Francisco G.'s Movie Ratings - Rotten Tomatoes

Movie Ratings and Reviews

Who Can Kill a Child? (Quin puede matar a un nio?)
½

Starting off with a brutal and relentless opening credits of the effects of war on children, it's clear that this isn't gonna be just another horror movie. After that initial 10min assault, the camera cuts to a pleasant sighting of people enjoying the beach, creating great contrast with the aformentioned scene, with loads of fat, healthy people on sight, happy children playing and just beautiful people everywhere. That little exposition scene ends abruptly when a dead woman's body gets discovered on shore by a young child to end that safety, giving room for the movie to start.

From here on, the movie behaves like a traditional horror movie. With the lead couple slowly finding the horrors of a deserted small town on an isolated island. And when they start to figure out what's going on, the movie grabs you by the nuts and just doesn't let go. It's absolutly amoral, unforgiving and downright scary. you are confronted with the worse decisions one can take under such circumstances. The acting and superb bleak cinematography help immensely and when you get to the last 20 minutes of the flick you just can't breath on how shocking things get. It is that affecting without being cheap, exploitative or over sentimental.

The effects of war on children have never been so brutal on screen. This little cautionary tale hailing from the 70s and shot on Spain is a little masterpiece of cinema that can't be ignored, much less missed. The approach might be a bit too gut wrenching for the common movie goer, but it's impact is undeniable.

We Are Still Here
½

Despite the old school feel and some great special effects towards the end, We Are Still Here is very amateurish and unpolished on plenty of occasions. Save from Barbara Crampton, the rest of the cast is just plain bad and hilariously so when they should be creepy. Plus, the movies just takes too long to get to the point, even more so since this is a very basic and predictable ghost/haunting movie. We've all seen this before, trot along will ya?

And that's it. There's nothing amazing or nothing dreadful about it. It just exists and it's a fairly solid watch for horror completionists.

Kingsman: The Secret Service

Proof that you can have witty and edgy blockbusters, Kingsman was a surprise for all the right reasons. It shouldn't come as a surprise though, since Matthew Vaughn already proved he can make funny, violent and edgy contained blockbusters.

The only flaw I could point out to Kingsman is that it doesn't do the satire too well. The spy movie references are not too great, the humor has some downs and lacks a little bit of empathy with some of its characters.

Still, there's plenty of commentary here and there, backed by outrageous scenes at every turn to make Kingsman one of the most memorable blockbusters of the year.

It Follows
It Follows(2015)

Despite having a good soundtrack and some decent visuals, It Follows is a mess. Yeah, a mess even when a lot of nothing happens during most of its running time.

What was once a neat trick with that 360º degree pan with the camera, quickly because a nuisance. It doesn't create any tension whatsoever and the idea for the haunting doesn't help either. It's just some dudes following you around. Worse is that the way the movie is shot doesn't allow for some tension to build, to scare you, giving most of the money shots away, minutes before they even happen.

Maika Monroe is fairly solid here but the rest of the cast are just there, doing incredibly idiotic things. I get the dreamy approach but the movie becomes unintentionally hilarious, specially towards the end when logic goes out the window (and we're speaking of a horror flick here) and we're served with a pool scene that seems like it was made for a Scary Movie scene.

Thematically it tries to be edgy and maybe that's why the "critics" liked it but it just doesn't add up and any sort of message about teens' sex lives, dst's and whatever never really comes across, leaving us scratching our heads in vain. Did she really screw the dudes in the boat? Does it matter? Do I even care? Nope.

Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome

So, as long as you can take a goody two-shoes Max, maybe you can roll along with yet another Mad Max side-quest he doesn't wanna get drawn into. This feels like it was trying to appeal to a broader audience but still failed while doing so.

The first half of the movie is total Mad Max when it comes to world building and craziness being throw at your face at every turn. Then, "that" happens and you either roll with it or it will kill the movie for you.

Has some decent thematic ambitions going on but now the message is on the nose and gets annoying after a while. Add an inferior chase scene at the end and Beyond Thunderdome leaves you wanting for more.

Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior

A completely different beast from the first movie, Road Warrior is one of those landmark action movies from the 80s. For starters, it was just different from anything else going, either visually or on a storytelling method. Max doesn't like this type of side-quests, he likes to be left alone and do his thing but he inevitably gets drawn to these conflicts, so this anti-hero (that never says much) already feels different. Then you have the "world" that already tells a story on itself, miss a minute of it and you already lost gold. Then you have those crazy-ass villains that are both hilarious and scary.

Finally, to wrap it all up, we have a serious message that doesn't take itself too seriously on an insane chase sequence, where nothing works, people kill themselves because they're crazy, it's intense as hell, ingenious and still one of the best ever made to date. A true classic in every sense of the word, though I don't think it's a movie for everyone.

Mad Max
Mad Max(1979)

Taken in account the super tiny budget and big ambitions, Mad Max succeeds by not taking much shit from anyone and by presenting a fresh take on the post-apocalyptic genre, with intense chase sequences, crazy villains, subtle storytelling and a good old revenge story. It doesn't try to be more than it can do and achieve and that's fine, because Mad Max is still a very solid movie, with some delicious details and references that would become bonkers great on the next movie.

Ex Machina
Ex Machina(2015)

Ex Machina is how most sci-fi flicks should be to appeal to a broader audience. It's not too complicated, it's not too heady, it doesn't treat us like idiots, it doesn't hold back on complicated topics, it doesn't compromise its vision, it doesn't give us hard answers, you're never spoon-fed but you're also never shown any complacency.

Add a fantastic performance from Vikander as one of the most convincing AI driven robots I've ever seen and Ex Machina is a great success and entices me to follow closely whatever Garland will do next as a director.

Chappie
Chappie(2015)

I wasn't expecting much from Chappie given the dreadful reviews but it was not as bad as some have painted it to be. Still, it's a huge mess but a mess where I have to give some credit to Blomkamp cause he actually tried to correct some past mistakes, specially by having a more story driven narrative, with more decent characters. He failed spectacularly though, but still tried.

Chappie's main fault is the approach. Nothing really works together here. The soundtrack is too techno to be touching, Dev Patel's acting and dialogues are an abomination, the villains are cartoons with little to no motivation and Die Antwoord... are not actually that bad! Truly, one of the biggest complaints I heard was their acting skills but I didn't had any gripe with them. Maybe Ninja was too over the top but Yo-Landi and Sharlto Copley together had the best moments of the movie. THIS was what the movie should be more about, the problems between mother and son, when you're son is a robot and your daddy is an asshole. But in typically Blomkamp fashion, he has way too many ideas he wants to throw at us and mostly don't stick. The action is subpar, tons of levels below Elysium and District 9, which makes a troublesome movie even worse.

A couple of decent acting roles, some sweet scenes, some well placed humor and satire aren't enough to save Chappie unfortunately. Start to worry about Alien 5 right now because the tone of Blomkamp's movies is precisely the opposite of what that franchise needs.

Hyena
Hyena(2015)
½

If you're looking for a gritty british drama, like only the british can do, with a sordid storyline, no happy moments and plenty of shocking moments backed by fantastic performances, look no further. Despite the ballsy ending (come on, you know how it was really gonna end), sometimes the script is too obtuse and clunky to truly engage us.

Still, Hyena is a worthy follow-up to Johnson's equally great Tony, sans the dark humor or course.

Avengers: Age of Ultron
½

Avengers: Age of Ultron is a terribly crowded movie with a lot of nonsense that rarely pays of in any way. The whole cheesy, let's humanize these heroes plots, break the pace and have very unsatisfying conclusions. The villain is awful and rarely feels like an ominous threat, barely acting like a sentient robot at all, he just feels like a buffoon with some powers, where he just doesn't give any use to. He could easily start chaos everywhere by controlling guns all over the world, since it explicitly says he can control TEH INTERNTE ZOMG, but he prefers to make a meteor out of a city. What?

The Olsen Twins are a nice add though, I quite dug the Scarlett Witch and her doubts about what to do definitely felt appropriate on the movie but we didn't get much of that as usual. Quicksilver was alright too but very few scenes with him isn't enough to cause a connection with the viewer.

Thor goes to a turkish bath and no one knows what exactly happened there. Maybe he has a secret romance with Erik?

Cap is still moping around. The Hulk is still afraid of his powers and even more afraid to bang the Black Widow... You don't pass an opportunity like that, jesus dude...

Add awful continuity errors and dreadful pacing and Age of Ultron feels like a huge step back after two pretty decent movies on Guardians of the Galaxy and Winter Soldier.

The action sequences are decent, specially when the heroes are all doing fuckin' awesome combos but that's it. The final battle is still the same old bland minions vs avengers. They never feel like a threat at all, just like their master and that's where the true flaw of the movie resides: no sense of urgency.

Oh and Paul Bettany is not just a voice anymore on these movies. Good for him.

Lost River
Lost River(2015)

Despite good looks inspired by Lynch and Refn, Lost River just doesn't have a firm grip and is overly indulgent with its ridiculous dialogues and lousy script. A mix between a dreamlike narrative and a fairly tale, Lost River mostly doesn't work because it's just trying too hard. Way too hard. There could be something interesting here but it's just too pretentious to be anything else.

Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief

If you thought scientology was creepy, just wait till you see this.

I'm not ranking this higher because, despite being 2 hours long, there was potential to be even longer. There were plenty of other aspects of the church I'd like to know about, specifically the whole process of brainwashing. The documentary ended and I was still baffled at how many people go along with this shit. I couldn't believe it and needed to know more. By focusing a bit too much on the ex member, Going Clear suffers a bit by not going in depth on the research aspect of a documentary. Hopefully, this isn't the last we hear from this crew and we might have something that complements it in the future.

Thanks to a beautiful presentation, a great structure, relentless pacing and shocking revelations, Going Clear is essential viewing for us to learn how something so preposterous became so unbelievably powerful.

The Dead Lands
½

True that the story is predictable to a fault but by presenting us a very fresh approach to the action revenge genre, The Dead Lands manages to be entertaining even if some of these mannerisms come off a bit flat at times and the actors don't help to sell it much, asides from The Warrior and the evil dude's side kick.

All in all, you could compare this to Apocalypto but a bit more straightforward and with a predictable structure until the end.

Black Sea
Black Sea(2015)
½

I was actually expecting to be entertained a bit by this movie, the submarine sub-genre always tickled me on the right spots but Black Sea is just dreadful. The script is abhorrent, with tremendously bad dialogues, that oscillate between the awful and the cheesy. Worse, is that conflicts arise inside the said submarine but never go anywhere or have any decente consequences. One interesting clash is solved in 2 minutes right after it happened. And people die in a lot of anticlimactic sequences and you'll remember none of them once the movie ends.

A waste of Jude Law and Scoot McNairy's talents.

Army of Darkness
½

My main issue with Army of Darkness is that the humor just didn't fully work with me, despite being similar to Evil Dead II. There's just way too much camp and ridiculous dialogue under a very poorly designed medieval setting that looks like crap in 1993. I know that's part of the charm of the series, but I couldn't help to feel that this could've been way way better.

Kill Bill: Volume 2
½

(This review takes in account both volumes as a single movie and not individually)

I've never been much into the kind of movies that influenced Kill Bill. I was never much of a kung-fu guy, revenge flick guy and probably many of the references present were lost to me, but what separates a great filmmaker from an average one is that this movie niche should be enjoyed by everyone and those said references should never get in the way of a movie experience. Tarantino is a great filmmaker and Kill Bill is a blast from start to finish.

True, this might be the less inspired movie he's made so far when it comes to dialogues, instantly classic characters and it plods a little on the desert sequence but I'll be damned if I didn't enjoy every single bit of it. From the explosions of stylistic over the top gore, to the incredible cinematography, to the sheer brilliance of the pacing (giving us new things at every turn), Kill Bill is a difficult movie for those who won't be able to appreciate some of the camp and out of nowhere violent jolts, but all of this weird soup fortunately works together.

I loved this all much more the second time around and I bet I'll love it more on my third.

Kill Bill: Volume 1
½

(This review takes in account bot volumes as a single movie and not individually)

I've never been much into the kind of movies that influenced Kill Bill. I was never much of a kung-fu guy, revenge flick guy and probably many of the references were lost to me but what separates a great filmmaker from and average one is that this movie niche should be enjoyed by everyone and those said references should never get in the way of a movie experience. Tarantino is a great film maker and Kill Bill is a blast from start to finish.

True, this might be the less inspired movie he's made so far when it comes to dialogues, instantly classic characters and it plods a little on the desert sequence but I'll be damned if I didn't enjoy every single bit of it. From the explosions of stylistic over the top gore, to the incredible cinematography, to the sheer brilliance of the pacing (giving us new things at every turn), Kill Bill is a difficult movie for those who won't be able to appreciate some of the camp and out of nowhere violent jolts, but all of this weird soup fortunately works together.

I loved this all much more the second time around and I bet I'll love it more on my third.

Drag Me to Hell

It was great to see Raimi take a break from super-hero flicks into this. A throwback to his slapstick horror roots, this is a much better polished movie compared to the Evil Dead trilogy, with compelling characters and storytelling but never loosing sight of repulsive humor, out of nowhere jump scares and just plain madness while at it.

Hot Fuzz
Hot Fuzz(2007)

After the amazing Shaun of the Dead, Edgar Wright focused his attention to the over the top action movies of the 80s and early 90s with, with plenty of bromance and bombastic action. Hot Fuzz continues the tradition of his previous movie, by not only respecting the source material tremendously well but by also giving us a bunch of characters so well fleshed out that almost all the rest becomes secondary. The plot mixes well over the top storytelling with some more intimate moments, all glued very well with humor and wit. Couldn't help but feel that some elements of the secondary cast could have something better to do during the whole thing but what you get is solid enough.

Exodus: Gods and Kings
½

Very little worked here: from the secondary cast that just "exists" on the movie, to the absolute zero chemistry between Bale and Edgerton (by far the biggest flaw in this), to the dreadful pacing (a greatest hits montage of the plagues has zero momentum and makes you feel nothing), to the simplistic and over expository dialogues, to the lack of other decent elements from this story, from the very dubious character motivations, the insipid soundtrack, amongst many many other things.

There are talks of a 4 hour cut, which Ridley describes as the version he wanted. But unlike Kingdom of Heaven which always held more potential on an extended cut, 2 and half hours of this is more than enough for me. I just can't see anything that might save this in any way. One of the worse things I've seen Ridley do and I quite enjoyed The Counsellor and Prometheus which everyone else seems to have hated and that says something...

Shaun of the Dead
½

I remember this was a breath of fresh air a decade ago, with tons of imitators following in the process, some succeeded very well, others not so much.

The main success in Shaun is that it's just not a regular comedy. It juggles satire, drama, bromance, romance all remarkably well into a cohesive whole, with intelligent jokes and nods to what inspired the movie in the first place. And who doesn't like to root for regular Joes who're just trying to get their lives together like the rest of us all? Aren't we all surrounded by braindead people every time we go somewhere? At work? Edgar Wright knows this and transforms Shaun into a timeless movie by making fun of everyone's daily quirks and annoyances into a bloody good time at the movies.

Clown
Clown(2016)

Clichéd from start to finish, Clown is technically impressive but follows every rule of the book with one fatal mistake: it just isn't scary at all. It's gratuitously gory for no reason at all but misses the perfect opportunity to make something awesome with such detailed amazing effects and clown transformation. It's also a dread to endure. The first 50minutes can almost be skipped where nothing relevant you haven't seen tons of times before something happens.I don't mind clichés but at least keep us engaged while at it.

What We Do In The Shadows

The vampire comedy no one was expecting, What We Do In The Shadows is constantly hilarious and not only respects the vampire mythos but makes the greatest use of it to tell amazing jokes everyone can appreciate. The low-budget is worn with pride, like one of the vampire's beloved silk dresses, creating even more fun where it shouldn't be. Sure, half-way through it gets a lil' stale, some jokes repeat themselves a bit often but since it worked so well from the start, they have all the right to thread over these issues, because it's clear everyone involved is having a blast and that comes across to us, the viewer.

Inherent Vice
½

Anderson tried to do the very impossible task of a adapting a Pynchon novel. If there are unfilmable books, they are his. Just try reading V. and you'll know what I mean. Inherent Vice is Pynchon light though. It's his most scripted book and the easiest to follow that doesn't try to juggle 1234907 different things at once. Good man Anderson did a fine job with it, it's as faithful as it can get and while I was watching it, every scene popped up in my head exactly as I imagined it in the book.

But as a movie, this suffers from The Counsellor issue. It's pretty much jumping from one dialogue filled scene into another, with an intricate narrative that will leave most viewers frustrated. However, the conclusion was superbly handled and every confusing "case" gets solved remarkably well.

A worthy addition to Anderson's filmography, but one where he hasn't risked much to be honest, on his desire to respect one of the best writers alive.

Birdman
Birdman(2014)
½

Yep, he did it again. The tonal shift got me worried at first and the trailer didn't seem promising but I'll be damned if this wasn't the finest flick I've seen this year. I knew this was gonna be Keaton's showcase, what I wasn't expecting was that every other actor was splendid on this as well. They all had great monologues that threatened to steal the show from Keaton on more than one occasion. Add a very nice one shot gimmick that is never intrusive or trying to show off; but rather immerse you on the psyche of this wonderful character that is pretty much summing up Keaton's true career this far. It takes balls to be aware of it and turn it into a quirky comedy that at the same time is constantly throwing knives at the movie industry. Complete, secure, well-performed, memorable soundtrack, fantastic scenes and a delightful conclusion, Birdman only sins for not trying to go a bit further. It ends and despite the varied approach, you end up feeling this could've been much more. Maybe next time.

The Theory of Everything
½

The usual fluffy biopic you've seen tons of times before. Absolutely nothing new here, oscar bait performances included. The movie ended I felt like I didn't knew these characters at all after watching 2 hours of it. Very poorly handled save from Felicity Jones who brought some class aboard. Other than that, nothing to write home about.

Poltergeist
Poltergeist(1982)

I remembered Poltergeist scared me a lot when I was a kid and was awkwardly gory on a couple of scenes too, that are forever burned in my mind. I also remember that there are stretches that dragged on for too long without adding much to the movie. After many years later, I rewatched it and not many things have changed from the original impact. Still great overall, but could use some trimming on the editing amongst other things. But it's still a very fun lil' horror movie for teens, with heart and a good Spielberg message about family unity.

Jaws
Jaws(1975)

Jaws could've easily been a one trick gimmick, where the shark slowly eats some people from time to time and some dudes try to kill it. That's actually the premise and what happens through most of the movie, but it's all so incredibly varied and engaging that this is actually a hard flick to categorize. It's an horror movie at times, a satyrical take on summer villages, an adventure movie later on with sort of Moby Dickian aspirations on some dialogues, amongst other delicious details. Not sure if Spielberg created the modern blockbuster here because of all the above reasons. All I know, is that Jaws is an excellent movie that does many many things right, both on a technical and storytelling levels.

Big Hero 6
Big Hero 6(2014)
½

Another modern animation flick that could've benefited a lot from a longer running time, Big Hero 6 feels like two different movies slapped together and both are so good you can't help but notice they felt short by the end. Same can be said about much of everything in it: the secondary characters are great, could almost lead their own movie but there's very little of them overall; the villain has an interesting storyline in this but the character connected to his past barely talks or does anything, so we end up feeling very 'meh' for him; the relationship between Hiro and Baymax could've been explored better; amongst many other things.

Decent effort to try to do something a bit different with familiar modules, but many aspects end up feeling rushed by the end.

The Guest
The Guest(2014)
½

Adam Wingard makes another 'the less you know, the better" kinda deal with decent outcomes, once again. A Drive-like narrative with a very tiny budget that shows far too often, with charismatic and mysterious lead that derails into awesomeness half-way through with comic effects.

If you're into those preposterous sunday afternoon 80s action flicks, you'll enjoy this. If you can't stand some over the topness after a relatively calm start, then this is definentely not for you.

The Salvation

The Salvation is just another western. That's it. It looks good, it's well acted, it has all the clichés in the book,, it doesn't risk anything and looses a lot of points because of that. Maybe in the 80s this could've had some impact but now? We're already used to this gritty take on the genre far too often. A good effort since everything is polished enough but needs that extra bonus beat.

Nightcrawler
Nightcrawler(2014)

Nightcrawler is one of those movies where the director knows he has a winning role in Gyllenhal, that gives 230% in this, henceforth he adapts the script and direction around him. This is a story of a deeply disturbed sociopath that doesn't entirely makes us uncomfortable, thanks to some absurd humor that fits like a glove to this world that isn't too far from the truth as we know.

Poignant, with something relevant to say about our society, our fascination with violence, the media frenzy surrounding said violence and our increasingly detached way of living regarding media and technology, Nightcrawler is Oscar bait of the good kind.

Whiplash
Whiplash(2014)

Whiplash lives thankfully because of a very concise and precise direction, trimming the fat of the script superbly well and by having an amazing actor/musician leading the movie (he might be one of the greatest drummers as stated on the movie. Not sure how much was altered/played here, but the commitment and skill is evident).

Add JK Simmons doing what he does best and Whiplash is a great movie. It could be amazing but there isn't much novelty to be found here, not much depth or extra rewards for checking it a second time.

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
½

Something went very wrong with the editing and intentions of this last Hobbit iteration. It's called The Battle of the Five Armies and not even all the supposed armies show up? What the hell are the bats for? Why was the actual army fight so short and underwhelming? 5 seconds of Beorn? More Thorin than Bilbo? And hallucination that makes his madness all better? Very silly Aragorn foreshadowing that comes out of nowhere? Legolas roadtrip to check the bats that doesn't add anything? Super short White Council kicking ass? Even shorter Smaug death that felt very "meh" when it ended? Jesus, either there's an hour of deleted stuff to milk this even further next year or everything derailed here.

It just proves that 3 movies were excessive for this. There's a lot of plodding here and an awkward follow of events that desperately tries to conclude every unnecessary secondary stories that were added on the previous two movies. They actually conclude well, with good dramatic punches and there's a nice running theme through the whole deal that mirrors some of the best aspects of the LOTR trilogy but the fun? The bombastic action we were expecting? It doesn't top any of the big fights in LOTR and that is very problematic for a "Defining Chapter".

Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi

A very mediocre conclusion to the first trilogy, despite tying up most loose ends, the pay off just isn't that great. And intergalactic empire outsmarted by Yorkshire Terrier bears and very poor strategy? Come on... Still, it's mostly fun when it starts at Tatooine and keeps a nice pacing until the end, even if most characters don't evolve much except Vader.

Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back

The most fun and best story wise Star Wars, works mostly because of having an awesome action sequence at every corner, with cool inventiveness, connecting well with the story at hand. It's also the movie with the best dramatic punches but it doesn't take a genius to figure it out early on. It's still a very basic and straightforward narrative, with pretty poor dialogues but memorable characters, for better and for worse.

Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope
½

The classic that pretty much created the modern blockbuster as we know it, just isn't a very deep one and suffers from problematic pacing issues and poor character development, despite its great visual flair. Still fun while it lasts but there was a missed opportunity to do something truly amazing here but never came to fruition on later movies.

Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith

An improvement over the poor first two entries, Revenge of the Sith is a darker but surprisingly more fun ride. First of, it starts how every Star Wars movie should start. With a fuckin' awesome aerial fight. Then, it features consistent action ste pieces and a better constructed and simpler story that doesn't get too politicalsilly like the ones before and lastly, it actually has a couple of well pulled emotional punches.

Still, the cringe is still here on all its glory. Tacky dialogue, more awkward romance, even more Hayden Christensen and unnecessary foreshadowing of the older trilogy.

Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones
½

A small improvement over Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones is fortunentely a bit more focused on its storytelling, even if it's not a really great story to begin with. Some action set pieces are fun and well realized but there's just way too many cringe moments and silly things to make this barely tolerable. Add an unbearable romance and the worse actor imaginable for a young Vader and the Force is completely gone on Lucas on this one.

Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace

This is not the disaster many people claim to be but yeah, it's not very good either. The problem mostly relies on the plot which... come on, are you really going to the theatre to watch Star Wars and get very thin political intrigue? Incredibly thin characters? Superfluous racing scenes (which is awesome but adds 0 to the story)? One lame villain that looks awesome, completely wasting its potential by killing it too soon? Having pretty much the future movies spoiled for you? Jar Jar?

Sound design wise, this is as incredible as it gets. Just check all the detail put onto the Pod racer, it's fantastic, showcasing how much of a genius Ben Burt is. There's also some interesting connections to future movies and some nice inventiveness on a visual level, but other than that, it's a complete miss for the franchise.

The Pact
The Pact(2012)
½

There's nothing wrong with The Pact but nothing terribly great also. It's just well made and "exists", needless to say it won't surprise you, thrill you or show you anything new you haven't seen thousands of times before.

Exists
Exists(2014)
½

Eduardo Sánchez returns to the genre he pretty much created for... this? Why? After the great Lovely Molly, the super fun Altered you created a Sunday afternoon movie you shot in two days with your mates? What the hell?

There's absolutely nothing original in Exists. The characters are all immense clichés, surrounded by even bigger clichés. Worse of all, you get the explanation for why these asswipes are being taunted by Bigfoot early on and that ruins the only positive surprise about the movie.

Memento
Memento(2000)
½

A simple but supremely effective tale, smartly put together, with a flawless execution, this thriller barely makes a mistake. I just wish it was a bit more inspired on a visual level, it's just too strict and not entirely inventive but that would've probably distract us from the carefully constructed plot. So far, definitely Nolan's best.

A Lonely Place to Die

I was quite enjoying this flick, thanks to a well pulled mystery, to our heroes being no dummies, experienced mountaineers and to some glorious vistas. Then, it gives one too many twists and they're not exactly fully satisfying. Still, it's entertaining enough while it lasts, featuring a shitload of things happening at all times, making good use of its strengths, hiding most of its flaws away in the process.

Black Water
Black Water(2008)

One of those cases where a movie could've benefited immensely from a shorter running time, Black Water when it works, it works really well. It's tense, gripping, scary and our characters have some depth to keep us engaged on their ordeal. Add a claustrophobic setting and an invisible enemy and you could've had something special if it wasn't for the dead moments that show up. It really breaks the movie apart to a fault, showcasing the limited budget more often than it should.

The Canal
The Canal(2014)
½

Strange when two very similar movies come out on the same year and both are equally great for very different reasons. The Canal has a lot in common with The Babadook but dealing with very different themes and a very different approach. Whilst Babadook was more traditional on its narrative, giving an ambiguous but flawed ending; The Canal is ambiguous right from the start and gives a conclusion that's too neat and tidy. Still, with lush cinematography and sound design, a very strong but quiet performance from the lead, The Canal is a rather solid entre for Kavanagh's filmography.

The Prestige
The Prestige(2006)

The movie where Nolan truly embraced his trademark style is a very solid effort. The puzzle is presented, you get intrigued and then you see Nolan solving it for you right until the end with finesse and not a lot of margin for error.

Jessabelle
Jessabelle(2014)
½

Nothing you haven't seen before on ghosts stories with very little surprises and a hell lot of pointless explanations that ruin the suspense. Plus, there's barely any scares to be found here, so this is a waste of time in the end. It's fairly well made and the lead actress is not bad but that doesn't save a movie without much to offer and some rather distasteful scenes later on.

Housebound
Housebound(2014)

A modest start for this director, housebound has plenty of talent, namely on the actors, pacing and surprises but doesn't really go to the next level like it could've. It's not scary enough, not funny enough, not twisty enough and that is a problem when you're juggling so many genres at once. Still, there's promise of something interesting in the future and I'll definitely keep my eye out for Johnstone's future work.

Batman Begins
½

After a shaky and at times silly first act with all the ninja shizzles, things quickly catch-up giving time to certain characters to shine with their interesting story arcs, dillemas and interactions (mostly from the fatherly figures towards Bruce Wayne), while some get the short end of the stick, though most you don't really care. Great set pieces and action sequences complement a nice story that with it's well told origins of Batman, make a solid comeback to the dark knight.

Deep Red (Profondo rosso)
½

Probably the best Argento movie that sums up rather well his career on the giallo genre, Deep Red is a complexly structured movie, with plenty of details you'll miss at first but make a second run through all the better. The cinematography created a benchmark for the genre and with tons of memorable scenes at every corner, Deep Red is a true classic of the genre.

The Machine
The Machine(2014)

A rather solid first entry for this director that doesn't exactly shows us anything we haven't seen before but has plenty of heart and good ideas to make it an interesting experience. Still, some characters are a bit dull and clichéd but thanks to a decent conclusion with a very poignant warning, they round up their stories rather well by the end. Worth a shot for serious in tone b sci-fi fans.

Interstellar
Interstellar(2014)

What's really surprising about Interstellar is that we find out that Christopher Nolan has a heart. Truly! This is a director known for its realism, mechanical and super methodical approach to his movies, where most of his characters work more as plot devices to his puzzling movies rather than being actual human beings. Case in point, he always has pretty weak female characters on all his movies.

But this changes on Interstellar. A love letter to his daughter, that love and devotion comes across really well. A couple of scenes in this are actually incredibly emotional and well pulled, not only thanks to some very smart editing and direction but also because we now have actual humans as characters. Case in point, the transition between the goodbyes on earth going straight to space is amazing. Almost as good as 2001's million year cut 50 years ago. And obviously the vid log scenes which are so simple and work so well. Still, you can tell he's still learning how to deal with his emotions and some scenes come across corny and cheesy as hell sometimes but I let these flaws go. The man is changing his approach and I love when a director does that.

When it comes to the realistic sci-fi aspects it still delivers for the most part, but I couldn't help but feel that there were missed opportunities with the wormhole traveling and extraterrestrial planetscapes. He's just too stubborn to actually show us something a lil' more CGI heavy and the ship sequences have way too many steady shots to be thrilling at times.

Still, this is a very accessible movie with its scientific aspects. Everyone can enjoy and understand perfectly what's going on, thanks to a very smart marriage between heart and brain. Hard sci-fi geeks will be disappointed, hard drama driven movie-goers too, but those expecting something complete, different but also broad might be in for a treat.

Interstellar is an unbalanced movie. But it tries. A lot. And that is a great thing for a director that's been stuck on very complicated puzzles and narratives that often fall on the weight of his ambitions. Interstellar is still complex and plays many things at once but the emotional aspects keep us engaged until the ride is over. How you feel about it in the end will be up to you entirely.

Extraterrestrial

Huge tonal mess with zero originality and when it could've gone bonkers, it gives the biggest cop-out ending imaginable. Just stay away from it.

Guardians of the Galaxy
½

Well, thanks to some very inspired chemistry between all the leads, this is a very fun movie from start to finish, with jokes aplenty and some inventive action sequences that give good use to our characters abilities.

However, this is still a Marvel movie. So, cross check all the clichés you're used to from them, namely: boring one dimensional villains, wasted cameos, heroes finding shining objects they must protect from the villains, aerial fight scene by the end, unmemorable secondary character that dies in the end, Stan Lee and the rest you probably already know.

If this was a bit longer exploring in greater detail our characters and their background it could've helped immensely but since kids nowadays have the attention span of a gold-fish, this had to be quick and action-packed, I guess.

Insomnia
Insomnia(2002)
½

It's a very competently made thriller that just doesn't do anything too different from the genre. Fortunately, it's backed up by a small twist early on that's explored in depth all the way until the end, keeping things interesting while at it.

Add a decent performance from Pacino, this is worth a shot for thriller aficcionados.

Gone Girl
Gone Girl(2014)
½

Fincher sticks his sharp knife once again and let's it twist with on a very engaging adaptation from the same titled book.

Gone Girl dissects marriage on middle class, without ever really giving concrete answers but plenty of motives and dark humor aplenty to keep us engaged.

Let's face it, these two characters are complete assholes and are very difficult to swallow but that's exactly what makes this all so good. They're made for each other and we can't help but feel sympathy for both of them when put under extreme circunces. That's Fincher alright, playing us as much as he's toying with the plot and characters on an equal measure.

A regular movie could've ended with the reveal of the "twist". Absolutely not, things only get better and improve from there on, taking unique turns and exploring in depth the psych of these characters, but always looking back at us every single time.

And what a scary conclusion isn't it? All you need is to have the media and people's blessing to get away with everything.

The Babadook
The Babadook(2014)
½

An intimate look at a single mother's life, undergoing a terrible depression through the eyes of a solid horror movie, that doesn't exactly do anything new, but is extremely competent on its characters and by never becoming cheap. Greatly acted by the two leads, the "twist" might improve or kill the movie for you later on. It suffers also from some very bad sound design towards the end and by trying to bite more than it can chew on its conclusion.

The Zero Theorem
½

A surprisingly intimistic character study, with drama ambitions, The Zero Theorem works more as a tragic tale of a very obsessed but lonely man and at the same time giving us glimpses of our own recent lifestyles and detachment from real interaction.

Still, this is a Gilliam film so expect sometimes the movie to be truly impenetrable, albeit always engaging on a visual level.

V/H/S: Viral
V/H/S: Viral(2014)
½

This is what happens when you give 3000$ to 13 year old kids and tell 'em "go do something hip and trendy with horror elements". Except these are professional filmmakers...

Everything is awful here, from the Birdemic level special effects, to the atrocious acting, to the boring nonsensical stories, very little works here. On an anthology series, you're bound not like one or two stories or approaches but not liking any of them? Well done, that's a first. Was only mildly entertained on the segment directed by Nacho Vigalondo but even that one quickly derailed.

The Town That Dreaded Sundown
½

Starts out interesting enough, with meta ambitions, good cinematography and interesting enough setup but just gets boring and stale after a while. I was quite digging the actress but much like the rest of the movie, it seems she grew more and more bored and boring of what was happening and so do we.

Lo Squartatore di New York (The New York Ripper)

Fulci tries the slasher genre with abysmal results. This is just a very wrong movie, with very little humor, gore, character development and just drags on forever without going anywhere. Influenced by Argento, he tried to give us a nice thriller without relying too much on his atmosphere and gore. It just doesn't work. Add plenty of misogyny and this is a total flop.

Rundskop (Bullhead)
½

Initially starts as an atypical gangster flick on an unusual setting, with a very bleak and confusing atmosphere but quickly transforms into a deep character study of a very flawed person. A very engaging ride that still takes a few back steps, namely the out of place humor and some weak secondary characters. Also, a better pulled ending could've helped things a bit.

The Hills Run Red
½

Despite the meta ambitions of this slasher, it still falls prey of many of the tropes of the genre. Still has a couple of well pulled segments and a committed role from Monk to keep thing interesting.

How to Train Your Dragon 2

This darker entry on the series still manages to be fun and engaging while at it. Has a deeper resonance with our main character, exploring different themes and age problems with finesse and very detailed animation. Fortunately, the secondary cast also grew exponentially here, giving room to some great dynamics between the gang. Oh, and there's a ton of new dragons! Awesomeness!

Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead (Død snø 2)
½

A lot was promised on this second iteration but I always felt that it never quite delivered as much as it could've. Still, this is a scattershot mess for the best of reasons: the jokes are all over the places, some deaths are plain wrong but super funny, the gore is both used for laughs and to disgust you and the story never takes itself too seriously. Worth a shot for fans of the first and over the top gory comedies but still lacking some extra juice.

Calvary
Calvary(2014)
½

Deals with issues of contemporary church in the eyes of a small community, with great dialogues, humor, never treating the audience as idiots. With the added bonus of a lil' mistery thriller going on, Calvary sometimes doesn't really know where to go at times, much like our main character. Anchored by yet another great performance by Gleeson, Calvary is worth a shot to understand what people who work at church deal with on a daily basis.

Live Die Repeat: Edge of Tomorrow

Ah! An actual modern sci-fi movie that tries to be fun above all else, with a cool premise that doesn't get too complicated even if it has its holes and just rolls along nicely until the credits roll. And you get to see Tom Cruise die a lot, which can be an added bonus to all his haters. Strong on almost all aspects, Edge of Tomorrow is surprising because of how simple it is. No more, no less.

Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father
½

This is a story about how low humanity can go. The case portrayed is monstrous and the way the Canadian justice handled it is baffling. Still, as a documentary, Dear Zachary is as over the top as it can get, boarding on tabloid sensationalism to cause a strong impact. That fast editing is annoying, though I get it's use to get you through the roller coaster of emotions the director was put through but it was unnecessary. The story itself is gruesome enough. An actual longer running time could've helped this immensely, since there was more to Shirley Turner than we got.

All in all a good testimony with the wrong approach.

Frank Miller's Sin City: A Dame to Kill For

This is not exacly new territory. And that's perfectly fine for a movie like Sin City. Long gone is the novelty of the visuals, though there's still some pretty striking imagery to be found on this second iteration, but the problems of the first one still reside, namely the very underdeveloped plots and over the top cheesiness at times. Still worth a look if you got nothing else noirish, with misogyny all around and wasted cameos to watch.

The Banshee Chapter
½

This was an actually well thought premise, with genuinely creepy and scary moments but it tried to bite more than it could chew. Too many conspiracy theories that don't matter much in the end and an Hunter S. Thompson twist that you'll either roll with it or will kill the movie for you. All this a bit unnecessary to the main story which was quite entertaining and had some highlights here and there.

300: Rise of an Empire
½

Neither a step above or backwards on this weird franchise. Still plenty of naked machismo, over the top blood, gloriously bad motivational speeches and now with the added value of weirdly put together flashbacks on the beginning of the movie. Save for Green's commtiment, there's not much to recomend to those who didn't like the first one.

Wer
Wer(2013)
½

This one started out great, as a fresh take on the werewolf mythos and it's starting mistery and characters were engaging... until the action started... with it's Birdemic level sfx that are just hilariously bad. The budget really shows and that is a shame, because there was something great cooking underneath, but the cheesy turn to the worst is just bad. You'll be a bit better served with the similiar take on vampires of Afflicted, that one managed to work on the action pieces.

Absentia
Absentia(2012)

This is a good idea with good intentions but the whole thing is a dread to endure. It's not bad "bad", it's fairly well made but it's just boring and leads us nowhere for the big majority of it's time. Would make a great short movie, as a full-length, there's a lot of scenes trying to be deep and meaningful, that end up adding nothing and wasting our time with it's aimlessness.

AM1200
AM1200(2008)
½

Ahhh the power of short running times... can really sum up a good horror story like the one found in AM1200. It's biggest triumph is that you're never sure of what will happen next and why, creating some well put tense sequences and scares, escalating to a very Lovecraftian finale, which you'll either love or hate.

Locke
Locke(2014)
½

A movie anchored on Hardy's shoulders, Locke delivers by being compelling, identifiable drama from beginning to end, with mesmerizing cinematography and a gripping performance by the only actor visible onscreen. The story is not that amazing or original or gripping, but grounded in reality, making it work surprisingly well for it's short running time.

X-Men: Days of Future Past

A movie that could've benefited from a longer running time, X-Men: Days of Future Past is still amazingly good and fun while it lasts.

Taking out the bad of the way first: How the flying feck did Kitty got her new power?!?! 'Cause it's kind of a big deal for the movie and no explanation whatsoever was given. It causes a wrong impression at first and I was immediately put off by this aspect being thrown out of the window.

The villain just isn't doing much there is it? Dinklage is an amazing actor and he's pretty much repeating the same speach on every scene he's in. A wasted potential, though his motivations come across on a very short but elusive speech. Also, he seems to have a power no one noticed: he teleports from Vietname to Washington in one scene. Amazing! Take that Quicksilver.

A movie so centered around Mystique doesn't have enough Mystique. And one it does, Jennifer Lawrence looks so bored it turns her scenes into a slog at times. What the hell happened?

The good stuff is actually really good. Not only does the movie try to correct the mistakes of movies past (Ha!) but it creates an evolving story, with plenty of awesome cameos, little smirks to the viewer, good dialogue, well realized world (that once again connected really well with real life events), great acting and more awesome chemistry between the young Xavier and Magneto.

I bet there's a longer running time somewhere, because the movie felt very chopped in places, and with so many characters and new mutants around with such cool powers, it's a shame we didn't get to learn a bit more from them.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier
½

I've never been a big fan of Marvel movies lately and The First Avenger was easily the weakest entry on the franchise. So I had no expectations for Winter Soldier and that was probably for the best, since I think this is their strongest and most mature entry.

The script is solid, not too intricate and the surprises whilst predictable, have a good emotional punch. New characters are introduced well and blend superbly on this spionage thriller that has something relevant to say about our current state of afairs with our governments. Very smartly played.

But still, they don't know what to do with the villain yet again. They had a good chance here to create a memorable villain but all is wasted and The Winter Soldier is merely a physically strong oppenent for Cap, with plenty of badassery to go around but not much else. They're saving it for later apparently, but given these movies are getting more and more crowded by the post-credit scene, it's hard for me to believe they'll do something solid with the character next. Hey, better than the atrocious treatment to the Red Skull, amarite? Gotta award improvement when we see it.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2

Another awful entry, ASM2 barely has anything awesome going on. The only small improvement I noticed from the first entry was that Peter Parker was less of an asshole and more like the Spidey we know and love. The chemistry is still there between the two leads but the rest is poo at it's most viscous state. The villains are a tonal mess, lack any decent motivation for when they transform into "monsters" and when they do, it's too rushed and forgetable. Visually the CG is solid, Electro's skin is cool and well realized even if I hate the design. The rest is a mix of inspired shots and slow motion and dreadful use of CG animation on the characters when they're fighting (check the last confrontation between the Goblin and Spidey). District 9 is from 2009 and looks better than this.

The story is a jumbled mess with way too many threads to connect itself in the end. I don't mind complicated stories but here, every side story is rushed, without substance and barely makes any sense.

Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes

The good news is that Dawn is a really good movie again, that surpasses Rise in a couple of ways but still backsteps on some aspects that could've elevated it to a masterpiece status. The main draw is that the main cast is so underused it's almost a crime, since you have Keri Russel, Gary Oldman and Mcphee around. But again, they're not really the main cast are they? Andy Serkis proves again why he's a master at his craft, with great competition this time around from Toby Kebbel that steals the show on more than a couple of times. Absolutely brilliant work both on the acting and technical aspect whenever the Apes show up.

The best part is saved for the undertones present. This is a really pessimistic movie that is telling us that with intelligence, self-awareness and intelect, violence and will war will inevitably come. There's no stopping it. All of this is showcased on the brilliant dialogue between Caeser and his son towards the end. With few words, so much was said. All of this leaves you confused on who to root for in a very very good way. Each character, both human and ape has a point of view. All of them are right and wrong and that's just the knife twisting. Things culimate on good action sequences but I honestly prefer these moral dillemas that Dawn gave me in spades, to chimps riding horses wielding double machineguns, even if that was frickin' awesome as well.

How to Train Your Dragon

How to train your dragon isn't exacly anything you haven't seen before but everything is so well handled I couldn't care less. It's fun, funny, has something important to say, the animation is stellar and the dragons look amazing. I wish this was longer cause there seemed to be a lot of potential on Hiccup's sidekicks, but I suppose animation studios nowadays don't risk much on the running time anymore.

Species
Species(1995)
½

A dumb but fun sci-fi thriller with boobies. Lots of it. And Forest Whitaker playing another crazy person. And Alfred Molina doing nothing. Actually, I don't anyone is doing anything while this runs but that's part of the cheesy charm of it.

Under the Skin

Not only is Under The Skin a very rich and carefully thought visual experiment, with bits of 2001 and Drive but it's also, strangely, a very heartbreaking story of an alien slowly learning what it means to be human.

Add an appropriate mesmerizing role from Johansson, a great dissonant soundtrack and Under The Skin works remarkably well for something that could've easily become a pretentious crap fest, but turned into a very touching portrayal of human frailty.

The Quiet Ones
½

A colossal disjointed mess that only uses the same tactic to scare you over and over again: loud noises. It's annoying, not scary.

The presentation is awful, the editing really poor, moments happen that don't matter (they pulled the funding of the experiment. so frickin what? What the hell did that add?), the characters are boring and do nothing for 1h30mins and yadda yadda yadda, you already know where this is going.

Terminator 2: Judgment Day

The perfect sequel that not only is better than the original, thanks to some awesome special-effects, cool action sequences but mostly because it was concerned with giving depth to the characters, without forgetting what was told on the movie before it. It's also a lil' bit more light-hearted with great bits of humor between The Terminator and John Connor. With always a memorable scene around the corner, T2 is one of the best sequels ever made and one of the best action sci-fi movies ever made as well.

The Terminator
½

What was bound to be a decent b-schlock fest, quickly became a classic thanks to an inspired but simple take on the time travel genre, great performances all around, fast-paced action from start to finnish and a memorable at every corner.

The Abyss
The Abyss(1989)

I hadn't remember this one very well but I still have it in glorious VHS format. I checked the extended version of it, and let's just say it became quite clear what was added or removed. I didn't remember any of the russian tension going on and that awesome wave scene at the end. The Abyss transformed into a great looking, claustrophobic underwater thriller, with a nice alien mistery to a cautionary tale with decent results, albeit heavy handed (this is James Cameron after all).

Maybe the whole SEALS business is excused but The Abyss is still a very entertaining and well made sci-fi thriller flick.

We Are What We Are

This inferior remake was being a quite pleasant tale about corruption and family values that unfortunently derailed a bit into silliness towards the end. The flashbacks and bone investigation scene just didn't work for me too but it's well acted, tense at times, beautiful but sad and ultimately gets it's message across. Still, you're better served with the original mexican flick, check that one out instead.

The Raid 2
The Raid 2(2014)

A surprisingly better sequel to the original that not only goes bonkers when it needs to but it's also quite concerned with the characters and a rather complex plot (at first) that subsequently gets simpler to give way to the awesome fight scenes.

I don't know why but I'm always expecting a bit more from these movies. I dunno, maybe the gore hound in me is always seeking the potential for some extra exposed fractures and body bits being chopped in extra fashion during the fight scenes but what you got is gold already so, nevermind me.

The Pacific
The Pacific(2010)

It doesn't hit the heights of Brothers In Arms, specially because the plot is much more scattershot, many characters either die too quickly or go missing for entire episodes but the tone quickly makes that clear from the start: this is a much grittier, violent take on a facet of this War that many people don't know about. And learnig what these men went through is absolutely devastating, pulling some genuine tearjerk scenes. Maybe a couple more episodes wouldn't have hurt this, and more historical insight would've helped on some episodes. But by being dry, gritty and never pulling away from the soldier's perspective gives you one hell of an experience, on the literal sense of the word.

Afflicted
Afflicted(2014)

It's a rather well made entry into the hand held genre with mixed results. The main problem is that it's clearly trying to be surprising and pulling "intelligent" twists here and there but it doesn't take a PhD on quantum physics to understand what's really going on here and since there's not much originality on the mythos it's exploring, it becomes kinda dreadful to endure at times, thanks to the overload of clichés and the lack of scares or subtetly.

Fortunently, our protagonists are likeable enough and we got experience their angst and frustration which is rare on the genre. Add some neat parkour segments and Afflicted is worth a shot in the end.

Hunter Prey
Hunter Prey(2009)
½

A big ammount of nothing happens. And when it does, it's pretty much ripping off Enemy Mine, which wasn't that great to begin with. An overlong and overextended Star Trek episode and not of the good kind.

Wolf Creek 2
Wolf Creek 2(2014)

Everyone's favorite racist serial killer is back! And despite some mildly amusing humor and tonal shifts, plenty of gore and kangaru massacres, Wolf Creek just wanders to nowhere special. Remember the sequel to the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre? Which was completely different on tone and approach? Wolf Creek 2 is much like and unfortunently, like TCM2 doesn't work and is forgettable for most of it's running time.

Godzilla
Godzilla(2014)

I've grown up watching plenty of the old Godzilla Vs. movies and they are some of my fondest childhood memories. From the silly ones, to the fun ones, to the tragic ones, I always liked the approach on the majority of them and Godzilla became my favorite "hero" for a long time. In 1998, a new movie was gonna be released and the trailer looked spectacular back then. It was my first opportunity as a kid to watch the Big G on a Big Screen. To say I was disappointed is not mentioning how half of my heart was torn out, chewed on and spat out. Hell, even my dad remembers the movie and taking me to it, because he fell asleep. He remembers falling asleep on a Godzilla movie... What had they done to my King!

Despite the hyper buzz surrounding this new installment, despite the amazing first couple of trailers, despite enjoying quite much Monsters from Edwards, I was super reluctant on this one. Fortunently, my expectation weren't too high and I walked off the theatre with a huge grin on my face, for multiple reasons:
A) It was so old-school, it was almost blasphemy. I can't see kids enjoying this at all, since the big showdown is saved for the end.

B) Everytime we get a glimpse of the Big G, it's something to remember. I hadn't seen many Toho films turning our favorite lizard into something so regal and godlike. Highlight of this lush cinematography has to be the reveal in San Fran's Chinatown. Gorgeous, scary and just plain bad ass.

C) The MUTO's are ingeniously designed, not only having direct references to other classic Godzilla enemies, but also towards classic movie monsters from Starship Troopers to Alien. Also, they are kinda adorable and with an interesting arc that make us care for them (a little at least). I can't remember the last time I enjoyed the villains in a blockbuster as much as this, since I always get bombarded by generic alien invasions and boring aerial fight scenes in every goddamn Marvel movie.

D) It's constrained to a fault. The build up of the movie on the first 40mins is great, creating a somewhat believable backstory, culminating on the reveal of the first monster hatching. The rest is so-so until the end, but instead of explosions and action, we're treated with tense bits and the slow reveal of our creatures, the highlight being the train sequence involving a nuclear warhead. What could've easily been an over the top explosive moment, was a scary cat and mouse game with a 100meter tall creature and frickin' vertigo from start to finnish.

E) The fight scene is long enough without being exhaustive, being pure badass from the moment 2001's famous song started to play out until the end.

However, as many people pointed out, after the first 40mins, we're treated with a bland story that doesn't stand out and lethargic charcters that don't have much to do. This could've easily been solved if our humans were in perile at all times like in Jurassic Park, but no, they're always pretty distant from the chaos speaking to one another by phone. It's a little anti-climatic and to solve this, we could've had a lil' Kaiju action in between to make us forget of it, since we're constantly teased, something short but sweet could've sufficed. But it's not as bad as many people are making it to be, by all means. If we had some more insight on Serizawa's character and his relation to Godzilla and maybe seeing through the eyes of Elle's character how people would deal with the aftermath of such destruction would be nice enough. Maybe on an extended cut who knows.

All in all, this movies sums up a lot of what made Godzilla such an icon in the first place. And now, after this somewhat modest and careful first installment, there's plenty of room to improve. It's pretty clear everyone still loves Godzilla, no need to shy away anymore, since this movie sometimes feels like a test for both the audience and Edwards as a director. They've all passed with distinction, so just bring on board more talented writers to make the human drama a bit more poignant next time.

Noah
Noah(2014)

The most ambitious flick from Aronofsky is also his most bland and unintersting, which is surprising, since this was his love project all along. The main issue comes from the phantasy elements that are just poorly constructed and add nothing special to the story. Either go full-throttle with Bible material extravaganza or just don't use it at all. I think we could've had a really interesting flick, if we just kept with Noah's perspective and visions but not much else. That would cause a whole different impact by the end when he turns into an antagonist, playing a little game that is rare in movies on how prophets are born, thanks to coincidences and lil bits of lunacy. Also, some dialogues are really poorly written and that shows on some important scenes that I won't spoil, turning a grave situation into something somewhat laughable.

Still, it is intelligent at parts and I always defend that movies with a strong moral lesson should come across to as many people as possible and Noah does just that really well.

The Sacrament

So, Ti West actually had the balls to give a final act worthy of the build up he's so known for! But... it doesn't really make it a worthy trip to take. It's a complicated movie on many levels, specially because of the events it portrays, which are in it's own right almost unfilmable. Ti West doesn't exhagerate too much on the violence at hand (while sometimes he does, actually), but I didn't feel the necessary depth of the characters to be concerned or worried to what was going on. If we'd spent less time understanding the place and more the people, this would've had a completly different impact.

The Den
The Den(2014)

After all, the found-footage genre is far from dead. Sometimes, little movies like The Den show up to prove that there's still some originality in the concept. I actually think this is not the first time that a movie was solely made with internet videos, conferences, etc, VHS had a segment that was like this but The Den is actually a really smart take on the scary side of the internet. Unfortunently, despite being really well made and fairly well acted, there are no surprises to be had. The movie follows a terribly predictable structure from any given structure, which is a terrible shame because of the concept the movie is into. There was a missed opportunity here, but given the humble origins it has, this quite the solid effort.

Right at Your Door
½

It's a fairly interesting take on the post apocalyptic genre, but it's just bland and insipid at that. The cinematography is ugly, the action bit at the start is just a guy driving around looking concerned, the secondary cast is disposable, but features a good enough chemistry between the two leads and interesting situations between the two. However, that doesn't really save a very inert movie, albeit confident on the execution of it's ideas.

The LEGO Movie
½

Not only is The Lego Movie hilarious at every minute, beautifuly animated, featuring an excellent voice cast and a well-thought story, it's also one of the most weirdly subversive movies that I've seen in a while. I don't get it when people say it's scattershot, it only is on the madness of the construction and on such a detailed and chaotic world. It makes sense that way, but when it comes to message, serious topics, it is incredibly serious and never looses it's focus BUT, it never heads into dark territory. It's always fun, colorful, super well-thought through and through but incredibly focused all the same. A joyful movie that I really hope gets some other instalments with such smarts and imagination.

Sauna
Sauna(2008)

I'm a sucker for moody hauting movies and I might be a bit too kind on this one, but everything here is done superbly. The acting, the amoral choices, the creepy mythology and situations. Just lacks a bit on delivering more historical insight and mythology. Very much like Valhalla Rising, with everything that movie had, refined and not so vague. And that damn ending creeped the living shit out of me, props for that too.

Muppets Most Wanted

Not as funny as the 2011 movie, which it's actually quite aware of it from the brilliant opening musical act but still charming and a joy ride from beginning till end, that definently has it's moments. Problem is that we spend waaay too much time with the villains and not enough with our good-natured muppets. Structurally it's a mess but that is part of the charm. A bit of a letdown but I truly believe that this was a lesson learnt and that whatever's coming next will be much better.

Aftershock
Aftershock(2013)

Yep, the worse thing I saw in 2014 so far. This is just wrong on way too many levels. It looks like poo, the story is poo, the actors are poo, the shock values are just awful and poo, poo, poo, poo. Get away from this.

Blue Ruin
Blue Ruin(2014)
½

A solid and quiet revenge thriller, that doesn't have anything new, or a solid background and moral but has a really believable protagonist that has absolutely no clue on what he's doing and that does wonders to see how he'll approach a certain situation. It's still grim where it could've easily derailed to quirky territory though. I really loved the first 30 minutes, with barely any dialogue. That mistery and provocative narrative were superbly handled. The rest is more traditional and predictable but still really well made, with a worthy conclusion.

Big Bad Wolves
½

I always say that you can make a movie out of anything, with any given approach. Big Bad Wolves takes a very difficult subject matter and does the impossible = treats it with humor. The tone isn't exacly right but it works for the most part. Some of the humor is well handled and thank goodness we're spared from some gruesome details but I couldn't help but shake the feeling that the director wasn't quite sure where to head and how to approach certain scenes, which is present when the torture scenes arrive. There's also an annoying Batman like soundtrack going about that doesn't help much and gets us confused to what we're supposed to feel, specially at first. Still, Big Bad Wolves works and is solid entertainment, with good lead actors and a few well pulled surprises.

Filth
Filth(2014)
½

The fact that they made such a scattershot and ludicrous book, with awful characters and situations work is astonishing on itself. It's not as filthy as you might imagine, nor as crazy, the surprise comes towards the strong characterization given to our hateful hero, not making him as bad as you'd think. Still, the story is a big mess as expected and you're never quite as much as in the character's shoes as one would expect. Trainspotting this is not but a worthy check, where you find surprises you weren't expecting on this type of movie.

Nurse
Nurse(2014)
½

A bit of dumb, senseless, cheesy grindhouse fun flick for Paz De La Huerta never hurt anyone I guess...

Snowpiercer
Snowpiercer(2014)

Takes the prize home of the worse thing I've seen in 2014 (so far) with such ease it's amazing. Absolutely nothing works here, I'm amazed. It'd work if it was the first post-apocalyptic comedy but it's obviously trying to be thoughtful and poignant. The dialogue and script are dreadful, painful to witness with a message so spoon fed down your mouth, it's hard not to choke or puke. The acting is trash (wtf is Tilda Swinton doing?!?!) and the structure of the movie is a mess as big as a train wreck (HA! Pun!). I honestly can't understand why this is having such great reviews, I know the director has pedigree and CAN make difficult topics and tonaly different approaches work (The Host, Mother) but this is a dreadful work that should be avoided.

The Grand Budapest Hotel

Wes Anderson refines his already trademark style, with a superbly paced story, with plenty of humor, touching moments and a stellar performance from Ralph Fiennes. Unfortunenly, such a fast paced adventure comes with a price... Don't expect much from the rest of the cast. The talent present certainly gets the job done but barely have much to do with it. A bit more unbalanced than Moonrise Kingdom but better paced and funnier. Suppose it's neither a step forward or back.

Borgman
Borgman(2014)
½

A well thought allegory to lower class vs arrogant posh class, Borgman is a little devil on the loose, wrecking up chaos amidst a pretty awful family. Takes a lot of influence from Haneke and gets a bit lost towards the end, but sets it's message rather well and the ride until there is interesting, darkly humorous and very well acted. Needless to say, if you don't have patience for this kind of movie, you'll pretty much end up thinking this is a pretentious wank fest.

Open Grave
Open Grave(2014)
½

I'm all up for crazy premises and weird twists if they work. Things start out well enough for Open Grave, albeit with already pretty piss poor dialogue, but things quickly derail with one coincidence over another that just don't make much sense in the end when it all ends. Add that to pretty awful characters, atrocious dialogue, poor script and actors not giving much a crap, Open Grave just doesn't cut it to be half competent.

Dark Skies
Dark Skies(2013)

Here's another horror suspense thriller everyone hated and I kinda enjoyed it and was entertained while it lasted. For some reason, the pacing worked really well for me, holding some nice surprises and well put tension and scares here and there. Is it original? Absolutely not. Is the script great? Not quite, the ending doesn't really seems to know where it wants to go but it's consistent enough with good dialogues and acting by the whole cast and sometimes that's just enough for me.

The Jacket
The Jacket(2005)

Jacob's Ladder meets 12 Monkeys with underwhelming results.

Tha Jacket is all flare and little else, trying to play smart to belong to the grown-ups club but ends up making little to no sense. Plot details go nowhere, characters are completely wasted and pointless (Daniel Craig anyone?) and the fast editing just gets obnoxious after a while. Add an unbearably cheesy twist and Tha Jacket fails miserably at whatever it was trying to convey. Props to the actors who were actually trying but nothing much came across their flat characters.

Godzilla Raids Again
½

Nowhere near the class of the original, this rushed up sequel offered only the concept of Godzilla versus another Kaiju. Which is pretty awesome now that I think of it but the problem is that there isn't much else going on here. The story is riddled with overexposition that drags on forever and doesn't mean shit in the end. Also, the structure is awkward, the characters come and go, barely leaving a mark and there just isn't enough imagination going on on the fight scenes.

Godzilla (Gojira)
½

Godzilla not only was the father of giant monsters flicks, as it was the grandfather of social critique desguised as entertainment. The story starts out a bit messy and inconsistent with awkward editing and bad acting but once the main cast is introduced, things improve tremendously.

It's an easy to follow story, with bleak but beautiful black and white cinematography, ingenious destruction sequences and chilling images, like the sight of a mother holding her children, pretty much telling them to prepare to die. Focusing not just on the destruction of an atomic and unstoppable force, we also spend time on the aftermath of the destruction with some very powerful imagery of a makeshift shelter, that felt real and dramatic as if some natural disaster had indeed ocurred.

Funny enough, for a movie that deals so heavily with human ignorance, it pretty much ended the series with the death of our beloved monster but countless sequels and spin-offs came right after...

Bad Milo!
Bad Milo!(2013)
½

"There's a myth surrounding the anus" - Peter Stormare

Yeah, it's that kind of movie and it's kinda awesome because of it. Straight out of a Frank Henenlotter premise, this delivers on the repulsive side of things, with childish humor that works and it's strangely touching on the process. Just don't take this too seriously cause this isn't being serious at any time.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
½

A small improvement over last year's Hunger Games. Catching Fire is a slightly more polished film on almost everything, but I still can't connect fully with this saga. I just don't care for the rebellion that's going on because I barely have any perspective to hold on to, to feel this fury and anger, which are pretty poorly delivered by the actors. They're just too banal here and on auto-pilot and the stiff dialogue doesn't help. And the love triangle still doesn't work (come on Peeta, stop being such a pussy and waste of space). Fortunently has some interesting surprises along the way that can rise this above the average summer blockbuster but not much else.

Prince of Darkness
½

Yet, another very overlooked Carpenter flick, Prince of Darkness breathes Carpenter through and through. The cast is hardly likeable, much like The Thing but you understand what brought them together and what are the stakes. The story is a wonderful blend of sci-fi and horror thriller, that could've crumbled onto cheesy territory but holds it's ground by presenting some nice atmosphere, surreal imagery and good gory bits. The dialogue is sharp and incisive making this a worthy satanic ride to take.

Demons (Dèmoni)

Over the top and completely cheesy italian horror flick that takes a while till it gets to the good parts but until then, expect plenty of awful acting, hilarious one liners and a mental story that doesn't make much sense but it's fun nonetheless. Doesn't take itself too serious and that's how it should be.

The Last Days On Mars

Yeah, this wasn't very good was it? But by reading the reviews I was expecting the second coming of the antichrist and the movie isn't as bad as people made it sound like. It looks pretty good, albeit not terribly original and has some nice claustrophobic moments but the rest is crap. I could barely understand the motivations of these characters, which were all over the place, the idea is bad, the bacteria idea is not well realized and doesn't make any bloody sense and obviously ripped 3 or 4 scenes from Alien. Not worth your time.

Monsters
Monsters(2010)

I suppose that if you go into this one thinking it's a post-apocalyptic sci-fi thriller, with action pieces and loads of monster gallore, you'll be quite disappointed.

Monsters works more as a road movie with romantic intention and a bit of political message rather than the afformentioned title. Monsters refers to a whole different type of creature and the ride is worth it, for Gareth Edwards has a lot of heart and intelligence to make this genre flick sound fresh, intriguing, sad, funny, contemplative, without ever being overbearing. The take is original, maybe the story not so much and truth is said when maybe it didn't fully delivered on it's premise, but with such a tiny budget and a one man-show that made a huge portion of the flick alone, Monsters is truly a tiny marvel to behold on how it works, stating that you don't need excessive action, over indulgente messages and too many complicated storylines to make a movie work. All it needs is a heart in the right place.

Her
Her(2013)

Picks a very silly and difficult topic to approach, turns it into a deep reflection of what love is, loneliness, detachment and humanity turning it into one of the most relevant flicks of the award season movies.

All this just shows how incredibly talented Jonze is at blending seamlessly humor, drama, sadness, quirkiness and inventively beautiful (but simple) cinematography.

Unfortunently the movie tends to stroke the same topics far too often becoming too long for it's own sake. If around 20 mins were to be chopped off of this, the movie would've moved at a much more pleasant rythm, maintaining the essential of the story.

All in all, a great effort to everyone involved.

Alexander
Alexander(2004)

A disaster of epic proportions, this movies could be summed up as Colin Farrell's haircut in it: silly, ridiculous, fake, too yellow, too long, not well realized at all, too phony.

This is probably one of the biggest wastes of money of all time. I was thinking of including "talent" as well on the last sentence but there is absolutely none in this. Everyone is doing a terrible job. Congrats.

Jacob's Ladder
½

A great take on the Psychological Horror genre, Jacob's Ladder does almost everything right asides from a mild confusing second act and an unnecessary preachy drug twist at the end. Has great visual madness to spook you, touching moments, great presence by Tim Robbins and an interesting story that grabs your attention right from the start.

The Others
The Others(2001)

Saw this one when it came out and on my second interation I still had a great time with it. Typical ghost story with a well-thought twist, boosted by great performances, incredible but simple cinematography and very good pacing through and through.

All Is Lost
All Is Lost(2013)

A really good companion piece to the same year's equally excellent Gravity, despite the similiar premise, All Is Lost couldn't be more different.

All Is Lost barely has any dialogue (monologue in this case) and pretty much all you have on screen is Robert Redford giving a masterclass of acting. Aided by excellent practical effects, aided by convincing CGI storms, All Is Lost is a desperate tale of survival that will immerse on the journey. Props should be given as well to the excellent sound design that complements Redford's performance without interfering much to what's going on.

Inside Llewyn Davis
½

The Coens have made (yet) another very solid effort, this time delving into very melancholic territory, following the beautiful looser that is Llewyn Davis. Even when things couldn't get worse, he refuses to be a sellout to his craft, creating both desperate moments and hilarious situations.

Backed by beautiful live songs, a very grey and sad cinematography, Llewyn couldn've had a bit more depth to it, despite having all it needs. Half-way through, it's ideas get a bit used and re-used for the sake of torturing poor Llewyn. Maybe that's the point but frankly, the tone is the same from start to finnish and it hurts the movie plenty.

Rush
Rush(2013)
½

Rush is indeed like it's two very different protagonists. Sexy, appealing and incredibly polished like Hunt on it's racing sequences, cinematography, editing, beautiful slow-mo shots and colors. And brainy, contradictory, revolutionary, complex, harsh, violent like Lauda on it's approach to the script and rivals-not-so-rivals-after-all story it's portraying. It's all very neat and nice but I couldn't helped but feel there was a bit of a missed opportunity here on turning this into deeper material. The seeds are all there but it's all played a wee bit too symplistic, much like the role of women on Rush. Needed that extra little polish to set it apart.

Philomena
Philomena(2013)

Working it's script on another "based on actual thingies" trope, Philomena even if it didn't had the "based on actual thingies" thingie at the start, you could tell this was based on a true story. I'm just growing tired of these thingies before movies to try to pull as hard from you as it can, any emotions.

Philomena doesn't need that. Philomena is a fantastic subtle little film that deserves all the praise it's been getting, thanks to some very very well-pulled jokes, subtle approach to the characters and a lot of detail put onto everything on a very "simple" story and movie.

Aided by two-stellar performances from Coogan (who also co-wrote) and Dench (on a masterclass of acting here), Philomena is a very enjoyable, funny and heartfelt ride.

Dallas Buyers Club
½

It's structure is shamefully predictable and you'll guess what will happen next in a heartbeat and how it will end, but Dallas Buyers Club finds it's strength on an incredibly comited role by McConaughey that feels believable from start to finnish. He's always a buffoon from beginning till end but we see him evolving, transforming with what's happening around him, finding great moments of quite as well, like the moth scene. Jared Leto creates a great contrast to our protagonist's over the topness, making them a dynamic, unpredictable team that are the driving force of the whole movie.

American Hustle

Features way too many tone shifts to make a consistent movie, never knowing quite well what it wants to become. Is it a dark comedy? A social drama? A gangster flick? Drama? Noir? It shoots in all directions but it barely stands on it's feet. Shouldn't be a problem if the dialogues were smart, well written and with a certain momentum but what we get is average at best. Saved by great performances from the cast, American Hustle is a snoozle that comes to life when the actors are all together in one scene (or at least more than 3 together). Jennifer Lawrence steals the show as usual, even if she seems so young for this role.

All in all, it tried way too many things at once, trying hard to be Goodfellas. Not even close.

Silent Hill
Silent Hill(2006)

It nailed to some extent the visual representation of some things of the famous videogame saga but it was destroyed by awful dialogues, bad pacing and a story that strayed too far from the games. True, it try to create something new, while using plot elements from the other games but it failed miserably at doing so. Case in point, usually the monsters on the games have some symbolism towards the protagonist you control. Here? They're just re-ashes (lol pun) of the games, barely being memorable and only showing up for a couple of seconds.

A missed opportunity, since visually the movie is still beautiful and manages to create a good atmosphere and visual storytelling out of it but the rest is an inconsequent, barely understandable mess.

Bloodsucking Freaks

Tries to be artsy on it's violence and the audience of this type of movies, but ends up being a misogyny orgy, where in each section women are used for all sorts of perversions the guys who made this had in mind. Pathetic. Not a single Blood Sucking Freak can be found inside as well.

Short Term 12

Heartbreaking but also warm and fuzzy, Short Term 12 keeps things small but very focused on their characters, never negleting them and always finnishing up nicely their story arcs. This is a movie as good as it gets when it comes to portray neglected and abused children (and grown-ups alike), without being too preachy and showing just enough to cause an impact.

Aided by a fantastic and nuanced performanced by Brie Larson, Short Term 12 is a welcome surprise to the indie drama even if it doesn't re-invent the wheel.

The Wolf of Wall Street
½

Shares the same irreverent, always in a frenzy mood of Goodfellas, with even more detestable characters and misogyny aplenty, which is troublesome because frankly, Martin Scorcese fails a lot on this department. I barely remember a movie he directed with a good and strong female protagonist that gets the upper hand amidst his classy gangsters and other pesky characters. All this to say that there is a bit of a missed opportunity on the characters of Naomi and Jordan's former wife to gives a different perspective, since all we have is the larger than life Wolf.

The Wolf Of Wall Street plays like a dark comedy, that glorifies to some extent how awesome money is (let's face it, money IS awesome) and all the outrageous excesses that come with it. Obviously this couldn't be all fun and games, our anti-villains get the punishment they deserve, blablabla.

If you're a fan of Scorcese you will dig this one out, despite all it's excesses and repetition towards the last part, aided by a fantastic script by Terence Winter and the masterclass that is Thelma Schoonmaker's editing once again.

The Dyatlov Pass Incident (Devil's Pass)
½

Yet another bunch of american kids pick up some cameras and go where they shouldn't go. I don't have a problem with the hand-held camera approach at all. Some of my favorite recent horror flicks were shot like this, it's just that this storyline approach is quickly grow so so old.

Devil's Pass plays like all the others, whilst featuring some gorgeous sightings and it's actually pretty well crafted.

Many people have been complaining about the twists and whatnot, but I didn't mind the crazy mix of things, it's actually what could've set it apart from others. Problem is that it's all very underwhelming and they were obviously bitting more than they could chew on this one. No matter how cool or good your intentions were, the budget held things back a lot by the end.

Still, fairly entertaining albeit cliché as hell.

In the Loop
In the Loop(2009)

The big-screen companion piece to the brilliant The Thick Of It, In The loop follows the same fuck-up miscommunications of the TV series to international waters, between a supposed soon to happen war.

What follows is an f bomb ridden ride that gets absolutly nuts on it's complications, becoming virtually indecipherable and it makes sense belonging on this world of politics, scheming, alliances and whatnot.

Consistently funny, this is a great way to get into the TV series, whilst mantaining a very strong individuality of it's own.

12 Years a Slave
½

I was a bit afraid at first that the first iteration of Steve McQueen through Hollywood was going to be significantly toned down and aiming towards some sort of obnoxious morality we're used to on these type of movies. I couldn't be more wrong. 12 Years A Slave is as tough, deep and desperate as either Hunger and Shame.

Much like the characters of the previous films from McQueen, Solomon is trapped and we're trapped with him. What follows is the intense degradation he's put to, whilst also serving as a vehicle for us to witness other atrocities commited on screen. It doesn't hold back on the violence and McQueen keeps things on the right track by making most of the gruesome moments psychological and claustrophobic. Imagine this on Mel Gibson's hands...

If you're used to this director's approach, you'll notice not much as changed when it comes to the narrative. It is mostly episodic and follows a sort of cause-and-consequence from the one that preceded, where the scenes take their time to develop, alterating between beautiful shots of everything surrounding the characters, making a brutal contrast with the violence at hand. You'd never thought a hanging scene would be so beautiful.

Acting wise, all the cast is spot-on on their roles, prooving that McQueen handles an entire cast (even on small roles) like a veteran. Show stealer has to be Michael Fassbender (again!) as the ruthless Edwin Epps on one of the scariest performances you'll see this year. Let it rain awards on this guy's head already. On his incredibly short career, he has prooven time and time again so much already, I can't wait to see what he'll do next. Same goes for the movie, director and all the crew involved. If this is the big winner of the Oscars and all other award shows, then I might start to have some hope for the people who run the industry. Even if it's such a "favorite" genre movie to win awards, 12 Years A Slave is pure cinematic brilliance, either with this subject or any other.

And goddamn you McQueen! I was in tears again with your movies in front of a lot of people on the theatre! Stop doing that! I kid. For fuck's sake, never stop pulling my heart strings.

In the Mouth of Madness

Part supernatural thriller, part dark humorous tale, part surrealistic trip, all Lovecraft rip-off. It's fun and interesting while it lasts but it's tonal inconsistencies and unintentionally funny moments kinda ruin the experience a bit. It also looks very dated for a 1995 movie but the story is interesting while it lasts, holding some nice surprises until the end.

Ravenous
Ravenous(1999)
½

This odd little movie has been wrongly advertised as an horror movie. This plays more like a dark comedy and the lunacy of war and how blinded soldiers follow a leader into battle, becoming brainwashed in the process. Yeah! All that on a canibalistic flick with great actors delivering amazing dialogue lines.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
½

Like my previous review to An Unexpected Journey, I see these three flicks as a single one, so it's hard for me to say if I loved this one, or if it will fail miserably, because everything lays on the shoulders of There And Back Again, to tie every story and event these two have constructed so far.

TDOS is a darker entry but also fun and with well fleshed characters that grow from the previous instalment. I think it's pretty clear we won't get to know all of the Dwarves by now, but the rest is handled properly and with finesse. They all deserve a lasting and adequate conclusion on the last entry, even to newcomers like Bard The Bowman or Auriel.

Action wise, this is a great as it gets. The barrel scene is absolutly amazing on how it is accomplished and I couldn't tell what was real or wasn't. Better yet, I didn't care because it was so hilarious and over the top I forgot about all the problems of my life, while giving me an amazing supreme geek boner while it lasted. Better yet, that boner held up high till Smaug gave an air of his grace, where I just came all over the place. Mission accomplished as far as I'm concerned.

Still, many problems from the previous instalment reside (Gandalf shouting at dark clouds of poisonous fart was a bit meehhh) but all of that may come to fruition on the last entry.

All in all, a solid addition to the Middle-Earth saga.

Fruitvale Station

I'm sure the intentions were good to show how random acts of violence can affect anyone at anytime, but Fruitvale is just not a very good movie, despite the horrific event it portrays. Mostly because it turns the main character into an average everyday regular Joe into overbearing likeable material, without focusing on the complexity of the character or by trying to explore the other side of the event. It's overly simplistic. I'd love to see a Fruitvale part 2 exploring that small unit of cops and their daily routines as well, just to get a different perspective. Not just a badly approached "holy crap, here come the dirty angry mean cops that are gonna wreck shit up" that Fruitvale Station did. It was almost cartoonish and such a complex and painful event deserved much more.

All in all, has it's moments, specially the quite ones, the cast is adequate (I didn't lost my shit with Michael Jordan as everyone else seems to have) and it's shot with conviction, aided by a pretty good and moody soundtrack.

Isolation
Isolation(2006)
½

Like Alien on errrr.... transgenic killer cows? It's not actually the cows that are the killers, which would turn into a very silly movie, but "something else".

Fun but takes itself too seriously with such a wacky premise even for b-horror standards.

Meks excellent use of it's very small budget, with slick cinematography, convincing enough effects, well acted through and through and featuring some truly repulsive sightings.

Blackfish
Blackfish(2013)

It is very focused on presenting it's core idea and doesn't leave much room for other points of view but Blackfish manages to get it's point across seamlessly with a powerful look at the usage of Orcas for our "entertainment".

Elucidative, heartbreaking, shocking and moving at a great pace while bombarding us with facts for it's short 80mins runtime, Blackfish is a documentary that shouldn't be missed.

Thor: The Dark World

Business as usual, building up for The Avengers 2, there's nothing terribly wrong or terribly right with The Dark World, it just "exists". The title is a bit misleading since this is a quite fun and light adventure flick, there's not much gravity as in other recent super-hero blockbusters which works to it's advantage but on the other hand, everything else is really flat. The villain is boring, wasting the talent of Cristopher Ecleston to a thuggish role of another lunatic that wants to destroy the universe. The good guys are around and barely have any new arc to be remembered for, maybe asides from Loki that has some good dramatic sequences.

All in all, not terrible but not that good either.

Insidious: Chapter 2
½

How James Wan is still considered one of the most talented horror directors of the recent era is beyond me. This Chapter 2 just prooves how awful he is at pretty much everything horror wise. The characters lack any motivation to do what they do (seriously, why are the tech guys in this movie again??), the sudden presence of ghosts and freaky shit doesn't affect much the people involved, asides from the mom (played by Rose Byrne, who's actually trying), the acting is awful (Patrick Wilson reached new lows with this one) and the mistery for the ghosts/demons and freaky stuff happening is just hilariously lame, almost erasing the few good things the first iteration did.

Boring, souless, unoriginal and featuring one of the most atrocious twists in recent horror memory, this one is to bury and forget.

Riddick
Riddick(2013)

How this franchise has already 3 movies kinda amazes me. Pitch Black was a decent sci-fi action flick that looked horrible but was fun nontheless. Nothing much has changed in Riddick, except for some heavy misogynistic undertones that seem straight out of the 80s (which is where this movie fits like a glove). The CGI is kinda awful, the story a muddled mess, the acting atrocious and way overlong for it's own good but still, it's kinda magnetizing to see Vin Diesel mubling around kicking alien and bounty hunters asses.

My favorite segment has to be the survival mode on the first 40mins of the film which are kinda amazing and felt fresh right until the obnoxious humans arrive. Nothing like seeing Riddick bonding with a baby alien dog, kicking some scorponok creatures asses.

Another passable action flick, for boys only. Will surprise me if it gets more sequels. Yet, once again, Vin Diesel lives to mumble another day.

Monsters University
½

A bit of filler to Pixar's catalogue, MU doesn't bring anything new but it's still a charming movie while it lasts.

The story is the overal underdog storyline we're fed up with every year with these animated flicks, with an extra added flair of colorful moments and imagination thanks to the cool designs of these characters. Speaking of which, there's way too many for the new ones to cause any lasting impact, showing bigger frailties onto the story but that is tossed aside thanks to well-thought comedy bits that work for both kids and grown-ups.

Solid movie but not quite up to the standards we've come to expect from Pixar.

The Counselor
½

You probably won't find a better written movie this year with plenty of double-meaning metaphors and such a strong and confident cast, saying these inhuman gorgeous written things (let's face it, humans don't talk like this). But you will probably find better crime thrillers and better set stories.

The Counselor is another morality tale written by Mccarthy, but this time to the big screen. Aided by some gorgeous visuals by Sir Scott and Dariusz Wolski that don't interfere with either the story or dialogues, but rather make them stand out, the main problem with The Counselor is that it would probably turn out to be a better book rather than a full-lenghth picture. It's overly long, feature a couple of dispendable scenes, the story is scattered and difficult to follow and doesn't feature as many thrills as one would expect. Still, that doesn't make it a bad movie by a long shot, there's plenty to appreciate here, from the transformation of the characters, the consequences it brings and just how cynical McCarthy's eye is on all of this. An honest try from Ridley Scott to bring some new light onto McCarthy's work (he already tried adapting Blood Meridian before) that works for the most part but needed an extra polish to truly become an amazing experience.

Chernobyl Diaries

This movie had two serious things going against it before my viewing: Oren Peli and the low reviews.

Turns out I ended up enjoying the movie quite a bit! The atmosphere was built rather well, thanks to the amazing setting, sense of dread it carries and by not showing or telling us jack right until the end. Also helps to have a well rounded cast of people that are less douchy than the majority in these films. I could sense the ordeal they were going through and some of the decisions they had to make, even if they seemed somewhat silly at times.

The bad thingies could be summed up to the off screen deaths and the derailment that is the last 20ish minutes. It tries to be more than what it is and looses a lot of what was built before thanks to it. There just isn't a good enough payoff in the end or during, for a movie like this. It plays the tropes of the genre too easily, so it can't get past the mediocrity.

28 Weeks Later...
½

A solid sequel that delivers more gore and thrills but less humanity and food for thought.

28 Weeks Later is smartly realized by showing us a wide cast of characters on their different roles after the apocalypse featured on 28 Days Later. It's very interesting to see how each "division" of society reacts when the shit hits the fan but unfortunently we don't spend much time with the characters. It also holds some unpredictability to who will die and stay alive during the movie, bringing some nice surprises while it lasts.

Asides from a couple silly scenes, the movie escalades to great action set pieces, always focused on the characters and the arc it built before.

Machete Kills

A mess of colossal proportions that actually wouldn't be a problem and would fit like a glove onto Machete's style. The problem is that this mess is tremendously unfunny and is not as action packed as it thinks it is. It bites more than it can chew with it's ginormous disposable cast, silly premise with pretentions at social critique and way too low of a budget. The movie looks horrible and not in a good way. Where's the grain? Where's the missing tape segments? The audio jumps? The gritty filters? Does Machete Kills even wants to be an exploitation flick by missing these key grindhouse elements? Cause they would mask the atrocious CG and poorly directed action segments.

Asides from an inspired role from Démian Bichir, there's nothing much to enjoy here.

28 Days Later
½

One of the main protagonists for giving The boost to the zombie sub-genre, that I'm quickly growing tired of lately, 28 Days Later still holds remarkably well a decade after.

After a somewhat unnecessary, exposition heavy prologue, we are presented with the best empty city footage since Omega Man. It's incredibly simple but it works, since we're quickly put onto the shoes of our protagonist and can relate to what he's going through. Again, this would have a bigger impact without the prologue.

After some quick creepy glances at the infected, we're treated with a very episodic narrative that could've been a mess but works, thanks to the actors work and the arc they all have. They can go from confuse, to angry, to badass, to berzerk mode and it all feels believable. It feels believable because each episode is precarious and holds to what the movie has been telling from there on. It rarely feels unnecessary.

As for the criticism that the last segment of the movie has, I actually enjoyed it for one particular reason. There's nothing more symbolic than the colapse of society by having the last members of what could be considered humanity's last remnants of "order" and "rebuild" in an apocalyptic world, crashing for the simplest reason ever. Sex. This isn't about the future, this is pure and simple about sex. And it speaks volumes on how we as society think we are advanced regarding human rights and how women are still treated on a daily basis, despite all our "progress". Given the world 28DL presents, this isn't shocking at all, it's just horrifying because it's a tale we hear everyday about still. And if what's meant to protect us collapses as well? That's the question the movie asks and showcases the possibilities and outcomes, desguised as a low-budget, exciting horror-thriller flick and that's what makes 28 Days Later a success.

Intruder
Intruder(1989)

A very bloody and gory slasher with amazing dry jokes and super fun mood right until the end, plagued by severe logic actions and over the top acting.

Macabre
Macabre(2013)
½

This Indonesian Texas Chainsaw Massacre like flick, is a very poorly acted one, that plays every trope of the genre with a very amateurish look while it lasts. Asides from a couple of cool deaths, there's nothing here worth singing home about.

