Thursday, September 29, 2016

CinematicAddiction's 31 Days of Halloween 2016!

It's the moment I've been waiting for all year... Time to celebrate 31 Days of Halloween! I'll be sharing one horror movie review every day from October 1st to Halloween — that's 31 reviews in 31 days! This is our fourth year celebrating 31 Days of Halloween together. I have a decent set of movies scheduled. However, I believe most of the movies I'm watching are new — new to me, at least.

The horror movie marathon will include found footage, supernatural, splatterpunk, slasher, and body horror movies — and possibly more. Of course, the movies will also range from old to new and obscure to mainstream. I like to have variety in my horror, so we'll see where it goes. My thirst for variety often leads me to some seedy territory, but I'm willing.

Thanks for reading over the past few years. I hope you enjoy my reviews and I hope you have a great October. Are you celebrating with 31 movies, too? Thirteen, perhaps? Let me know in the comments or tweet me @Jonny_Athan. I'll be sharing my reviews on Twitter, too, so make sure you follow me.

Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Film Review - 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi (2016)

13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi (Review)
United States/2016
Format Viewed For Review: VUDU Rental
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No

"It is a tense action film thanks to some of Michael Bay's best direction in years."

Six members of a security team stationed in Benghazi, Libya, fight to defend the American diplomatic compound...

13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi tells the story of the September 11, 2012 attack on an American diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya. It spends about forty minutes introducing us to the characters and how they operate, then it hurls you into action sequence after action sequence. It gives you a few moments to breathe, scenes where characters discuss what's at stake and so on, then it hurls you into another. The lack of strong character development and build-up is a little disappointing, but it doesn't quite spoil the film. Remember, this is an action movie made by Michael Bay – this isn't a documentary. Anyway, it takes a few predictable stops, even for those unfamiliar with this tragedy, and it leads to a fairly effective ending.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Film Review: In the Heart of the Sea (2015)

In the Heart of the Sea (Review)
United States/Spain/2015
Format Viewed For Review: HBO Now
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No

"If you're looking for an adventurous thriller, something different from the same old blockbusters, this is worth watching."

The recounting of a whaling ship's sinking by a giant whale, which inspired the writing of Moby-Dick.

In the Heart of the Sea is an interesting film based on a novel I have not read. The film is a recounting of the sinking of the whaling ship Essex. Former cabin boy Thomas Nickerson (played by Tom Holland for a bulk of the film) reluctantly tells the tale to author Herman Melville. In all actuality, most of the film follows first mate Owen Chase (Chris Hemsworth), Captain George Pollard Jr. (Benjamin Walker) and the rest of the crew on their voyage. There's a bit of a rivalry between Chase and Pollard, but it never really feels powerful or slightly significant. Anyway, the Essex is eventually attacked by a whale, which leaves the men fighting for survival – while the whale continues to pursue them. It feels like it runs out of steam towards the end, especially since it blows its load early on, but the ending was decent.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Film Review: Afflicted (2013)

Afflicted (Review)
Format Viewed For Review: Amazon Instant
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: Yes

" exciting and refreshing addition to the found footage subgenre – and probably one of my favorites."

Two best friends plan on traveling across the world for a year, but their trip is cut short when one of them contracts a mysterious disease...

Afflicted is a very interesting and unique found footage film – imagine that. The plot is fairly simple but effective. Best friends Clif Prowse and Derek Lee plan on traveling the world while recording their adventures for a blog. This trip is primarily planned because Derek discovers he has a brain aneurysm and he wants to live life without regrets. Anyway, during a stop at Paris, Derek hooks up with a woman, but ends up with a leaking dome and a gash on his arm. He becomes ill, but refuses to visit the hospital. He eventually discovers his 'superpowers.' Wait a second, though. It has some shades of Chronicle, but this isn't a found footage superhero movie. In fact, since I went into this blind, I was surprised by its direction. The rest of the film follows this pair as they attempt to find a cure for Derek's disease. There's more to it, obviously, but I don't want to spoil anything.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Film Review: Sudden Death (1995)

Sudden Death (Review)
United States/1995
Format Viewed Review: HBO Now
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No

" of my favorite Van Damme movies."

Darren McCord (Jean-Claude Van Damme), a former fireman working as a fire marshal, faces a group of terrorists who are holding the Vice President hostage during the NHL finals.

