Friday, July 29, 2016

Film Review: Madman (1982)

Madman (Review)
United States/1982
Format Viewed For Review: Amazon Instant
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: Yes

"It almost feels like a copy-and-paste of other movies in the genre."

A group of campers are stalked and murdered after awakening an ax-wielding killer...

Is there anything else to say about the plot? No, not really. There are some interesting tidbits here and there, but that's really most of the plot. The story follows a group of generic campers and counselors at a forgettable camp. An urban legend is told about Madman Marz, a man who killed his entire family with an ax. It's said, if you say Madman Marz's name above a whisper, he'll come and get you. Of course, someone yells his name out and the killings begin. I liked the urban legend, the folk song was good, but it really did nothing to differentiate itself from the rest of the slasher herd.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Film Review: Flight 7500 (2012)

Flight 7500 (Review)
United States/2012
Format Viewed For Review: VUDU Rental
Netflix Instant: No
Amazon Prime: No

"It falls short quite often, but I was engaged from beginning to end."

When a man dies on Flight 7500 en route to Tokyo, the other passengers encounter a supernatural force in the cabin...

Flight 7500 is a very simple film. The movie has a fairly large set of characters, which I won't bother to name. These characters conveniently have severe relationship issues – all of them are dysfunctional for different reasons, which felt a bit unnatural. Anyway, an enigmatic man flying by his lonesome dies on the plane. The pilots decide not to make an emergency landing and instead opt to store the deceased in first-class – of course, they had to move first-class to economy first. So, the group hit a bit of turbulence, suffer from oxygen loss, then everything goes back to normal – except it really doesn't. People start vanishing, apparitions appear, and a group of passengers try to unravel the mystery. The plot really isn't rich with detail or character. It all leads to a decent but predictable ending. (The last minute or so was very weak, though.)

Monday, July 25, 2016

Film Review: The Vatican Tapes (2015)

The Vatican Tapes (Review)
United States/2015
Format Viewed For Review: Amazon Instant
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: Yes

"It offers some unique elements to the possession genre, but it never fully embraces any of its ideas."

After slicing her finger at a birthday party, Angela Holmes (Olivia Taylor Dudley) begins to exhibit symptoms of possession...

The Vatican Tapes is another possession horror film. The film follows Angela, a young woman who is reunited with her father (Dougray Scott) on her birthday. She slices her finger while cutting the cake, which forces her to visit the hospital. Oh! And, this is where we meet Father Lozano (Michael Pena). Anyway, Angela begins to exhibit erratic behavior. Apparently, when you're possessed, you begin to act like a dehydrated teenage girl with bipolar disorder. The plot continues to follow the basics of the possession formula – mental evaluations, strange happenings, and, of course, an exorcism. The ending was certainly interesting and different, but it did feel a bit cheesy.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Film Review: Gozu (2003)

Gozu (Review)
Japan/2003
Format Viewed For Review: Amazon Instant
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: Yes

"It's quirky, it's original, and it's entertaining."

Yakuza enforcer Minami (Hideki Sone) is ordered to drive his colleague, Ozaki (Show Aikawa), to a small town to be assassinated. His plans derail when Ozaki mysteriously disappears...

Gozu is an insane film, so I'll try my best to be brief with the story details. The film begins with Ozaki brutally killing a chihuahua he suspects to be a Yakuza killing dog. So, considering Ozaki's questionable sanity, Minami is ordered to drive his Yakuza brother to a small town so he can be killed. Unfortunately, Ozaki vanishes during a stop and Minami is hurled into a tailspin of madness. Minami tries his best to track his brother, but he always finds himself hindered by the enigmatic residents and the ominous atmosphere of the town. Whether it's an innkeeper who sells her breast milk or visions of a man with a cow head, the man can't seem to catch a break. It leads to a surprising ending, too.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Film Review: Dementia (2015)

Dementia (Review)
United States/2015
Format Viewed For Review: Netflix Instant
Netflix Streaming: Yes
Amazon Prime: No

"It started off promising, but it slowly crumbled before it reached its weak ending."

George Lockhart (Gene Jones), an elderly war veteran, is forced to live with a peculiar live-in nurse after he's diagnosed with dementia.

Dementia is a horror-drama film with a basic narrative. After defending a bullied child, George has a stroke on his lawn. His estranged son and granddaughter, Shelby (Hassie Harrison), rush to his side. George is diagnosed with dementia and his son begins to look for a nursery home. But, wait! Michelle (Kristina Klebe), a nurse from the hospital, drops by to offer her support. So, she's hired to take care of George. All is well for about a minute, then Michelle's shows her true colors. Unfortunately, it doesn't really pack any surprises because it's very blatant about Michelle's intentions, which means the ending was predictable from the beginning. And, as for the ending, it felt underwhelming. I know it was trying to hide hard, but it felt rather weak.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Film Review: Ip Man 3 (2015)

Ip Man 3 (Review)
China/2015
Format Viewed For Review: Netflix Instant
Netflix Streaming: Yes
Amazon Prime: No

"If you're simply looking for more Donnie Yen/Ip Man action, you'll love this."

Ip Man (Donnie Yen), his wife, and his youngest son continue to live a peaceful life in Hong Kong until a foreigner arrives with a few plans and some violent methods.

Ip Man 3 is more of the same from the series. So, of course, the film follows Ip Man. His son's school runs into trouble when a foreigner, Frank (Mike Tyson), tries to take over the property. The principal refuses to sell the school, so Frank commands his underlings to take it by any means necessary. Being the neighborhood hero he is, Ip Man decides to lend a helping hand. The story also follows Cheung Tin-chi (Zhang Jin), a rickshaw puller looking to start his own martial arts school. Since it essentially tries to balance two stories, the plot can be a bit underwhelming. There are some things that are very effective, then there are those elements that feel sloppy. It leads to a great final fight, though, and a good ending.