Captain Phillips

Paul Greengrass sums up his career so far with the intense Captain Phillips. It has a certain cold and documentary approach while the events unfold (à lá United 93), never forgetting the tense bits (which are intense as hell when it starts) and humanizing the lead characters right until the end (Bourne saga).

It starts off on a rather weak fashion with a cheesy dialogue between the captain and his wife. But fortunently, things quickly escalate to fantastic levels. Once the pirates are on board, you barely have time to breath. It's nothing overly original but it works, thanks to a good subtle performance from Hanks and the revelation that is Barkhad Abdi. Greengrass is smart enough to give characterization to the villains, putting us on his shoes from time to time and that's what sets this thriller apart from most on this last decade or so. Without spoiling much, once the credits start to roll, you're left with a bitter taste on your mouth, because you've invested so much on these characters and the resolution is probably not what you wanted. Still, the approach obviously tends to lean more towards the american side of things, as is usual with this type of films, but it doesn't detract much from the final, super engaging thriller experience that Captain Phillips provides.

Gravity
Gravity(2013)

Gravity reminded me a lot of the awesome time I had on the theatre while watching Cloverfield and Rec. It's one of those spectacular roller coaster flicks that made me completly forget for 90mins how it was actually made, being exciting and panic inducing while it lasted, backed by a great 3D that wasn't overly intrusive and made you feel in space, like few movies can. It is that good, a technical wonder like few will be able to match in coming years. I couldn't say exacly what was CG or real sets in between the long shot takes, when the characters made the transition from the (brilliant) outer space sequences into inside the small vessels.

Storywise, there isn't much here and frankly, the bits that do exist tend to get overly cheesy and too melodramatic. Since we were sharing for most of the time a POV experience, I felt that the whole "it's worth trying to survive after all the shit you've been through" move a bit cheap but not too distracting. By no means it didn't ruin the experience. Aiding this more traditional movie storytelling approach is a kind of annoying soundtrack that desperately tries to draw emotions out of you, through the desolate silence that is the outer space. On some tense sequences, it works but on the rest, it's a distraction taking you away from the brilliant sound design the movie has. But again, it's not that bad, since the OST is actually pretty neat.

All in all, a great ride that I will surely want to experience again.

The Purge
The Purge(2013)
½

How to ruin one of the coolest ideas for an horror/thriller flick in 3 easy steps:

1 - Make your cool premise oblivious and redundant after a while
2 - Write an awful script, riddled with clichés and bad dialogues
3 - Make it even more generic than generic home-invasion flicks

And there you have it. An even more bland home-invasion movie than what you're used to.

Prisoners
Prisoners(2013)
½

Moved by an incredible atmosphere, fantastic performances and brilliant pacing, Prisoners could've been a classic if it didn't get so messy in the end, trying to desperatly conclude all the loose ends and giving an unnecessary sappy ending.

Much like the director's previous Incendies, it builds incredibly but gets way too melodramatic in the end, kinda contradicting what it said beforehand. It's predictable, the villains get a bit too cartoonish, when all you needed was a bleak and probably inconclusive ending. Still, that doesn't erradicate the fantastic ride that comes before it, with great moral ambiguity, tough situations to be in, good palpable tense sequences and great acting all around.

Assault on Precinct 13

Man, I just love how this movie sets up it's premise like a cold and calculated chess game, always keeping you wondering who these characters are and how will the fit with the Assault itself. And when the shit hits the fan, it delivers, never forgetting why we're following these characters, giving them enough depth to make us care. Sometimes it's a bit cheesy on some dialogues, a bit stale at times and probably a bit too mean on the ice cream scene but Assault On Precinct 13 is a fantastic ride, giving a lot of depth and food for thought on an apparent simple-minded action flick.

Lo strano vizio della Signora Wardh (The Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh)
½

Giallo at it's best, The Strange Vice of Mrs. Ward is a lovely mess, with plenty of style over substance. There's a killer, a woman with kinky fetishes, a shit ton of lovers and one of them is the killer. The story is a disjointed mess but each segment flows at a really good pace, featuring some inventive scenes here and there. There's always something new to enjoy and appreciate at each turn and that's where the success of this one resides.

I Spit on Your Grave 2

Awful pointless sequel that is not only extremely distasteful as it is awfully made, making such a squeamish subject into something almost laughable, which is almost unique in it's own right, to fail so miserably at it's "point"... Dreadful.

Antiviral
Antiviral(2013)

A rather confident debut from Cronenberg's son, Antiviral is a different beast all together from his father's work, though featuring other types of body horror.

As with any debut from a promising young director, this one is packed with excellent ideas but ends up running out of them too soon and being too heavy-handed while it lasts. Still, this world is fascinating to inhabit thanks to some sleak, super clean cinematography, where even the actors seem to have been picked to look as pale as possible, aided by some strong soundtrack and narrative flow. Unfortunently, we grow tired very quickly of the harpie perfomance of Caleb Jones that unfortunently, someone when writing the script thought it was a good idea that he should act like a sick person throughout the whole thing. It's annoying. Believable at first, but tiresome as with many of the ideas that the movie throws, never fully develops but still keeps munching on them for it's too long running time.

Still, leaves a very good impression that Brandon Cronenberg might've not fall far from the tree and even if he did, it would still be a pleasure to see how he'd turn up, since he clearly breathes cinema.

Godzilla
Godzilla(1998)

Basically Godzilla goes to Manhattan to lay eggs and eat free fish from the military.

This is the movie that turns a motherfuckin' 200 meters tall mutant iguana into an unbearable bore fest. How can you fuck this up?!? It's a motherfuckin' 200 meters tall mutant iguana wrecking shit up!! And fighting other giant atrocities!! That's the main "thing" of Godzilla! Jesus.

Oh there's people around acting like retards, doing unbelievable and laughable stuff. Even that they didn't get right. This could've been a mildly entertaining flick, if the director was actually interested in ENTERTAINING US. Wreck shit up, put Godzilla firing his dragon breath against something, throw giant centipedes onto the mix, just do something for fuck's sake!

A Field in England

A Field In England is neither an evolution nor a step back for Wheatley's already very varied and rather unique career, with only a bunch of films made in a short time span.

This is a random existencial comedy, with clear influences from Tarkovsky, despite being very british at it's core. It's funny, surrealistic, trippy, pointless, maddening, pretentious, difficult but extremely pointless while at it. It's a trip worth enduring, cause you'll definently feel something "unique" and "strange" while watching but will ultimately leave you very hollow inside.

Blue Caprice
Blue Caprice(2013)
½

Halfway through the movie the younger killer asks to another character what is he supposed to feel after having killed someone. This speaks volumes on the psycho relation that develops between these two killers and the atocities they commited a decade ago. There are no easy answers, no moral and a feeble atempt of humanizing these monsters. What seems to be the underlying theme here (without giving concrete answers) is the opressive atmosphere the so called war on terror caused on the lower class american family, with many fingers being pointed but with no clear solution and that's where the success of Blue Caprice resides. The banalization of evil has never been so banal.

Europa Report

Has plenty of style and a couple of well pulled tense sequences, but the decision to use a fragmented storyline, with bits of interviews overexposing what happened or what will happen next, turn Europa Report into a bit of a mess.

It's still an interesting ride, not being overly cerebral, mixing well the thriller elements with sci-fi bits. Story and character wise, leaves a lot to be desired.

The Prowler
The Prowler(1981)
½

What a draaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaggggggg!

This crap feels longer than Lawrence of Arabia and not in a good way. Save for some savy Tom Savini effects on the gore, very little saves this snooze fest.

Street Trash
Street Trash(1986)

Street Trash is one of those glorious cheesy horror comedies from the 80s, completly disjointed on it's plot but hilariously awful right until the end. The jokes are either amazing, incredibly bad, distasteful but always fun on how surprising some segments can get. The gore is pretty disgusting but always light on it's approach, never being truly disturbing, like say some Troma flicks, which Street Trash bares some comparisions.

Worth a shot for fans of demented horror comedies that don't have much story going on.

You're Next
You're Next(2013)
½

*mild spoilers ahead*

I've been waiting for this one ever since it was announced, so I suppose my expectations were a bit too high. Still, it delivers and despite not being the salvation of the horror genre as many people were claiming, it's the most fun of the past few years without a doubt, in my opinion.

Needless to say, this is one of those black comedies that subverts the genre, in this case the home invasion flick, with finesse, enough blood and plenty of memorable scenes. But much like The Cabin In The Woods, You're Next plays the classic tropes of the genre far too often, ending up being a bit too formulaic for my liking.

The subversion itself is very well handled. I had some ideas of what the twist was about, and I kinda guessed but it didn't take anything away from the silly scenes that unsue, a couple of surprises and a fuckin' awesome kick-ass protagonist that it's worth rooting for. Remember when the protagonists on horror films have the upper hand towards the killers, always being one step ahead of the them? Specially when they're such idiots? Yeah, me neither. And that's where the true success of You're Next resides: on having a tight script, with great jokes put onto difficult situations and a well rounded protagonist that barely ever acts like an idiot.

The World's End
½

The more "mature" flick out of the famous Cornetto trilogy, The World's End benefits and suffers from that premise. It sets out the characters very well, with smart snappy dialogue, that despite being well constructed and well written, doesn't reach the heights of the previous movies Wright directed/wrote, including Scott Pilgrim. It drags on for a bit too long but fortunently the movie infuses that characteristic fast paced action sequences that manage to be funny and set things rolling, nicely until the end. It's consistent while it lasts, having smart, subtle jokes and also more in your face comedy, working surprisingly well with so many tonal shifts.

It gets a bit preachy and cheesy on some occasions but we've grown to like these characters so much, it's easy to dismiss these little flaws.

This Is the End

This Is The End could've easily been the comedy of the year thanks to the awesome idea of having the actors portraying themselves, not just being parodies but bringing fresh perspectives onto the mix (like Jonah Hill's take on himself). While these dialogues last, it's always a blast to watch and very inspired at that, backed by an amazing chemistry between the cast, even when small cameos show up.

Unfortunently, the movie derails a bit too often onto pointless and unfunny action sequences that bring nothing new to the arc and are a dread to endure. Also, it has it's fair share of juvenile penis jokes, even if one or two actually work, and one too many sequences that seemed to be ripped out of a classier version of Scary Movie, and that's not exacly a good thing. Some people enjoy these things, I don't. At least it tries to be varied by adding these bits, I can give credit for that but it still feels very out of place for a movie that started out so cleaverly.

Lust for a Vampire

The campiest of all the Karnstein trilogy from Hammer films is just a very boring vampire flick that seems to be in constant love with Yutte Stensgaard, because all you get is gratuitous shots of her, around, doing things I barely remember. Again, as with most the vampire flicks from Hammer, everything is very polished and with good attention to details, with the lesbian undertones the movie carries daring for the time but ultimately hollow as an outcome.

Byzantium
Byzantium(2013)

Though beautiful to look at, led by some strong performances and with some clever stylistic choices, Byzantium is passable at best thanks to a very poor script that doesn't really lead us anywhere and offers some pretty silly moments and awkward dialogues. I'd be lying to say that I wasn't entertained while it lasted and there's always some eye candy around the corner to please you but frankly, not much else holds the movie together.

And Gemma Arterton as a sassy vampire... dream come true for me.

Dark Star
Dark Star(1974)
½

This goofy, oddball, disjointed mess is a stellar debut for all involved thanks to some ingenious sequences (that drag themselves for a bit too long), nice timeless humor, great sound design and fantastic visuals given the super tiny budget.

Trick 'r Treat

It's downright criminal that such a wonderfully well crafted Halloween themed flick like this went straight into the shelves, while countless remakes and Saw XXV is on the local theatre for 5 weeks in a row.

Trick r Treat is an anthology horror flick, like anthologies oughta be make. The stories cross each other in creative ways, always leaving some neat easter eggs here and there. Better yet, the movie never takes itself too seriously, having superb moments of dark humor, on the verge of becoming unconfortable but never derailing into exploitation territory. It's surprising and very well crafted from the visuals, to the editing, to the dialogues, barely having any dull moment around.

Michael Dougherty had immense passion for this project and that transpires really well to the viewer. It's just a shame that it didn't have the reception it should've. Really looking forward to his next projects either straight to video or not.

Elysium
Elysium(2013)
½

Elysium is a very intelligent film wrapped up into conventionalism. Blomkamp admited recently on an interview that he hates writing. His thing has always been setting up an atmosphere, building up a credible world and pieces of tech, being needless to say that Elysium is flawless on those departments. But whilst District 9 was surprising because despite being heavily staged, most of the actors were improvising on the spot and that was just marvelous to witness. On Elysium, it's quite the opposite, everyone sticks to their lines and the movie suffers a lot from it, cause it's just too banal. It's not bad, but it can get cheesy, very preachy and not too memorable, save for the uncomprehensible insults of Sharlto Copley as Kruger.

The movie is still remarkably focused on it's ideas, with a similiar fast paced moving storyline Blomkamp presented on D-9. There are no dead moments and absolutly no filler and I really admire a director who commits himself to a vision and doesn't let go, trimming the fat where it needs to. It's also surprising that a movie with such themes got to be made in Hollywood out of everywhere. Well played.

Elysium is still a pretty spectacular flick, constrained at times on the action sequences, but delivering the goodies in great doses. Not as vicious or viscous as D-9 but featuring some pretty memorable savagery with cool pieces of tech and sometimes, that's just enough. Curious to see how Blomkamp will make Chapie next. A comedy. Made by a guy who's always been very serious on his approach to movies. Should be either a confirmation of talent or maybe a downfall.

Them
Them(2007)
½

Ils doesn't try to be more than what it is and that's where most of it's success resides. It's not inventing the wheel, it's not super surprising and almost everything about it could be described as average. What it does so well is creating unbearable moments of tension while it lasts for it's short running time. There's not an exact story to be found here but the tormented couple are fleshed out enough to make the intense taunt and persuit sequences work really really well. Also, every scene is there for a reason, there's no filler at all, if by the end of it you recall what went through. It's saying something, but it's not being preachy or pointing fingers, leaving things ambiguous enough. The soundtrack is not intrusive, the sound design is super minimalistic and good scares are found through and through.

World War Z
World War Z(2013)

Quite a surprise as far as big dumb blockbusters go, WWZ subverted well the zombie genre and instead of setting the characters holed up into one place for the whole thing, as it always happens whenever zombies are around, waiting for the undead to rot away, we're given a high and expansive take on the infection around the globe.

It gets some degree of success thanks to the chaotic sequences that happen right from the start, barely giving you any time to breath. It was confusing, scary, tense and all for the right reasons. But obviously these goodies had to come with a price. Since the movie feels so large and has so many different locations, characters are just around, doing things you barely remember. There's no development whatsoever, making the carnage a bit forgetful when it unsues. And was that the guy from Lost piloting a chopper? He just showed up there, with no lines whatsoever? Dafuq?

Also, unfortunently, the movie features one boring scene in the end, where some characters get holed up in one place, trying to find the cure. Standard. Guess the money ran out by this time. Add some silly and over the top sequences throughout the whole show and WWZ ends up just being good popcorn entertainment, nothing else.

Oblivion
Oblivion(2013)

You've seen all this before and better executed. Worse, is that with such a weak script, the movie relies on twists after twists that are forced down your throat to be "surprising". If you at certain point had included dinossaurs it would've had the exact same impact. They are forced and barely have any connection to the story arc. A twist must have some build up to cause the aformentioned impact, it can't just be a 20 second thingie that happens and has no impact later.

It looks cool and has some nice gadgets around but that enough can't save such weak storytelling and awful dialogues.

Seven (Se7en)
½

*spoilers ahead*

An unforgiving thriller, Se7en is pretty much the best serial killer genre film in a really long while, still to be topped after almost 20 years.

The perspective the movie presents is absolutly brilliant. You're always on the detective's eyes and always one step-behind this madman. It's a game of show/don't show that Fincher mastered brilliantly on this one and would subsequently show on his later films. The power those brutal images leave on our imaginations are enough for us to draw a really macabre picture, summed up by the atrocious (in a good way) ending. Now infamous and unforgettable, it's the type of ending that made Fincher being harassed on the street for being cruel and showing that character's head, when in fact, he hadn't. It's the type of power this movie has: to think outside the box and to bring a very sinister, desolate and hopeless experience, smartly but minimalistically crafted aided by very good performances.

The Incredible Melting Man

This incredibly silly movie is... well, incredibly silly. You're gonna love it, if you love incredibly silly stuff. Tell me something that works in this one other than the melting man effects, I dare you. The fail this movie does at everything is truly a marvel to behold. It couldn't be this bad if it was forced, it's so naturally awful it's almost wonderful.

Kick-Ass 2
Kick-Ass 2(2013)
½

Kick Ass 2 could've been an amazing sequel. The potential is all there, and fortunently the new director understood the waaay meaner and distasteful comic, toning it down where it was necessary, since what's in the second comic of this series gets way too horrid.

Unfortunently, the movie tries to pack A LOT into just one hour and forty minutes. It's quite evident from the start that the scenes simply don't breath. It really demands that you've seen the first one to understand these characters, otherwise, you'll just get completly lost. I know that it was trying to move things forward and move on with it to the good bits, but it just didn't work for me. I barely remember any of the secondary cast, the movie was super predictable, unlike the original which was completly bonkers and unexpected, whilst this one played the same notes of the original far too often.

Worse is that the dialogues got much worse and preachy, awfully clichéd. You seriously can't put Hit-Girl saying those distasteful things that way! And I'm obviously not talking about the swearing but the responsability dialogues. Eww.

Also, not enough Jim Carrey. Just when he was starting to grow, he's just out of the picture. It's barely a cameo.

In short, Kick Ass 2 has it's moments but you always want more out of it, never getting it. It tackles what a good sequel should be but it's just so constrained, yet fast paced that it never quite unleashes it's inner fury. A big shame and probably set the final nail in the coffin of a very promising franchise.

Identity
Identity(2003)

The flick was moving at a really decent pace and once the weird shit started to happen, I honestly couldn't get where it was headed, which was excellent until it revealed the twist way too soon. By doing so, some scenes that unfolded would just get ridiculous under the new perspective and was just dragging the movie for too long, because the surprise was thrown out of the window way too son. Still, it is a pretty decent twist that I'm sure got everyone who saw it for the first time, it's just a shame that the reveal was lackluster, deeming the rest of the movie quite forgetable.

The Vampire Lovers
½

Another Hammer films vampire flick, Vampire Lovers is part of the Karnstein trilogy, bearing a lot of sexiness and nuance throughout the whole thing but ends up being repetitive and aimless while at it.

Twins of Evil
½

Twins of Evil is yet another Hammer films vampire flick. Part of the Karnstein trilogy, Twins is nothing more than a vehicle for the awful Collison twins, the first to be featured on the PLayboy magazine. Make no mistake, this is still a very solidly produced flick, everything is detailed and well-handled but just boring and doesn't pay off much in the end.

The legendary Peter Cushing and his lost look towards the whole flick sums up the movie well: "What the fuck am I doing here exacly?"

The Conjuring
½

I really didn't enjoy Insidious. The Conjuring had even better reviews than the aforementioned, so I decided to give it a shot. Maybe my opinion on Insidious was too harsh and everyone else was right about Wan's ability to deliver a modern horror classic. Shit, guess I have to go against the world again. The Conjuring's horrible in every way.

I don't even know where to start but stating the obvious: if you're a seasoned horror fan such as myself you'll get absolutely nothing out of the movie. It's one huge cliché after another from the get go. Worse, is that those clichés could've worked if there was some solid storytelling or atmosphere behind it but there is none. The movie just flows from one familiar setting you've seen thousands of times before into another, barely connecting to one another. I was harsh on The Woman In Black for being too predictable but that movie did a tremendous job on building a dreadful atmosphere at first, with incredible attention to detail. The Conjuring adopts an old-school aesthetic that barely benefits anything in the movie. The camera work is clunky as hell, looking like the guy holding the camera is bumping into stuff all the time; the characterization is a joke, culminating in a boring and dreadful looking exorcism where the best they can offer is a flipping chair; the jump scares are obnoxious, predictable and always seem to revolve around shit hitting wooden doors, or people/birds being tossed around, hitting shit in the process. And if you can tell every kid in the movie from one another, congrats. Needless to say, characters aren't memorable but at least the actors are trying.

Another overhyped fast-food flick that is as easily uncharacteristic as any given Hollywood remake.

Scary Movie 2

And not a single giggle was given...

Predator
Predator(1987)

In an era where the macho movie heroes seemed to be growing as quickly as a fungus, Predator showed up and blew the testosterone bomb like few others. It should've had a sign saying "boys only" as a pride badge on it's chest.

In essence, this is another monster flick, set on a really cool and disorienting scenario, where the characters are picked off one by one, plain and simple. Then, obviously, there's a final clash between the bulkiest hero and our monster that doesn't make much sense, since our hero could've easily escaped sooner. But that would've been a really lame movie.

Predator stands out for having one of the coolest smart aliens in recent memory. The way this guy turns from a "ok, there's a monster lurking" to "holy fucking balls! SHOULDER CANNONS! AWESOME TECH THIS UGLY MOFO HAS!" is just too cool to be dismissed. Not just that, but pretty much every one-liner and joke sticks to your brain forever and ever, giving certain charisma to characters you don't spend much time with but that you remember exacly who they were after many years.

The way the movie transforms into guns blazing action, to stealth thriller is to be commendable as well, keeping nice surprises and tense bits right until the end.

Predator is another fantastic action flick from the 80s, that despite not being very original on it's premise, everything it did, it did so masterfully.

Only God Forgives
½

Part pulp, part exploitation, part Jodorwski, part crime thriller, Only God Forgives is having an ammount of unjustly bad press for simply having a couple of violent scenes, despite sharing exacly the same language as the beloved Drive.

Only God Forgives is definently an uglier brother to Drive, with it's fair share of ambiguous but superbly memorable characters and it's dream/prophetic aesthetic that I'm sure most people will be turned off right from the start. It's a nice study of people's perversion, where no heroes are found, only a bunch of sadistic weirdos pervail on screen. Add another awesome throw of a synth OST by Cliff Martinez into well placed bits and you got a fair share of memorable moments at every turn.

Difficult but hypnotic, this is not another empty pretentious art flick. There's plenty of symbolism and detail to absorb, only if you're onto a specific mindset. The actual weak link is Gosling that doesn't have much to do other than being an even more silent and emotionless cowboy than in Drive. I suppose it works, since the semblance of weirdos keeps floating and growing around, contrasting with his inability to do anything.

Carriers
Carriers(2009)
½

Tackles a lot of interesting aspects during the whole running time, but unfortunently never spends any expanding those ideas, turning the flick into a succession of post-apocalyptic situations you've seen before and better executed as well.

It's still solid enough while it lasts and the performances are decent but not having any strict running thread to hold it together, just make Carriers passable at best. It's a bit of a drag.

Pacific Rim
Pacific Rim(2013)

Del Toro promised a lot and he delivered it like a champ.

Let's get the "bad" stuff out of the way first. This is a narrative aimed for kids. Pure and simple. You will cringe at some dialogues, some over the top moments, way too cool moves and hero like attitude from the actors but that's precisely the point, I guess. This is sort of an Anime aesthetic with flesh and bone actors. Still, Del Toro manages to include, subtely, some of his trademarks, most notably the overly protective fatherly figures, that have consequences and different outcomes for two of the main characters, which came off as a bit of a shocking surprise. Also, something that was done well, was that the narrative gimmicks presented were introduced as a reason to have more badass robot vs kaiju fights. They're not filler, like in the recent broody super hero movies we had to endure. Example: having two pilots piloting a robot, because it's just too overwhelming to do so alone. Also, said pilots need to be compatible by either shared experiences, grief, whatever. That's kinda neat and beautiful, if you put everything under perspective: a thorn apart world, with every nation uniting to fight the bigger evil. It's very light in tone but always fun, charming and easy going. I prefer to pay 10 tickets to see this original movie, than paying another cent for another remake, another super man movie or another disaster movie.

And the goods? Holy fuckin' hairy balls. It has been a while since I had last noticed a crowd genuinely cheering for a well delivered mecha-punch, giggling at something awesome that the kaijus did, on any other recent blockbuster. It's just too fun and awesome for words. Explaining anything would just be a disservice for glorious fight sequences, which actually feel believable and you feel every impact and every blow delivered. This is not Man of Steel, where they're throwing mega punches at each other for 30mins, loosing any impact an audience might have on those sequences, not figuring out it's not working, than at a simple break of a neck solves eevrything. Oh no, in Pacific Rim they take their time but for a whole different reason and when a kaiju has to be put down, he is done so quickly, not to take any chances. It's these details that set Pacific Rim apart. You don't need serious to be awesome/believable, you just need heart and a wonderous sense of fun.

And do yourself a favor, stay until the end of the credits. Best payoff ever.

The Silence of the Lambs
½

A surprisingly constrained direction, mostly consisting of face close ups and steady camera shots, Silence of the Lambs is absolutly magnetic thanks to the amazing chemistry of it's leads, the secondary cast and a really good screenplay.

Every scene is memorable, never failing to be exciting or keep the viewer wondering where it might go next, without forgetting what made the source material so good: the exploration of the psychological aspect of these characters and their respective dynamics.

I really respect and appreciate Hopkin's portrayl of Hannibal Lecter but by reading the books, I never pictured him in such a flamboyant maner, rather as a more calculist, restrained freaky fella, but it works really well on this flick, so who cares. To me, Mads Mikkelsen is the one who truly nailed the Hannibal The Cannibal persona, but it's nice to see every actor who portrayed him, brought something new and exciting to the table.

Fritt Vilt 3 (Cold Prey 3)
½

Wasted potential on a well thought prequel, offering the same as it's predecessors. Good looks, nice enough characters and well pulled tense sequences. I think it's time to end the franchise here, it has nothing more to offer.

Fritt vilt II (Cold Prey 2)
½

As well polished as the original, this sequel is highly entertaining but like it's former franchise starter, it doesn't hold any novelty or surprises to be had. It just looses some points for the last 10 mins being overly silly.

Upstream Color

It took nearly 10 years for Shane Carruth to make another film after the simplistic on it's approach but highly cerebral Primer. It's accessibility was thrown out of the window once you got lost on it's plot devices but it was always something fascinating to endure.

Upstream Color is not easier but it's more appealing on the senses and rewards with multiple viewings. It also has a lot of heart and passion, never treating us like idiots.

The narrative is loose and abstract on it's approach but progresses in a linear fashion. If you pay enough attention you get some wickedly gorgeous moments and you start to "get" this world. It's also poetic, romantic and appealing, despite all the oddity surrounding it.

I would be lying if I said I got all the literature references it makes, but on multiple viewings I got something different out of it and out of all of those, Upstream Color always felt fresh, different and unique on it's own right.

Let's just hope it doesn't take another 10 years for Shane to do something else.

Stoker
Stoker(2013)
½

Park Chan Wook refines his technique with amazing attention to detail on Stoker and a bit more handling on the actor department with good results.

Surprisingly, the script was written by the Prison Break dude and being his first one, it's nice to find an unusual depth as a first timer, giving character to a somewhat difficult film. I say difficult, since these people don't behave in a very "traditional" way but that's the point of it. It's awkward, weird, surrealistic but always engaging. Still, the movie wanders too much on redundancy making it a bit of a drag to endure and a bit more humanity onto the lead would've helped to make a deeper connection with the viewer.

Fritt vilt (Cold Prey)

It hits all the Slasher genre buttons and there isn't a single surprise to be had, but Fritt Vilt is incredibly well polished and engaging to be truly dismissed, featuring great acting, tense sequences, glorious vistas and a fantastic pacing from start to finnish.

Father's Day
Father's Day(2012)
½

Wow! Troma is back with a bang!

I dunno who this Astron 6 collective are, but they are absolute genius. They've captured everything the Grindhouse "stands" for and then some.

There's complete nonsensical segments, hilariously awful dry jokes, allucination bits, over the top gore that made me flinch (and I've seen loads of these), incredibly hard to watch scenes, epic fights, memorable characters and I could go on and on on my favorite bits but they're just too many.

Heck, there's even time to give some depth to pretty much all the characters, despite the type of movie. It shows the true love these guys have towards the genre and it shows on each scene and on each frame.

Despite the brutal and shocking content, I had a frickin huge smile during the whole show. I wish more movies were like this: aware of what they are, never forgetting it's entertainment value.

Punch-Drunk Love
½

You can tell Paul Thomas Anderson is a very talented director when he can put Adam Sandler acting like a champ.

This is (as expected) a very different movie from what PTA had done before, with overal good results. This is a quirky dramedy, with plenty of indie thingies that don't make much sense as it's the trend of the genre, awkward situations, odly but affectingly placed soundtrack and a very nuts storyline where if you try to make much sense of it, it can drive you a bit mad.

But this is Andler's show where he's able to portray darkness, affection, funny moments and an unusual depth that few actors can handle with this material. So, the question is, where the hell was this guy before and what the hell is he doing with his career at the moment? It seems a huge waste of potential but he's probably not the brightest guy to make moves as bold as this one, which only leaves one question: what was on his mind when he accepted being on this one? Endless answers as fascinating and detailed as Punch Drunk Love.

Shotgun Stories

A fantastic debut for Jeff Nichols, Shotgun Stories is a deep atmospheric family thriller, approaching the cause/effect concept through very personal routes, aided by a brilliant lead performance by Michael Shannon.

Try not to know anything from the story when first viewing it, it will just have a whole different impact, I can assure you. A very promising start to an already very good career for the director.

The Burning
The Burning(1981)
½

And under appreciated slasher flick, The Burning has stayed in the shadow of the Friday The 13th series, which is unfortunate since it is a much superior flick.

There's a great sense of fun on this picture, with cool characters, nice locations, inventive shocking deaths and awesome sense of "where will this go next?", which doesn't hold much surprise, of course, since it didn't broke any new ground when it comes to slasher structure.

It's a pretty fun flick while it lasts and was interesting to see Jason Alexandre and Helen Hunt on their debut roles taking the piss out of it.

Mangiati vivi

The italian canibal genre had it's fair share of bad, tasteless, offensive exploitation trash. But Eaten Alive took it into a whole new level, for not just being a really bad movie, but for introducing way too many rape scenes that last forever and are obviously not doing anything into the whole overall arch of the picture.

Hell of the Living Dead (Virus)(Zombie Creeping Flesh)(Zombie Inferno)(Night of the Zombies)

Featuring bland zombies, an awesomely pointless and silly nude scene, boring story that doesn't go anywhere, lush locations and beautiful cinematography, awkward acting and an all over the place message, Hell Of The Living Dead is another sleazy italian zombie flick that's entertaining enough for it's bad bits, which run aplenty. Add some outrageous deaths at the end and this is a "success".

Mama
Mama(2013)

I like when a horror flick tries to do something new with those said "rules" that are so infamously stated on some of the classic masterpieces.

Mama triest that and it works surprisingly well for the first two thirds of the movie. The mistery was well handled, the question as to what was this entity was being good, the slow apparitions were chilling, well pulled jump scares and atmospheric bits, lush cinematography and some decent acting.

Unfortunently when we get to the last act, all of the good bits are contradicted by some way that is just not that good. We get to see waaaay too much of ghost, turning it into a silly antagonist, the story crumbles and stops making much sense when you think too hard, the ending is just awkward and with so many tone shifts that you just don't really know what to feel in the end, the character motivations lack any discernible explanation, amongst other things.

But for the most part, Mama works and holds nice perspectives for Andrés Muschietti future.

Man of Steel
Man of Steel(2013)
½

Look a spaceship! *zoom in*... *another zoom in*... *DRAMATIC ZOOM IN!!*. Repeat this x20.

We were promised Super Man with a Malick approach. We got Michael Bay. Well, not quite, I think I'm being a bit mean, say Bruckheimer or Roland Emmerich, cause I think they're a bit smarter than Bay.

Man of Steel suffers a lot from having the weight of the world on it's shoulders, specially since it's tackling such an iconic and extremely difficult character to put on screen, also bearing in mind the god awful last 3 flicks on the franchise. Also, Smallville was boring as hell, so something had to be done about that as well.

Look, if you're looking for bombastic action, make no mistake. Man of Steel puts most action scenes of recent blockbusters to shame. Not just that, but it'll take something quite spectacular to surpass what's here. It's amazing, creative, exciting and too awesome for words. Coolest Dragon Ball fight scenes you'll ever see, with a ridiculous sense of scale. But it's just that, unfortunently. It also grows tiresome after a while, it's incredibly loud and obnoxious, but in the end, doesn't make much sense and it's dowright dumb on some places. Come on, they're fighting in Smallville, in a heavily populated place and what does the army do? Missile attack with no regard for the safety of the population around. Yeah, it's that kind of movie. It has so much silliness and dumb moments around that just can't go unnoticed that easily. You thought Talia Al Ghul's death was lame on Dark Knight Rises? Wait till you get to the Russel Crowe's hologram... It's embarassing to say the least.

Origins story-wise, it has it's moments but the editing and pacing is so unbalanced and fast, you barely have time to form a connection. Super Man's childhood was in essence one rescue scene after another with some preachy dialogue by his dad later on. Repeat this x6. Oh, and her mom is around, I guess. Females are around I guess, this is a Nolan produced thing after all, don't expect any strong female roles here. Amy Adams is pretty good as Lois Lane, but she doesn't have much to do and her character doesn't evolve at all when the credits start roling. Michael Shannon is obviously the show stealer, playing the duty driven nutjob General Zod with nuance but always exploding when it has to.

Kind of a missed opportunity but Man of Steel tries too many things in a single movie and most of them just end up making little sense or having any impact in the end. It's a bit like Dark Knight Rises with Dragon Ball fighting scenes. Codex say what?

Blood Simple
Blood Simple(1984)
½

A somewhat modest start for the Coens and McDormand, Blood Simple is just incredibly striking on it's simplicity and bleak style.

The brothers already had a knack for interesting shots, being the opening scene proof of that and they made good use of the budget, filming these characterless places with finesse helping a lot this puzzling story that never insults your inteligence but doesn't exacly spell everything in your face.

Boosted by a sleaze performance from M. Emmet Walsh, the rest of the cast is strong enough to complement the rest of movie with a nice bow on top. A very strong start to a very impressive career that just doesn't seem to get any low when it comes to quality and diversity.

Spring Breakers

Imagine you're watching an anti-Malick flick on Spring Breakers. Instead of gratuitous repetitive shots of grass and rivers, get ready for plenty of tittie shots on parties, bikinis, nihilism, repetition and James Franco singing Britney Spears at a piano.

It's strangely hypnotic and polished, with Korine tossing away that ugly, gritty way he had of shooting his previous flicks but don't think for a second he toned down the awful and the unconfortable. He found other (aimless) ways to do so.

It's Korine through and through, with more attention to detail but also repeating itself over and over.

Body Melt
Body Melt(2003)
½

Something along the lines of Bad Taste and Brain Dead, Body Melt wasted it's super tiny budget on repulsive effects but not on much else. There are plenty of humorous bits here and there, completly random moments but it's just a succession of loose threads that are not that interesting to begin with, bringing to surface some rather boring moments and a lackluster conclusion.

Half Nelson
Half Nelson(2006)

A no easy answer character study, Half Nelson is moved by brilliant performances by Gosling and Epps that, surprisingly, don't work for having an interesting arc but rather by making us feel unconfortable on by being put onto their daily routines, addictions and issues. Not having happy endings or many glimpses of hope is the biggest selling point of the flick, which won't be the cup of tea for many viewers but it worked for me. Worth a shot if you're into grittier indie dramas.

Brain Damage
Brain Damage(1988)
½

Leave it to Frank Henenlotter to come up with the craziest premises for horror films. Brain Damage is probably his "masterpiece". It's an incredibly aimless horror movie that works for being so outrageous, funny and oddball, featuring a smooth talking penis like apendage that ejaculates some chemics onto our heroe's brain, causing colorful allucination that he gets addicted to. As payment, our hero must feed brains to our little parasite. Yep, it's that kinda movie, you'll either love it, hate it but you just won't be able to ignore it.

Hatchet III
Hatchet III(2013)
½

A slight improvement over the second installement, thanks to some over the top mayhem that happens right from the start that just doesn't move the series anywhere interesting. It's no longer a drag like the second movie but it's the same shit over and over again. Victor Crowley is nothing more than a Voorhees clone that now even plagiarizes the infamous stand up scene (twice!), being nothing more than a mindless killing machine. And well, sometimes that's just enough.

Star Trek Into Darkness
½

Ahhhh the dumbification of modern blockbusters... getting worse and worse at every turn.

The 2009 Star Trek was a fairly enjoyable reboot, because it was actually more concerned with it's central narrative and characters, even if some of the secondary cast was tossed aside. In Into Darkness (what the fuck is this title suppose to mean anyway?), you're bombarded by references, cameos, action scenes, more cameos, more stuff taken from the original Star Trek with below mediocre results. Why? Because they have pretty much nothing to do with the "story" (if there really is one in here), part of the reason why these elements worked so well on the first flick of this new saga.

You can tell that by the way this villain is used on the film, being no more than a plot device to move things in a superbly dumb fashion from point A to B. He's uncharismatic (not the actor's fault) and most of his scenes are rip-offs from better stuff you've seen in recent films. Yep, here's another villain who got caught on purpose, blatatly saying so but no one even wonders and has a cheesy crying scene in the process.

Needless to say, the secondary cast is tossed aside again (here we have Uhura again bitching about Spock and not doing much else) with Scotty having a bit more screen time and that's actually when the movie livens up.

Into Darkness (WTF is it with this title?!?!?) is a formulaic action movie that doesn't feel like Star Trek at all, trying to be it so hard by shoving down on you inconsequent lore from the original saga that just doesn't make any sense as a well-rounded story. Remember why the reboot worked? Because it stayed away from the original storylines! This is just a pretty looking hollow thing that everyone will forget about real quickly, doing fan service in the process, but poorly.

Star Wars fans, you can start shaking in fear. AGAIN! Muahahaha! JJ's here to dumbify your thing and if he brings Lindelof to do re-writes (or whatever the hell it is he does), with his attention span of a 5-year-old, you're in for a treat.

Cannibal Ferox
½

Yet, another italian cannibal flick that actually has a pretty good idea at it's basis, for what could've been a very good exploration of the city boys vs. the tormented tribe but it quickly descends into exploitation territory with gratuitous animal violence, tasteless deaths and atrocious acting. It's also one of those movies that "steals" scenes and music from other movies. Literally stolen! They are cut from other movies and inserted here for god knows what reason.

A total miss despite the good idea behind it.

Hatchet II
Hatchet II(2010)

At a certain part of the film, a character asks "so it's kinda like Jason Voorhees?"
And you know what? Hatchet II is too much like Friday the 13th series.

The original Hatchet didn't aspired to much but was still an ubber gory slasher that moved at a great pace with nice bits of humor here and there. It was an obvious homage to the old slasher flicks but was incredibly fun at doing so, since it never took itself too serious.

The problem with Hatchet II is that it takes itself too seriously. Sure, there are moments of humor here and there, very unbalanced, working overal for the most part but it wastes so much on "expanding" the mythos of Victor Crowley it just becomes a drag. And it doesn't advance anything at all on the story. Well, the story on this one is just plain stupid and pointless, taking too long to get to the goods anyways.

Fortunently, it delivers on the kills which are brutally satisfying and in large numbers but it all becomes too hollow in the end since there's nothing to care for.

Holy Motors
Holy Motors(2012)
½

The parallels it creates with the "roles" we adopt every day with the work of an actor is fantastic, as is the way it portrays modern technology and it's hollowness applied to the art of modern filmmaking and it's recent lack of ideas. Still, Holy Motors ends up being quite a drag at times, with each segment taking way too long to develop itself. And it usually develops unto obvious pretentious avant-garde territory where it's just too hard to draw any descernible conclusions out of it. It's a shame that these moments happen, because for the most part, Leos Carax manages to say what he means with visual bravado, originality, humor and just plain weirdness, without being too much in your face, aided by a great, multifaceted lead protagonist.

It's all a staged show. When moments that don't seem to be "acted" show up, you think you're having a glimpse at the true character of Oscar (awesome name choice, don't think it's arbitrary), it's still a staged event to something funny/weird coming up. Fortunently, the movie has a sense of humor and it's good to see it doesn't take itself too serious.

Holy Motors is worth admiring for not just being a visual treat but for also having something poignant to say, even amidst all the strange avant-garde set ups. It just doesn't have that extra emotional depth and connection to the viewer, to truly elevate it to higher marks like say, Mulholland Drive or The Holy Mountain.

V/H/S/2
V/H/S/2(2013)
½

More consistent on it's approach than the first one, thanks to cool POV style that is explored on almost all the segments, better acting, gorier segments and some nicely pulled jump scares, VHS2 is a treat for fans of horror bringing a lot of variety to the table. That's obviously where the flaws reside, you will either like most, none, one or two, etc. It's not guaranteed you'll love them all but I'm sure there's something for everyone here. And, well, Safe Haven just steals the show on it's maddening crescendo of gore, creepiness and very well executed story. Pretty sure this is the one everyone will like, stealing the show and keep people talking about it for a long while.

Inseminoid (Horror Planet)

Another Norman J. Warren movie that hates women, this Alien rip-off sets a pregnant woman on an hysterical murdering rampage that thinks it's smart on doing this twist, since she was raped by an Alien (on a rather explicit and tasteless scene). Yeah, it doesn't make any sense. The actors don't help as well, since they're awful beyond belief and they have to utter the stupidest dialogues one can imagine.

This guy never made a decent movie in his life. Hell, check Ed Wood, he has a rather horrible career but at least it's fun to watch his movies. The problem is that Norman J. Warren was clearly a misogynist that had something against women and his bad movies are nowhere near the enjoyable thanks to these approaches.

