brad Pitt George Clooney Francis McDormand John Malkovich Tilda Swinton Richard Jenkins JK Simmons and even David "Sledge Hammer" Rasche) to work with. Clooney always gets the Coens' style, Pitt is absolutely riotous and the best thing about the movie, Swinton is a perfect icy bitch, but McDormand strangely searches for a tone and Malkovich goes all wrong as he doesn't seem to realize he's in a comedy. The film's final wrapup falls especially flat.

I Am Legend
I Am Legend (2007)
4 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes
½

Knowing nothing about this movie going in, I was pleasantly surprised to find out it's a quite good end-of-the-world scenario even if a little too similar to '28 Days Later' because it holds the plot much better than its predecessor. Will Smith is a one-man show for most of the movie (quite literally), and he effectively portrays a man on a mission who is depreciating mentally from the stress and isolated existence, with a German Shepherd is his only companion who almost steals every scene. The biggest drawback is the unfortunate decision to digitize all of the infected populace; i'm sure the filmmakers used motion capture, but they simply don't move right and they don't look real, which took this viewer out of the experience too often. Why they thought this was a good idea when the zombies from 'Dawn of the Dead' were so scary using traditional makeup is a total mystery.

Voice from the Stone
4 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes
½

In 1950s Italy, a young woman who claims to have special skills dealing with troubled children is tested to her limit when she meets Jacob who has refused to speak for six months following the death of his concert pianist mother. The expansive estate location, with its red and green vine-covered walls, is a fantastic, eye-filling setting. So much for the good news. The story proceeds slow as molasses, We are told that the boy believes that his mother talks to him through the walls and the stone at the nearby quarry, subjecting us to an endless string of people with their ears pressed to walls with desperate searching looks on their faces. Clearly there is something worse than watching paint dry and that's listening to it, an exercise in cinematic futility only reminding me too much of the wall-watching scenes that killed tension in 'The Darkness'. Not that this is a suspense movie, because truly I do not know what kind of overall effect the director is going for. It's a fractured family drama punctuated by moments that suggest possible hypnosis, drugging, ghosts, or even witchcraft, but I can't be sure about any of those except one. In fact I seriously doubt that anyone but the screenwriter can tell me exactly what really happens, but what ended up on screen plays out like a fifth-rate Poe imitation.

I love Emilia Clarke, but in all honesty she is only a decent and not great actress. She tries her best but isn't going to elevate the material in the way that Nicole Kidman did with a similar role in 'The Others'. She isn't helped at all by the perpetually morose Martin Csokss as Jacob's father, whose shifting opinion from liking to disliking her presence only seems to exist in order to send the story in a different direction. Take his sudden decision that she looks a lot like his dead wife (which she doesn't at all) in order to get her to pose nude for his unfinished sculpture, another scene beautifully shot but completely gratuitous. You'd think this was a Weinstein project where Harvey had threatened to end production "unless that dragon lady gets naked."