Sudden Death follows Darren McCord, a fireman who is guilt-ridden due to his failure to save a girl in a burning house. Two years later, he's working as a fire marshal at the Civic Center. For his son's birthday, he takes his son and daughter to Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals. Of course, he's also working at the same time. Anyway, the Vice President of the United States also happens to be stopping by to catch the game. So, a group of terrorist pounce on the opportunity and take him hostage. Why would Darren take on a group of terrorist for the VP, you ask? Well, because his daughter also gets caught – damn kids. So, Darren fights his way through a bunch of killers and defuses a bunch of bombs. That's your plot. Yes, it is Die Hard during a hockey game. Does that make it bad? Nope.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Film Review: Hard Target 2 (2016)

Hard Target 2 (Review)
United States/2016
Format Viewed For Review: Netflix Instant
Netflix Streaming: Yes
Amazon Prime: No

"It's really just another b-movie, but I enjoyed it."

Retired MMA fighter Wes Baylor (Scott Adkins) is offered a million dollars to participate in one final fight in Myanmar. When he arrives, he finds himself in the crosshairs of a group of hunters...

Hard Target 2 is a very cheesy film. I'm giving it the benefit of the doubt, so I'm choosing to believe this was intentional. After all, it is a sequel to a Van Damme 90s movie – there were a lot of cheesy action movies back then. (Side note: I actually watched Sudden Death after this and it was nowhere near as cheesy.) Anyway, the film follows Wes Baylor, an MMA fighter. He accidentally kills another fighter in the ring, which sends him into a tailspin of depression. He ends up fighting for scraps in Thailand, where Aldrich (Robert Knepper) offers him a huge purse for one final fight. Wes agrees. Unfortunately, when he arrives in Myanmar, he is told that he's actually participating in a human hunt – and he's the prey. The rest of the film, like the introduction, is very simple stuff. Wes runs around the jungle and heads for the border while being targeted by a generic group of hunters from around the world. Nothing groundbreaking, really. The ending also continues with the theme of 'cheesy 80s/90s movie,' but it wasn't that bad.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Film Review: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (Review)
United States/2016
Format Viewed For Review: VUDU
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No

"I was pleasantly surprised..."

Fearing the destructive power of Superman (Henry Cavill), Batman (Ben Affleck) decides to confront the Man of Steel, while the rest of the world debates about its heroes...

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is a huge film, so I'll try to give you the gist. The film is a sequel to Man of Steel, a Batman reboot, and a teaser of what's to come – yeah, it's a lot. Superman is targeted by the media after a few deaths are blamed on him, which is thanks to Lex Luthor's (Michael Cera Jesse Eisenberg) scheming. Batman has already witnessed Superman's destructive power first-hand and, while conducting his own investigations, decides to take matters into his own hands. Oh, and you can toss Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) in there, too. It starts off rough, feeling very disjointed and lost, but it progressively gets better as it finds its focus. It often leave you wanting more, but the offering at-hand isn't bad. It leads to a fairly solid ending, too.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Film Review: Blood Father (2016)

Blood Father (Review)
Format Viewed For Review: VUDU
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No

"...a short and effective thriller that packs a few heavy punches."

John Link (Mel Gibson) reunites with his daughter, Lydia (Erin Moriarty), in order to protect her from a gang of vengeful drug dealers...

Blood Father is yet another simple film. (I've review quite a few of those recently.) The film follows John Link, a grizzled and hardened ex-convict living the sober life, and his 17-year-old daughter, Lydia, a drug-addicted runaway who brings hell to her father's door. That's essentially the plot, too. Lydia shoots a drug dealer, which causes the drug dealers to pursue her, so she runs to her father. Being the incredibly patient father he is, John Link vows to protect his daughter by any means necessary. And so, the pair are chased by thugs. That's about it, really. There are some ties to Mexican drug cartels, but nothing really groundbreaking in terms of plot. It's not bad, though. It leads to a decent but predictable ending, too.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Film Review: Green Room (2015)

Green Room (Review)
United States/2015
Format Viewed For Review: VUDU
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No

" unnerving, gut-wrenching experience..."

A punk rock band finds themselves in the crosshairs of neo-Nazi skinheads after witnessing a crime at a remote club.

Green Room follows a punk rock band called The Ain't Rights, which consists of Pat (Anton Yelchin), Sam, Reece, and Tiger. This group travels to a remote club in the woods to perform for a crowd of neo-Nazi skinheads. Of course, they make plenty of stupid decisions from the beginning. For example, they cover a song that will obviously offend their audience, which probably isn't bright considering their remote location. Anyway, everything is set in motion because Sam forgets her phone in the green room and Pat walks in on a murder. So, the band is locked in the green room while the racists, who are led by Darcy (Patrick Stewart), plan on killing them. It's a fairly simple fight for survival, but it is very effective. The ending doesn't really pack a punch, but it was okay – it wasn't bad, at least.