Cidade de Deus (City of God)

The brazillian Goodfellas.

An incredibly acted movie (where most of the actors were amateurs pulled from the slums of Cidade de Deus), City of God also succeeds for it's incredible frenetic pace, amoral/cynical look of the lives on a favela but always with a human touch behind it. The way violence keeps getting more and more dismissed by each generation that comes by (specially on the last shot of the movie) is chilly, brutal and unforgiving. The perfect balance between an originally well told story, pitch perfect editing, incredible pace, fantastic performances, immense quotable moments, plenty of entertaining segments well ballanced with the brutality of this way of life, City of God is an instant classic and one of the best and most important flicks of the last decade.

Beyond the Time Barrier

The science part that sets this pic into motion is actually pretty cool and well thought but the execution is lame, with cardboard sets that are horrible to look at and it just drags forever and ever, never really going anywhere or giving any decent payoff in the end. This what b-movies in the 60s looked like.

Happiness
Happiness(1998)
½

Probably one of the most unconfortable movies ever made, Happiness is still an amazingly well crafted dark comedy with plenty of laughs and memorable moments. The super clean, steady cinematography with the bright/boring colors of the american suburbs works wonders to create the right tone for these depressing characters, with very few likeable ones that you can't connect to.

It's not asking you to sympathize with these sexual perverts but by giving them some sort of humanization even on excruciating moments, is what sets it apart from all it's peers, never giving you an easy answer in the process.

Easter Bunny, Kill! Kill!
½

A sleaze ultra low budget slasher, Easter Bunny Kill! Kill! is just a bit dull till it gets to the actual killing but fortunently it delivers later on. It has a certain awful humor vibe à lá Troma but it just drags for too long, just like the movie.

The Recruit
The Recruit(2003)

The CIA recruiting was kinda neat at first, even if it feels not very plausible, I was entertained but then it relied later on twists and turns that everyone saw coming, leaving room for subpar acting, boring story and not much entertaining sequences towards the end.

Under the Bed

Was this ever bad... The acting and dialogue are beyond atrocious, it made me cringe everytime these actors opened their mouth. I actually felt embarassed for them. Wouldn't be a problem if the movie wasn't such a drag that doesn't go anywhere, featuring a bland monster that feeds on dead tissue (???), hides under a bed and also behind a shit ton of plot holes and inconsistencies that make little sense in the end.

There's some solid deaths in the end but the set up is so stupid they become quickly laughable.

"RUUUUUUUUUUUUNNNNNNNNNNNN!!!!!" - dad with male boobs
so so bad...

Side Effects
Side Effects(2013)
½

An interestingly built thriller with something poignant to say, Side Effects works for it's ability to surprise with clever twists, but often shoots in a lot of directions, not exploring some of it's narrative threads in depth as it should've.

I'm not usually a fan of Soderbergh's documentary approach to his most recent endeavours but here it works, since he gives more room for his characters to explore each other, always with a clynical, realistic and moody approach to what's happening around them.

Jude Law is appropriately obsessive, Zeta-Jones creepy for all the right reasons and Rooney Mara steals the show with a semi-scary role, with a lot of nuance and attention to detail, prooving that the Oscar nod wasn't in vain.

Friday the 13th

Much like the Texas Chainsaw remake by Marcus Nispel, this is a flick with a lot of attention detail, lush cinematography and should have some props for trying to do something different with the original story, modernizing it a bit.

Unfortunently, the rest is shallow as hell, the "acting" gets on the nerves of everyone, the killings are bland and insipid and it's just one massacre after another with not much else going on, asides from a bulking menacing presence of Jason murdering horny teens, giving room for his awesome teleportation skills to be showcased in between kills.

If you're up for mildly amusing humor, titties aplenty and below mediocre kills, you can't go wrong with this one.

Resolution
Resolution(2013)

A nicely thought concept, executed with a lot of attention to detail that suffers from it's ubber small budget that give away dead moments and humor that is just not funny and doesn't work to keep the mistery alive. The "twist" was decent even if heavy handed, when the rest of the picture was subtle on exploring it's mysteries and concepts.

When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth
½

Wow, what a corny cheesy movie!

This is such a silly concept to start with that it could've been slightly more fun if it didn't take itself seriously at all. Tribesmen offer blondes (yes, hair color racism right there) to the sun, since there's some sort of curse on it. It's all very vague because everyone talks on a cave men language that sound like babies talking to one another. Not sold yet? How about cheesy stop motion dinossaurs, cave men romance and skimpy leather bikins? Come on...

It's a nice one to watch with your friends, to play a game of "did I spot a nipple right there". Seriously, those furkinis couldn't be any tighter if they tried to.

Texas Chainsaw

I had to see this one to see how further they have butchered one of my favorite horror flicks of all time. And why the fuck have I did so...

Seriously, this is one of the worse things I ever laid my eyes on and if you check my profile here on Rotten, you know I know my fair share of cheese and bad movies.

Everything that this movie does, it just fails at it. At everything, really. The story is pathetic and you can tell that the people who made this have the IQ of cave men (and that's being depreciative for cave men), by the way the timeline is established. Seriously the protagonist oughta be like 39, 40 years old, since it is made very clear by the intro that this was a direct sequel of the original (1974) and on present date, she's a lame 22 year old youngster, that is around for gratuitous titty, belly and butt shots. Actually, all the main actors are in this for that, pointless sexiness.

The acting is atrocious. Everything that is said or done made me cringe. It's just so stupid whatever any of these people do, I couldn't believe half of them really happened. Seriously, there's a scene of a police live streaming via CELLPHONE that is being recorded by the other officers... That should've taken a lot of memory, even on a 4G cell phone, just saying. But this is a movie where people hide in caskets to escape a chainsaw wielding maniac, so what the fuck do I know about logic.

Also, this has a twist that I'll ruin for you, because it's equally atrocious and you must know about it. Leatherface turns into an anti-hero, teaming up with our sexy protagonist (which is his cousin, by the way) who had been tormeted the whole movie by him, but deep down, family bonds raise to the surface and she understands him in the end, doing some killing on her part as well. WHAT?

I'll leave you with this finnishing note to reflect.

Pumpkinhead
Pumpkinhead(1988)

An interesting morality tale that sets up quite nicely it's premise but plays safe for the most part. One thing that is quite striking on this one is how Stan Winston backed of a lot on showing the creature and making something cooler out of it, which is a shame. Hell, I think he wasn't even involved on the making of it, go figure why. A passable but entertaining psychological horror flick.

Satan's Slave (Evil Heritage)
½

Despite the interesting title, there's very few satanic imagery or disturbing stuff going on. It's actually a pretty boring flick that uses exploitation on women both sexually and with violence (on a distasteful way) to try to show us something "exciting" every now and then, which just doesn't work at all. This guy Norman J. Warren definently had something against women and that is shown through his career, quite remarkably on the equally awfull Inseminoid.

Positive thing in this movie: soundtrack is lush, sexy, misterious and always interesting when on display.

Jurassic Park III

A small improvement over The Lost World, this third iteration manages to capture a bit the magic of the first flick, thanks to a bit more focus on the characters and some nice references here and there. Plus, it manages to infuse some much welcomed humor in the mix that the overly serious TLW was lacking severely, even if you have to stand a very annoying Téa Leoni.

It's very formulaic and doesn't offer anything new to the formula but it's still very fun to watch and the dinossaurs become the real stars quickly enough and that's why you payed the ticket in the first place. Mindless entertainment that works.

The Dark Knight Rises
½

*mild spoilers ahead*
Please indulge my little review on TDKR to be a little personal rant on some aspects that have given me some apprehension lately towards big budget movies of well-established universes/characters.

The internet is a wonderful tool for cinema. We can find people from all over the world being passionate about what we love as well and discuss it thoroughly, discovering things we never knew existed on the pieces of art we've grown to admire. But as with everything, it also brought the worse of it: extreme scrutiny for certain franchises and downright obsession and fanboyism that I can only describe as Nazism at times. Movies like Prometheus and TDKR have been the latest victims for better and worse. Prometheus touched on one of the most influential movies ever made, directed by the guy who created it. Anticipation was massive. Plot speculations were immense and once the first trailers started popping in, people already knew the story from start to finish. Obviously it was a bit of a letdown on a somewhat pretty good movie, I loved it more the second time and I can't wait to rewatch and discover more on it, nevertheless the "disappointment" was what was installed in people's heads because they knew too much and couldn't possibly live to the outrageous anticipation it earned. Rants of plot holes are everywhere and TDKR apparently suffers from it, which is false.

Does it have holes on the story? Sure it has, it has plenty but they aren't as hurtful as some of these immense geeks have claimed them to be. Most are rushed narrative choices to keep the story going. You really wanted to see a scene where Bruce Wayne found it's way to Gotham just to have more logic? Would it help the movie? Isn't he a genius, ninja, playboy with loads of Money? Wasn't that explored so well on the previous movies? Plot holes is what existed in the latest Amazing Spider-Man, where one of the main human villains simply vanishes from the story without a single trace or resolution. THAT is a plot hole, not why the bandits haven't found the Batwing sooner or what do the goggles from Selina do. It just seems that everyone wants over exposition on everything and can't appreciate some more vague elements on a story that won't help a bit to it. Another rant was aimed towards the villain(s) plans. Isn't it obvious? Bane makes a perfect statement of it early on. The whole 5 months siege is evil as fuck: people are suffering but they still believe they can be saved when that motherfucker is in total control and will blow the city anyways. It's a really good point that those angry fanboys have missed. Is it well executed? Not really. Focusing on Batman's miraculous recovery was almost painful, bringing almost to top, like a hard turd on a swimming pool the worse cheesy moments of Begins. It also doesn't work because of the poor structuring of the movie and it's editing. Not the plot, the plot is actually really good and full of subtext but why do we have to see the "Batman" character "rise" twice in the movie on almost the exact same way? It is unnecessary and breaks the pace sometimes immensely, giving room for some moments on the story that feels a bit loose on some of the secondary characters. Also, not showing a bit the panic that must've undergone during the siege was lame, only bits were not enough.

Fortunately one of the virtues of the movie was the always panned from the start villain, Bane. Tom Hardy does a terrific job and he fortunately isn't even trying to top Heath Ledger's previous effort. The man gave one of the most memorable performances of the decade if note ever, it was impossible to top. People should learn how to separate things because they seem to be forgetting that The Dark Knight was riddled with "holes" as well but ever since The Joker was on screen all that was forgotten. For heaven's sake, TDK opens up with an helicopter shot and you can see the helicopter reflected on a building.... way to go to start off with a "plot hole", eh peepz?

The Dark Knight Rises is a monumental effort and accused the pressure at times but it's still a damn good movie and loads of fun to watch, with always something relevant to say, paying tribute to these fascinating characters that by the way, are really well acted by the whole cast. Pretty much everyone around me was tear jerking on one particular scene, it is that good. Is it better than Begins? Very much so. Better that Dark Knight? Not quite but close, just lacking that legendary performance but that happens once every 10 years.

Fanboys, if you're so intelligent on spotting mistakes and coming up with better solutions/stories, invest your time on writing movie scripts, doing visual effects, sound design, whatever. Stop complaining and do something with your time other than creating dedicated blogs to pan people's years of work for the tiniest insignificant reasons.

Megaforce
Megaforce(1982)

Megaforce? Megafail!

It's awesome to watch this movie just to see it failing at pretty much everything. It's incredible how nothing bloody works in this. But unlike some of it's peers, it's actually light and you can have some fun watching it on how bloody awful it is. It's still has a soundtrack that has some golden moments but nothing to go crazy about.

High Tension (Switchblade Romance)
½

Using it's title to almost unbearable levels, Haute Tension is an incredibly gory slasher that uses all the gimmicks in the book to great effect. The high levels of violence will immediately turn off the majority of viewers but the true star is the incredible use of suspense, aided by some awesome sound design and original soundtrack. All this could've been blown out of the water if the actors weren't good and they deliver for the most part. Which unfortunently are hurt on their performance thanks to some god awful dubbing (in the original french language, mind you!) at certain parts.

The twist is now infamous, maybe rightfully so, maybe not. After watching it for the second time, some elements regarding the twist work wonders, while others just don't make any bloody sense, which is a shame cause it could've been an element to separate Haute Tension from all the other slashers out there.

A different approach on the ending could've helped. Since it's implied our main character told the story to someone, an approach of whenever someone tells a tale, it's always exhagerated to make it sound more awesome and that could've been a nice gimmick to the audience, saying something in the process (i'm thinking to justify this, the over the top car chase, which didn't really happen if you think of it). But no, it's all left a bit dry in the end.

Hell, all this is a bit secondary when the image of a buzzsaw coming to a guy's chest in full detail still sticks in your head after all these years, with that humming depressing drone in the background, while the killer taunts the other victim on the backseat. That's the true power of Aja's images on this one.

The Lost World - Jurassic Park
½

An unnecessary sequel that despite having awesome looking dinossaurs at every turn, doesn't really go anywhere. The plot is non-existant, so all you have left is a bunch of pretty spectacular dinossaur action.

Proof of that is the human characters which are just boring beyond belief, it doesn't feel like a Spielberg flick at all. The ideas are there: the mercenaries vs. tree-hugging scientists were a good idea to create some nice grey areas in between but it's all wasted.

The San Diego scene sums up this movie perfectly. It's completly unnecessary and pointless but it's fun as hell nonetheless.

Thesis
Thesis(1996)
½

The debut flick for Alejandro Amenábar had a budget of 600 and unfortunently it shows a bit too often which hurts the flick to some extent: the soundtrack is pretty lame, visually it's pretty boring to look at and the settings are a bit too clean and unmemorable.

However, he manages to capture our attention surprisingly well with this snuff investigation story, keeping us guessing until the end, featuring a handful of memorable scenes and performances, tying everything up with some nice commentary on our obsession with violence and of what draws us to it.

A very confident debut to a director that would sign some upcoming very interesting movies.

Captain Kronos - Vampire Hunter

A smart take on the vampire lore genre, Captain Kronos doesn't give the attention to the said vampires but onto the bigger than life protagonist with a nicely engaging story and a fair share amount of memorable moments.

It also features a lot of disposable scenes, the setting is pretty boring and uninspired but it still manages to complete the b-sleaze aesthetic it carries nicely enough.

Mountain of the Cannibal God (La montagna del dio cannibale) (Primitive Desires) (Slave of the Cannibal God)
½

Yet another cannibalistic flick from Italy, Mountain Of The Cannibal God assembles a rather impressive cast with awful results. It's a movie that doesn't say anything at all and doesn't have a point at all. You can see that by the gratuitous shots of animal violence that add nothing to the flick and are only there for shock value. The rest is just an incoherent mess that drags on forever and not even by having a female protagonist in it, changes anything (cause it certainly had that potential with Ursula Andress aboard). Avoidable shock flick.

The Exterminator
½

This movie became infamous for exploitative scenes of violence and gore... that don't happen at all, they're mostly suggestive but whatever.

The gritty tone of Exterminator sets it apart from most vigilante based 80s flicks, which is an immediate turn off for the majority of audiences but it's not on this approach that the movie fails. It's on an unbalanced script that's more concerned on punishing detestable characters and not having a more evolving story in the process. Hell, the motive that sets the Exterminator on a rampage is not that shocking and the post-war Vietname stress the main character is suffering from seems to get lost on his motives too.

A failed opportunity.

Galaxina
Galaxina(1980)

To say that Galaxina fails at everything, is actually an understatement.
This sci-fi spoof actually looks pretty good but it fails miserably at humor, references, acting, dialogues and dear lord what the fuck were they thinking with the pacing of this. NOTHING happens for literally 30 minutes. NOTHING. And when it does, you just want it to finnish and end your misery in the process.

Hell, the titular character is not even the main characters and only utter two or three sentences on the whole movie. She's kinda hot though, as a playmate, she's actually fine and I can't say that for 90% of other Playboy bunnies.

Yes, I ended up a review praising a Playmate for being of my liking, I really can't find many positive things in this, sorry.

Futureworld
Futureworld(1976)
½

An unworthy sequel to Westworld, Futureworld is bland as hell.
There are no memorable scenes whatsoever, action sequences are something out of the 20s, actors all seem bored and don't deliver an gist of emotion, overlong, the plot despite having great ideas, doesn't go anywhere and so on and so on.

A complete miss and a bit of an insult to the original's extravaganza.

Bug
Bug(1975)

I was actually enjoying this one at first but it just grows tedious beyond belief. The dialogues become a snore fest, the plot moves nowhere and it just doesn't go over the top like it could've. It also has a way too serious tone for a movie that is, essentially, about bugs that set shit on fire with their asses.

Iron Man 3
Iron Man 3(2013)
½

It's still more of the same but this time, it features some rather smart commentary on the obsession that the media have on a certain terrorist figure and the obsession that is created through it. All this doesn't become intrusive at all in the narrative because it's still played with an easy going tone and tight action sequences.

Still, it's a movie that tries to pack way too many elements into it's story and by consequence, many secondary characters come and fly-by too quickly and some plot threads are only approached with too much lightness. A longer running time could've helped this one a lot, since Tony Stark's vulnerability was becoming interesting and the interaction with the many characters too.

In essence, Iron Man 3's story isn't new. It uses tons of tricks used before in the super-hero genres without bringing much novelty to the mix. Don't go too far, check The Dark Knight Rises' plot and cross reference it with this one, it's very very similiar but all it does, it does so with a light a fun tone that sets it apart from many other peers.

The Place Beyond The Pines
½

Following up Blue Valentine wasn't going to be an easy task, so Derek Cianfrance did the smart choice and shifted gears with pretty good results.

The Place Beyond The Pines is a crime drama, tackling family issues, cause and consequence and the passing of our sins to the next generation. The generational approach is great and the impact of the first switch is dazzling but as it goes, it starts to loose interest, since we had such a great climax beforehand. I think that if the approach was handled on the two later storylines similiarly to Blue Valentine or 21 Grams, would've worked better, since both stories are undeniably well handled but missed having a climax as powerful as the first iteration.

Still, this moody flick is a very interesting follow-up from a director that should be watched closely for it's qualities at handling a cast and being humane without being overbearing, with his very characteristic realistic approach.

Hostel
Hostel(2006)

Eli Roth knows it's horror. It's knowledge on the genre is undeniable but as craftsman he still leaves a lot to be desirable. That knowledge helped a lot on the inception of Hostel: the premise is original, having a bunch of pricks as protagonists was spot-on, treating Europe as a shady place is somewhat questionable but the beating on american culture and consumerism pays of later on.

It's just a shame that the script and dialogues are so poor and drag on for too long. Come on, this is a typical old school video nasty flick, brought to modern audiences with all the best tool availables (Greg Nicotero anyone?), then why the hell have you backed of on the gore so much? Horror fans have flocked to see this one given the awesome promotion it had, sick and twisted posters and frightening premise but all that has kinda been thrown out of the window. The torture scenes work for some extent, because they are tense and leave some to your imagination. The ambiance is well handled and the desperation palpable but we can't really connect too well with these characters all that much. Fortunently, it drops some very dark and twisted humor after the nastiness is introduced that saves the movie to some extent.

The material is there, but it's not handled well. Hostel could've easily been a subversive take on the genre, criticizing it by showing too much nastiness, even by horror fans standards but also, with a polished plot, make it's good ideas work much better and making it's message come across. Like so, it doesn't stand above the rest of the lot.

Hostel Part II

Much like the first Hostel flick, Part II is another missed opportunity. It travels the same familiar ground of the original for far too long (fuckin' hell, just give us some casual deaths at first and enough with these fuckin' boring dialogues and characters!!), not adding too much in the process. Again, the elements are there: having an all female cast could've sent a very anti-misogyny message, like the old revenge flicks from the 70s but no, having these or male characters would've been the same. The improvement over the details of how the organisation works was becoming very interesting but all is tossed out of the window for more bland and pointless dialogue and only a couple of gory segments. Another miss for a very good idea.

The Mutations
½

Freakmakers is a one of a kind flick. It's not that great but it's certainly unique to some extent. Taking a cautionary tale with sci-fi aesthetics, it's also not afraid to tackle cheesy b-monster flick later on with a certain noir vibe all in the mix. Yes, it's that weird with so much going on and also unintentionally funny at times. It has some gorgeous timelapse shots throughout, that work wonders to create a contrast once the shit hits the fan. You can tell by these little aspects that the director has the picture under control, even if those time lapse shots last almost 10mins (!!!) in the opening credits alone. Wouldn't hurt if it didn't take itself so serious but it works for the most part.

Last House on Dead End Street

An awfully constructed video nasty, LHODES is a shockingly gory flick with a fantastic atmosphere that actually manages to say something in the process, even if most of the message gets lost on it's exploitation. The avalanche of grain on the picture and popcorn sounds on the audio only add to the opressive atmosphere, giving the feeling you're watching something forbidden indeed.

Daughters of Darkness (Les lèvres rouges)

An extremely elegant slow-burner vampire flick, Daughters of Darkness utilizes all the sexiness found in the vampire world, applied to this sex thriller, featuring the Báthory Erzsébet mythos. Don't think that despite having that mynth as a basis to construct the narrative that this is a blood bath, by the contrary, the director is much more concerned with atmosphere and mistery on this one, having fantastic and horrible performances by the cast to back it all up.

Teeth
Teeth(2007)

I should've known from the start that such a high critic score on Rotten Tomatoes for a horror flick is extremely suspicious, but still it got my attention.

Problem is, there's nothing right and wrong with Teeth. It's just a completly bland experience where the characters have absolutly no arc, the gore is not that good, the jokes are non-existant, the point it tried to make about woman's (or teenagers) wake to sexuality is a complete miss (and disrespectful at that), overly long, convuluted and plagued with atrocious characters at every turn.

Despite the crazy premise, it just doesn't offer anything new and is played safe beyond belief.

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
½

Call me a deranged loonatic, but this is definently not the worse Indy flick despite all it's madness. It's just a bit schizophrenic on it's approach but it's definently a superb adventure flick.

Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is shamelessly old-fashioned on the best ways possible. It's an Indiana Jones flick that could've easily been made right after The Last Crusade that it would blend seamlessly 20 years ago. The plot is very similiar to the previous flicks, with tons of exposition as expected but it's a blast from start to finnish and Ford seems to be having tons of fun with it's hat and whip back. Not just that, but this time the secondary cast is pretty good, with Cate Blanchett being such an old-fashioned villain it's hilarious to watch her, almost straight out of a 30s flick. Bringing back Karen Allen as Marion was immensily enjoyable and her dynamic with Ford was untouched, giving room for some of the best moments on the flick even if they're so little and everyone wanted a bit more of interaction between these two. Shia is not bad either on an adequate role for him.

Problem is, the first three Indys were an ingenious mix of pratical effects and live settings that were palpable and believable at every turn. KOTCS has an avalanche of bad CGI, where most of it was completly unnecessary. Come on! Some of the best moments in the first three flicks were the usage of real animals to create those unforgetable moments in the lost temples. CGI scorpions, ants, monkeys and prairie dogs (?) are fake as hell and completly loose the impact it should've had! Not just that, but the jungle chase sequence despite being super imaginative and fun for the most part is just badly done. The first chase in the movie involving a bike, cars and some REAL settings was stunning and was much less elaborate than this one. Hell, take Mad Max II and it's climatic chase sequence that was much better realized with stunts, explosions, real cars and real settings, turning it into an amazing unforgetable experience that actually beats this one right of the water, despite being made over 20 years ago. Add some outrageous moments like surviving a nuclear blast and you start to question some decisions but they're not as bad as some people make it to be, since this is an Indiana Jones flick after all, that has excesses at every turn. It's a shame that these elements were included because they're distracting for the worse reasons.

Still, KOTCS is a very fun ride from start to finnish and a worthy addition to the saga.

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

A much better improvement over the shallow Temple of Doom, The Last Crusade features some hilarious chemistry between Connery and Ford, some super fun action sequences and that sense of wonder and discovery the Raiders of The Last Ark had. There's still plenty of over exposition at every turn and some action set pieces feel a bit forced and pointless to the narrative but are fun nonetheless. Also, unlike Temple, you can see at every turn that everyone involved is having a blast and that comes across to us, the viewer as well. There could've been a couple more Indy flicks right after this one that I wouldn't mind, but the sense of closure it brought was right enough.

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
½

A very shallow and unnecessarily dark sequel (or prequel if you must) that adds absolutly nothing relevant to the Indiana Jones saga. The secondary characters are an annoyance and the plot very linear with wimsy bits of racism here and there, though I think they were unintentional. You can tell this movie is pretty aimless by the first 20ish minutes wich are no more than a succession of action sequences that have nothing to do with anything. Hell, no one seems to be having any resemblance of fun in the movie at all while it lasts and that says something.

Still once you get into the temple itself, there are some pretty ingenious settings and action sequences. The damn bugs and the trap that happens at the same time is still amazing and what comes after is pretty fun as well.

Must've been a bit of a cash grab for all involved and the discarded ideas for this prequel seemed much more fun and better realized (lost dinossaur valley? I'd be so into it...).

Maniac
Maniac(2013)
½

This is one of the rare remakes that actually manages to surpass the original, while paying tribute, bringing new things to the table and correcting what made the original confusing at times.

Whilst the original was pretty aimless at times, specially during the middle section, this remake explores what the other kept more vague (in order to throw in some pointless deaths, which was what broke the pace), specially the troubled protagonist, it's insecure sexuality and mommy issues. It works wonders on keeping things interesting and creepy while it lasts, backed up by the very impressive use of POV perspective. It's unconfortable for all the right reasons and you definently feel in the Maniac's perspective. Elijah Wood seems to have a knack for portraying creepy serial killers and he's a winner here too. His lead female partner is not too bad either but could've been a bit less cliché.

However, some silliness unsues at times, specially towards the end, which wasn't necessary at all. The whole sequence before you arrive at the true ending is just a bit over the top. Logic gaps here and there prevent this one to be a really good flick, but for a first time directorial debut, this guy shows balls, has all the technical skills required and manages to "humanize" the monster with smarts. Definently looking forward to the next one.

Frogs
Frogs(1972)

It's a movie that features killer frogs. Frogs! What did you expect?

Raiders of the Lost Ark

You can tell any movie is a masterpiece if it passes the test of time and boy, does Raiders of the Lost Ark passed it with distinction.

It's still an immensely entertaining ride, filled with gorgeous settings, smart and light jokes, good characters, nice sense of adventure and mistery and just plain fun while it lasts, never taking itself very seriously. It's also shockingly violent at times and couldn't help but feel it that that violence is a bit out of place. The tense sequences involving snakes and deadly traps are much more effective than that bit of sleazy violence, but since this is a tribute to all adventure movies that happened before it, even to shlock b trash, it only adds to the mythos like a pro.

The Lords of Salem
½

Hey! Rob Zombie man! Is this actually a comedy disguised as a horror movie? Shit... guess not...

I usually don't mind when a director changes his approach on a beloved genre. I never really enjoyed any of his previous movies but he had some raw and visual quality to them, which made me believe he could pull something interesting off sooner or later but The Lords Of Salem is just awful.

It's unintentionally hilarious, from the opening scene, to the awful effects (midgets on boring costumes that shriek some strings sounds when they walk), to atrocious acting (dude, your wife is just that: YOUR WIFE, definitely not an actress, take your ginormous ego aside and cast someone proper next time), to horrible dialogues, to wasted cameos, to lack of suspense, to childish humor (priests receiving blow jobs and waking statues of bishops), to boring clichés and lack of atmosphere, to tribute scenes that are forced and pointless and so on and so on. And how dare you to fuck up so badly The Velvet Underground's tunes on your turd disguised as a movie! How dare you!

A complete misfire in every sense of the word. Save for some interesting cinematography, this is an empty as hell experience. Witches, hell and Satan should definitely be more fun that this... And I'm pretty sure that Satan doesn't look like something out of the Alien universe...

To The Wonder
½

Less ambitious than Tree Of Life, To The Wonder essentially only tackles love and relationships the same way Terrence Malick did before, so if you weren't afraid of the abstract narrative of the aformentioned, you won't appreciate much what's here.

Known for not being much of an actors director, that is very evident in To The Wonder. Amanda Peet, Jessica Chastain amongst other towering actors were completly cut from the movie. Ben Affleck only utters one or two sentences and Olga Kurylenko looks really good on summer dresses. Javier Bardem is actually a nice presence and you can feel by his looks and pose that this man has completly lost it's faith and feels hopeless all the way.

It's the marriage between the strong images, music and actors that truly sets it apart. This is a movie that will work like others didn't in silent spaces and contemplative moments. Sure, sometimes it feels like you're watching a perfume add and human beings simply don't spin around that much in public, but this naive feeling works wonders on tackling subjects such a love, romance, relationships and so on, like few others can. It's pure, emotional, spiritual and if you're open minded enough, you will be dragged onto the feelings it's portraying on a way you didn't think it was possible.

Brainstorm
Brainstorm(1983)

A sci-fi flick riddled with excellent ideas, executed rather well by the cast and interesting raw machines sfx and allucinations/first-person perspectives that is just too rigid on it's execution. The editing is so precise and analytical that makes it hard to follow these characters properly. The pacing is a bit off at times and the last "heist" segment just didn't cut it for me. Given the troubled production this movie had going, it's no surprise that there's a whole "let's just finnish this quickly" vibe going by, which is a shame cause this had the potential to have something special going like, say, Altered States for a broader audience. Missed opportunity.

La casa sperduta nel parco (House on the Edge of the Park)
½

Pure exploitation trash that is actually more of a letdown because this was the movie Ruggero Deodato made right after the nasty Cannibal Holocaust. Unlike it's predecessor, which used very violent imagery to raise some poignant questions and make us extremely unconfortable in the process, House on The Edge Of The Park is devoided of any meaning other than featuring some awful rape sequences and a revenge twist later on. Not because these scenes are explicit (because they´re not), it's more given the fact that the behaviour of these characters is so ridiculous that it never feels raw, believable or gritty enough to make any sort of connection. It tries to give a Straw Dogs thingy on some aspects but it misses the mark completly.

The Dictator
The Dictator(2012)

After an unmemorable and banal start, I was afraid this was gonna be another flop like the Ali G movie but fortunently things pick up later on, having wit, smart premise, well thought jokes and outrageous moments aplenty as well. Good to see that Cohen can actually have a more story driven afair with his type of humor but it's not quite there yet. Still, Aladeen is another memorable role for him and I hope we get to see some more of it either on this format or another.

Creepshow
Creepshow(1982)

Two of Horror's most prominent figures team-up for this wildly uneven (it's an anthology after all) but always fun to watch Creepshow. Romero is having a blast directing this, paying tribute to the 50s pulp magazine that pretty much influenced all of his career and King is also having plenty of fun writing witty dialogues for this very strong cast. He even acts in one of the stories! With pretty horrible results but that's part of the fun.

There's a bit for everyone here, psychological terror, ghosts, zombies, monsters and bugs... plenty of bugs!

The Beaver
The Beaver(2011)

A crazy concept, executed superbly well and acted accordingly from the cast, The Beaver is touching but it's also played too safe, featuring some poor decisions later on. It's not surprising but it's interesting while it lasts, with the exception of Jennifer Lawrence's and Anton Yelchin's storyline which is just silly and not very plausible (even when the main premise is so implausible!), a shame because the duo actually tries hard but their side-story never fully connects with the main plot.

Outing
Outing(1987)
½

A cheesy poorly made b-horror flick, that features an interesting creature (even when it babbles uncomprehensible stuff), has some cool death scenes but it's just overly long and features an high school "drama" that is tacky beyond belief.

Safety Not Guaranteed

Another quirky indie comedy drama that is actually passable, thanks to some pretty good performances by the lead trio, well written dialogues and some well handled humor. Though, as usual with this type of movies, you must have a rather big suspension of disbelief towards the way some of the characters interact and how certain events unfold.

Frailty
Frailty(2002)
½

A psychological thriller that puts you into some rather difficult shoes, with a tight script, very good performances and some well-pulled twists. It's also very clunky on it's execution, gets a bit repetitive in the middle and surprisingly, Bill Paxton as an actor on this one is pretty forgetable. Not sure if I wanted a more crazed religious zealot in the role, or a more calm and constrained maniac but he didn't impressed me that much, on a portrait that should've definently be a bit more memorable than this.

Silent Running

A good thematic approach to sci-fi, handled with superb special effects and a strong lead performance (which is pretty much the only performance of the movie) that just gets uncredibly preachy and cheesy when it didn't need to. It's also overly long and pointless at times, when it should've been the opposite. The desperation of the lead doesn't really come across as often as it should've but all in all, a solid effort.

John Dies at the End
½

After a very promising start, this wacked out experience turns into an alien-multi-dimension noir thriller, with horror elements, dark humor, plenty of gore, outrageous moments, bad special effects, completly over the top or ridiculous roles that appear miscast and much more. Confused? You should be. There's just so many things tangled up in this one, sometimes it's hard to keep track at if this is trying to be a story driven thriller, a bunch of random segments stitched together, a horror flick or something else different. I think it aimed for the later but the super tiny budget didn't help this much but it's energetic when it has to be and features some laugh out loud memorable moments to be just dismissable. It's different from many other peers but with an entertainment value in mind and that is always a plus. Think of Scott Pilgrim with no budget, on hardcore hallucinatory mushrooms and with the blood faucet on.

Evil Dead
Evil Dead(2013)

Oh Sam Raimi, you big sellout you. Firstly, one too many Spider-Man sequel, now a little Disney rape and producing what made you famous in the first place (and rightfully so)?

Much has already been said about these plank-headed characters, which wouldn't be a problem if things were just into "place" later on, which they aren't... oh no they're not, far from it.

The drug-head plot gimmick is a nice one but is never fully explored as with many other things in the movie. Exposition runs HEAVY at every turn, going to extents on having RED CAPITAL letters written on the damned book to Stay Away From It, Do Not Read It, bla bla bla. Book which is now called Blagsadhdvysv LKAGSjgfsdvy for God knows what reason. Obviously these idiots read it, duh. Actually, the cathedratic teacher does so! It's the dumbest and most awful actor of the bunch, I'll warn you in advance so you can enjoy how bad he is but back to exposition: having everything spelled in the said book is just an insult to the audience. If the idiot would've read it, unbeknownst to what he was doing, I could've felt sorry for him and understand later the silly dark humor lines he drops after being assaulted three times by Deadites. But I just can't connect to a movie that treats me like an idiot, with idiots saying idiot things at every turn. It doesn't even have that energetic feel the original had that made everyone forgot how cheesy those actors were too back then.

This is also a poorly edited movie. Just check how much time is spent on the "arrival at the cabin, introducing the idiots" part, which is fair but then notice how horribly quickly drug-headed chick goes through withdrawl, evil is unleashed, tree rape scene, first attack, panic generates, backstory of crazy mum and... wowowow hold on dudes, lemme catch a break and understand what's going on. Oh shit, why have I asked that, back to the book and it's CAPITAL letters explaining stuff. There's no sense of building atmosphere or pace in this, nothing. It's good looks can't save this shabby editing that happens before the "goods".

So, the "goods". The gore. Well, they're actually nice and visceral enough but nothing to go crazy about. It's well made and looks palpable but again, it's just a succession of let's-see-if-you-can-stand-this-one-out. Not-enough-?-what-about-this-?- that grows increasingly unbearable, because, again, there's no sense of urgency or atmosphere. Also, there's no tense sequences, creepy shit or scares, which is a missed opportunity, cause (get ready for this) the actresses are pretty memorable as Deadites! Yes! They act better as undead minions, as opposed to human beings that fall onto the same tricks and gimmicks these demons throw at them. Such a shame, Jane Levy was actually growing on me as the child-like taunting demon in the basement but again, awful editing ruined her. Hell, the lullaby segment that was in the trailer is not in it, go figure.

Curious enough, pretty much half of the trailer was left out from the movie. And not just some gory bits, other stuff that could've had a wee bit more of "story". There's also an alternate ending floating around (there's screens online of it), which was actually ghastly and appropriate by the description floating around, not unbearably cheesy like the one presented on the theatrical cut.

Could an Unrated-Extended thingy save this? I don't think so but I might give it another chance once it goes out on Blu-Ray, just to see how severed it was.

The Descent
The Descent(2006)
½

I hadn't quite realised how much I loved this movie back in 2005 but I do now 6 years later on my second run-through.

This is a near flawless horror/drama flick that doesn't aspire to be more than what it is. The all female cast has a great dynamic and that's probably where the only flaw of the movie resides: I wanted a bit more of it. You start to feel the panic and torment these characters are going through way before the little crawlers show up (which ingeniously, only happens after 1hour of the movie has gone by), by either the events that led to this expedition, the incredibly claustrophobic sections and just the cheer atmosphere the movie carries.

The soundtrack with it's humming drones helps to convey the grim tone of the movie with the impressive sets and just gorgeous lighting that blend seamlessly with the tight camera shots.

Not only is it technically flawless, it's also downright scary. The jump scares are well realized appearing mostly on allucinations and when the action gets going, it grabs you by the nuts and doesn't let go. The pacing is superb, creating very tense sections all the way through, boosting the horror and fear up, once the critters show up. Oh, it's also very gory and unpredictable with it's deaths (on both sides actually!).

The Descent is what a modern horror flick should be. It's doesn't aim too high, but what it does, it does so with extreme confidence and attention to detail. It takes it's simple concept to new levels and that's generally how the classics are born. I really don't wanna go spelunking anytime soon after seeing this.

The Hunter
The Hunter(2012)
½

A calm, restrained philophical movie that asks some poignant questions not just towards the theme at hand, but also towards humanity and loneliness, backed up by some impressive shots of the beautiful Tasmania. The acting is very good, with the little girl stealing the show with top-notch quirky remarks and humor on an otherwise grim tale. It's also a movie that includes some unnecessary twist, turning it into a thriller that gets too predictable. Definently looking forward to more movies from this director. His visual style and interpretation of poignat questions is remarkable and lacking on modern movies of this kind.

The Hills Have Eyes
½

Ugly, brutal, unforgiving and unpredictable, this remake doesn't offer much novelty to Craven's subversive 70's horror flick, other than some fantastic effects, brutal violence and incredible desperate setting. It carries a very grindhouse feel through and through that is lacking on some recent horror movies, not afraid to take things to the next level and torture the audience while at it.

It's a shame that the mutant clan doesn't have much exposition. Some of the dynamics presented are well-realised but they're never explored in depth. If they would, the final showdown between the two families would have a whole different impact.

30 Days of Night
½

It builds an amazing atmosphere and sense of dread at first with some beautiful imagery that sets the tone just right but things quickly grow silly with the over the top acting of the vampires and a bunch of characters so uninteresting I just wanted them to die on the worse possible ways imaginable. It also gets boring and repetitive after a while and keeps the same formula until the end. You never feel those 30 days going by and the panic of the situation but ocasional glimpses of gratuitous gore wake you up from this bored uninspired fest.

The Hunt (Jagten)

A very provocative thriller, beautifuly shot with strong performances all around, The Hunt doesn't just put you on the shoes on this very delicate subject but also explores how it affects everything in a small community and to those close to the acused, becoming a very tough experience to endure. Obviously, Mads Mikkelsen shows once again why he's one of the best actors around but this isn't a movie where all the attention is centered on his character, there's some other incredible aspects to admire on this very detailed drama.

Even with all the palpable realism that the movie breathes, there's strange decisions here and there that kinda detracts you from the experience. The ending is not very strong and the fact that the main character doesn't leave the town when he could've is a bit staggering.

Sightseers
Sightseers(2013)
½

A beautifully shot and well acted dark comedy gory flick, Sightseers just runs out of ideas way too quickly. It still manages to have some fun moments until the end and it's interesting to be put onto the role of these characters since you're never quite sure what to feel towards them. A bit more polish or less running time could've helped the film immensily, but this moody, unconfortable and quirky experience has a lot to absorb to be dismissed and is again, proof that Ben Wheatley will always have something interesting to say.

Underworld: The Rise of the Lycans
½

Why did this piece of crap took itself so serious to begin with? It's fuckin vampires going against fuckin werewolves, go cheesy b-movie cause that's what you are! Who the hell cares for politics and shenenigans and forbidden loves on a movie like this? It's frickin vampires against werewolves!! Go bonkers! Jeez...

Dawn of the Dead
½

Yeah, most of the satire is gone (though it's visible in some top notch moments here and there) but this remake is pretty fun, tense and scary when it needs to. And it was the first movie I saw with running zombie which scared the living crap out of me and it still does, so congrats for burning some awful images (mostly suggestive) in my head.

Acting is all over with good moments and cringe-worthy ones too, the script is not that awesome but things flow smoothly and imaginatively while it lasts.

Doesn't offend Romero's masterpiece and doesn't insult it either, adding some cool stuff in the mix while at it.

Grabbers
Grabbers(2013)

Another throwback of the monster comedy flicks of the 80s and 90s, Grabbers is charming but doesn't go to the next level like it could've. But it's entertaining while it lasts and features some memorable enough moments, though with a premise like this, you were expecting something completly bonkers on the last set pieces but it just doesn't happen. It's just played safe like the rest of the movie.

Thirteen
Thirteen(2003)
½

Boosted by fantastic performances by the three leads, Thirteen asks and shows some poignant aspects about the troublesome teen years and how easily a downfall can be. It uses predictable gimmicks on the script but they work on the majority of times. It's a movie mostly held back by some rather poor stylistic choices like the use of the cacophony that is the soundtrack, poorly used and distractive from what is going on in screen and the hand held shaky camera and fast shots and editing don't help it much either (which is surprising that they used this, since some of the best scenes were made in a single take with no cuts).

