Sunday, March 1, 2015

Film Review: A Good Marriage (2014)

A Good Marriage (Review)
United States/2014
Format Viewed For Review: Netflix Instant
Netflix Streaming: Yes
Amazon Prime: No

"...more like a psychological-drama."

After a very lengthy good marriage, Darcy (Joan Allen) uncovers her husband's disturbing secret...

A Good Marriage primarily follows Darcy and her husband, Bob (Anthony LaPaglia). Life is great for Darcy at the moment. Her marriage is wonderful, her children are growing up and succeeding, and so on. One day, while her husband leaves on a trip, Darcy conveniently finds Bob's secret. This shouldn't surprise anyone in the audience: Bob is a serial killer known as Beadie. The rest of the film follows Darcy as the tries to cope with the news and tries to find a way to live a normal life again. It leads to a predictable yet satisfying ending.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Film Review: Dredd (2012)

Dredd (Review)
United States/2012
Format Viewed For Review: Netflix Instant
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No

"There isn't a single second of boredom here."

In the near future, the United States is a dystopian wasteland riddled with violent crime. Judges act as judge, jury, and executioner.

Dredd follows Judge Dredd (Karl Urban) and his psychic rookie, Judge Anderson (Olivia Thirlby), as they enter a 200-story apartment building on a routine call. There, the pair stumble upon a drug operation selling a new drug called "Slow Mo," which slows down the user's perception of time to a mere 1%. When they attempt to arrest a drug dealer for interrogation, resident drug lord Ma-ma (Lena Headey) locks down the building and calls on her minions to slaughter the Judges. So, Dredd and Anderson attempt to survive and move up the building full of hostiles. The ultra-gory onslaught continues up to the satisfying ending.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Film Review: Friday The 13th Part 2 (1981)

Friday the 13th Part 2 (Review)
United States/1981
Format Viewed For Review: Netflix Instant
Netflix Streaming: Yes
Amazon Prime: Yes

"...it even does some things better than the original."

A murderer stalks camp counselors at a camp near Camp Crystal Lake...

Friday the 13th Part 2 is more of the same. The film takes place five years after the events of Friday the 13th. Fresh counselors are arriving at a training camp. They bicker and have fun. While most of the counselors hit the bar for one last night in town, a select few stay at the camp. These counselors are picked off by a masked killer. Like the original, this film leads to a cat-and-mouse climax. I liked this ending a bit more, though.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Film Review: Friday The 13th (1980)

Friday The 13th (Review)
United States/1980
Format Viewed For Review: Netflix Instant
Netflix Streaming: Yes
Amazon Prime: Yes

"...some savage death scenes, moderate suspense and tension..."

In 1958, two camp counselors were slaughtered by an unknown assailant. Twenty years later, the camp is set to reopen...

Friday The 13th follows a new group of young camp counselors as they prepare Camp Crystal Lake for its grand reopening. The counselors learn about the camp's infamous past, which includes the 1958 murders and the unfortunate drowning of a young boy in 1957. Slowly but surely, the counselors are attacked by an unknown assailant -- brutally picked off one-by-one. That's about it, really. Some messing around with the counselors, a gory death scene, more games, a death scene, and so on. Friday The 13th leads to a tense game of hide-and-seek (cat-and-mouse?) for satisfying climax and ending.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Film Review: The Last House on Cemetery Lane (2015)

The Last House on Cemetery Lane (Review)
United Kingdom/2015
Format Viewed For Review: Netflix Streaming
Netflix Streaming: Yes
Amazon Prime: No

"The severe lack of horror is the most disappointing aspect of the film."

Screenwriter John Davies (Lee Bane) moves to an old manor to focus on his writing, but finds himself tormented by the home's restless spirits...

The Last House on Cemetery Lane is a film with an eerily familiar story. A writer struggling with writer's block moves into a large, secluded home. There's a blind woman who lives on the third floor of the home, but she doesn't come out, so he practically has the house all to himself. Eventually, he meets his neighbor, Cassie (Georgina Blackledge), and they develop a relationship. Things go bump in the night, like a record player playing at night or a painting falling over, and... that's about it. The Last House on Cemetery Lane leads to an interesting but predictable ending.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Film Review: Joe (2013)

Joe (Review)
United States/2013
Format Viewed For Review: Netflix Instant
Netflix Streaming: Yes
Amazon Prime: Yes

"It's ultimately very effective."

Joe (Nicolas Cage), a foreman with a troubled past, takes a young man, Gary (Tye Sheridan), under his wing.

Joe follows the titular character as he develops a father-like relationship with Gary. Gary is a young drifter with an alcoholic and abusive father, Wade (Gary Poulter). However, Gary is a hard-working optimist who will do anything to support his family. Joe is a hard-working man with inner-demons. The bulk of the film follows Joe and Gary as they interact -- very refreshing character development. The ending, however, felt rushed and disappointing. Suddenly, a conflict arises and resolves within minutes -- I didn't like this approach.