Scarface
Scarface(1983)
½

Outrageous, immensily quotable, excessive, pointless, hints here and there of political messy stuff, fascinating, grim, goofy, intense, memorable scenes all over (even if sometimes they don't glue together well) and so on, Scarface has it all. There is never a clear focus on what the movie wants to do but it's core works surprisingly well with the portrayl of this detestable character and it's eminent downfall. You know how it will end but the ride to get there is handled with expertise and variety. Typical 80s feel all over and a movie that probably sums up this decade of Hollywood the best.

Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan
½

Mixes seamlessly live unconfortable interviews with an actual plot with outrageous offensive results that are absolutly genius on making a point but are also there just for giggles. There's a joke at every corner and pretty much every single one is pure gold. Definently one of the most important and funny comedies on the 00s.

Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist
½

Bored as hell actors making an effort to deliver one awful line of dialogue after another, doing senseless hipster crap with that overbearing indie feel on a movie that really doesn't go anywhere. It felt like a 3 hour long epic of emptiness, I just wanted it to end and end my misery.

Step Brothers
½

An equally outrageous premise, much like Anchorman, filled with immature jokes, rude humor and a too long running time, Step Brothers is still fun while it lasts but suffers from way too many tone shifts to be memorable.

The Game
The Game(1997)

An entertaining thriller filled of twists and turns but ultimately fails, because even on it's implausability (which I don't mind), it doesn't feel very plausable and doesn't know very well where to turn and what tone to adopt.

Batman & Robin

This movie certainly has a nice color pallette!
Other than that... I think it has been trashed beyond belief already and I can't add much more it.

It's certainly an awesome movie to watch with friends and mock the living crap out of it. Last time we watched this, we did a drinking game, everytime Poison Ivy would blow pink shit, we had to take a shot of vodka. Needless to say halfway through, we were already dead.

Robot & Frank

Moved by a fantastic performance from Frank Langella, Robot & Frank still manages to raise some poignant questions about aging, loneliness and the role of technologies in our society and future.

Still, it manages to create a brilliant balance between comedy and drama, with a very well thought and simplistic script that can only mean good things for the first-time writer and director.

Maniac
Maniac(1980)
½

With it's downbeat mood, superb but bleak performance from the lead, ultra gory segments and misoginy aplenty, Maniac is a shocking but ultimately flawed flick. It takes too long to get to the point and it's repetitive on it's structure, showing frailties on the ending as well. Still worth a shot for fans of the genre who want to be left with a sour taste on their mouths.

Gremlins 2: The New Batch
½

Amp the madness, the references, the effects, the unexpected segments and reduce the story, the characters, the message, Gizmo's presence.

You're still left with a super funny and entertaining, lighter sequel to the original.

Gremlins
Gremlins(1984)
½

I hadn't seen this since I was a kid and rewatching was not only a nostalgic trip but also a delight for the movie is absolute fun from start to finnish. Taking aside some questionable jokes about foreign machinery and awkward morality, this dark comedy works wonders for being fluffy and adorable and just downright chaotic when it needs to. The humor is mainly physical and it works surprisingly well with it's avalanche of references and over the top segments. One can only wonder the amount of work that went on to pull these gimmicks but you can tell that everyone involved was having a blast and that comes across to the viewer. Also has an interesting driven story to follow that wraps up well in the end, Gremlins is still an enjoyable classic that has aged very well. Please remake people, leave it alone.

Anchorman - The Legend Of Ron Burgundy

One of the most self-aware idiotic comedies of the last decade, Anchorman is riddled with excesses and always on the verge of derailing at any giving moment, but fortunently, there are more hits than misses and plenty of hilarious quotable scenes for everyone. The parking lot fighting scene and the aftermath always make me gigle uncontrollably on how silly and unexpected it is and that is where the true success of the movie resides, even when you think you heard a tasteless joke, something completly random and funny shows up right after.

It's a movie that tries to have a joke at every single turn, so if you're looking for some emotional resonance, you might want to step aside and let people fighting bears unsue.

Wolf Creek
Wolf Creek(2005)
½

It's still a traditional horror flick on the veins of Texas Chainsaw Massacre and The Hills Have Eyes, with plenty of silliness when you look deep down on it (the first escape sequence is riddled with poor decisions) and takes cues from the aformentioned on being extremely bleak, brutal and where you can't take much pleasure or entertainment from it's viewing. But it's one of the best out there in portraying pure fear and atmosphere. The slow build up is haunting, alternating these believe characters with devastating landscapes of Australia's desert, carrying a gloomy feeling of "this is not gonna go well at all for these guys". This contrast is even more evident with the pitch black cinematography for when the shit hits the fan, causing confusion, distress and more importantly, putting you on the shoes of the tormented. Add great performances and a haunting soundtrack, Wolf Creek is a very confident debut from the director, that has a clear visual style and in need of some tweaking to be made on narrative formats, for at it's core, the movie is still a by the numbers slasher.

The Last Exorcism

Wrongly advertised as a full on horror movie, The Last Exorcism works more as a character driven drama with mixed results. The characters are well pulled and the humor is spot-on, working wonders to introduce the main characters.

When the shit hits the fan, it just doesn't deliver like it could've, and the result is a very lackluster last segment that feels fake through and through, though it keeps some nice surprises towards the end.

The Return of the Living Dead

The movie that introduced brain-eating zombies is a self-aware parody of the genre with plenty of randomness and awkward humor aplenty. Throw some cool gore and disgusting effects into the mix and you got an instant success.

Lincoln
Lincoln(2012)

Is it preachy like Spielberg's overglorified previous flicks about the USA's most glorious moments? Sure it is, proof of that is the unnecessary ending but all is fine, because Lincoln is one of the smartest moves he has done recently on his career, which is in essence taking the backseat and enjoy the marvelous qualities of all the departments invested on this movie.

The natural lighting cinematography is lush and evolving, the soundtrack is subtle and used appropriately, the acting is phenomenal, the attention to detail is staggering and the script is rich, brilliantly written that sometimes feels more like a dramatized play, rather than a movie. Reminded me a lot of The Social Network on this aspect, so if you can't stand overly talkative movies with flowery words, you won't find much solace in Lincoln.

Obviously a special mention to Day-Lewis: he delivers as expected on a quiet and restrained role that never feels like a caricature of the great emancipator. You can feel his political smarts but also how devastated he is with some of his family issues and troublesome decisions he has to take and much like Lincoln must've been in real life, his speeches, stories and body language are magnetizing and powerful. You are always atracted by this fascinating figure and that is obviously something Day-Lewis transcends as opposed to what most actors would do: immitate. That's what separates the growns from the puppies, sorry to the rest of the lot.

Basket Case
Basket Case(1982)
½

A completly mental concept executed with the lowest budget possible, pulling laughs everytime the creatures shows up, for it is so lamely made and executed, you almost feel sorry for this tragic violent beast.

Not just that, the acting is one of the worse ever seen but it complements the cheesiness of it all so well, it actually works.

It's only shocking because of the atrocious sound design that got on my nerves more than once, but again, it just works since the rest of it so lame.

A definite watch for fans of the genre and to discover Henenlotter's mental style, to serve as an appetite for his upcomingly mental Brain Damage.

The Legend of Hell House

Very atmospheric haunted house flick that just doesn't deliver like it promised. Proof of that is the lackluster ending and subpar acting.

The Video Dead

Completly awful 80s cheesy horror but self-aware and super hilarious thanks to it. It's either super gory or super cheap looking but what binds it all together is the over the top forced acting. Fans of the genre can't miss this.

Orphan
Orphan(2009)
½

A good opportunity to give a lil' devilish twist to the killer children genre, Orphan takes the formulaic, the cliché and says "fuck logic" half way through for another cheap slasher (with good effects, mind you). Still worth a shot for a very very convincing role by the very young Isabelle Fuhrman who steals the show and adequately, sounds much more mature than someone of her age should be and that is exacly what the role required and she nails it like a true pro.

The Woman in Black
½

Confident, very well executed and acted, The Woman In Black uses all the tricks in the book, unfortunently. The premise is not new and you can tell where the story is heading, but the setting and cinematography is so well handled, you're willing to forgive the clichés... but you just can't, cause you are bombarded by jump scares at every turn that use loud volume to affect you on the worse ways possible. Animal jump scare included. Faces in the mirror included. To someone as used to these gimmicks as me, it sometimes felt like a pathetic atempt to make you poo your pants desperately, when the atmosphere build-up in the first 20ish minutes was much more effective.

It still has the ability to tell it's story on a very visual manner, specially when the lead is alone in the haunted mansion and that is commendable. I'm tired of someone showing up with exposition to explain what I just saw and while you're alone in the house with the character, you get nothing but great atmospheric bits and good sound design. But as with the rest of the movie goes, later on, someone will show up to explain everything you witnessed before...

Beasts of the Southern Wild
½

I should've known right from the start, from the unnecessary shaky camera to the grainy look what I was in for... another glorified indie flick with nothing much going on but I had hopes still, so I waited, and waited and endured all the erratic nonsensical behaviours and approach and was left dried in the end. Even with a topic as touching as this, they still managed not to pull anything relevant from me.

Problem is the approach, which is too many approaches at once. It doesn't pull the fairy tale well, not the gritty look, not the quirky characters, not the story, nothing much falls into place here. It has it's fair share of energy and a confident little kid as the lead but don't be fooled by the overrated mess that this is.

Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn
½

One of the most inventive horror movies ever made, Evil Dead 2 is in essence the recycling of the first one in the trilogy, which doesn't make it any less enjoyable.

A spoof of the original, this one embraces comedy like the previous hasn't with hilariously bizarre results. There's always something new and completly unexpected going on, pulling laughs out of the most ridiculous situations. The budget is bigger, so you have some ingenious effects to pull everything of effectively. And well, there's also Bruce Campbell. Enough said. Groovy.

Berberian Sound Studio
½

A good tribute to the madness that was shooting a giallo flick, BST still is poignant on it's portrayl on how such a repetitive task can drive someone mad, specially when you're dealing and questioning the validity of exploitation. Not just that, but it's also a movie that meant a lot to me on it's portrayl of a character completly lost on a different culture and language. The awkwardness was captured with expertise and Toby Jones delivers for the most part. Unfortunently as with most of these ambiguous flicks go, it gets into familiar territory later on and fans of Lynch can tell for miles what will happen. It's still a treat for the senses and features some well pulled gags and cameos, worth a shot for genre fans.

Wreck-it Ralph

An inventive and always fun adventure that goes way beyond the videogame tribute, Wreck It Ralph still has it's typical Disney moments (specially during the middle section) that don't surprise anyone and break the pace a bit, but it compensates with lovely characters, brilliant humor and very well realized action segments. Definently has the potential for good sequels, bring it on!

Frankenweenie
½

A welcome return to form from Tim Burton (even if not at full strength), Frankenweenie never felts as an uneeded recreation of his beloved short movie. Its rather a well realized expansion of the ideas that made the first so good, with plenty of awkward dark humour and sentimentality as well. It just works when it shouldn't have and that's part of the triumph of this very well made stop-motion movie. The world is all Tim Burton and feels consitent from start to finnish.

Unfortunently it has it's fair share of randomness, pointlesness and frantic action that he's been adding lately to his movies, ruining some of them in the process and Frankenweenie really didn't need it.

Fortunently the positive aspects are aplenty and push aside the more recent Tim Burton awful shenenigans.

The Master
The Master(2012)
½

A more constrained and subtle flick than the brilliant masterpiece There Will Be Blood, The Master is still a fascinating movie with so much to absorb, so many details, that it's hard for someone who doesn't like true cinema not to fully appreciate it. Back are the traditional difficult characters from Paul Thomas Anderson's flicks and I rarely felt like in his works, that "humanity" is this. It's difficult to understand, difficult to relate, difficult to root for but always interesting. We are given two post-war characters that took two very different paths to restart their lives after the war and the way they meet, clash, interact is the biggest selling point of the movie, thanks to brilliant performances by Joaquin Phoenix and Philip Seymour Hoffman. The scene where these two first met is just brilliant: the dialogues, the simple cinematography, how it unfolds and is a nice resumé of what's to come next. If you don't like slow-paced dramas and subtle acting, you won't find much to appreciate here.

PT Anderson is a technicaly proficient director. He knows exacly what to do with sound, music, cinematography, editing but he's also one of the most humane directors around. The way he shows what people are really about doesn't really have much competition around. Probably since Kubrick, we have never witnessed such a director, so interested on exploring humanity in such detail, but never being too detached from reality, making incredibly emotional (but difficult) movies that everyone can enjoy, relate and always come back for more.

Excision
Excision(2012)
½

Wait wait.... Annalynne McCord can act?!? And carry and entire movie on her shoulders with finesse, incredible detail to her character, amazing body language on a pretty difficult role? Wow! Please give her more decent roles like this, we got a little unpolished gem in the making.

The rest... the rest is a bit of an uneven game. It's darkly funny and dramatic on equal measures but it's also repetitive and boring at times. Too many breakfast scenes that don't move the flick forward. The contrast between the suburban settings and the very Jodorowski allucinations is very well pulled but I wanted a bit more from both ends, without being stretched for so much pointlessly.

Worth a shot for fans of the genre and to discover Annalynne in an unbelievable role that few could've pulled so well.

Silent Hill: Revelation

Stop raping Silent Hill!

Jesus, the first 3 videogames are still some of the best media I've ever experienced and I just can't believe how hard, slow and painful the downfall has been. First the videogames started to suck balls, then they made a weak movie, now "this"? Uwe Boll, you're a fuckin genius compared to the pigeons who made this. Cause, not even a simian could've come up with such crap, only braindead people. Just, avoid it. Really. It's not even a so bad, it turns out campy and fun kinda thing. It's just... wow, I hadn't seen something so bad in a while and I'm used and love to watch shit movies.

Mother of god, how can I forget I saw this...

Seven Psychopaths

A wacky dark comedy that still manages to have a couple of touching moments and spot-on dialogues, much like Martin McDonagh's In Bruges, there's a lot of odd elements altogether onto one movie but they all work surprisingly well, thanks to a self-parodied story about the writing and making of a movie, great performances and cameos, plenty of surprises and memorable one-liners. Probably not as focused as In Bruges and much more scattered, it's good to see that McDonagh was not a one hit wonder and I can't wait for what's to come.

Zero Dark Thirty

A convuluted mess of a bunch of scenes put together without much connection with one another. Get ready for a lot of phone talks, office talks, secondary characters with no arc, poor use of cast (Mark Strong shows up to punch a table on one of the most unintentional hilarious scenes of the year) and an overrated performance by the lead. Jessica Chastain is fine here but her role has been exhagerated beyond belief by the hype. Still has a couple of interesting things to say and it's amoral point of view is to be commendable but not making any sort of emotional connection with the viewer was a piss poor decision. The attention to detail is good as expected but there wasn't much care into building an actual story worth following. Fortunently those last 20ish minutes are intense, even if you know what will happen. Wish I could say the same for the other 2 hours.

Amer
Amer(2010)
½

A tripy homage to the giallo genre that defies characterization with it's usage of over the top shots, lack of dialogue (and meaning), spooky imagery, opressive sound design and sexual innuendo. Worth a shot for fans of avant-garde cinema, but casual watchers won't find much to hold on to here.

House at the End of the Street
½

A movie where even the title doesn't make sense.
Oh right, but it has Jennifer Lawrence on with a kinky cleavage, who am I to complain...

Rosemary's Baby

An indisputable classic that influenced countless other flicks, Rosemary's Baby is a master of blending seamlessy horrific imagery with dark humor and the power of suggestion. Boosted by amazing performances from the cast, this is the mother of all modern Psychological Horror movies and rightfully so. Even today it feels fresh and relevant, despite it's lengthy running time and at times derivative scenes, but to be frank, there's a reason for them to be included. Never felt anything out of place and it always had a dark meaning behind it, thanks to a very smart script and adaptation from the book, written byt Polanski and Ira Levin.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

I don't really like to review one third of a movie but it's undeniable of what works on The Hobbit and what doesn't, which unfortunently, might shape what's to come.

There's 13 dwarves around... Only two stand out. One cause he's the leader, the other because he's fat. Characterization is thin on the whole lot, which is a shame, there could've been some very interesting character dynamics but all you have is comic relief for 12 pointless characters that add nothing to this first iteration. On the other hand, Martin Freeman and Ian Mckellen are on top form. Sure, Bilbo takes a bit of the back seat on the middle section of An Unexpected Journey, but he's believable and his motivations are understood later on. Gandalf is usually the show stealer and I think his character actually grew from the original trilogy.

The badies are a mix bag as well. The evil pale orc is a menacing presence but only grunts around and doesn't have much personality to stand out. The three trolls are pleasant enough with the exception of the hysterical one. I don't buy the "it's more of a kid friendly kinda thing", it's just boring, annoying humor, what's going on with that chap. The goblin town section is a delight. The King is repulsive, sneaky and with a superb design. The rest of the lot is well realized too, giving shape to the most interesting fight section of the film: it's fluid, has an amazing dynamic, it's original and fun.

What preceeded it was not that great. There were gratuitous action scenes that added nothing to the story or characters and broke the pace a lot. Can anyone explain to me why they had to include the stone giants fight? Oh, it was on the appendixes... maybe that was the reason for being there in the first place.

After that, the movie picked up for Bilbo as well. The riddle scene with Gollum is absolutly brilliant. Not only is it fun from start to finnish, it's also frightnening, amusing, hilarious and the technical aspects are stunning as well. The FX team and Andy Serkis did something rather unique with Gollum on the original trilogy and here it expands itself a lot too. The acting is top-notch and the detail on the facial animations is staggering. The dynamic between these two was definently the highlight of the movie, shame it'll only happen once in the trilogy... but who knows.

The Hobbit is a schizophrenic movie. It doesn't know what tone it wants to adopt. If the kid friendly approach, which it works for the most part; or the gloomy LOTR tone with all the extra scenes that weren't in the book. Both are fine, but the balance is not handled well. That also goes for the visual aspects of the flick. It's not the 48fps that make it dizzy. It's the incredibly bright and fake digital lighting. It's ugly and too fantasized for my liking. It's a boring cinematography that doesn't combine well the digital with the real footage like the original trilogy did. To compensate, the detail on the creatures is jaw-dropping. The animations and facial expressions are just "real", it's amazing.

Still curious to see what will happen next but I hope they improve on the upcoming instalments. And heck, there might be some extra 40mins on the DvD for all we know, cause it sure feels like the movie was chopped a bit.

The Killing
The Killing(1956)
½

An heist movie that influenced countless directors, for it's study of the characters and their motivations (thanks to a superb script and editing), brilliant cinematography and lighting, broken narrative, standout performances, details and very intense heist sequences that intervene themselves really well in the end.

This was Kubrick signing his first true masterpiece and from there on, it'll just get better and better.

The Burning Plain
½

Features Arriaga's traditional broken narrative style for good dramatic effects, has a brilliant cinematography that mirrors well the characters and what they're put through, subtle but affecting asoundtrack, some stellar performances by Theron, Lawrence and Basinger but just doesn't quite resonate emotionally as much as his previous partnerships with Iñarritú.

A strong debut, this tale of redemption, acceptance, forgiveness and at times the darkest corners of humanity, is a definite watch from someone who has a very clear and distinctive voice.

Silver Linings Playbook
½

Well, David O. Russell is certainly the man to pick a beaten to death story and make it interesting again. Fighter was cliché from start to finnish but was enjoyable, Silver Linings is no different. What sets both movies apart from the boring clichés, is how Russel knows exacly what to do with the actors and the script. I was immensely entertained from start to finnish even if I knew exacly what was gonna happen next. The first half of the movie is amazing. The dialogues are spot-on and the way all the characters are introduced is handled very well. Last 30 mins or so, are the cringing been there, done that, that could've almost ruined the movie, but hell, you love these characters so much already, you end up not giving much a crap in the end.

The acting is pretty good overal. I was actually stunned by what Cooper pulled at first. I always thought he was decent, but not this good and I was sold on his character, well worth the award nods he's been getting. Unfortunently (or fortunently) he takes the back seat once Jennifer Lawrence is in and her character is fully introduced. She steals the show everytime she's on screen and just shows how incredibly talented she is, which also brings the worse of the movie: I couldn't help but feel that the flick was on her shoulders from there on in and no better surprises came from it.

Still, plenty of other things to enjoy: De Niro is finally given something to do on a movie, the small presences of the secondary cast leave a mark, even if I kinda wanted a bit more of it and it just has a good pacing and light humour from start to finnish. Bring on more of these "romantic comedies", I don't mind the sappiness if handled like this.

Fear and Desire

A very interesting morality tale that already showcased well the talent of Kubrick to explore the darkest recesses of humanity and it's complexity. It's very amateurish looking and poorly executed/acted but it features some pretty interesting scenes and the lighting is already superb (something Kubrick would perfect later on).

Worth a shot for fans of the director.

Red White & Blue

One of the most interesting recent cause-effect revenge flick, Red White And Blue is a complex morality tale that doesn't offer easy answers and packs a very violent punch on the last 40mins or so. But not all the violence is physical as what preceeded it is devastating, saddening and the collision course these three characters are set onto will leave scars all around.

A bleak look at how little events can cause big things, Red White And Blue is a simply made movie, but everything it does, it does so remarkably well. It's not very original but with such a strong cast and tight scrip, you can't get much better than this.

TerrorVision
TerrorVision(1986)
½

Completly ridiculous and over the top sleazy b-movie from the 80s. Everything is exaggerated to 373%, characters are all complete morons but everything is laughable from start to finnish on how awful it all is.

Casa de mi padre
½

A movie that has it's biggest selling point being Will Ferrell speaking a very forced spanish amongst an ensemble of mexican actors, grabs instantly my attention for how stupid it's concept is.

And fortunently it delivers on tackiness like few can. It probably asks a very specific audience to fully appreciate it, since there's plenty of forced dialogues, overly dramatic scenes and the lowest production values you can imagine (it contributes to some of the movie's best gags) but this mix of mexican soap opera, revenge flick, grindhouse aesthetics and over the top scenes just works when it shouldn't have. Hell, there's even amazing references everywhere and a spot-on movie cross reference that almost got me in tears.

It's obviously a bit too long for what it's trying to pull but the super tiny budget couldn't have pushed it any further and what it does, it does so admirably.

ParaNorman
ParaNorman(2012)

A technically fantastic stop motion flick that manages to pull some well realized visual gags and has some nice references to the material it's influenced from.

I have to give props for a movie that tries to reach a wide range of people, whilst keeping it's soul and visual flare intact but the script just isn't too good. The dialogues are stiff and drag on to unconfortable levels, the jokes are not that great and when things run amock, it just doesn't make much sense.

It still has it's moments and a nice message but it's a missed opportunity overal.

Django Unchained
½

I probably had my expectations a bit too high after loving so much Inglourious Basterds but Django is still a worthy addition to Tarantino's filmography, despite not having someone steady to edit the movie properly. I got out a bit disappointed, I wanted to love it but I just couldn't.

The dialogues are sharp as expected and has it's fair bunch of scenes that'll go down in history, but that doesn't entirely compensate the choppy and forgettable last 20 minutes amongst other things that I'll mention later. Everything that occurs after the big showdown just doesn't add up. The dialogues get a bit stiff, the jokes are not that funny and hell, you don't have a certain character owning like he did on the rest of the movie. Same can be said about the first 45 minutes which repeats itself for a while and I can't say that much about the other Tarantino flicks.

Obviously, most of the characters are exotic as hell and even some minor ones stand out, pulling some of the best gags in the movie. Hell, the KKK joke was the best humoristic bit I've seen all year and it managed to actually say something about it in the process. What pains me is that some of the secondary cast is a bit misused, like Kerry Washington and Walton Goggins but to be frank, I didn't mean to see much of them in the end. They're just around and have their purpose, but a bit more of them would've pleased me.

On the good side, the cinematography is fantastic, you can feel that Tarantino's perfecting his technique on each film and the references are well disguised within the story, not saturating it and complementing it remarkably well for those who get them. Even if you don't, you can just appreciate it as it is just fine. Cast is all around excellent and was surprised to see Jamie Foxx pulling out well his restrained role and exploding when he needed to, but a bit of more charisma wouldn've have hurt. Then again, acting during the whole thing next to Cristoph Waltz is just plain difficult because the man steals every scene.

Django was a very uneven beast to me. Maybe I'll like it more the second run around but I don't feel as excited to re-watch as I did with Inglourious and that says something about.

House (Ding Dong, You're Dead)

A goofy unpretentious 80s haunted house flick where pretty much "fuck logic!" let's make cool monsters with hilarious dialogues that have a somewhat relation to the protagonist's past but not so much. Trick is, don't think too much while watching this, just roll along and you're thoroughly entertained from start to finnish.

Exit Humanity
½

A sumptuous period piece zombie drama, superbly shot and with good production values that ultimately faceplants itself on corny drama, cheesy acting, horrid soundtrack and not much novelty to be had. What it does, it does so well, from the animations to the cinematography to the way some scenes unfold but it's all too messy and most of these elements just don't fit together at all in the end.

Worth a shot for fans of the genre but even so, there's not enough here to elevate itself above the mediocre or even hope to achieve the classics it so desperately tries to.

And crap, is the lead still screaming? Oh... yes... yes he is... *sigh*

Barton Fink
Barton Fink(1991)
½

Probably the closest the Coen Brothers have to an horror film, this deep, awkward and hard to categorize piece of film making is always impressive, even when it's doing so many different things at the same time. This could be simplisticly told as an exhagerated metaphor to a writer's block but there's just so much more going on, that it's always a pleasure to go back to this strange world and delve into it's intricacies some more. From the insinuations of the poor conditions offered to a screenwriter in Hollywood, to how those shady and exhuberant characters behave with their "businesses", to the dialogues, the cinematography, the dark humour, the performances, everything just works when it shouldn't. And that's the testimony to these brothers incredible talent to have a unique voice when many others contempt in saying what was already said before.

Barton Fink is still fresh and unique even after all these years.

Killing Them Softly
½

A heavy-handed political allegory that works for the most part, thanks to a tight script and fantastic performances (specially from Scoot McNairy, who's unfortunently a bit underlooked). It also uses smartly and well placed comic bits to ease us from all the talking and constant blabbering of the US presidents commenting the recession. It creates a nice paralel with the story but it's too much and should've been more constrained on this aspect, since the pacing suffers from it.

Worth a shot from a very interesting director that is starting to have a clear and objective voice on his art.

Citadel
Citadel(2012)

A well made and ocasionally scary psychological thriller, Citadel fails mostly for being overly long and taking the easy route half way. It had something interesting to say and I was expecting a more visceral, bleak and no-easy-answers kind of thing but it turns to cliché and starts to loose interest when it does so.

The lead could've been a bit more likeable, but given the approach to his character, he has a pass. Fortunently the director can put some tense scenes rather well and shocking moments too and that saves the movie for the most part.

Torn Curtain
Torn Curtain(1966)
½

It's unfortunate that a movie from Hitchcock that holds such promise fails so miserably to be even remotely interesting on any aspect. This overly long mess, features completly pointless scenes, poor acting from the leads, unsuspensful moments and a pretty uninspired story and script. Save from a couple of well pulled scenes and shots, it's a shame that this one doesn't feel like an Hitchcock at all.

A History of Violence

Superficially it looks and plays like a common thriller but when you start digging deep onto the characters and motivates their violent acts, things start to get rather scary and unpredictable and that's the true success of one of the most straightforward Cronenberg's flick.

Boosted by brilliant performances with a great balance between tender, sappy moments and truly striking violent imagery, A History of Violence is a nice change in narrative format from Cronenberg with great results that appeal to a more mainstream audiences.

The Bay
The Bay(2012)
½

I admire a director who's not afraid on tackling completly different genres and I commend Barry Levinson on approaching the found footage genre but he doesn't seem to have made his homework well. The goods: the way the found footage is made is fantastic. It uses everything from skype videos, cellphone videos, news reports, police car cameras amongst other gimmicks. I never felt took away from the movie and the perspectives and editing is pretty good. The worse is that most of the characters and story are forgetable and you can't feel much of a connection to them. But the real killer is the use of sound. Most found footage flicks work wonders on scaring you because you don't have audio cues or soundtrack to warn you of what will happen and these scares come as unpredictable on most cases. The Bay is riddled with bad choices: from super loud scares, to annoying music everywhere, little drones that tip you off, etc. It completly kills the atmosphere that the multiple found footage videos created at first.

It's worth a shot for fans of the director and genre but a missed opportunity overal.

Amour
Amour(2012)

Probably the most intimate flick Haneke has ever done, Amour is a touching, realistic and intimate portrayal of love when we're approaching the inevitable. Boosted by brilliant performances Amour is uncomfortable for all the right reasons. Don't be afraid of overly shocking situations like on some of his previous efforts, fortunately that is avoided in exchange of intimacy but I couldn't help to feel that Haneke's over-stylized approach sometimes hurts the movie. Tears will be shed and if your heart's on the right place, maybe some perspectives too.

Lisa And The Devil (Lisa e il diavolo) (The Devil in the House of Exorcism)

A sumptuous psychadelic ride with brilliant setting and cinematography that gradually descends onto the dark title of the movie with good results. The story is surprising and the odd elements blend together surprisingly well. Probably one of the best from Mario Bava, Lisa and the Devil is a must see for fans of the giallo genre and horror in general.

Raising Arizona

An oddball and strangely uplifting dark comedy with plenty of Coen's brothers famous trademarks and great performances by the cast. Some of the humor is a bit hit and miss though, specially towards the last chaotic segment where things just fall apart a bit. Still, very solid and entertaining while it lasts.

Miller's Crossing

Featuring dark tones of grey and brow, this cinematography treat is amazing on how it makes each scene looks better than the one before and still feel unique in the process. There's a fantastic blend of violence, comendy, gangster stories and acting showcase that never feels forced or out of place. Everything makes "sense" even when it shouldn't. All this backed by a fantastic cast and script that commit themselves remarkably to the story at hand. And that's probably my only complaint towards the movie: the story... doesn't feel much like it, other than a succession of amazing dialogues that move seamlessly onto one another without much glue in between but still has plenty of betrayls and backstabbings to make it a great ride.

Sunshine
Sunshine(2007)
½

There's an alarming number of similiarities and plot devices almost ripped off from Event Horizon which for me is always a huge negative deal when reviewing a movie. It could've been just a similiar plot and I wouldn't mind, but, for instance, copying almost exacly a scene where a guy is in deep space with no suit with similiar outcome? Boy, that's one hell of a coincidence...
Not just that but the movie has some alarming number of inconsistencies and just silly things in general. The survivor from the other ship... being in that state? Well it sure was believable on an horror flick, say in Event Horizon (ahem ahem, another "coincidence"?) but on a movie that instead prefers to show the psychological aspect of a long trip in space, that horror twist just doesn't add up.

At least it's superbly shot, the visuals are stunning, has a fantastic soundtrack and is well acted overall. After this one, things went haywire and overly tacky and cheesy for Mr. Boyle, but that's for another review...

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

A bit of less bombardment from jokes, references, silly stuff in general and a bit more focus on storytelling could've elevated this to pure awesomness status. Nevertheless, it's one of the funniest, most original recent movies you get to find out there.

Eden Log
Eden Log(2007)
½

Superbly shot, intriguing premise told by a sort of videogame aesthetic with the protagonist going to the next level where new dangers await, great concept, very original and fit soundtrack and a jaw dropping emotional ending that no one sees it coming (makes me want to see more of it).
Unfortunently it has some big drawbacks... the acting is overall atrocious (though, fortunently there aren't many dialogues), some scenes are a bit too long and add nothing to the story and some sound design on the creatures is repetitive and imediatly recognizable from any given sound library.

There Will Be Blood

I think I've just witnessed the first true masterpiece of the 21st Century.

2001: A Space Odyssey

Probably Kubrick's magnum opus, 2001 is a technicly brilliant movie with each frame telling the essence of humanity and our hunger for more, how it affects us for good and for worse.
Wishing more movies were like this, not just having a fantastic script an average audience can enjoy but also for movie-buffers to enjoy each carefully planned scene, shot and silent narrative, allied to the technical brilliance used to make 2001 what it is today: a landmark in movie history.

Dark City
Dark City(1998)

An amazingly shot noir sci fi action flick, with plenty of eye candy to make large productions shy away with it's fantastic attention to detail, originality and depth.

Not just a visual treat, the story is pretty good and has a very similiar theme to the same year's also genius The Matrix. The story leaves us confused at first, sharing the amnesia of the protagonists and odd events start to make sense even when they get too outrageous. Smartly edited (you can see this right on the first waking up scene) and nicely acted, Dark City provides a ride like few others can't, with originality, heart, fun and doesn't insult your intelligence in the process, save for a bit too over the top last fight sequence.

Cloud Atlas
Cloud Atlas(2012)

A mess of colossal proportions, I was almost comparing this to Battlefield Earth while watching, but Battlefield was laughable on how awful it was. This is an awful movie as well, desguised as something deep, meaningful and profoud but lacking any sense of fulfilment whatsoever. It was a painful experience to endure. 45 minutes in, I understood the concept, thought it was nice and handled with finesse but I had to endure the same idea over and over and over and over for another 2 hours. And those two hours just gave me time to notice how ridiculous some of these stories unfold and how pointless some characters and their actions are as well. It's all over the place. I'm probably one of the few people who thought the multiple actors on multiple roles was a great idea thanks to the themes of the movie. I was actually fascinated by this aspect while it unfolded but as with many other things on Cloud Atlas, it started to get ridiculous later. Just check Hugo Weaving as a woman. Or when Bae Doo Na shows up as a person of caucasian ethnicity... I just started giggling along with many others on the theatre. A scene that has meaning (and one of the few good in the movie), trashed by an horrible decision.

It could be summed up in one word: boring. I love long, engaging movies that take their time to unfold and keep us emotionally invested on what's going and Cloud Atlas just can't make any connection at all on it's messy incomplete multiple storylines.

Killer's Kiss
½

A very well shot noir story, with some beautiful scenes, like the ballet scene, the last fighting scene amongst others, with a story that's a bit too simplistic but works for the most part.

Feels more like an exercise for Kubrick's to perfect his technique rather than anything else but it works and is a welcome addition to his upcoming masterpieces.

Star Trek
Star Trek(2009)
½

A fun adventure movie, boosted by brilliant visuals and set design, clichéd story all the way, engaging characters and an excused twist just to have an awesome cameo around.

The pace is pretty good but some secondary characters don't have enough screen time to leave a mark and most of the action scenes involving the characters happen way too quickly without much justifications, which is a shame since most of the events on the film take their time to unfold.

A nice comeback to a pretty much dead series, that was a bit dumbed down but it's still very fun from start to finnish.

Detachment
Detachment(2012)

Tony Kaye surely likes to put a salty finger onto a wound and stay there for a while.
His intentions are generally good but the execution is all over the place.

Detachment is affecting, raw, angry, has something relevant to say but most of the times, doesn't know how to. There's tremendous detail on the lead character and on some of his manerisms, courtesy of an inspired script and another winning performance from Brody. Some secondary characters are only around for a while but cause a big impact while others I just didn't understood why they were there in the first place (Bryan Cranston, it's always a pleasure to see you, but what were you doing here exacly?)

The episodic editing sometimes is great, others it's repetitive, others is nauseating with an avalanche of 8mm hipster footage of a lost childhood. The chalk animations sometimes work but most of the times don't. The interviews... errrr, could've been avoided but Brody is excellent in them and so on and so on.

Knows exacly what it's saying and it's a tricky thread and topic to walk around but the execution leaves much to be desired. Too many hipsterisms going on. A simpler, more classical approach to a very complex topic should've been the way to go but it's still a very engaging and brutal ride that everyone should see and learn something from it in the process.

Eyes Wide Shut

Kubrick's final effort is another (wet) dream like experience, hard to look away, affecting, disturbing and totally uncommercial, despite having leads that were at the top of their game when the movie was released.

Simplisticly, you could say that this is an erotic thriller of a NY yuppie that grows obsessed with the kinkiest fetiches the city has to offer after hearing his wife confessing she just had an erotic fantasy with some random dude she saw on a random event of their lives. This little event escalades into an ever growing crescendo of forbidden fantasies and secrets that we thread seamlessly with the protagonists perspective.

I'd be lying if sometimes it isn't derivative and a tad overlong but it's an immensely rewarding experience unlike many I have witnessed. Not his best work, but probably one of the most assured and a fantastic way to end his majestic career.

The Tunnel
The Tunnel(2011)

I admire the way this movie was made: a free release, supported by "fans" and networking buzz, to which each person could contribute with 1 and earn a frame of the movie.

The results are actually impressive. It's very well made technically and features an incredibly scary setting, that is as both impressive as it is opressive. It works wonders to much of the little success of the movie.

Why doesn't it work? Because the director by trying to give a fresh take to the found footage genre, has made some terrible decisions. First of, the interviews just kill, literally, any suspense you might have from who will live and who will die. By the time you understand the interviews were made after the "incidents", it's just underwhelming to witness the rest of the movie unfolding.

Secondly, it has an atrocious soundtrack that is way too distracting and pathetic when it attempts to create tension on some chase scenes.

Thirdly, the actors and their characters decisions are pretty piss poor. The lead actress is as expressive as a rotten tomato (awesome joke I just made here...) and these grown ups and professional journalists/camera operators/sound guys act in a really childish way under such opressive circumstances. You're in a really dark unknown, unexplored, underground tunnel, with a forgotten water reserve in it and you just think it's fun to throw your mate onto the water? For kicks? Wow. What's more shocking was the guy who was thrown's reaction. And this is just a tiny example of behaviours that happen that just takes you away from the flick.

Also, an interview to a random Hobo that lived on those tunnels is so excused and laughable I dunno how the guy who was editing the film didn't ask the relevance of the said scene. It was actually much scarier when our dickhead crew got to their shelter and just found it empty. But that's just me.

Other aspect is the confusing start that just doesn't know what it wants to be: a documentary? A found footage flick? But then why does it have credits?

Some props to the thing that lurks underground. It's hidden most of the time and his behaviour and actions are unpredictable and can creat some scary moments... when the soundtrack isn't interrupting.

Grave Encounters
½

I have to admit I have a soft spot for this found footage genre but to be quite frank it's a genre that has stalled on the formulaic and hasn't innovated much in a while.
Grave Encounters is one such movie. The approach is the same to REC and the escalation and pace of the scares/hauntings is similiar to Paranormal Activity but actually deliveres plenty more than the later overrated piece of trash.

I enjoyed the cast for being so cocky and arrogant at first and when shit started to happen, their transitions was somewhat believable. But when you ask this lot to start acting crazy and nutty, jesus christ it gets really bad, almost took me away from the atmosphere of the movie.

The pace is a bit too slow and takes a while to get under your skin. All of this would be fine if the presentation of the characters was a bit deeper and fresh but it's all something you've seen before. Hell, another thing from this found footage genre is the lack of any decent or likeable characters, so I probably should take that as a given fact already.

Some scares and tense scenes are well pulled and made me cringe on a couple of occasions but you can see most of them coming anyways.

Worth a shot for fans of the genre, but not much to the rest of the horror crowd.

Dead Space
Dead Space(1990)

Another Corman Alien rip off (I lost count on how many Alien rip offs this guy has made) that is as boring as it looks. Just worth it for the complete godawful love couple, Bryan Cranston looking grave around the super horrible looking alien design and some hilarious puppet fights. Even the gore is boring on this one! Just steady shots of corpses laying around.

Sinister
Sinister(2012)

It's nothing you haven't seen before and features all the clichés you know of the genre, plus some annoying cheap scares that don't fit at all with the rest of the movie but holy fuckin shit, if it didn't made me poo my pants.

It's amazing actually that a movie like this, could have everything to fail but works surprisingly well because it is scary and tense as hell when it wants to. Scott Derrickson already left some terrifying images on my mind with The Exorcism of Emily Rose (that was pretty banal too but worked for the most part) and with how awful the remake of The Day The Earth Stood Still was. Sinister makes a fun play with found footage videos and snuff. The lead, portrayed rather well by Ethan Hawke, found these said home made 8mm movies. And Jesus I've seen the movie two days ago and they're still rolling in my head. They're unbelievably creepy, tense, shocking and scary but there's something so "familiar" and not too heavy about it that you just can't look away. You're mesmerized by it, much like the lead is and that's precisely the point of it, it works surprisingly well with the story and obsession Ethan Hawke's character suffers from.

Then the movie fails a bit again because after those goddamn awful and stressful moments you're treated with heavy exposition scenes that break the pace of the movie a bit. After that, you have another creepy moment and that's pretty much how the movie unfolds until the end. But the true star is the sound design that steals the show, literally. The soundtrack chosen for the 8mm movies is disturbing (including some favorite artists of mine like Ulver, Boards of Canada, Sun O))) amongst others) and the sound design is astonoshing with how it blends uneasy sounds with uncommon instruments used for the soundtrack. It works for 80% of the success of the movie, no doubt.

Some jump scares are actually pulled of rather well, others you can see for miles and even has some nice twists to the good old animal fake scares with no relation to the story. The demon itself is so simply designed, yet uneasy and creepy too.

Sinister is a very uneven beast. It had absolutly everything to be memorable for years to come but relies too much on the clichés of the genre and features some mediocre secondary cast to elevate it above the rest of the lot. But it works and I can't say that for many other recent horror flicks nor to the ability to scare the living shit out of me on a theatre. Scott Derrickson, son, you already scared me really well twice with your movies. I really really look forward to what you do next and hope that you take it up a notch a bit, because you know horror and how to scare us, but please refrain us from the clichés we see everyday.

The Terror Within

A piss poor Alien ripoff with a setting as believe as me having 7 nipples on my forehead that is just completly boring and unfun. Looks awful, the twists are hilariously bad and everything is just a terrible homage to Alien. Hell it rip offs the infamous chest burster scene and even has two clones of Parker and Brett running around with dialogues just like the ones in Ridley Scott's masterpiece.

Could've been a cheesy fun B-movie but just takes itself way too seriously with the smallest means available and that's not how you make these type of movies.

Paths of Glory
½

Kubrick's first true masterpiece is a gut wrenching anti-war movie with one of the most furious scripts I've seen, where the actors are authentic machine guns at conveing their emotions/motifs with very sharp dialogue lines. The acting is top notch with Kirk Douglas being one of the most beloved and assured Colonels I ever recall seeing on a war movie. The sleazy generals, majors and prosecutors who control the war from behind a desk are a delight of perversion and Kubrick's game of constrasts from scene to scene is astounding. It's a very varied movie that never lets go and makes good use of it's short 88 minutes of running time.

Already having some of the director's trademark shots, like the long travel shots, things would only improve from here on now, both in detail and cheer scope but it's very good to see how with limited means, Kubrick created a very intelligent script based movie, with interesting characters, angry emotions without ever sacrificing it's visual flare.

Cronos
Cronos(1994)

The feature debut of Del Toro is a delight to appreciate not just for fans of the director but for Horror movie fans in general as well.

The way he deconstructs this simplistic vampire tale is astonishing. He kept everything very straight forward with only a couple of twists to make the story fully original. Not just that but add a very visual storytelling method (as Jesus transformation into a night creature) with inventive situations and characters and you have yourselves a lil' gem.

Supported by a great cast, Cronos already has all the director's signature marks we all came to love on his future and better polished movies but still manages to be quite charming and unique on it's own right and a definite must have for fans of the genre.

Logan's Run
Logan's Run(1976)
½

Probably the most exhuberant sci-fi movie ever made, Logan's Run is a very entertaining ride from start to finnish that accuses it's too wide range at times.

The sets are absolutly amazing and always feel huge, despite the obvious miniatures of the Dome city, some sci-fi ideas are well realized on a visual level but sometimes it backfires a lot and it feels way too plastic and clunky, like the infamous robot scene. It's just ridiculous beyond words.

The sci-fi ideas are always strong and serve as a nice cautionary tale with a nice twist about the outside world later on but the script itself sometimes struggles to keep up with the great ideas and it shows with some mediocre dialogue and acting, the never flowing setpiece after setpiece idea and a bit of the uninspired middle act.

The soundtrack is admirable too with an amazing transition between synth based works onto classic Classical territory by Jerry Goldsmith.

A must see for every sci-fi fan for better and for worse.

The Possession
½

It's amazing how The Exorcist is still the best possession movie, one of the best horror movies ever made and one of the best movies ever made.

This recent revamp of possession movies has completly missed the mark of the original. It wasn't the excessive body twitching that made me cringe. Nor the crescendo of creepiness with fake scares. Or the need to HAVE an exorcism at the end with things being thrown around. It was the subtetly in between those shocking events, the depressing characters, the way that evil corrupted an innocent girl on the worse ways possible, how her lonely mum couldn't do a thing about it, the atmosphere and on and on.

Some of these recent movies understood these aspects and tried to repeat them. And that's the problem, it's cliché after cliché without any novelty. The Possession actual understood the best aspects but it doesn't have any real impact whatsover while it lasts. I enjoyed the approach of the demon putting everyone against the protagonist but even that fell a bit flat and redundant. It does everything you'd expect, no more no less but it's pathetic at times and laughable too.

What really killed it was the god awful soundtrack ruining everything, from scares to dramatic scenes, to set up scenes... Blhergh.

Props for the actors though, who really try to offer something while regurgitating horrible dialogue lines, a complete misuse of the talent inside. That's scarier than any foreign demon on my body...

Argo
Argo(2012)
½

Captures well the political world turmoil that were the 70s with great attention to detail and strong performances from pretty much all the cast... asides from Affleck of course. He stil thinks he's capable of "acting" when his directorial endevours prove precisely the opposite. Having him or a pineapple as the lead would have similiar outcomes. Fortunently the secondary cast is top notch with Alan Arkin and John Goodman stealing the show, as usual.

It has some pretty interesting sets and the camera flows nicely when the situation requires it, like the prolongued tense opening, the claustrophobic street sections and beautiful open shots of the cities.

The last 20ish minutes didn't work at all for me, it's just one huge cliché after another that almost dissed the very documentary feel of the last hour and a half. There's also an almost unberable self reflective scene but fortunently these quirks can be looked aside, since there's plenty of depth and detail on the rest of the film.

Worth a look but another overhyped film, much like his previous The Town.

The Campaign
The Campaign(2012)
½

Has a couple of good laughs but it's just too shallow and unmemorable to leave a mark, as many of the jokes are distasteful and miss the mark completly.

Brave
Brave(2012)
½

An absolutly stunning looking animation with a very by the numbers story, played a bit too safe. Things were going super well until half way through, were it turned for conventional and lost a bit of it's charm. There's the ocasional overexposition scenes for the kiddies but overal the story follows at a steady rythm and keeps you entertained.

Still has some classic Pixar moments and some laugh out loud gags, too good to be true, but a shame that the story and themes didn't go to the next level like the studio usually does. Now that they have this new animation programming tool finnished and tried it out here, I guess it's time they focus on what really matter next.

The Amazing Spider-Man

So.... they even managed to fuck up Uncle Ben's speech...

If it was just that, I could've forgotten a little modification if it made any sense but nothing here has any sense of urgency or impact, everything happens with very little impact. From the spider bite to the transformation, to the underwhelming Peter Parker's father storyline, the unlikable new Peter emo approach, the villain's incosistency amongst other things.

Not just that but the script is so week that it just turns out in the end to be one mindboggling coincidence after another to construct the story. It's no better than your average mexican soap opera as far as coincidences go. Even characters pop in and just disappear without a trace to serve nothing to the story.

Only positive side of things is the leads chemistry that works rather well and modern super hero movies could use some more of this intimacy but that doesn't save the movies at all. Also Rhys Ifans is a nice presence just before he turns into the villain and things just fall apart for everything he'd built before.

A complete unnecessary money grabbing experience.

Lawless
Lawless(2012)
½

John Hillcoat and Nick Cave have teamed up once again for their first "based on a true story" kinda movie. The results are mixed but overall, very much positive and engaging from start to finnish.

It's a beautifully shot movie as usual and Mr. Hillcoat is becoming one of my favorite recent directors for his ability to position the camera where it matters the most, given what each scene requires. It's not exhagerated, not intrusive and always fantasticly composed and beautiful to look at.
The cast is spot-on, with Guy Pearce stealing the show as the over the top, way too fancy for his liking villain. The rest is solid and nice to see Shia finally delivering what he can. I always enjoyed the dude but was starting to diss him out thanks to the choices he's making lately, but this is a much welcome return to form. Unfortunently, the cast is also pretty unevenly treated. The female cast is kinda just "there" and Gary Oldman's Floyd Banner deserved some more screetime, though keeping the focus of the story of the three brothers was a wise decision for the most part. It's also a bit repetitive half way through, with a bit too many shakedowns between gangsters and cops but fortunently the movie builds to an amazing climax that got me super worried for what would happen next. It's also a very smartly edited climax that just makes me want to see it again quickly to notice little things I know I've missed.

A nicely done effort that was probably played a bit too safe but that works remarkably well for it's intimacy between characters that's been missing quite a bit on this genre.

The Bunny Game

Obnoxious, pretentious beyond belief, annoying, loud: it uses violence and sexploitation the way it should never be used. There's absolutly no point to it other than to make you sick and even at that it fails miserably. Hoping the guy who made this will stay away from a movie camera for good.

Ice Age: Continental Drift
½

I'm a sucker for this Ice Age saga and I would be lying if I said I didn't had a blast while watching. I did but I almost completly forgot about it the next day, it's just the same formula over and over again, unfortunently that still works, but the novelty is wearing off rather quickly.

It's Alive
It's Alive(1973)
½

Starts out with a very regular daily basis routine of a family that is brutaly interrupted by the birth of the mutant child. It's a wonderful setup that unfortunently doesn't pay off much later on. The rest is a very competently made and acted horror/mistery flick but doesn't offer much else. The cinematography is pretty bland and boring and the creature itself pathetic at times, but fortunently it sticks to the shadows most of the time.

The Revenant
The Revenant(2012)

A wildly uneven movie that works for the most part, with some really well pulled gags and others which are just a big miss. Worth a shot.

The Last House on the Left

Still shocking to this date, this is still a fascinating tale of how a random act of senseless violence can generate another act of violence that can quickly get out of control and perpetuate itself forever.

Also interesting to see the way the music is used in such contradictory ways that contribute to make us feel extremely unconfortable given the mixed feelings we're getting: a sappy song during a rape scene, how frickin inovative can this be? It's amazing and for a sound geek like myself, wonderous to witness how it was applied.

But why the flying fuck have Craven used those pathetic segmets of the funny cops? So misplaced... dear god. Also, the editing can be a bit sloppy but for a first movie, Craven has left and undeniable mark, not only on movie history but on our souls.

God Told Me To

It's an interesting story that works for the most part. The mistery is nice at first, has some disturbing imaginary on a couple of scenes and one or two neat twists but are a bit forced and predictable. Technically, it's a horrible movie to look at with an atrocious camera work and unconvicing soundtrack. Passable.

Destination Inner Space

Mmmm, it's called Destination Inner Space but it's spent entirely under a sea station. With an underwater spaceship that lays an electronic-like egg, where an unconvicing amphibian creature bursts out, on a really lame rubber suit, proceding to terrorize the crowd as usual.

Moves at a steady pace but ultimately gets lost on cool underwater shots and gets boring really quickly. The sets are cheap and unconvicing and the miniatures are laughable.

60s trash through and through.

Killer Joe
Killer Joe(2012)

William Friedkin and Tracy Letts have teamed up once again, after the underrated gem Bug to deliver this piece of nastiness called Killer Joe.

Think of it as darker than black Coen Brothers plot mixed with some snap and hilariously quick or slow delivered dialogues. And that's pretty much what makes Killer Joe work so well, being adpated from a play, Friedkin smartly lets the brilliant dialogues unfold at first with a steady pace to unleash the mayhem later on.

The cast is absolutly brilliant and probably the best ensemble reunited this year so far: Thomas Haden Church once again gives that fine balance between melancholy, agressiveness and complete unaware character type. Emile Hirsch is the loud mouth, dumb as bricks and snappy judgemental central plot device. Gina Gershon is the over confident and manipulative woman, who's not afraid to open the door to her house with no underware on. Juno Temple is delightfully delusional, innocent and complete oblivious character to anything around her. And Matt McConaughey is on top form here as the creepy as fuck, super polite and always in control Killer Joe. Heck, even Marc Macaulay shows up only once on a small scene and his presence is memorable, which is a testimony on how good the script is and these actors work too.

Then there's those last 20ish minutes... Oh boy, I hadn't seen a climax this intense in a while. It's something that needs to be witnessed without knowing mych in advance, like the secret behind Cabin In The Woods that everyone tries to keep. It's no surprise that this script is based on a play given how well staged things are during this last sequence but it's also where it fails a bit: things get a bit too unconfortable for my liking and I couldn't see too much purpose for it to be extended for so long. I like as much as everyone else some exploitation but with some meaning. There is meaning here (there's a sentence right after "justifying it") but it's carried away for too long.

All in all, probably my favorite movie of the year so far.

The Hole
The Hole(2012)

A fun little movie that seemed to be out of the 80s if it weren't for the contemporary references. It's the type of teen horror flick that should've been made for our current audiences more often, because it's funny, easy to follow, scary, has heart, makes us care for these characters and doesn't fool us with a forced PG-13 where the gore was let out, to be put later onto an Uncut version. No, the intentions are honest and don't fool us.

It's a shame that it's not a very secure movie. It plays way too safely with the given elements and doesn't try to go to the next level, much like Gremlins did so well and it's still a guilty pleasure to this date. A passable but enjoyable flick, reminiscent of the good old teen thrillers of the 80s.

Bug
Bug(2006)
½

Bug utilizes remarkably well it's claustrophobic and depressing setting to make us unconfortable with this paranoic tale of ignorance and know-it-all attitudes by the two leads. Obviously, the bugs here are a strong metaphor from the themes the movie approaches on how that feeling of knowing everything can drive us mad and the others around us as well.

All of this could've fallen flat if it weren't for the superb work of Ashley Judd and Michael Shannon who give deliberately over the top performances, without feeling cheap and never falls onto ridiculous territory.

The Blair Witch Project
½

Sure this isn't the first found-footage but it's the one that popularized the genre to unbelievable levels with the tiniest budget and one very simple idea.

What's scarier here is the power of suggestion, you don't know if there's a real witch, if they're slowly going coocoo, if there's people taunting them and everything works spectaculary thanks to some spontaneous devious moments that happen throughout, from the little interviews in the beginning to small pieces of suggestion that happen during the movie.

It can also be incredibly tense on the night scenes where the lo-fi quality of the cameras used, make you question every shadow and every little log with a weird enough shape in the forest.

I remembered I was a small kid when I watched this on the theatre and by then everyone believed this all really happened which is a testament to the masterminds behind it and to the talent of those unknow actors that carry the movie with believable enough actions.

Cowboys & Aliens

Urgh, what could've been a campy good old time fun mixing two completly different concepts, turns out to be just another way too serious blockbuster that doesn't have many interesting things going on.

Having Daniel Craig or a rock with a cool wrist blaster would be the same, Olivia Wilde's character is complete inconsequent and nonsense from start to finnish, Harrison Ford is all over the place, Paul Dano is annoying as fuck, Sam Rockwell is a waste of space and since you can't have any relatable character to care for there is very little to root for in the end.

Cinematography is cool and features some nice vistas, the aliens are a tad interesting but the situations they're in are so cliché it's painful: yes, there's a scene where a little boy is hiding from an alien, when he thinks the beast is gone, he sighs and *surprise* the alien shows up to growl on his face for a little "scare" you can see for miles. Yep, it's that kind of movie.

America 3000
America 3000(1986)

Wow! What the bloody hell have I just watched?

Hilariously awful post apocalyptic thriller that looks like rubbish from start to finnish, with a campy story of Amazon like woman dominatrixes on a world where men are as dumb as cave man. But there's a men tribe led by an educated fellow who thinks he can restore love and affection back onto females. Amazing!

Beyond The Black Rainbow

Like a wet dream of Jodorowski, Cronenberg, Lynch and Kubrick's 2001 combined into one, with a distinctive creepy sci-fi movie vibe hailing from the 70s Russia.

It's pretty wonderful to look and listen to while it lasts and has a creepy aura surrounding the odd narrative but I'd be lying if once the novelty is gone, it overstay's it's welcome. And how soon the novelty will start to disappear will depend a lot on the type of viewer for sure.

Bait
Bait(2012)
½

Jeez, I hadn't seen something this bad in a while... and can't quite remember which twat of my friends recomended me this to hurt him somehow as payback :D

These characters are beyond belief. Wow, what a bunch of... I dunno what to call them really. Their interactions and personal dramas are so awful and with such bloody bad dialogues, I can't quite conceive any real motivations going on.

The CGI is atrocious but at least it's gory enough to be mildly entertaining.

The whole concept even on itself is so far-fatched, I honestly believed at first that this could be a goofy comedy (which would've worked much much better). A tsunami hits a coastal city in Australia, those morons get stuck on a shopping mall and white sharks get in there to hunt them (I guess). As these things go, conflicts among such exotic cast of characters occurr, but you can witness more bitch slapness on a kindergarten than here. Then, one moron does some moronic thing to get picked of, one at a time, then it ends. Yep.

Looper
Looper(2012)

This movie reminded me for the best reasons a 2012 little flick called Chronicle. On how you get to see the birth of a villain on a fresh and exciting way. I never really thought of the sci-fi aspects of Looper nor on the time-travel aspects because they're really straightforward and don't insult the common audience's intelligence by doing so, but achieves it's goal on smart storytelling superbly well. All the best recent sci-fi or brainy action movies always have a very strong humanistic value behind it and Looper does so well enough, exploring the themes of rejection, abandonment, adiction, motherhood and how they can shape you in the future. Much like the protagonist's anger route, he gets the answers he knows they're inevitable but does little to help it and once they're in his face (when his future self arrives), there's a chance for him to do things differently and change the collision course that's set right from the start.

Not just focused on the protagonists, there's also a superb last act on how "another" villain can be created and how it's salvation can be as simple... Won't spoil it much but it wraps what was told before surprisingly well.

I would like to see some things developed a bit more, like the villains which are a bit two-dimensional and cliché, the drug addiction could be explored a bit more as well and heck, why not a bit more of sci on the fi?

Still, a very solid movie with a fantastic pacing where time just flew way too quickly.

The Killer Inside Me

A very cold and emotionally distant noir flick that does wonders on pulling us into the mind of this sadistic character, leaving us very unconfortable while it lasts for the lack of easy answers one might try to find here. For these main factors, strong performances, great epoque style and cinematography, Winterbottom prooves once again that he's very ballsy on his ideas and the way it presents them and someone to keep always an eye out on his very diverse career.

Also, props once again for Casey Affleck for another stellar performance. He's cold cold cold, frigid frigid frigid!

A Serbian Film

The line between an angry statement and pure exploitation on this one is really really thin. But overall, the movie doesn't fall on it's gross premise.

Taking out the worse out of the way first: some violent scenes are just waaaay too over the top to be shocking and are almost, dare I say, laughable? (SPOILER______ eyeball rape? seriously?______ SPOILER END).
The acting can be a bit out of place at times and some characters deserved some more screen time, though I think that maybe if they had, things could go worse (main character's brother).

On the positive side of things, it's masterfully shot, the theme is handled really well with strong exagerated metaphors (that I don't mind when they have an actual purpose) and will certainly leave a scar on your mind.

As many have said, you'll love this and hate it at the same time and probably won't be coming back for it again.

50/50
50/50(2011)
½

A very light and good-hearted movie (given the subject, that's already a great accomplishment) that manages to be funny without being offensive.

The way the story unfolds is relatively simple and well handled with strong performances by all the cast involved, though I kinda wanted to see more of the relationship between the main actor and his girlfriend. Also, some more scenes with his parents would be nice, though what you have is superbly well handed and emotional.

And well, Seth Rogen, is Seth Rogen again on this one. For better and worse (even though I quite enjoyed his role on this one).

Crazy, Stupid, Love.
½

A good heartfelt movie, that combines well the romantic bits with easy comedy on a very well set up story. Unfortunently falls into many clichés of the genre that prevent it from being better than the genre classics.

Silent House
Silent House(2012)

To be honest, I didn't had a clue what this movie was about when I went to see it. Neither that it was a remake, nor that it used the technical gimmick of being filmed on a single shot. So it worked rather well at first, because the element of surprise was stunning, specially when the reviews were so underwhelming. But I don't like being cheated...

The first hour is absolutly nail-bitting, the tension is spot on and the technique of being filmed on a single take is indeed impressive and helps us to be on the same shoes of the lead character. And Olsen carries the movie with finesse. She doesn't have the complex array of emotions as in Martha Marcy May Marlene but she delivers for the most part.

The little droning soundtrack is used smartly and is as affecting as are the poorly lit environments.

Now, I really like small budgeted and honest flicks like this, that don't try to be more than what they are but having to add those twists and turns by the last 30minutes was a rather poor decision. Just the hints here and there were enough and I knew something was fishy with the story already. It wasn't necessary to go so over the top because that perspective you added so well at first quickly starts to make no sense at all and kills the one shot gimmick away. Not just that but the ending is one of those that ends abruptly. Not a case to cause impact but either "fuck it let's end here", "we ran out of money", "we can't deliver more". A missed opportunity but I kinda want to see this again to notice other little things that I'm sure are scattered throughout. And why not see the original and compare both?

Wanna see a similiar movie in this vein, made this year, executed much better? Go check Lovely Molly, it doesn't insult your intelligence and keeps the tone consistent throughout.

Pet Sematary
Pet Sematary(1989)

Tackles onto some rather difficult themes and imagery without going into exploitative territory, has a nice sense of dark humor and is capable of creating some well elaborated tense and atmospheric scenes but is ultimately letdown by a pace too slow for it's own good, which destroys a bit the tension it created early on. I'm all in favor of nice, slow paced atmospheric movies, but even on it's 1h40min runtime it's a bit of a drag.

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

It's been a really long while since I had seen this trilogy. Going back to Middle Earth was as enjoyable as was the first time I saw this at the movies, when I was on my early teens.

I've seen all the extended versions these last two days and I've opted to review the "trilogy" as a single movie, because in the end, that's what it really is.

To take on the gargantuan task of adapting Tolkien's work is just a mindblowing concept. It takes someone with a frickin ginormous pair of nuts to even dare to approach such books. I'm not a HUGE fan of the books, but I enjoyed them fair enough, so taking the elephant out of the room right now, this is a movie based on a book. It's not the book. If it was the "book" it would loose the purpose and would be downright impossible, so things had to be taken out, introduced and done on a different way. What's more important is how you do the approach to the source material, and Jackson and his crew do exacly what it should: the message of unity amongst diverse people, with different ideals, different creeds, how someone so little can achieve something so big, the ecologic message, the love for all things man can do of good, etc etc is all here, all proud and glorious. And obviously the main story and quest don't diverse that much from the original book trilogy.

The screenplay is sharp and very very ambitious, for it tackles so many genres that it could turn into a huge festival of random happenings but it's fortunently focused and it all feels consistent. There's comedy, love stories, warfare, adventure all over and even dowringht chilly horror and atmospheric moments. I really appreciate people who can blend so many approaches altogether, without loosing focus on the essential. There are flaws though, sometimes sequences are a bit repetitive and happen a bit too often and the dialogues can come as corny and cheesy to almost unbearable levels at times but it's passable and pretty much all of the actors deliver really well the difficult tasks they had at hand.

One thing that accompanies the script really well is the superb cinematography. Not just the gorgeous shots of New Zeland but how many moods are created on all situations with fantastic lighting, brilliant set designs, lively costumes and a good blend of CGI landscapes with natural environments. Middle Earth feels alive and no character feels out of place in it. Some things haven't quite endured the test of time. Studio lighting sometimes comes way off on character's faces on CGI heavy sequencies, it's evident the chroma used on some scenes and sometimes the mix of natural light and digital on both real actors and digital creatures creates a very distracting mix.
The CGI is superb after all this time, specially when the creatures are still. They have tons of details on their expressions and are all very well design. But when things get moving.... boy, things get hairy now 10 years later. It's all too blurry, feels unnatural and you can spot for miles what is animated and what's not, creating a very messy blend. Nevertheless, at the time this was made, I was in complete awe, but nothing like having something livelier, characterized in front of you, but hey, given the creatures you see that would be just impossible, no?

Soundtrack is memorable, I was humming the tunes all the time, for I remembered them all this time later and helps the audience to indentify where they're at and with whom.

Going into more detail would be painful on such a huge movie with so many ideas, genres, characters, action set pieces, etc. But this is indeed a masterpiece of recent times and changed many things. Not only is this a nearly flawless technical ride, way ahead of it's time when introducing on how Gollum came to be and with many other inovations on the FX department, but it also never forgot having heart, soul, giving every character the attention it deserves, respecting the source material, getting across a universal message for all ages and for all creeds, leaving a huge smile on your face with contempt. This is cinema. When you get out of a movie theatre and have learned something or felt something that makes you a richer person, being 10 or 80 years old, then the filmmakers have completed their goals. And LOTR has plenty for everyone and even spare for the naysayers.

Galaxy of Terror (Mindwarp: An Infinity of Terror) (Planet of Horrors) (Quest)

A movie that earned an X-Rating for featuring an alien worm like rape scene has got my attention for sure!

Just another cheap Alien rip-off movie, that even stole an unused draft of the script from the aformentioned. This could've been much more fun if the tone wasn't so serious and dramatic because what's going on on screen is pretty ridiculous.

It's fun while it lasts because it's an actual pretty interesting movie from a visual standpoint. It was also here that James Cameron had the boost of his career, serving as Production Designer and Second Unit Director, preparing here the sequel to the movie that inspired Galaxy of Terror the most, Aliens. There are some very similiar shots and ideas here that were later used on Cameron's successful sequel to Ridley Scott's masterpiece, so it's fun to check this one out for the sake of seeing one of the best sequels ever being fermented on this goofy ride.

To Rome with Love
½

Another Woody Allen auto-pilot movie.

The story line where he's in is hilarious enough and would be a fine movie on itself if it helped developing his cast a bit more. Pretty much everyone has something funny to say with the exception of Alison Pill's character which is so bland and forgettable I almost forgot about her when talking to my mates about the movie.

Another down on the movie is the newly wed italian couple. The story is just unfunny and unnecessary but Penelope Cruz's character is the saving grace of that segment on an hilarious role and with a surprisingly accurate italian dialect.

Jesse Eisenberg's story is so-so and again, a case where an actor kinda saves the segment: Alec Baldwin serving as Eisenberg's conscience, a mature version of himself, always one step ahead on the poor decisions he's about to make.

Roberto Benigni story is funny at first but stretched for far too long and his over the top gimmicks and physical comedy overstay it's welcome.

And I'm not sure that the spirit of Rome is captured well in these love stories, they're so generic they could happen anywhere else with the same consequences and outcomes. Save for some references of renowened italian actors, there's not much of Rome in it.

A very underdeveloped movie but with enough gags to be nice enough.

Dredd
Dredd(2012)

Ahhhh this took me way back to the awesome action flicks of the 80s, with those badass heroes that were never in peril, always kicking ass and with something dry to say on their short dialogue lines.

Dredd is a surprising boost of non stop action, thrilling tense moments, violent and dry set pieces that are not as overstylized as you might think. The Slo-Mo moments are few but used really well throughout.

The premise is very similiar to this year's The Raid, though this one was in production for over two years before it's release, it's hard to say if this is an unfortunate coincidence... it's open to debate but both movies stand on their own well. The story is straightforward with surprisingly smart little hints here and there that present the world really well. It's subtle but works fantasticly. You don't need to know shit about the comics universe to understand these characters, what's going on around and what might come next. Also, there's no drama: this is balls to the wall action movie, no more, no less. Olivia Thirlby's character is our human connection to this unforgiving world but later on, it's evident the small traces of doubt she might have towards the ruthless actions of the Judges and becoming one herself are long gone. All this made me think that it would be very very smart for an upcoming sequel to explore how the inhabitants of Mega City One are completly controlled and have no privacy on their lives towards the Judges strict legislations and voyeuristic control, making them a bit fascist, turning tables, demonizing these heroes a bit, like the fantastic comic from Dredd, America. There were some hints on the movie but not enough to affect the straightforward and simple story. Would be awesome given that the people behind this are confident and haven't toned down this one. To explore such complex thematics on an hardcore action movie would be fresh and very welcome to the genre. Fingers crossed.

Fish Tank
Fish Tank(2010)

Leave it to the british to deliver the best lower class dramas.
On Fish Tank, we follow the socially awkward and angry Mia, her sexual awakening and how the child of a broken marriage and an alienated mother can affect a teenager on a crucial moment of their lives.

As it is tradition from these dramas, the camera is at all the times following the main character, we're immediatly in her life from minute one and we barely ever abandon her. The performances are stunning, specially from the newcomer Katie Jarvis (what is she doing lately?) and another fantastic performance is delivered by Michael Fassbender on a very ambiguous character that speaks volumes on how the movie can still surprise you later on.

A very potent and gritty drama that somehow lacks a little bit of a spark to make it truly outstanding above the rest.

Forbidden World (Mutant)

An amazing looking sci-fi flick for such a tiny budget, fun, complete nonsensical opening, loads of female exploitation, vintage synth soundtrack, tons of gore, stupid monsters and a plot stolen from Alien. What more can you ask from your average cheesy sci-fi flicks?

Some Guy Who Kills People

It starts out as a very funny dark comedy with buckets of gore and surprisingly still delivers a nice character study, very well acted, giving room for every actor to shine. That town sheriff is hilarious and the lead portrays really well with small nuances this troubled character.

It's a shame that once the novelty is gone, the movie doesn't offer much else. It's still fun while it goes but predictable and a tad too slow. And obviously, there's a twist by the end, which is a shame.

Most modern horror/thrillers to stand out lately, usually offer a fantastic blend of genres to be original, finding balance between them. Some Guy Who Kills People has excellent writting, great humour and interesting characters but needs a spark to make it truly shine. A bit of a missed opportunity but worth a shot.

Kingdom of Heaven

(I'm reviewing the Director's Cut, I hadn't seen the original, nor do I have a clue of what was put onto the theatrical cut, so I'm judging the movie for what it is)

A very nice and detailed take on the Crusades, both on an emotional level, on the themes it shows and just on the plain spectacularity of the art direction.

Each character on the story have enough depth to affect outcomes towards the last act of the movie and that is a really good thing to see on a movie with such scale and with such a huge budget, nothing feels rushed and everything has a nice resolution. Not only do the actors do a good job on portraying these characters but Scott's eye for detail also helps to tell the story on a visual level like he has never done before.

The themes of tolerance towards religion might seem a bit heavy handed but I actually read them as a message towards tolerance in general and that is showcased with the vast cast and their interactions. It falls a bit on not adding a bit more depth to other interesting themes to be explored given the context but all is in favor of the story. It's a bit of a shame but what you have is gold and further viewings could help to improve the movie. It also stalls a bit towards the middle section when Bloom's character reaches Jerusalem and tries to find it's place in there. I felt it was a bit aimless and unnecessary, nevertheless the way the city is shown is truly glorious, blending perfectly detailed set designs and CGI.

A fantastic visual work from Scott on top form, with each frame being something stupendous to look at, never forgetting it's core message and never mistaking forced spectacularity for storytelling.

Savages
Savages(2012)

Boy, do I know who was smoking way too much weed while making this movie, eh Mr. Stone? (God bless his name)

It's just a complete mess from start to finnish with very little redeeming value on any department. The two leads are bland and completely forgettable, though giving them a different approach from the classic stone head was a wise decision. Miss Lively actually does her best to portray that fragile and loveless character but her dialogue lines are so horrible it almost becomes unbearable, specially on the voice over she does, which is where most of the problems reside: the screenplay. Three guys wrote this. THREE. And no one cared to do a double check on inconsistencies, 3-year-old dialogues and that always god-awful mix of two separate languages onto one? Swearing in Spanish is great, I know. Adding some dialogues in said Spanish has a different impact, sure, but when you switch from that to a strongly forced accented English that is just hilariously bad, it's distracting and doesn't help anyone.

Add that, to the traditional mess of editing and over the top stylistic choices Stone does and you're in for a complete mess. Hell, in this one he seems to have stolen techniques from other films because he thought they were cool: JJ Abrams's lens flare, Funny Games' rewind scene and so on.

There's jus tone scene in this movie that is truly great. The showdown between Del Toro and Travolta's characters which was just great. There could've been a really decent movie with that approach: exploring in better detail this drug trade in California and the people behind it would be Great. How the violence it generates can affect the world and innocent bystanders. But no, it's all too cheap, superficial and pointless in the end, like those goddamn horrible Nouvelle Vague-esque scenes.

Necronomicon: Book of the Dead

A fun adaptation of some of Lovecraft's tales related to the Necronomicon but also a very messy movie at that. The most interesting stories are the worse directed and acted and the best talents wasted on the middle story which is too boring and actually, one of Lovecraft's lowest and most uninteresting short stories. A good ride for the fans but overall, too messy and rushed to be truly memorable.

Hell
Hell(2011)

What starts out as a very interesting, with a great pacing post-apocalyptic thriller à lá The Road quickly shifts gear by the 45min mark onto just straight thriller/horror which is it's biggest setback because the movie stalls and turns into just another "let's escape these evil-doers" kind of movie.

The character interactions were great at first and felt realistic enough for the situations at hand. The acting was overall pretty good and the cinematography and directing was top notch with such a small budget but such a shame it shifted gears towards the end.

Borrows a bit too much from The Road but lacks the intimacy and amazingly grim mood the aformentioned created.

Dread
Dread(2009)

Starts of with a rather interesting premise but it's a bit over long to cause a lasting impact. And that impact will rely later on on some shocking gory scenes to keep you on the edge of your seat. Nevertheless, it's a smartly crafted on a technical level psychological horror flick, with a good story but mediocre script and too slow story-telling. A bunch of unknown but very talented actors actually help a lot the flick and you will curse their choices and hate the villain with a passion (for the best reasons).

Worth a look, specially if you are a fan of flicks that explore fear and how it destroys you. A nice companion and different perspective to the vastly superior Martyrs.

The Tall Man
The Tall Man(2012)
½

After the brutal, unforgiving and one of my favorite recent horror movies Martyrs, the director Pascal Laugier switched gears with The Tall Man with very mediocre results. I'm not judging the movie for being completly different from Martyrs, I'm judging it for what it is: a below average thriller with a couple of twists to be it's saving grace. One smart enough, the rest just to confirm an idea that is stretching for way too long.

The goods: great cinematography and well acted through and through even if the dialogue has some frailties here and there. The story is alright and as I said one of the twists works well enough.

The badies: The first half is an okish thriller but the "action" scene is completly excused and out of place. I thought the movie was gonna derail from there but fortunently it picked up the pace, more or less. After the first twist is gone, the movie stretches for so long on the social critique it's doing it almost becomes unbearable on how self-important it thinks it is. And of course, as these movies go, there are more surprises towards the end which are just too flat and forced to cause a real impact.

An okish first half of a thriller set on a desperate setting and a too self-important second half that'll keep on make you yawning, for there isn't anything really going on worth caring once the surprise is gone.

Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted
½

It has moments which are really funny and some new characters are well introduced but there's just not anything resembling a story or plot thread throughout. It's all way too simplistic and poorly executed to be truly remarkable. With so many new characters and setpieces, obviously the movie would suffer, what is a real shame is that the main characters have so little screentime it's unbelievable they've done this to them. Add an incomprehensibly neon-atrocious circus act in the end and the movie could've fail immensely if it wasn't for the large entertainment value it has.

V/H/S
V/H/S(2012)
½

Yet, another entry on the hand-held/found-footage genre that is getting so saturated it's almost unbearable at times the amount of movies that come out using this gimmick. But wait! This is a compilations of short stories directed by guys who never really enjoyed the genre, so this might be interesting, I thought. And it kinda is, fortunently.

The whole thing suffers from immense plot holes, horrid acting (specially on Tuesday The 17th) which I believe can be adressed to the compilation format. Also, some of the gimmicks that tie the main thread story with the short story segments are frail and don't make much sense (like how the hell was the Skype story recorded, shot, if "it wasn't recorded by one of the protagonists". How did it end on that house next to those tapes?). But actually that main story is ok and has a nice twist going.

Highlights go to Amateur Night and it's scary and critique tone with great scares and gory moments. The Sick Thing That Happened to Emily When She Was Younger is really good thanks to the format it uses and some downright chilly moments. Also, the last twist is so bizarre it got my head spinning. And finally 10/31/98 is downright fuckin tense the moment the characters get into that house.

The lowest stories are Ti West's (as expected) with an overly long, boring thriller-like story without any satisfying resolution or any decent atmosphere. If you're into his movies, you'll love it, but me? Not so much. And Tuesday The 17th is just a regular slasher flick with an interesting villain but too short to cause any impact and has characters so awfully acted it's almost downright unwatchable.

I kept the stories as vague as possible cause the less you know about them, the more surprised you'll get and that's the biggest advantage of this compilation. It can be quite surprising at times even if you've seen most of these stories before. Worth a look for sure.

Lovely Molly
Lovely Molly(2012)
½

I didn't had any expectations for this one thanks to the amount of bad press this has been having but I've always followed Eduardo Sanchez movies with interest. Blair Witch was super great (I haven't seen it since it hit the theatres dunno if it aged well) and Altered was a fun little alien invasion gory comedy.

Lovely Molly has something of Blair Witch going on with the uncertainty of what's going to happen next and why. Surely, we know right from the start that the main character is a troubled one but the director skillfully blends many genres to make the viewer unconfortable thanks to that uneasiness it creates right from the start. Is it a haunting? A psychological thriller? A possession? An indie character study? It doesn't matter for it pays in visceral effect without being explicit.

The themes it approaches on the "men" surrounding Moly's life is smart and shares something similiar like last year's also fantastic Martha Marcy May Marlene.
It's nothing you haven't seen before on the genres I mentioned early on but the approach is spot on.

Add a great, convincing and tough performance by the lead, smart cinematography that like the genres it approaches, uses different techniques to make it work, a haunting dronish soundtrack by Tortoise, smart sound design and this is a little success that unfortunently went unnoticed.

Don't expect easy answers of a "resolution", just experience it and it might affect you like it did to me.

John Carter
John Carter(2012)
½

A big mess of editing, pacing and just complete confusion on the characterization of pretty much everything. It has it's golden moments that are painfull to see because there was a pretty awesome movie somewhere in here. The pros can be adressed to a bunch of interesting characters like Dejah, Sola and the frickin awesome running dog, some inspired plot devices and the obvious gargantuan visuals which despite having seen all this before still feels fresh and only gives another huge added value to the incredible imagination of Edgar Rice Burroughs which was way ahead of it's time when he wrote these adventures.

A longer running time, less cheese, a modernization of the story could've helped this immensely, we're just treated with a bellow average action movie (there's very little sci-fi here) with amazing production values.

Piranha 3DD
Piranha 3DD(2012)
½

After the goofy and fun Piranha 3D I was expecting something way crazier than this. It's just a really boring and uninspired movie that leaves the best for last and even that doesn't top the last set piece of the 2010 remake, despite having The Hoff in it. Complete retarded characters that aren't funny or likeable, unispired gory moments run ammock, heck even repetitions of piranhas on penises show up again (with underwhelming effects...). It has it's moments but they're too little to save this mess. Even the scale of the whole thing feels way smaller than the original, go figure.

The Whisperer In Darkness

Yet another very satisfying, respectful and entertaining adaption of one of HP Lovecraft's most accomplished stories by the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society. The movie embraces the classic sci-fi aesthetic from the 40s and 50s with remarkable results for such a small budgeted flick thanks to a smart script and excellent use of atmosphere and pacing. Some special effects are clunky which helps the movie at times thanks to inspired cinematography but also has some awkward results towards the end on the CGI animated beasts which just doesn't make much sense. Also, the soundtrack is absolutly atrocious and overbearing, distracting the viewer way too much from the narrative and without any emotional resonance.

All in all, a fantastic effort after the already great Call of Cthulhu adaptation by the HPLHS. Bring more of these!

The Big Lebowski

A very inspired movie from the Coens with typical missunderstandings, bigger than life characters on their own small time affairs, great directing and visuals and brilliant performances all the way.

[REC] 3 Genesis
½

The hand held camera genre is dead. And one of the guys who gave an incredible boost to the genre in 2007 claims so when the movie switches from the genre he helped popularize to a traditional horror flick with all it's related gimmicks. Soundtrack included! This is where the movie fails: the intentionally cheesy start holds good promise of a mock genre movie but when the fabulous scene where the hand held genre is destroyed (with a lot of jokes on the genre early on too), things just crumble onto familiar territory. There's nothing new here other than a tongue in cheek mood with some well inspired gore-gags here and there but nothing worth much of a fuss. Not even well placed jump scares are here and far gone is the atmosphere of the first two. Also, with a title like Genesis you'd hope to find some answers but only vague stuff is presented again that doesn't contribute much to the mythos of Rec.

A well intentioned change of tone that just didn't work all too well.

Children of Men

The way this dystopia is presented is absolutly amazing on every level. It's biggest triumph is that it is really subtle and everything is presented with finesse without over exposition at any given time. The story is good and serves the themes of the movie very well, but there are some frailties on the middle section that stalls things a bit. Nevertheless the last act is incredibly suspensefull and emotional wrapping everything up remarkably well.

Easy Rider
Easy Rider(1969)
½

The counterculture movie to end them all, few movies have ever captured the complete aimlessness and downfall of the "hippie" culture. I'm obviously being too literate because this movie representes way more than that: the culture clash of the various american ways of life, the too much amount of liberty these people had, the in your face drug use as escapism to a troubled life (as so brilliantly portrayed in the trippy scene towards the end and Peter Fonda's lines), amongst other topics.

All this feels free as a bird as intended with a very visual way of telling the story, great and memorable soundtrack and class acting by the leads.

The anti road movie of no dream, no hope and no easy end at the end.

The Toolbox Murders
½

After a bloody violent (and rather pointless) first 25 minutes that is on the verge of going into exploitative territory, this slasher flick turns into a buddy movie of let's find the murderer so boring it's painful. Then, we get to meet the murder and delve into his psyche on a character study so out of place and tedious it hurts. But wait, there's more: add a freakish and complete nonsensical ending and there you have The Toolbox Murders, a film that seems it was glued together by a bunch of different people that didn't had a clue what the previous person was working on from the start.

They Came from Beyond Space

An entertaining but ultimately very poorly executed drama sci-fi click, drawing obvious influences from the 50s classics. Worth a shot for it's cheesiness, horrid acting, huge plot holes and entertainment value.

Possession (The Night the Screaming Stops)
½

So, am I supposed to feel frustrated and extremely annoyed by the end of the movie, because that's the way the director thinks we should feel like about the breakdown of a marriage? Congrats, mission accomplished, you've just made an unbearable movie.

It tried to be riddled with symbolism about relationships, commitment, betrayal, faithfullness but it's just pretentious beyond words and uses completly derivative imagery to achieve such goals. Most of them completly excused, repetitive and add nothing to the "point" of the movie. Plus, it's a really ugly movie to look at: bland, horrible use of steadycam and travel shots, toneless soundtrack and list can go on indefinently. And the horror twist everyone talks about? Really, that's the big selling for you guys? I'm not even gonna start on that. It's so anti climatic everytime it happens, it just looses the impact it should have and goes into exploitative territory very quickly in the end.

Now let's get to the worse of it. The acting. Now THAT Mr. Zulawski is an accomplishment on itself. How to use two magnificent actors so poorly is beyond words. Worse is probably how they went along with this. Adjani just gets annoying beyond anything you can conceive. On the first half, she's a scream queen, on the second, words just can't describe how ridiculous things go. Also props for the hilarious german lover which is something that really needs to be witnessed.

It certainly is interesting the way it explores the themes at hand but the execution is so ridiculous that the train derails really quickly.

I've had my share of experimental, heavy symbolic ridden flicks and boy do I love to explore them when they're done well. Look at Jodorowski, look at Cronenberg, look at Lynch. This is just pretentious garbage.

A Cat in the Brain (Un gatto nel cervello) (Nightmare Concert)
½

A Cat In The Brain is the 8 1/2 of horror movies, directed by the one and only Lucio "grandfather of gore" Fulci. It's a must for fans of his work, re imagining some of his classic imagery on a story where a troubled horror director gets haunted by visions of his own work. And guess what, that director is Lucio himself on an hilariously bad role.

A surprisingly smart and completly over the top gory ride showcasing a nice resumé of Fulci's work. Definently not for the faint of heart.

Moonrise Kingdom
½

Perfectly framed, shot, colorful and vibrant, my main fear on the newest Wes Anderson flick, from what I had read and seenm was that the director just got a bit lost on the technical aspects of it not focusing on what really matters. Fortunently, I was very wrong and all that I mentioned aboved works so, so well it really needs to be seen because words will fall flat on how it captures the year the story is on, how it captures the characters feelings and what they're going through and how just plain fun it is.

The cast is spot-on on all aspects, though as usual on some of Wes's flicks, some characters are a bit under developed which is a shame because all of them are extremely entertaining, flawed and affecting.

A very quirky comedy with Wes's typically flawed protagonists but that'll always keep you smilling through and through. And a litte fuck off to Wes from my part if you indulge me: why the flying fuck did you kill the Fox Terrier, you prick? I had two of them, have a little heart!! Because mine just stopped at that scene. :D

American Beauty
½

Was it overrated when it showed up? Sure it was a little a bit, it's nothing more than an heavy dark comedy with a very characteristical acidic touch to the american dream like many others existed before it. But truth be told, everything it does, it does so flawlessly and that's where it's success resides.

Spider-Man 2
Spider-Man 2(2004)
½

A huge improvement over the first installment, Spider Man 2 brought everything it did well on the first one, making it better by a thousand. Not just that but it also erased some of the flaws of the previous like the flat Mary-Jane character and over the top cartoonish villain by something much more down to earth and affecting, blending seamlessly really well with the themes of the movie. Aunt May on the first flick was a bit annoying to stand but in here, everything she says is meaningful, extremely powerful and affecting, the perfect testament on how the whole movie was improved, always respecting the fans not only from the movie franchise but the comics as well.

Spider-Man
Spider-Man(2002)

It hasn't aged very well ten years after it's release. The beginning is too rushed and cartoonish, the villain is too "villanous" (?), Kirsten Dunst is annoying as Mary Jane and some characters could've been much more fleshed out to give a bigger band to the story. But it's still an amazing start of a trilogy with heart, action, great story and definently alongside the first X-Men movie, crafted the way for future super hero movies. X-Men was the first warning super hero movies could be amazing if done correctly, Spider-Man was the confirmation and the most successful marriage between artistic integrity with pleasing the audience on all levels.

Dead Alive
Dead Alive(1993)

An hilarious, brutally gory ride from start to finnish without forgetting that we're supposed to care for these characters. I don't think the last mansion scene will ever be topped by any movie anytime soon.

Buckets and buckets of gory fun!

Meet the Feebles
½

The anti-Muppets movie showing the worse of the worse of showbiz with a cast of hideous puppets that talk too much and is hilarious all the way it lasts. It's just a shame that there's not a "main story" to tie the madness that is going on, just rather short stories of multiple characters and their downfalls

The Crater Lake Monster

"Holy shit" was what crossed my mind when I realized this movie is from 1977, because it looks terrible. It seems something straight out of the 50s but with color and the stop motion is just too atrocious for words.

Acting is bad beyond belief, the "comedy" misses the mark completly and is extended to unconfortable levels interviening with serious moments that just don't add up, the monster is a mindless killing dinossaur with no personality with a rubber head floating on water that is just hilarious and the story.... man the story.... and that scrpt... it's pretty much one huge hole filled with turds and you're swimming in it. Something happens for the monster to wake-up (which is pretty funny too) and then he just kills one useless character at a time for 1 hour and 30 frickin minutes to get killed by.... wait for it.... a bulldozer!!! Fuck yeah!!

As you might've guessed, this is an hilariously bad campy movie, I loved it.

Non si deve profanare il sonno dei morti (Let Sleeping Corpses Lie) (Don't Open the Window)

A very serious (probably too serious?) zombie flick that tries desperatly to bring it's big themes to life without forgetting good tense scenes and gory moments. A very interesting culture clash between a young self-aware generation and the older one, contempt with conformism and rules that end up in a memorable ending.

Probably a bit too long for it's liking and obviously has every b-movie problems, specially with the acting, but the big ideas and parallels come together well with the story without being too preechy or in your face.

21 Jump Street
½

A funny adaptation of the cult TV hit that is funny through and through but doesn't offer anything new to the table.

The beginning is way too similiar to Hot Fuzz but things quickly get an identity and the chemistry between the leads works surprisingly well, specially from Channing Tatum who proved here he's quite the capable actor if given the chance.
Surprisingly the worse bits come from the action sections which are unexciting, unfunny and perfectly excused.

Asides from that, a very amusing ride from start to finnish with some neat surprises towards the end.

Resident Evil: Afterlife

Holy shit! This one actually made the prowess of being even worse than the other three. I thought that was impossible but they've succeeded.

Why did I even watched this? Just one of those odd days where my inner cheese movie midget asked for something atrocious. Again! Damn midget....

I mean, how can someone actually make a "story" like this? Seriously, what the flying fuck have I just watched? Let's deliberatly crash a plane on the top of a building, on a deserted and zombie plagued LA, cause people might need help and now let's head out to El Dorado, which I just came from but doesn't exist but it still might do and it's just a boat on the coast called El Dorado. Confused? Don't be! BOOM! SPLOSIONS! ZOMBIES! NEW ZOMBIES (with no explanation why they are there asides from having a neat mouth)! DUDE WITH A SLEDGE! LOOK, THE GUY FROM PRISON BREAK PLAYING A MAIN CHARACTER FROM THE GAMES BUT NOT SAYING OR DOING ANYTHING OTHER THAN LOOK MEAN AND BADASS! Give us your money already!

Lookin' forward to the next one, cause boy, if it manages to be worse than this... I can only think of the possibilites.

Burn After Reading
½

After a somewhat frail and unnecessary long start, things quickly start to get hilariously outlandish with each character turning memorable for the best reasons possible. Not only are these clueless idiots likeable but it's when the shit hits the fan that the characters get more developed throughout the impossibility of this story, unlike the boring start. Even the small roles like the one from JK Simmons are superbly written and memorable, just a shame that the movie is very uneven with these characters at first.

Il Postino: The Postman (Il Postino)

A beautifuly poetic love story, told with expterise by a smart script and direction by Michael Radford and a heartbreaking a lovable performance from Massimo Troisi, pulling the heartstrings one word at a time. Add a memorable ending and you got a little classic. I just felt it was a bit of shame that the cinematography didn't gave the use necessary of the amazing location the flick was shot. Could've been something way better than what was present but what you have is class.

Spider-Man 3
Spider-Man 3(2007)

Yet, another third entry on a super-hero franchise plagued by way too many characters and plotlines. In the end it never gives a satisfying conclusion to any, falling flat very quickly, which is a shame since all the characters presented are interesting and the actors try their best to portray them. An Raimi tried really hard to never forget the humanistic driving force of the previous entries, which gives space for some very interesting character dynamics but again, never fully explored as it should've. A missed opportunity screwed by too much studio intervention and fanboy requests.

Thelma & Louise
½

The perfect buddy-chick movie. Fantastic script that gives depth to all the characters, gives great use of dark humour to the unfortunate missunderstandings (and poor decisions) these humane characters are put through and never forgets the motives and problems of the leads in favour of cheap sentimentalism. Boosted by stellar performances from Sarandon and Davis, the movie quickly goes into unforgettable territory right from the start. Also, a surprisingly constrained direction by Scott gives room for the more important aspects of the film, which was a very smart decision, but there's still classic Ridley trademarks all over: indoor lighting, outstanding and exciting set pieces and a great american road movie feeling thanks to impressive set locations without being too huge and distracting.

A nearly flawless humanistic movie that'll make you laugh, cry and root right from the start from these charismatic outlaws.

X2: X-Men United

Improves on the previous on all levels: it's smarter on it's themes and how they're approached, using well the characters and newcomers to reach it's goal, the action set pieces are emotionally engaging, pretty much all the main characters have satisfying story-arcs and never insults the intelligence of us by presenting gratuitous moments to distract us from it's main focus. There are problems though and they are somewhat similiar to it's predecessor: there are still plot holes that can't go missed, like Stryker's backstory and motives which are just too rushed and a bit nonsense at times, some clunky dialogue and acting continues (ahem Halle Berry ahem) but all in all, small details on a fantastic sequel that set the benchmark of all super-hero sequels.

X-Men: The Last Stand

Starts out alright with the interaction between the characters explored to interesting levels, some new ones are introduced well but it soon starts to try to handle too many things at once. Either follow the evil Jane route or the mutant cure one, cause half-way through, characters are forgotten, under developed and replaced by emotinally bland action sections that lack the impact of the previous films. Add some cheesy dialogue as usual on the series, plot holes and just pure unnecessary moments (like the forest scene) and this is a letdown to finnish the trilogy. Nevertheless, it's still an entertaining ride that doesn't forget the humanistic topics of the comics and interesting character interactions. Well, at least it doesn't forget so on the first half of it's running time...

Reign Over Me
½

Cheadle and Sandler try their best on this interesting story but everything falls flat on a very uneven script that makes some twists and turns that don't make much sense given the story arcs of the characters.

Nightbreed
Nightbreed(1990)

A spectacle of amazing creature design that forgets completly that there's supposed to be a story to back everything up, like in most Barker movies. Half-way through, I was incredibly bored and couldn't feel anything to any of these characters, asides from a spontaneous "oh look at that cool monster". Forgetable but with a surprising evil role for David Cronenberg.

X-Men
X-Men(2000)
½

A running time a bit longer would've helped to develop some characters from the good and bad guys because some of the main leads are super under-developed and with really poor writing/acting (Storm is gastly for instance). The story flows nicely, paying good respect to the comics but a larger sense of urgency could've helped. By the time the last battle sequence came I was a bit bored and even that last stand was bit underwhelming. All in all, a decent adaptation, very entertaining without forgetting the humanity and narrative.

Slave Girls from Beyond Infinity

Incredibly awful and hilarious acting, exploitative beyond belief, horrible costumes/creature design and a complete nonsense of a story/dialogues makes up for this entertaining piece of trash. For fans only, the title says it all.

The Raid: Redemption
½

"That's it?!" - it was what honestly came to my mind when the flick finnished. I had heard such amazing praise for the relentless pace and action scenes, I had huge expectations for it.
Unfortunently, much of the goodies are on the trailer... and there's nothing quite like it in the rest of the movie to top it, which wouldn't be a problem if the pace didn't had so many breaks to present a mega-cliché and poor atempt at a "story". Fuck that shit! Either go super-bananas from start to finnish (which was what I was expecting, not wanting a "story" per se) or try to create a better connection with the audience and the characters, but don't use these horrible twists you can see for miles, that break the pace, are unnecessary, are poorly acted in general and never give a satisfying resolution in the end.

Well, the goodies are absolutly frenetic and tense as hell, backed up by a tight editing and really strong direction, they're definently some of the best I've seen.

Prometheus
Prometheus(2012)
½

SPOILERS AHEAD

It's not ambiguity that holds Prometheus back from becoming a genuine classic sci-fi contender. It was a lousy script and rushed last act that prevented it from becoming something trascendental.

I'm not sure who to blame (because I'm really pissed of for this not being amazing, Alien is still my favorite movie ever) but Mr. Scott should've know better to keeps things a bit more constrained in terms of narrative. You wanted ambiguity? You have absolutly brilliant moments in it on the first hour. The opening scene is just amazing, the "temple" murals are beautiful to watch, what happened 2000 years ago for the alien inhabitants to mess up are a great mistery to explore later, why all of a sudden we're game for them is cool too, but why did you had to fall onto familiar horror cliché later? Our villain is an almost slasher flick character! I always thought these Space Jockey's were smart, evil sure, but an advanced and scary civilization as you told us on the first hours, not with a straight loonatic behaviour right from the start. Ok, so he was in hyper-sleep for 2000 years, we probably butt-fucked them by then, they were pissed and wanted to wipe us out by then too and that's all interesting and a scary prespective for him to be coocoo but it's just too rushed what triggers it. David's character words could've set it of, the realisation that he was a robot probably pissed him for us to be playing gods as well but there isn't a clear indication of what set it of, and ambiguity here CAN'T work and CAN'T be excused to be explained in later sequels, I'm sorry.

There's also a lack of character development on some of the leads and it pains me, cause there was potential for something huge. Yeah fan boys, there's 17 characters here, obviously most of them would end in a zip, don't complain about those, complain about the under used chemistry of Idris Elba and Charlize Theron's character, the scary ambiguity if Theron's a robot too or not, super under-used too, how the transformation form naive religious believer to rambo mode of Noomi's character is way too rushed and a bit unbelievable (she get's out of a C-Section like a pro with all things considered) but all in all they deliver. There's really good acting throughout from them nontheless.
The star of the bunch of obvious Fassbender on another amazing performance and something we hadn't seen from him yet. This goofy darkly comic robot performance steals the show everytime he's in. For fuck's sake, the flute moment was actually great with his expression and the whole moment was supposed to be funny given the character that he is, stop complaining about it either fan boys, there's bigger things to be concerned.

Then there's an issue I have with the editing... I'm not sure if the money ran off or if they wanted to keep a fast-paced feeling throughout but there's sloppy moments in it. The ship landing is rushed and you can notice odd cuts in it and it repeats later on some scenes. I genuinely (want to) believe there's a longer cut somewhere. Ridley Scott's films are generally really really well edited with each scene having enough time to "breath" and delve onto the characters motives or to show his amazing vision (he's at the top of his game here) and I didn't felt it here. The studio holding it down? Probably, look on how the extended cut of Alien3 is so much better than the original and things make much more sense that way.

I get it, this is a huge risk for everyone involved. For the studio to release a sci-fi flick at the start of the summer, rated R with brainy topics that our generation of viewers is (unfortunently) not used to, with open questions and not exacly strong/known leads in the cast is a frickin huge shot in the dark and it HAD to succeed anyway they could. Ridley is not exacly a dumbass and delievered a more by the numbers last-act for the common audience and for fan-boy pleasing but even so, it feels inconsistent with what you told on your story before. Really hope you have a secret extended cut on the shelves to be released later cause it sure feels like there is one behind the little messes that show up.

This might sound like a huge complaint on a bad film but understand that I love this type of films and Alien is my favorite ever. The way this pseudo-prequel was being presented was everything I could've hoped for on a tired saga but the movie is still marvelous to some extent. The first hour is awe-inspiring and intriguing, superbly immersive thanks to not only the amazing shots but how the mix of top-notch special effects and set design are built, on how it will make you debate great little things scattered throughout, the smart simple story behind it and for cool impactful visceral moments.

A missed opportunity, sure, relying too much on the inevitable upcoming sequels to fill the gaps, but a very fun/brainy ride through and through.

Michael
Michael(2012)

This is hands down one of the scariest movies I've seen. Delving into the mind of a pedophile in such detail is no easy ride for sure. The implied sexual violations are brutal and never fall onto easy exploitative territory. Never knowing if the predator has feelings, is just a monster, if he's seeking a relationship with a child, if he regrets it is explored into such detail we just want it all to end quickly. This is obvious a masterful work from the director who keeps things really well balanced without falling into easy shocking territory and always showing as well how the victim is affected throughout. It also needed a really strong lead to succeed and Michael Fuith delivers with scary detail.

Not an easy watch but an intriguing scary ride on humanity's worse depravity.

Tourist Trap
Tourist Trap(1979)
½

A goofy, oddball horror thriller that despite being interesting on concept and execution it just falls prey on a boring script (when things are supposed to get exciting, the leads and villain are just on a room talking for 30 minutes....) and borrows a bit too many elements on already established classic.

Young Adult
Young Adult(2011)
½

A classly acted portrayl of a prolonged adolescent by miss Theron is a funny and at times unconfortable ride to take. What makes it work, is that this detestable character can be related to some of our modern day obsessions and for being an ultimately flawed and frail poor little figure in the end, that we feel sorry for.
My biggest drawback is that I wanted some characters to be a bit more fleshed out and not so clichéd but praise to where it's given, Theron steals every bit of dialogue whenever someone new pops in and kinda makes hard for everyone else to stand out.

Marvel's The Avengers
½

This could only go two ways: huge success, major failure. Fortunently for Marvel Studios, it succeeded big time.

I think this is the type of movie that tries to please everyone and ends up being pretty inconsistent in the end. The super-ego clashes are spot-on and every lead is carefully characterized bringing great tense/comic scenes to the table, a fantastic work from the script and that's the biggest selling point for me in the movie. Sure, some minor characters got the short-end of the stick, but hey, did you really wanted the pacing to break? Because that was really well done as well. Time flew on this one, they managed to create a nice threat all the way, always escalating and becoming more and more urgent to stop, though super cliché from start to finnish. Loki is still a nice but flawed villain (I love how he misses details and shows his vulnerability from time to time) and the main super-heroes are superbly portraied by the actors, with the obvious surprise falling onto Mark Rufallo's shoulders and his more close to comics Bruce Banner, even if I thought he had a bit too little screen-time.

And on a movie this big on concept and huge on heroes egos, I was thoroughly disappointed with the action set pieces... I felt like I watched them all before and they were so devoided of emotion and impact I just wanted them to end, so the talky bits could return. I think the fact that the alien menace was so boring and bland, it didn't help at all to create an impact on me. Serenity had some really better action scenes and surprisingly more self-contained as well, which worked wonders to get into the characters struggles.

All in all, a fun ride and a good time.

The Loved Ones

Been hearing great things about this one for a while, so I decided to have it a go last night. I was very disappointed, but don't get me wrong, it's still a pretty enjoyable nail-biting experience but doesn't really offer anything new or original to the genre, but everything it does, it does so with extreme confidence, which backfires at times too. There's great acting all around but also some pretty horrible one too (the daddy got on my nerves a lot), some story elements are... just there... for no reason other than to creat a paralel of "loved ones" like with what's going on with the massacre with very little affecting results (both emotionally and to the storyline). These stories don't even cross! Ok, I got it, "love" was found in different ways throughout the events, cool story bro, but that doesn't work on this movie at all!

Other than that, good pacing and resolution but left me wanting for something more.

Zombie (Zombi 2)

A complete mess once again, in terms of storyline or just "reason" to explain what's happening and why from Mr. Fulci but hey! What about a zombie vs. shark underwater battle scene? With a real shark! And a completly disgusting eye impalement scene? And gratuitous amounts of gore in full detail? What about a great atmosphere and great settings? That's what this man is great at and many others still pale in comparison to him.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

It has been quite some time since I had last seen this and I'm glad to feel like this is still an iconic masterpiece as on my first viewing.
It's still as bleak, dry and unforgiven as ever. The shocks are delivered on a brilliant tone and on a steady pace. No need for gore, or excessive violence when suggestion is way scarier than anything else: that dinner scene is still as insane as ever and it only escalades further and further, until the last hysterical laugh of Marilyn Burns and Leatherface's chainsaw dawn dance.

Superbad
Superbad(2007)
½

Sure it sometimes gets a bit vulgar and on easy-joke territory but overal, it's a blast of ingenious jokes, situations and superb acting from the lead trio. Was always with a huge smile on my face during the whole movie and could definently identify myself with these weird high-school years, where hormones used to rule the world.

The House By The Cemetery (Quella villa accanto al cimitero)
½

To be frank, I only noticed there was cemetery near the house towards the end of the movie. It's one of those cases of a movie so bad that it turns out to be great. The story is completly nuts and nonsense but once again, Fulci pulls brilliant atmosphere and kill scenes that make everything else seems so secondary and pointless. It's truly the heart and soul of the movie.

The Toy Box
The Toy Box(1971)

A crazed softcore horror (?) movie that has something resembling a supernatural murderous entity plot, just to put a wee bit of violence in between the so obviously fake sex scenes (that turn out to be quite funny). But yes, this is another 70s pompous and weird softcore movie in the tradition of the famous early 80s king of kinky movie Café Flesh (though much more toned down and not so graphic).

The Beyond (...E tu vivrai nel terrore! L'aldilà)

Lucio Fulci, a master of suspense, atmosphere and gore has made in The Beyond probably his most effective work of his career. It still features a very frail plot with a lot of holes and complete nonsense sequences in some scenes (which kinda stayed a "trademark" on Fulci's career) but the essential is all here:
Gore and horrific disgusting scenes that last forever, tension, scares, fantastic atmosphere, brilliant camera work and great settings. Also props for the soundtrack that sometimes fits the mood perfectly but other... well, funky tunes on a gore scenes, go figure that out. In the end, it's an actual great balance between beauty and downright hellish visions.

Day of the Dead
½

A bit dismissed by the fans of Dawn of the Dead, probably by the lack of action or tension, Day is an actually pretty smart and slow-paced flick with great themes and a constant question of who really are the bad guys and what is "morality" when the world goes to shit.
Just a shame that these important questions are so so poorly acted by the cast and features a completly uneffective soundtrack (which is pretty good but completly misses the point).
Still delivers on the gory bits and has some really great tongue-in-cheek moments. Everyone's gotta love Bub!

Dawn of the Dead
½

A "blockbuster" compared to Romero's first Dead incursion, Dawn of the Dead is also a very smart and self-aware sequel that not only broadens the genre but also mocks it self with great effect.

The grim mood is still present, featuring some fantastic scenes, like the police raid on the builiding at the start of the film but the novelty is the comedy element that fits remarkably well with the very strong political themes it's conveying. It gets to the point, it's not too in your face and gets the message straight.

It's also way gorier and action-packed than Night of the Living Dead but I can't help but noticed that the story is very weak and almost non-existant compared to the previous movie. It's just a bunch of survival situations that don't connect very well and you can't feel a lot of attachment to the characters. But surprisingly, you don't really care about the story. Each scene manages to the top the previous with variety and ballsy topics, whilst keeping a very entertaining structure throughout.

Night of the Living Dead

What's most impressive on Romero's first Dead flick is that it still feels "fresh" after all these years. Sure the acting, over the top dramatic moves and awkward fight scenes feel dated as hell but the concept and the way this apocalypse is presented still feels urgent and grim on a movie spent almost entirely on a house in the woods.
It's tense, creates interesting conflicts all the way through, no heroes, sharp but at the same time subtle political alegories and unexpected turns and situations. No wonder so many other movies copied what this one made so well, that nowadays it's considered a cliché that should be avoided.

Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar Movie

I don't even know where to start.... I've always admired the humour Tim and Eric created, the verge between awkward, unconfortable and downright stupid was amazingly well ballance on Tim and Eric's Awesome Show. I burst into tears still with some of the sketches and completly random people they put onto their sketches.

A full-length movie of this sounded like a brilliant idea. I was imagining a new Life of Brian coming on. And just what the hell were they thinking? This is NOTHING! This is not funny. There's no need for a penis being pierced in full detail to be funny, right? Nor a shit bath, right? Is this Tim and Eric? I don't think so. The respect I had for them is pretty much gone, if they need constraint on television to work, censorship and are not smart enough to understand their limits, than they're shit comedians and this just proves it.

I didn't even finnished watching the whole thing on how unfunny and poorly executed this crap is.
Seriously, if the best you can think of on having Robert Loggia in your flick is to out of 5 words, 6 of them are swear, then get the fuck out of the business. Or having John C. Reilly on a role that IS NOT Steve Brule?!?!?! REALLY?!?!

The only positive thing I saw in this was Jeff Goldblum cameo. Thought the movie was gonna rock when that happened.

I never felt so embarassed in my life for someone, probably except that time I tried to understand the "motivation" behind those Neaderthals on an episode of Jersey's Shore I tried to watch.

Livide (Livid)

Coming from the folks who left me speechless with the brutal and unforgiving Inside, I was expecting a lot from the follow-up and for better and worse they delivered.

Livid is a completly different horror direction from Inside, the only similiar thing is the dream-like structure that both movies has. Whilst Inside was a nightmare for pregnant women (with a lot of little references here and there), Livid is fairy tale that is a dream right from the start. Characters seem lost on this world, interact with objects in a funny way and disregard others completly which are obvious to the situation and you have a very abstract and demanding third act to end it all. Yep, this is pretty much a love letter to Argento's masterpieces and it's loaded with references. Only problem is that modern horror fans won't get it and won't notice the little symbolic things and others left for interpretation in it's fairy tale like structure.

But make no mistake, it has it's share of flaws. In all it's respect to the master, it probably lost all the originality it could've had. The first half is overly long and some secondary characters could've had a different outcome/connection with the viewer. It's stylisticly very good, boosting some great sequences, tense moments, imaginative visuals and awkward moments but it's lacking something that Inside had.

Anyways, a lot of props should go to the directors that seem to want to surprise us at each turn with each movie and on each scene. Looking forward for the next one, hoping it can be a bit more balanced.

Madison County

A competently made but ultimately useless, unimaginative, boring slasher flick. Doesn't bring absolutly nothing new to the table but there's worse out there.

The Cabin in the Woods
½

Those last 25 minutes are every horror fan wet dream! Nothing can quite prepare you for the cheer ludicriousness that unfolds and how much fun it is. It's laugh after laugh and doesn't let down right until the last second. Even if some douche spoiled it, it's still a brilliant watch

It's just a bit disappointing that what comes before is all a bit... generic... I won't spoil the whole twist but you know already this movie mocks the generic slasher genre with characters, situations, plot, deaths, etc. The twist is always present (it's a good one) and the jokes are great but it's a one trick pony. And meanwhile, you're actually watching that generic movie you fear you went watching. It doesn't offer anything that interesting untill it gets to end. Budget problems? Probably. Holding the biggest trick to the end? Can't blame them for it. I just wish it all went a little bit differently. And for a movie that ridicularizes the clichés, couldn't have hurt to have much more references; reminded me of Paul, another love letter for sci-fi geeks that had so little references it hurted the movie unlike, specially coming from the floks who did the easter egg crazyness that was Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz.

Evil Dead 2 this is not but it's still a great ride.

The Wild Bunch

A fearless western that isn't afraid to pack the needed punches. Peckinpah's violent vision of the decaying west is aided by stellar performances by all the cast and a certain poetry to this dying age that fits like a glove. It's a bit derivative at times and the editing a bit messy on the action set pieces but everything is handled with such confidence that these little details can be easily forgotten.

[Rec]
[Rec](2007)

One of my favorite recent horror movies is still one of the most frightening experiences I ever had on a theatre.

Taking out the bad out of the way first, there's not much originality in the story or situations and some interviews half way in the movie broke the mood and suspense a lot in my opinion (though some insights they revealed to the main story were well pulled.

The rest is splendid. When the shit hits the fan it barely ever lets you go. The situations are tense as hell, the hand held approach is superbly done (doesn't give you much nausea and contributes to create dreadfull suspense), the sound design is brilliant and the overall mood it creates is fantastic on making you shiver and progressively hide behind your couch/pillow/girlfriend/boyfriend/sheets.

A great low budget flick that lacks a bit on originality but everything it does, it does so masterfully.

Shame
Shame(2011)

Uncofortable, unpleasant but extremely affecting, Steve McQueen's new flick is a work of raw brilliance boosted by yet another fantastic performance by Fassbender and Mulligan. Given the central theme it would be easy to not feel a connection to the main character but the movie works wonders beyond that, making us reflect on any given addiction we may have and how it is runining our lives slowly, how we watch it unfold and how we only react when it is getting too late.

Personally didn't find it as emotionally devastating as Hunger but nontheless, leaves a lasting impression hours after you've seen it.

Xtro
Xtro(1983)

An actual interesting pice of trash cinema, creating a surprisingly effective horror-drama with the confusing abducted character giving a well thought and well acted role. Add some shocking sittings, horrid alien "rape" scenes and complete and unexplainable nonsense lucid dream sequences and it's already trash legend.

Props for the completly uneffective cheesy soundtrack that is actually pretty good but completly misses the point!

The Strangers
½

Creates great suspense on the first 45 minutes or so of the film, creates an interesting drama between the characters, making us question why are they sad but still share love between them, why is a friend picking only the man, etc etc but unfortunently on the later half falls into familiar territory and never gives a new idea to the genre, stealing way too many from well established films. Also, stupid starts to run amock with ridiculous decisions and situations.

We cared about these guys first but later, it's just a "will they make it" kind of thing, forgetting what it was establishing first.

Good tension on the first half, complete cliché on the later.

The Divide
The Divide(2012)
½

A movie all over the place much like the infamous Frontier(s) from Xavier Gens.
Toned a bit down on the extreme and brutal violence of the french flick, it tries to find it's violence elsewhere. Since this is a post-apocalyptic thriller, you guessed! On how inhumane we can get.
It could've been a fine addition to the saturated genre but it just doesn't know what to do most of the times. Pretty much like the surprising sci-fi twist that happens 30mins in to just not be mentioned ever again. Why have you brought it up then?

The rest is just a bunch of not very well organized conflicts among the survivors. Some decent, some ridiculous, some fantastic, some completly nonsense (specially in the beginning)...
There's some actually really good acting around, specially from the evil-doers and a psyched Michael Bihen (would you have him any other way?) but the script is so poor, you can't help but to notice on their faces how hard they're trying. Sometimes it works, sometimes it's awful.

A missed opportunity.

The Hunger Games

Confident on it's themes, presentation and actors, The Hunger Games is unfortunently plagued by some rather awful choices as the infamous shaky camera on action sequences (which get too confusing at time), the love story feels a bit forced (I know it's meant to be that way but I'm talking about the way it happens) and unexplored, really poor and laughable CGI sequences, amongst other things. This is just a personal opinion, but I'm not a fan of the lush and colorful Capitol and it's inhabitants design. It feels too plastic and cheap sometimes but without a doubt, it creates the contrast it's supposed to. Much like The 5th Element costumes and overall design, it felt vibrant and original but a bit fake and plastic to be taken truly serious.

One thing I didn't expect to enjoy so much was the acting. Jennifer Lawrence is class as usual, Woody is charming on it's short role, but everytime he's on screen he's great, Banks is unrecognizable to a good end (both in appearance and acting) and Tucci is surprisingly catchy. The guy who plays Peeta is not that memorable but to be fair, he's not given much to hold on to.

Overall, an enjoyable ride that has some serious artistic and presentation flaws.

Altered States

A brilliantly well executed sci-fi drama, reminiscent of Cronenberg's most memorable works with the added value of some of the most striking effects/audio sequences I recall seeing in any movie. LSD trip can't be too far from this.

Also, the story is the classic one of a scientist exploring what he shouldn't with daring consequences. Nothing on the dramas presented (problems with the colleagues tired of warning him, lost loves/family, etc.) but everything is so confident on it's execution and acting, it's hard not to care for what happens to these people.

I feel it gets a bit lost towards the end on some of the most memorable sequences which don't add anything particulary relevant, but what you have is still class.

The Wicker Man
½

A memorable, provactive, subtle little gem filled with fantastic and striking scenes, good ambiguity towards religion, disturbing setting, spot-on acting and ethereal soundtrack.

A fantastic blend of genres that shouldn't go unmissed to fans of intelligent thrillers.

Cannibal Holocaust

I've been afraid of watching this for a long time and to be fair, it is quite disturbing but not as I expected it to be. What I was surprised with, was with how actually smart and well executed this lil' gem is. I don't believe the director didn't had a point to this and that he only wanted to make a movie about cannibals. This is viscious critical satire from an angry man that unfortunently fell a bit on what he was trying to preach.

The way the story unfolds from classic boys in the woods about to be kicked, onto found footage territory is brilliant. Editing is spot-on and makes appreciate the thematics much better this way. The acting is pretty poor, though the emotional connection is not needed. You have to hate these pricks in the end after all.
There's shots which are just too gratuitous and add nothing to the film unfortunently. The animal killings are excused and are doing nothing in the film other than to increase the shock value. Not needed, when you had very subtle and affecting violence before, and outrageous gore later on.

Interesting on all perspectives, this will surely be talked in years to come.

Gladiator
Gladiator(2000)
½

It's been a while since I'd seen this one. Picking up teh extended cut of it I came to the conclusion that Gladiator aged really well. The first hour or so is still as engaging as before, making us immediatly attached to the characters and the spectacle later on is still brilliant. The constrained CGI shots of Rome are still impressive and the fight scenes still intense and well edited. Yes, the story gets a bit lost towards the end, with the political intrigue being raletively simplistic and heavy-handed but it works and to be fair, if it was longer or more complex I would stop caring way back.

The Taint
The Taint(2010)

This is probably one of the biggest recent pieces of trash cinema I recall seeing in a long time.

Something in the water turns man into woman-murderous psychopaths... with massive and explicit hard-ons. That's all you need to know.

Keeping it short: it's completly devoid of any logic, filled with nonsense, violence, random moments, outrageous jokes, chauvinism and lastly, it's disgusting in every way possible. All of the bodily fluids (and solids) you don't wanna see are all here in full detail. Wish the middle section was shorter and a bit more outrageous but it's still pretty funny. In company of your friends and a lot of beers this will be the best time you could have.

The Grey
The Grey(2012)
½

I thought I was going for an average survival flick, getting bored to death and laugh at ridiculous fight scenes with CGI wolves like the trailer made sure that it was the tone of the movie.

And boy, do I like be proven wrong and surprised when this happens. Make no mistake, this is still a by the numbers survival flick, some situations you can tell for miles and are clichés but everything is executed with such flawless passion and commitment it's hard not to care for these characters and their journey.

The mood is sober and grimmy without fear to show some truly heartbreaking and violent scenes and that the biggest sellout of it. The director, smartly kept the wolves by showing up to a minimum, with only glimpses here and there making for some very effective tense and scary scenes. And actually when the CGI comes up, it's actually pretty good.

It's also a movie that doesn't forget the characters, while some obviously get the short end of the stick, some are very well flashed out but the obvious star is Neeson's on the edge performance, giving subtle details, while outbursting some feelings you know are eating him away.

The ending, which I heard some concerns about, was for me spot on. The last ten minutes are absolutly beautiful and almost tear-jerking, sure the last couple of seconds could've been... err... well, see it for yourself, but I think it ended exacly where it should've.

Paranormal Activity 3
½

"It's scarier, creepier and shows answers" they says.
Urgh, seriously? They are still getting away with this loud noises, "dude check this footage", never leave the fuckin house, put some resemblance to a plot near the end kind of thing?

Jeez, this is just jump-scare after jump-scare after jump-scare. There's NO STORY, get over it, despite having the kids which are the protagonists of the previous two.
There's absolutly no build-up, no tension (only the obvious tension before yet another fuckin junp scare you can tell for miles) and then a little twist in the end to keep plagging us for years to come with this franchise, which frankly will never evolve if the best they can offer after three movies, is a rotating camera.

I never enjoyed one of these Boringnormal Activity movies and that's the last time my friends kidnap me to yet another crapfest like this.

The Monster That Challenged the World

Not the smartest monster flick of the 50s but an enjoyable ride nontheless. Plays like what you expect it to be but the creature itself is surprisingly creepy looking and menacing. A mix of a snail-shrimp... from outer space?

Movie starts out well, with good mistery and situations but unfortunently looses a bit of his focus midway with unnecessary subplots and doesn't have a bagging end as it probably should've. Worth a shot for this type of movie lovers.

I Drink Your Blood
½

One of my favorite grindhouse flicks has everything this type of movies should: completly outrageous premise (satanist hippies infected by rabbies going on a senseless rampage), awesome soundtrack, shocking moments, over the top moments, silly jokes and situations and self awareness of th trash that it actually is. Which more of recent horror films were such fun like this (for those who like these type of movies).

The Call of Cthulhu

A very imaginative short little films with plenty of power, having in mind that this was made by a handfull of people with very little means. Fantastic set designs, superbly well told story and spot on pacing, more than an homage to silent films this is a very well realized movie.

Valhalla Rising
½

A tough to swallow artsy flick, with a very deliberately slow pace with very carefully placed shots, super well composed and gorgeous. Mikkelsen without uttering a words is fascinating portraying this characters, wish I could say the same for the other characters which have very mediocre dialogues and petty acting overall. The story is all about the mood but it helps to know a bit behind the viking's myths, to understand some of the details here and there. Don't expect much explanation, it's all about the ride and the experience.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2

Though I don't mind the completly different direction TCM2 took from the original masterpiece, with it's self parody, larger than life characters and situations, it's just not that funny.
Sure seeing Dennis Hoper gearing up as a chainsaw cowboy and going bananas is awesome, the rest is just loud, annoying and unfunny. Also overly long and stalls a lot on ceratain situations. A missed opportunity.

Them!
Them!(1954)
½

Probably one of the best creature flicks from the 50s, it still holds to this date with a very good script, smart allegories (the ant documentary scene is still spectacular), good ambiance, adequate acting and tight pacing. Obviously the monstrosities are a bit laughable now but fortunently they're only used here and there and the main focus is still on the story and nuclear paranoia the USA were living.

Return of the Aliens: The Deadly Spawn

A mega campy BBB-movie, seemed to have been made by a bunch of teens on free sunday afternoons that is as fun as it gets (if you like these types of movie)

War Horse
War Horse(2011)
½

I admire Spielberg's ability to tell this kind of stories with such ease and heart that pretty much no one else can do it like him.
Though it can be a bit over sentimental (like the orange toned ending), it's undeniably a marvelous movie to admire: technically very well made with some of Spielbergs best shots ever. He definently knows how to use technically complex travel shots and situations always having in mind ways of favoring the story this way. Fantastic scenes like the execution, the ride Joey has through the trenches, the machinegun scene (and previous assault) are simply amazing and powerful.

Spielberg is the embodiment of Hollywood's classic golden age. These jokes will still be funny and innocent in 20 years from now, the impact will be the same, the characters will be as well fleshed out as they are, etc.

There's not much novelty on it, that is sure and at times feels a by the numbers movie but War Horse will pretty much please everyone in someway.

The Proposition

Probably one of the best recent westerns I recall seeing, the mood of The Proposition is spot on. The grim setting, the violence, the fantastic and subtle acting, the brilliant soundtrack all come together perfectly for this film.
It's a by the numbers story that you've seen in many other westerns but the approach is the biggest sellout of it.

Hugo
Hugo(2011)
½

Scorcese surprises me with Hugo once again, for better and for worse. Technically this is one of the lushest productions he's ever been into with an amazing attention to detail and very smart use of 3D. It's also able to seduce and teach very young audiences about the importance of dreams and fighting for our goals with an innocence very rare to see in modern films but it's also here where things fall a bit.
This innocence is very poorly portraid by the actors unfortunently thanks to a very weak lead, poor script for the first half of the flick and very amateurish editing.
Asa Butterfield clearly can't handle a lead role of the importance of a movie like Hugo: he's forgetable, not very likeable and tries way too hard. Chloe Moretz (whom I've grown to admire in Kick-Ass and Let The Right One In) does her best but that british accent almost ruins it. Sacha as well but he's given very little to do with his role as with a lot of other characters. It could've been improved with a better editing, which would also improve the pace a little a bit (which is clearly needed in the first half) but there are scenes and shots prolongued for too long, given room for very awkward facial expressions and silences for everyone involved.
Things quickly change on the second half once the "secret" is revealed (I won't spoil it but it's been running around, so try to avoid it): the movie starts to breath passion on the tribute it's presenting and it's clearly something to be witnessed. Words fall flat on how amazing the flashbacks interveen with the current timeline of the movie, the narration, the set design and the fantastic use of old movies imagery.
I was never a fan of Ben Kingsley's semi-smile, buggered eye expressions on almost all of his films but I could hold my little hatred on this one. He's good and portrays the character very well.

It's as if I watched two very different films. The first half is very average and seems to get lost on all the spectacle and with such a beautiful story to be told, I was expecting something more and a bit more touching too. And then the second half which is just wow.

Chronicle
Chronicle(2012)

Just wow! I wasn't expecting to fall for this movie as much as I did. For a handheld movie this was one of the best uses of it I ever recall seeing, blending superbly well with the smart but constrained script and also make good use of it on the action sequences.
It was also very intelligent to make us care for these characters and not go through an easy route with the protagonist. It makes us conflicted inside about him the right way it should be done.
Probably hold back by a small budget and at times screaming for an R-rated sequence here and there it shouldn't distract you on what's in it. Sure there was potential for something bigger and broader but the ideas and way they are handled are always the most important subject and I believe they made it work the best way they could on Chronicle.

The Artist
The Artist(2011)
½

An obvious crowd pleaser played too safe for it's own good. This could've been one of the biggest love letters to the magic of cinema but takes the easy route instead, playing everything by the numbers with a simple story and not much substance to the background themes of what is making a movie and what message it's trying to get across.
I would actually love to see the sound slowly taking over the picture (like in the brilliant dream sequence the protagonist has) reflecting the characters lack of "voice" in that era but instead we're treated with an overly long middle sequence where our Artist spends way too much time drinking it's sour away. Why not having nods to other genres of movie that tried to struggle when sound came over and took these stars away?
Nevertheless, it's still a joyful ride (though it gets pretty dark at times) with charming performances by everyone (even in the little cameos) specially from the lovely Bérénice Bejo.

The Devil's Rejects
½

A technically well made and well acted horror flick that is just very inconsequent and wanders too much without adding anything particulary relevant. Just drifts from rampage to rampage with a silly persuit cop tale in the background, poorly told.
Keeps a nice 70s grindhouse vibe and the soundtrack's neat.

Take Shelter
Take Shelter(2011)

Taps onto many of current society fears and explores them wonderfully with Michale Shannon giving another great performance as the average-joe that doesn't know if he's going crazy or if the visions he's having well become real.
It's interesting to have the movie told on a way where the "crazy-guy" is actually searching for a way to heal himself, despite the stronger and stronger occurrences.
The movie is kept minimalist stylisticly and it helps a lot on us the viewer focusing on the characters and what they're going through. Soundtrack is fantastic and the ending (last 15minutes or so) are brilliantly well conceived.
Drawback for me is that it is overly long and some scenes extended pointlessly when the point was proven before.

Martha Marcy May Marlene
½

A very interesting psychological drama about identity boosted by good performances from the newcomer Elisabeth Olsen and John Hawkes (who is always class).
Distinctively minimalistic giving room for the confusion and paranoia of the lead was a wise decision and sets the tone perfectly for the story. Just feels a movie a bit too technical, cold and expecting the viewer to find some feeling on this whole bleakness. Doesn't fail on it but could've been a bit more elaborated.

Blue Valentine
½

An emotionally tough ride to take, heartbreaking and warming all at the same time. Fantastic structure, brilliant performances and intimacy between the leads and a very confident hold by the director make this one of my favorite of the last years.

Incendies
Incendies(2011)

It's a bit too long for it's own sake and things can get a bit too soap opera towards the end, but the emotional impact is absolutly devastating throughout, backed up by fantastic cinematography and editing. A beautiful and devastating look on family relations no matter what the background is.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
½

Pretty much like the american remake of Let The Right One In, this is a very competent, good but ultimately useless flick. It doesn't offer anything revelant either to the swedish flick or the books. There's obviously minor changes here and there, but most of them not for the best, specially the way Lisbeth's character is searching for a relationship towards the end with Mikael's characters. It contradicts a lot of what was told before and just doesn't add up well in the end, making it a bit inconsequent.

I always had trouble with Daniel Craig... I usually say that having him or a rock in flick is the same thing, but fortunently he's not that bad in this one. It's passable.
Real star is obviously Rooney's performance, which is more gutpunchy than Noomi's in the swedish version and makes a lasting impact everytime she's on camera. I loved both these women's work on the films, though they're different, I can't quite choose a favorite.

Fincher's style is okish, nothing to go nuts about, seems like he's just confortably cashing in.

Retreat
Retreat(2011)

Doesn't offer anything new to the genre but doesn't insult it either. Could've had some better fleshed-out characters, tension between them and probably the overdose of twists on the last 20minutes of the flick is too much. Still entertaining while it lasts and keeps you guessing till the end.

We Need to Talk About Kevin

There never feels like there's a wasted shot or scene in this movie and that speaks volumes on how well accomplished it is. With it's smart editing, carefully composed shots, artsy without being pretentious, fantastic performances, smart sound design/soundtrack and the everlasting question of Nature or Nurture, We Need To Talk About Kevin is a fantastic start for movies in 2012.
Though I thought it would be better to leave things a bit more vague towards the malicious nature of Kevin in the film storywise.

Letters from Iwo Jima

Though I've never been a huge fan of how Eastwood chooses his shots and ways to present scenes throughout his career, he's a master at making thought provoking topics into serious humanistic reflections. Letters From Iwo Jima is fantastic on the way it gives us the other side of the pacific war, without being too preachy or by going into a single directions. It shows many different moods, states, situations that are times tough to bear but fantasticly portraid.

Forbidden Planet

More concerned with the science rather than the fiction, Forbidden Planet still holds surprisingly well to this date.
It's not difficult to see how after this, sci-fi flicks were changed either by the way they present the still spectacular special effects and set pieces, but also on the way it portrays robots and invisible threats as a main character. Not just that, it was one of the first mainstream movies to use a fully electronic soundtrack which would become a landmark on these types of movies untill the 80s.
Robby the Robot is a legend and Leslie Nielsen is fantastic as well. Humour is typical 50s stuff with silly dialogue and body humour that works very well. Unmissable.

Bellflower
Bellflower(2011)

Hipster hit of 2011 promises and promises and promises and it's just completly shallow and uninteresting in the end.
Sure, visually the self built camera and saturated colors are nice at first, some situations are decent and interesting but there's absolutly nothing, no content going on. One thing is blending different genres and sensitivities, creating something unique but consistent, other is this shooting in all directions, pretending to be deep and pretentious to the fullest offering nothing in return. Maybe that's the point, like the main characters who are draggers and lowlifes this is supposed to make us feel like it. Guess what, not fucking interested.

Buried
Buried(2010)

2010 was a very poor year for blockbusters and a lil' movie spent intirely on a coffin was more nerve-wrecking, suspenseful and tense than anything that came out that year.

Gattaca
Gattaca(1997)

Very interesting sci-fi topics handled well with minimalistic but stylish apporach that could've been better explored and a bit more deep, but these more serious subjects were replaced by mediocre crime story and an unbelievably lame/cheesy last 20 minutes.

The Hills Have Eyes 2

POOP MAN!!!!
That's how stupid things get into this movie... (you'll get it, once you get there)

It's just beyond atrocious what was done here. I only managed to stick to the end of this garbage because I really enjoy the original, the remake was extremely brutal but respectful and entertaining.

I mean... a "marine" (these marines have the most anti-military behaviour I've ever seen) takes a pee break after getting assaulted by a ginormous mutant... SPOILER AHEAD_________ hey! when you were buttfucked later, you sure had that coming to you!___________________ SPOILER END

I suppose it's campy and you'll laugh your ass off to it with some mates but while it was running, I was very very angry for the disrespect shown to the source material.

Okuribito (Departures)

Peaceful, touching and quirky funny, Departures is a very positive view on life and the choices we make, despite the topic and the very teary scenes.

Poetic, slow-paced and beautiful.

Critters
Critters(1986)

Very hungry space critters terrorizing a farm, fought on earth by intergalactic shapeshifters bounty-hunters!

A fun Gremlins rip-off with plenty of stupidity and fun moments to go around for everyone.

Super
Super(2011)

Wildly uneven (doesn't really know if it's a comic hero spoof, a dark comedy, etc.) and never finds it's tone straight but it's still entertaining, odd enough to be funny (though it really could've been way funnier) and the cast helps to bring to this tale what it needs to succeed.

And who doesn't want to check Ellen Page on a tight suit faking an orgasm? o_O

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

And incredibly assured flick, superbly handled, directed, acted and specially edited.
The puzzle is intricate, always keeps you guessing and never treats the audience like an idiot. Though, discovering the mole is not that difficult, the way the situations unfold are very well handled.

The mood is spot-on and the background cold war era is left a bit on the side (though it plays an impending doom type of role) to give space to the spy games.

I couldn't help but feel that some secondary characters could've been a bit more well developed, even if not to bring more confusion to the viewer on who the mole is. Nevertheless, what you have is class.

It's only sin is not having a distinct spark that could've separated it from other similiar movies. If Tomas Alfredson continues down this road, we might have one of the best of his generation.

The Innkeepers

Much like Ti West's previous House of The Devil, this is a slow-burn and carefully elaborated movie, moved by great performances by the cast and despite being set on present date, still keeps the old school vibe of the director's previous movie.

It has the same problems of House of The Devil which is not delivering on the scares/creepy factor in the end after such a great build up (though there's a couple of really well pulled off screen tense scenes) and not being entirely original.

Don't Be Afraid Of The Dark
½

Too many clichés prevent this remake to be something that could've stand out from the overdose of vampires, werewolves, zombies and ghosts that have plagued us for the last years. Meaning that the little monstrosities are devilishly entertaining and serve as a nice break from this. But they are a bit poorly used on the film, there's too much exposition of them at times and a bit more characterization of what they are could've helped.

It's very well shot, super atmospheric, the soundtrack is great, well acted but it has so many dumb moments and plot holes that can't go unnoticed.

There are some well pulled tense scenes and scares but the story and clichés don't match it. A missed opportunity.

The Fog
The Fog(1980)
½

A carefully paced (and at times too slow), creepy and moody ghost story that delivers the chills with a satisfying story and acting.

Black Death
Black Death(2011)

Smith shifts gears once again with mixed results.
Though it's technically very compentent, the mood is spot on and the acting is adequate, it borrows too many elements from a far superior Finnish flick called Sauna. Coincidence? Hard to say but this one stands well on side of the Finnish underground gem.

The Hills Have Eyes
½

One of Craven's finest is a fine execution of a predictable plot, turning into a nasty amoral tale between these two families. Things get gray towards the end (in a 70s way, don't expect over the top situations) and you're not 100% sure at times you should root for the family you've care to pity for the atrocities comitted to them. Some of their decisions to trap and kill the cannibals are a bit... of bad taste.

Ultra low budget, mediocre acting, overly long but still thrilling, interesting and with something strong to say, this is a pure 70s classic that any horror fan shouldn't miss.

Kill List
Kill List(2012)

Nowadays, movies to distinguish themselves need to mix well different genres into a cohesive whole.
Kill List, absorbs three genres, but doesn't mix them: it separates them giving room for some well executed results.

First we got a lil' character drama, presenting these characters never knowing what to expect or how to react when you start discovering their background. It's rude at times, comic and angry. All these mixed feelings set the tone straight for what's to come.

Next, what seems like a buddy hit list gangster thriller starts heading into brutal territories, with awkward moments and weird main character transformation. But wait, thing will get hairier.

Finally, you got the freakiest last 20 minutes of this year. A cross between The Wicker Man, a Lynch movie, claustrophobia, unconfortable sounds, violence and uncomprehensible ending. All this supposedly related to the King Arthur myth.

All of this sounds like a mess but it's actually well put together technically and the narrative structure helps, boosted by good performances by the cast, this could be one of the most talked about flicks since Mulholland Drive. Why? Is the gibberish bollocks like the last season of Lost? No, it's actually consistent and assured of what it's doing, that why this mistery will be talked and not forgotten soon.

Terminator 3 - Rise of the Machines
½

Too much noise and action (which are actually neat and well handled) in favor of cardboard characters that you loved on the previous flicks but just don't give a crap in this one.

The plot is predictable and unsurprising and the new villain is forgetable.

Still fun while it lasts, at least.

Die Hard
Die Hard(1988)
½

One of the best action flicks of all time still holds to this date, despite it's share of flaws. No wonder that still after all these years, whenever you're describing a new action flick, you're saying "Die Hard in a _____".

Tyrannosaur
Tyrannosaur(2011)

It's difficult to stomach at times but at the same time can be hearthwarming, much like the polarizing violence the two main characters are suffering from.

Though the acting is pretty good, Peter Mullan exhagerates a bit on the violent manerisms, doesn't seem very natural at times. Real star is Olivia Colman with a devastating performance that really deserves all the praise she can get.

Pusher III: I'm the Angel of Death
½

On the final take of Refn's crime trilogy, this time we follow the breakdown of Milo, the druglord who can't compete with the yonger generation of criminals.

More of a character study rather than a crime thriller, it's not as affecting as the second Pusher flick because... well, things get really nasty, grim and way too detailed for it's own sake.
But it's still a very solid take much like the previous movies, worthy of checking out.

Pusher II: With Blood On My Hands

Not only is this second instalment better, it's also much more affecting than the first part showing how Refn grew since it.

Following Tonny the lowlife is a very gritty experience, you can't help but feel sorry for this pathetic fool but to root for him to make a simple smart decision on his life. Things go from bad to worse and Mikkelsen holds the role like a pro, showing masterfully the insecurities, fears and agressivness that the character requires.

Strange Days
Strange Days(1995)

While the themes it approaches and warns us are certainly interesting, the main plot just isn't. The story is not that engaging to follow, the characters not very likeable, the way it unfolds is messy and overly complicated and wastes too much time establishing this "future" wandering a bit too much on the first half.

Nevertheless, it's still entertaining while it lasts.

Pusher
Pusher(1999)
½

An impressive feat by someone who had no experience whatsover on the making of movies. The way the movie transforms from a silly bro comedy into darker, tenser territory is very well made, though it wastes a bit too much time on pointless improvised scenes and trying to be more realistic than it should be.

Warrior
Warrior(2011)
½

Certainly the clichés are all here, that horrid soundtrack did get on my nerves and the training sequence was unbelievably lame. But with it's great action and tight fighting sequence you really shouldn't be bothered with it.

And oh... the most important that a lot of people seem to be forgetting Tom Hardy + Nick Nolte are absolutly terrific in this. Hedgerton as well, but the scenes with those two together are really really emotional and almost made me burst into tears more than once. It's these moments that elevate Warrior from being a below average flick, the moments that care, are superbly handled. Not as solid as The Fighter, not as devastating as The Wrestler, not as legendary as Raging Bull or Rocky but certainly the one that packs the most punch (both emotionally and physicly).

The Incredible Hulk

Boy was this ever lame... atrocious acting, poor writing, really badly made and badly edited fight scenes, horrible CGI and completly pointless overall.
It's even unintentionally hilarious (Hulk Clap!!!).

Avoid

Doghouse
Doghouse(2009)

A very misogynist horror comedy that still manages to be entertaining while it lasts, though there are so many plot details that disappear and situations never fully explored that it's painful to watch, since they're very obvious.

And please, when you're doing this kind of movie, pretty please stop having more serious moments. It's like doing poopoo on the bathtub: out of place and no one enjoys it.

Boys only!

Deadgirl
Deadgirl(2008)
½

A great and shocking premise that could've had fantastic results on the right hands is completly plagued by atrocious acting, lame artistic choices, boring situations and an overall feeling of "what should we do now..."

But the worse complaint really should be adressed to the main actors. Sure, they're supposed to be detestable but they're so lame on how they act it's almost laughable. Imagine the worse looks, phrases from everyone's favorite soap operas and multipy it by an atrocious factor of x100.

La Jetée (The Pier)

Very haunting and moody, frangmented to a fault but deliberatly so, La Jetée is still to this date one of the most fascinating sci-fi movies ever made either by the way it is presented to us or by the cautionary tale it's telling, never forgetting the humanitary value that is inherent to the genre.

Twelve Monkeys (12 Monkeys)
½

One of my favorite Gilliam's movie still manages to surprise me and put a smile on my face after all these years.

Based on the short experimental movie La Jetée, 12 Monkeys is still a fresh, puzzling story that despite being a Gilliam's movie is surprisingly very self-contained, very focused on the messages it's giving you and aware of the narrative conundrum it's developing.
Boosted by excellent performances by all the cast (specially from the crazed and legendary Brad Pitt's performance), 12 Monkeys shouldn't be missed by Sci-Fi freaks, conspiracy theory buffs, imaginative visual lovers and silly comedy gags.

Stalker
Stalker(1979)

My second favorite Tarkovsky film is much like Solaris: a meditative experience on the human desires and on our search for the unreachable. A truly fascinating piece of art that stills manages well to be ambiguous, making the viewer to find a meaning within it by it's own.
Of course, not for everyone, but for the patient viewer, you'll get here a landmark in movie history. Very few directors have managed to find his own distinctive style and being able to transmit the essential to us, on the other side of the looking glass.

[Rec] 2
[Rec] 2(2010)
½

I quite enjoyed the so famously named "bad twist" of the second instalment on the Rec series. It gave a whole new perspective on the story, without sacrificing what the original did so well.

The novelty is gone, the characters are not as well fleshed out as in the first movie but the twist, scares and multiple camera points of view were a big sellout for me. Made Rec different but not overdoing it.

It's still scary as hell, there's at least two or three scenes that are forever burned in my mind on how ludicrous scary and tense they were.

Bring on 3 and 4! But please on a different setting, mmkay?

The Exorcist
The Exorcist(1973)

Probably the movie that scared me the most when I was a kid (once again, going to watch and rent movies against my parents will and without their concent) is still to this date one of (if not the) best horror movies ever made.

All has been said and analyzed enough about faith, good, evil and sacrifice about The Exorcist, but now, 11 years later after I'd seen the The Director's Cut I understood much better why this movie affects me so much. I'm not catholic nor do I have any faith towards religion, so how come this has affected me so much? Would be easy to claim it's the fear of the unknown but what is really frightening for me is these hopeless characters that inhabit the film. The dream sequence when Karras mother goes down to the subway speaks volumes on this aspect. The overal sense of dread this movie carries is still to be matched. The mood it creates is devastating and emotionally exhausting.
These characters are so easily identifiable and the loss of innocence so brutal and devastating you can't help to feel what these people are going through. How such a sweet child simply vanished and turned everything around, putting everything and everyone in question.
That's where the true power of this movies resides.

Frozen
Frozen(2010)

Bad dialogue, bad writing, bad acting prevent this from be an actual twisted flick. The premise is great and some situations are believable but once those 20ish year old open their mouths... good goly, it's atrocious. It's like enduring a bad Disney Channel sitcom. Adam Greene already has proven he can't write on Hatchet, so please, just stay behind the camera. You actually can get some nice shots...

Black Sheep
Black Sheep(2006)
½

What a missed opportunity...
How do you fail on a such a ludicrous premise? Quite simply: you don't deliver enough to back it up. Don't get me wrong, it's still hilarious and has some outrageous gore and oddball moments, but unfortunently, most of them are on the trailer.
It entertains while it lasts, but after a while it gets boring... (how is that even possible with a premise like this?)

The Snowtown Murders
½

A very gritty and realistic look to Australia's most famous murders, Snowtown is an exceptionally well made movie on all aspects.
The way it portrays the interactions between these hopeless characters is amazing, backed up by brilliant performances by all the cast. The way we're drawn into this lower class ambiance is no easy trip and the realities shown are very hard to stomach.
There's just not an interesting story with an unusual approach going on here. Technically the movie is also flawless on the way it sucks the viewer into the environments with great simplistic shots (but very well composed) and an haunting soundtrack.

A great surprise and great indications for all the staff involved in the making of this flick. Keeping an eye out for them.

The Machinist

One of the best psychological thrillers of the 00's is a very dark portrait of guilt and redemption.
Bale carries the movie and the editing is smart enough to keep you on his side long enough,subtely and gradually towards the end, making you doubt about him with little situations and surreal imagery. It's this attention to detail that is the real sellout of this low budget flick: you don't need money to make something meaningful and powerfull as long as you keep an original approach, never treat your audience like an idiot and make your movie interesting giving use to the limitid tools available.

The Ides of March
½

A very competently made political drama that does offer anything new, deep or relevant but everything it does, it does so very well, with another excellent performance by Gosling.
Shares the same tone and approach as Ghost Writer and both go well together as political satires.

Delicatessen
Delicatessen(1992)

The first collab between Marc Caro and Jean Pierre Jeunet is a delightful inventive comedy that is every bit as interesting to appreciate aestheticly and on all its quirky details as it is on the way it tells it's story in a very visual manner.

Not my favorite collab between them but it's still sure after all these years a very distinctive movie.

Begotten
Begotten(1989)
½

A very interesting meditative movie shot only with two colours, black and white that requires a lot of patience to appreciate but is indeed unique and surreally beautiful on it's brutality.

The type of movie you only watch once in a lifetime.

Scream 4
Scream 4(2011)
½

The Scream franchise has always been a love it or hate it case, and this one will be no different. It's the best movie after the first, with hilarious gags (specially coming from Cox and Arquette), cast delivers most of the times, the new "rules" work well on an already sturated genre, and it parodies itself really well with subtle and sometimes, too heavy handed jokes. Scream 4 is the only movie that can parody the rest of the franchise, fuck off Scary Movies. Speaking of fuck offs, I really appreciate Craven for delivering the biggest of them all to the Hollywood industry with it's constant remakes/reboots, etc. It's not as relevant as Scream was in the 90s by boosting the genre with originality, humor, unconventional deaths ("that" death on Scream 2), but it's a good reminder that fresh ideas are out there and need to be let out.

Martyrs
Martyrs(2008)
½

It has passed quite some time after I'd seen an Horror film that affected me so much as this.

I went to this movie completly clueless to what I was watching. No comparisions, no synopsis, nothing. It was just a recomendation I found after I watched two other very satisfying French gory flicks (Switchblade Romance and Inside).
You should do the same if you're reading this and just go with this experience knowing nothing.
There will be a turmoil of feelings floating around, most of them very unpleasant but that would be easy to achieve on a regular horror film. What Martyrs does (and does so flawlessly) is having a certain poetry to all the suffering that is unfolding and leaving a really long lasting mark on you. It's not as basic as "feeling" what these characters are going through, it goes much deeper than that, on how grudges hold us back, on our obsessions to understand death and so on.

It's extremely violent and definitely not for eveyone, though don't expect many gory sightings. It's violence is of other nature. It's that type of film you watch once and probably won't be coming back for a while.

I tried to keep this review as vague as possible so you can just experience it. I was going to say "enjoy it" on the last sentence but you probably won't take much pleasure out of this.

The Dead
The Dead(2011)
½

This zombie road movie was a pleasant surprise on the genre.
Though it doesn't offer anything new or fresh, everything it does is confindent and very well executed (overall).

Shot on some impressive settings, it's refreshing to see a very delicate subject shot like this. Africa, the cradle of mankind is what makes this movie singular. There's a lot of irony on the hunger themes approached here and on little conflicts and situations that occur.

It's overall, a very competently made movie with something to say, which unfortunently has some stylistic choices that are a bit bland and cheesy. The acting is also pretty mediocre, but for a narrative told mostly throught situations and images, you could do worse than this. And for gore hounds, this one delivers some really great stuff that got my head thinking more than once"how the hell have they made this?".

Solaris
Solaris(1976)

"We Don't Need Other Worlds, We Need Mirrors"

A meditative and poetic view on humanity, about letting go, redemption, solace, the unattainable and death.

Each shot is carefully composed to perfection to go deep into the characters feelings.

Fascinating and untouchable. The inti-mystic 2001 movie (actually both movies go well together, one much broader in spectre focusing on humanity as a whole and Solaris as a reflective state of being).

Poetry in movie format.

Solaris
Solaris(2002)

Looks good and is competently directed.
It just doesn't add anything particulary interesting or new to Tarkovsky's masterpiece. In fact, it pretty much pisses on the best ideas and themes the original movie approaches.
Go watch the original instead. This one reeks of pretentiousness, which at times I don't mind if it adds themes, feelings, technical prowess to the art of making a movie. This one is just style over substance.

Following
Following(1999)
½

A cleverly written and structured noir story that makes good use of it's limitations.

The acting is one of my drawbacks, since the lead is a bit shallow and overall the cast don't carry the interest the narrative requires.

The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence)
½

The joke's on us and Tom Six is laughing at our faces. And I'm actually laughing with him.

Make no mistake, this is pure 21st century exploitation with basicly no plot but I had a blast of poop watching this. It's so over the top and ingenious on stitching the first sequence with this one (both on the content of Full Sequence and as a way to connect both films) that if you get past the ludicrous violence, you're getting one huge funny "fuck off" to everything and everyone. "Is this violent enough to pass on classification? Does this disgust you? What about THIS? Are you contempt enough? Want more? Go ask the BBFC to give me back the 32 cuts which are even grosser than this" seems to be claiming Tom Six.

I seriously hope the main actor isn't like that in real life because he is the creepiest man ever and he nails the role to repulsive proportions. The rest of the cast is obviously forgetable but some of them deliver nice silly dialogues that contrast well with Martin's psyche.

It's in essence a really dark oddball comedy, filled with the worse behaviour, scenes, deaths amd situations one can imagine, that still gets a bit lost on it's "fuck-off" message but delivers on what you asked the original lacked.

I watched the cut version and it made shiver, laugh and loose some actually loud "oooohhhhh"'s on it. Can't imagine what's in the unrated version...

The Adventures of Tintin
½

Spielberg sure had a blast making this one and that goes for the best and worse in it.

The rythm is absolutly mental from start to finnish, barely leaving you time to breath but still managing to have heart and to be entertaining through and through. Probably the last set piece was expendable (I was already starting to have an headache from such crazy action pieces).

The script is adequate, though it diferes from the books quite a bit, it was a smart move to do so as the second book regarding Red Rackham's treasure adapted as a movie would be dull and pointless. It all connects really well and the changes made are smart and don't hurt the characters, story and themes of the book.

The characters are so-so. The main protagonists are great (Tintin, Haddock and Milou) but the rest of the cast got the short end of the stick. And hey, not really complaining, cause actually Daniel Craig can act... under all those digital effects (having him or a rock on a movie is actually the same).

To sum it up: a mega fun thrill adventure like Spielberg used to do in the 80s, that has it's share of dumb moments, character issues but will bring up the kid in you with it's crazy pace, humour and sense of adventure.

Inside (À l'intérieur)

The complete package for inducing the worse nightmares on pregnant women!

Nightmare is a good word to describe this movie. There are a lot of references later on the movie that escalade worser and worse deep into this nightmare (check the number of the house, how big some locked doors get, how the color of the movie gets progressively redier and redier, etc), though all very subtle not to distract you from the sickening carnage that is going on. That isn't an excuse to some exagerated and at times silly scenes that occur but you won't really care for the massacre that is going on is so nerve wrecking and tense you won't leave your pillows alone for a while.

It's literally relentless on it's pace and being shot almost entirely on a single house helps to hold this tension for large periods of time.

I had some problems with some stylistic choices here and there, but they are minimum and used very little on the film.

Pandorum
Pandorum(2009)

I fuckin love scary movies in space and saying I almost fell asleep on this one is an understatement... I barely ever fall asleep on movies even on the most atrocious case.
This is just... nonsense from start to finnish. By the time those guys with rocket launchers and ninja moves poped in, I almost raised my arms and gave up.
Worse, is that this borrows so many elements from a far superior flick (Eden Log), my eyebrows raise in the shape of a question mark towards the people who wrote this crap. "DID YOU?!"

Contagion
Contagion(2011)
½

Cold, calculated and technicly well made, Contagion is in the end a very shallow and emotionally distant film.
I only enjoyed one of the story arcs (Jude Law's) but the rest is bland, with fair enough acting, already seen before millions of times situations without adding anything relevant to the picture. The other story arcs don't offer any pariticular satifying conclusion because you don't really care for these characters, nor are some the situations they're in particulary interesting (for most of them are clichés to the max).

I also had some issues with the soundtrack which is poor, belonging in a late afternoon cop show, that is completly out of place at times, making me distracted to what was going on in the picture.

Sure the realistic approach is a bit fresh and not having zombies running around eating flesh may appeal to more mainstream audiences, but well, as you might guess from where this sentence is going: go watch a decent zombie flick instead.
Or for that matter, if you want to avoid gory terrains, check The Andromeda Strain which is a much more interesting and tense movie about a virus, spent in the majority of the running time, inside a laboratory.

They Live
They Live(1988)

A funny oddball and cheesy political horror thriller from Carpenter, with some of his classic trademarks well delivered.
It's a bit derivative, some plot holes here and topics on the story never fully developed as they should but with it's strong message, very 50s retro look and don't give a shit attitude from Rody Pipper (boosting some legendary one liners) you got yourself an 80s classic.

The Thing
The Thing(2011)

I was actually surprised by all the hatred towards this when the reviews started showing up. I had a pretty good time with this, though it pretty much just mimics the original in the end (my jokes are so awesome).

So, hatred has been towards the acting... mmmm, in the original the acting wasn't that good either but Carpenter was smart enough to keep it down and it worked well, because the least you knew about those man, the better. Everyone could be The Thing. In the 2011 version you got some really well pulled paranoia amongst americans vs. norwegians with the language barrier and different points of view on how to handle the "situations". It's not flawless but works.

And the hatred towards the CGI. Fair enough, there's too much CGI here when the original is a masterpiece on prosthetics animation, but there are some genuinely gross moments that made me shiver more than once that I couldn't see getting pulled well with prosthetics.

"The story man! It's full of holes! Why does the creature assumes human and alien forms all randomly in 2011 version?!?" huh? really? Doesn't it do the exact same thing on the original? Is it because it was made by Carpenter, so it immediatly got an excuse for it?
"The alien! Is it smart, or just a virus? How did it got there? Does it have a mind of it's own? This prequel doesn't explain shit". Neither did the original and it worked wonders to keep the mistery up and running.

So, in the end, you've got a movie too safe for it's own good. Doesn't have enough original ideas to really stand out (probably out of fear of fanboy reprecussion) but it's very entertaining throughout with probably a bit too much explosions and violence on screen. But watch it, seriously, 2011's been such a shitty year for Horror and this one was the best I've seen so far (and no I'm not gonna watch another one trick poney with stupid people doing stupid things in Boringnormal Activity again).

Halloween
Halloween(1978)

"The Evil Is Gone!"

Probably the most influential horror movie after Psycho, Halloween set the standards for countless other slasher imitators.

Myers is still Evil incarnate after all these years.

Tucker and Dale vs. Evil
½

A nicely well made comedy horror genre that falls a bit into familiar territory by the end.
Nevertheless the first hour or so is hilarious and the whole escalation of missunderstandings is throw together greatly. On a particulary weak horror season, it's nice to see something enjoyable and entertaining as this.

The Pack (La Meute)

There's nothing really new here but it still manages to be entertaining, funny and with some well thought surprises and sequences. And no, not the ending one, which was just plain stupid and unjustifiable.

Drive
Drive(2011)

Taking elements of many different styles, Drive is a very cohese and stylized noir flick, pulling excellent performances from pretty much all of the cast. The ambient is spot-on thanks to some brilliant soundtrack that puts you right in the mind of The Driver's character (a very Clint Eastwood performance nailed really well by Gosling).
Other than that, there's not much originality going on here, but everything is confident and executed almost flawlessly.

Melancholia
Melancholia(2011)
½

Von Trier certainly has an eye for beautiful imagery, but unlike Antichrist, all of those dreamy slo-mo shots that could've easily integrated throughout the picture are all condensed on the opening shots. It feature fantastic performances specially from Dunst, but at times the film drags on a bit without adding anything relevant to the aesthetic or character arcs. Deeply moving, but like most of his movies, it drags and drags and doesn't add anything particulary relevant.

Splice
Splice(2010)
½

Dren is such a well fleshed out character, I believe it will in the future turn into an iconic monster from the '10s. I wish I could say the same for the main characters. They're overall very well portrayed by the actors but some of their background stories are not present enough to motivate certain actions. There are hints here and there but nothing quite big. Really wished they could've explored them a bit more, cause it would made Splice a much better film than it already is.
I didn't mind the second act as some people have complained and thought it was a nice change of pace after the lab drama.

Overall, a movie that blends rather well multiple genres and ideas into a solid package, managing to be entertaining on it's running time.

The Woman
The Woman(2011)
½

This "who is the real monster" flick isn't worth the hype it's been getting. The concept is not that original and I found some of the acting to be completly over the top and silly, specially from the fatherly figure and the son. Also, some secondary characters feel that they're just there to increase the body count and shock effect which backfires, as some of these surprises are just not plausible and dig deeper into some holes the story has.
Also the soundtrack got on my nerves so badly, I literally wanted to turn down the volume on more than one ocasion. It's insistent and pointlessly indie.

Props for some ideas that hang around and for being rather well shot but other than that, not worth the fuss.

Midnight in Paris
½

Woody Allen doing the recent Woody Allen type of movies.

13 Assassins
13 Assassins(2011)

Putting in question the rights and wrongs of dying for such a tyrant just shows how much Miike's worried with either delivering a satisfying revenge story mixed with dazzling battle sequences.
The build-up to the big action set-piece is equally satisfying to the chaos that unfolds on the last 40minutes.
Probably one of Miike's most mainstream movies, but also one if his most consistent.

Captain America: The First Avenger
½

Played safe, nothing new, everything happens way too quickly, there's absolutly no sense of urgency, just building up for The Avengers. Huge meh

Insidious
Insidious(2011)

When a scene where pictures are showcasing a "presence" step by step is scarier and more tense than any pathetic atempt at jump scares throughout the whole movie, it speaks volumes on how unnacomplished this is. It could've been way scarier but it just borrows so many elements from well established movies that you "know" exacly what's going to happen next and the new elements... are just ridiculous and cheap looking.
Well, at least something actually happens, unlike Boringnormal Activity...

The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada

Featuring Arriaga's traditional broken narrative, Three Burials is a very well pulled drama/western about morality and redemption, though don't expect a dark approach as in 21 Grams or Amores Perros. It actually has some pretty funny moments that help to distract the viewer from the more serious themes. Boosted by another great performance from Tomy Lee Jones and great shots of the desert, Three Burials shouldn't pass unnoticed.

I Spit On Your Grave
½

All lost is the raw, dirty feeling of the original alongside with it's grindhouse aesthetic. It's technically very well made, with great cinematography, good soundtrack, well acted and with satisfying grizly murders. The rape scene is long, but you can take it much easier than in the 1978 nasty, so in short, you have a very competent movie that stands well by the side of it's predecessor, that is a bit lost on all this remake avalanche but can't quite stand on it's own for not being original and not having a real point.

Atrocious
Atrocious(2011)

Nothing new here, move along...
And what a lackluster ending.

Fight Club
Fight Club(1999)

Forever polarizing, forever original and inimitable. Many have tried to copy this, but with fortunently very little effect. This will forver stand tall as one of the most original flicks of not only the 90s but of all times.

A Serious Man

I really enjoyed this dry movie. The characters are so uninteresting, bland and unremarkable that if this movie was handed to any other director (or someone with lack of knowledge on the jewish community) this could've been a disaster.

Nevertheless, this descent into failure from this serious man is hilarious on making everyday happenings into cataclisms.

Paranormal Activity 2
½

CASH-IN TIME!!!
So, Boringnormal Activity left a really sour taste in my mouth after all the hype and people screaming in my face it was dead scary. It was fuckin lame. But, it was a success.
So it seems we have a new Saw franchise in hands, with another Paranormal debuting soon in October already (but at least this franchise has better quality).

Now Paranormal 2. Nothing new. BUT, it managed to freak the living shit out of me on a couple of scenes, just a shame one of them was a rip-off from Rec. I mean, that type of night vision works wonders to creep me out, but Rec managed to leave a lasting impression (even though it has been explored on many other films) and actually this one as well. Nevertheless, some tense scenes are pulled really well this time and can be complete nerve wracking. Also, some jump scares are well pulled of. Other improvement was the hand-held camera from multiple persons perspective.

It's just that the whole cash-in feeling is all over the place. If they would manage to mix the best out of the first and this one, they would have a terrific movie in hands, but no, let's take things slowly, not adding much and keep on filling our pockets. Like that ending...

The Departed
The Departed(2006)
½

Scorcese is a fish in the water when it comes to gangster driven dramas. Whenever he switches, bad things happen (ahem Shutter Island ahem).

Love the editing of this film (very much like in Goodfellas), fast paced, furious but when it needs to slow down, it does and shows the amazing performances of all the cast involved, particulary from Marky Mark who steals the show whenever he's in. Nicholson's all over the place but manages to be scary and with the right amount of schizophrenia this role needs.

District 9
District 9(2009)
½

A technicly fantastic sci-fi movie like I was missing seeing for a really long time, that still boost great performances and believable actions towards the situations handed.
The editing and doc style were well delivered and immediatly immerse you on the story and events that took place (though I kinda wanted to know a bit more at first). It's very unusual to see the aliens 3 minutes in with full close-ups in all it's nasty glory. Speaking of which, the sfx are just jaw droppingly great. The level of detail and interaction with "real" actors is stunning, though there were just one draw for me: smoke effects.

Action is top-notch and frenetic thanks to some really smart editing that gives the characters the depth they need for you to identify with their struggles and causes, even when their actions are cowardly and selfish.

Some stuff I didn't enjoyed are the soundtrack which was very cheesy and poorly used at times, being very generic when the action scenes popped in. Also, I felt some excessive dramatization towards the two main Prawns characters, it was a bit too much for me to handle (too human at times).

Overal, this is one hell of a ride from start to finnish, one of the best debuts one can imagine and I have complete trust on Mr. Bloomkamp for future endeavours.

The Shrine
The Shrine(2010)

Americans in rural foreign land about to get their asses smacked? Check.

No one knows they're there? Check.

Creepy villagers? Check.

Creepy children? Check.

What's that? Want some more clichés? Ok then.

Crazy cultists? Check.

Pitched voices and sound effects heard millions of times before? Double check.

Curses? Check.

Problems with cars? Check.

Getting stuck in the cellars? Check.

What's that? Had enough of clichés? Ok then.

Was only creeped out by the statue scene, the execution is competent but the ideas have been exhaustively explored on many other flicks.

The Human Centipede (First Sequence)

Gross concept and execution, backed by a pretty good performance by the villain on what is, in the end, a by the numbers horror flick. Nothing new here, other than, well, what the title suggests.

The Thing
The Thing(1982)

Incredible monster flick on all aspects: original premise, fantastic tension, creature design is absolutly gross backed up by some of the most impressive FX I've ever seen, compelling cast and spot-on soundtrack make this one of the best creature flicks ever.

Escape from New York

It's budget is both it's strenghts and weakness. Accomplishing the desolate and crazy settings of a destroyed Manhattan with a mix of miniatures and well composed wrecked set pieces is still very well done, but the movie could've had some more elaborate action set pieces to break a bit some of the dead moments. Nevertheless it's still a very original film, with a forever iconic performance from Russel. Please, please don't remake this...

Lebanon (Levanon)

You can almost smell and feel the heavy clunks of being inside that tank. A politicly relevant film, told extremely well thanks to the director's experiences on the war.
It's fantastic you never feel safe inside that tank...

Transformers: Dark of the Moon

I don't know why I even bothered.... oh wait, it's fuckin raining in August and all left to do is watching the only movie I haven't seen on theatres, since every goddamn thing is closed.
Pure nonsense again, of robots fighting for shiny objects and humans herping their derping along for god knows what reason other than promo the american army and Xixa Labufa's ego.
Yeah I give credit for at least the action setpiece in the end for not making my head hurt and give motion sickness.

Attack the Block
½

Relying an intriguing premise on the shoulders of a bunch of detestable characters is really not a wise decision, let alone thinking you can get away with a movie that relies on a fast pace and not much else. It's not as original as it thinks it is, it's not that scary, not that gory, not that funny and never manages to find a nice balance between it. There's also some serious plot holes around that really can't go unmissed.
But really, my complaints go against this stupid glorification of fuckin thuggish awesome that have absolutly no redeeming value in the end.
Much like the aliens, the movie looks neat at a distance, but once you look closely it's shit and unimaginative.

Jurassic Park
½

Ahhhhh the nostalgia! It's been nearly 10 years since I'd seen this one and I'm glad to report it's still as awesome as before. I literally saw this dozens of times when I was kid. I still shiver on the Velociraptor scenes, T-Rex segments are tense as shit and everything still looks and sounds amazingly. Some nice acting mixed with lil' comedy bits complement this joyful and original adventure.

Super 8
Super 8(2011)

There's a lot of underdevolped characters (probably too many) and plot details that don't make any sense at all (how the fuck have the military controlled such an amazing opponent in the first place, that guy on the truck didn't die, the kids figure everything out by just watching an inconclusive movie, etc.) but still has some nice visual touches with meaning (the guns going nuts is amazing) that is rare to see on "blockbusters" nowadays. Feels it was very chopped in the editing room, so I hope the movie improves on a director's cut.

City of Life and Death

A movie with some of the most disturbng and powerful imagery ever seen on a war film, that depicts the Najing Rape with extreme accuracy that unfortunently has many technical and script flaws. The editing is messy and too quick at times, contrasting with amazing settings and black and white; the characters are bland and I just couldn't feel the connection with their dillemas - if it probably stuck with a more visual narrative movie as it does masterfully at times, avoiding some horrid oneliners and dialogue this would be a landmark in movie history.

Hobo With a Shotgun

Completly over the top, characters out of control, insanely hilariously bad dialogues, good gore, pointless, morally questionable and awesome fun from start to finnish. Probably the best grindhouse pic of these recent revamps. Could've used more lawnmower though. And for a Hobo, those teeth are impecable.

The Host
The Host(2007)
½

My second rundown on The Host was satisfyingly pleasing as the first. Even better, since I got it on DvD and finally watched an undubbed version. Though it is a bit heavy handed at times on the drama and environmental issues it tries to evoque (aren't all monster movies a bit heavy-handed on this anyways?), it's still funny, entertaining, chilling and you care from start to finnish about this disfunctional family.

Rovdyr (Backwoods)

Cliché for the most part, but very well shot, good acting all throughout, believable situations and intense chases .

The Blob
The Blob(1988)

Typical 80's horror flick with all the clichés (the rebel without a cause, the pretty cheerleader, the sheriff, the annoying little brothers, etc.) soaked with amazing special effects and inventive/repulsive deaths.

March of the Penguins
½

A documentary that has everything for everyone, it's superbly shot, the way it tells a "story" is very well explored with a sweet and bittersweet tone that makes wonders for this type of documentary.

The Tree of Life

It's obviously gorgeously shot, with every frame retaining a meaning and a question to the viewer, there's a lot of density on the shots and audio to be absorved on mulitple viewings; but it wanders and wanders, it's topics are very simplistic and won't make you question everything about the meaning of life, religion, etc., because they