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Sunday, February 28, 2010

[7.75/10] Confessions (2010)

Confessions (2010)

One-sentence review: Horrifying, original and utterly disturbing, "Confessions" is a revenge flick at its finest, one the you have never seen before, and one that will shock you to death, if not scare the living daylights out of you.

[7.00/10] Red White & Blue (2010)


One-sentence review: Although not basically a horror movie, this shocking picture is more terrifying and disturbing than any horror film this year, even if it's difficult to watch and quite moody at times.

[6.00/10] Rammbock: Berlin Undead (2010)


One-sentence review: This low budget German zombie flick is a pure example how to make a good film with less money, plus it effectively delivers tons of thrills and suspense, despite its short 59-minutes running time.

[5.00/10] Kill Katie Malone (2010)


One-sentence review: Yes, we have seen the whole ghost trapped in a box' thing before, but this little known horror flick still manages to be somewhat entertaining, despite its predictability and lack of scares.

[4.75/10] Growth (2010)

Growth (2010)

One-sentence review: Mildy entertaining, and full of gross out moments, yet far from scary, "Growth" tries its best considering the low budget and overambitious ideas, but in the end it ends up being a mediocre creature feature, that fails to live up to its potential.

[3.50/10] Hypothermia (2010)

Hypothermia (2010)

One-sentence review: The cast is decent, and the icy and frozen location will surely give you the chills, but what really brings this creature feature down is the awful direction, and probably the lamest-looking monster ever put on film.

Rewind: Nebular's TOP 10 Favorite Movies of 2008

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Nebular's
TOP 10
Favorite Movies of 2008

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1. The Curious Case of
Benjamin Button (10/10)

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2. Hellboy II:
The Golden Army (9.75/10)
________________________

3. Slumdog Millionaire (9.75/10)
________________________

4. Iron Man (9.50/10)
________________________

5. Martyrs (9.50/10)
________________________

6. The Dark Knight (9.25/10)  ________________________

7. Kung Fu Panda (9.00/10)
________________________

8. Wanted (9.00/10)

________________________

9. Cloverfield (8.75/10)
________________________

10. WALL-E (8.75/10) 
________________________

Friday, February 26, 2010

[5.00/10] Legion (2010)


Legion (2010)

Short review: "Legion" is about the apocalypse and one fallen angel who tries to save the last hope for humanity. With such a high concept, it's weird how it's actually taking place in a rather constrained space - a truck diner lost in an American desert! How silly! "Legion" is definitely not a good movie, however, it is not terrible by any means. Unlike recent biblical horrors, the film tries very hard not to follow the lame clichés of recent horrors. Unfortunately, it takes itself a little to seriously with God's legion of zombies that are supposed to be possessed by angels. The film also was terribly written, with weird scenes that needed some serious editing. Besides the bad script and erratic editing, the acting was terrible. The only exceptions were Paul Bettany and Lucas Black. Everyone else was uninspired and made the bad screenplay look much more terrible than it was. The action scenes are where this film soared. The fight between the two Archangels was incredible, and the visual effects were on par. It's no wonder that the old lady scene is shown in previews, because it's one of the best moments, if not the best. However it spoils the surprise. All in all, if it wasn't for the reasonable effects and action scenes "Legion" would have been unwatchable.

  • My Rating: 5.00/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 17% (3.6/10)
  • IMDb: 5.2/10

[6.75/10] District 13: Ultimatum (2009)


District 13:Ultimatum (2009)

Short review: Directed by Pierre Morel, "District 13: Ultimatum" is the sequel to the 2004 French cult flick "District B13", a super-stylized action movie boasting awe inspiring martial arts and mind blowing parkour. Compared to the first movie, "District 13: Ultimatum" is a disappointment. Sure, there are still parkour scenes in the movie, but after seeing the original, there's barely anything feels new in the sequel .The story was even more simple than the first and this made the film even less appealing. New director this time around and the crisp compositions and editing of the original are replaced with more uses of the hand-held cam, to less successful results. In terms of entertainment, the movie delievers, though. "D13 U" has decent production values, and the two leads played by David Belle and Cyril Raffaelli return. The have great chemistry! "District 13: Ultimatum" is saved by its action sequences, inferior as they are to its predecessor's. Those, and the two leads.

[7.00/10] Edge of Darkness (2010)


Edge of Darkness (2010)

"Edge of Darkness" is Mel Gibson's first film as the lead in almost decade has him as Boston policemen Thomas Craven who is seeking revenge for crimes against his daughter. Talented as he is behind the camera, Mel Gibson is far more enjoyable on camera. He gives real credibility to an old man kicking a fair amount of ass simply because he has nothing left. As a man tortured by the deception and cruelty unfolding around him, Mel gives the film vitality. The same can be said for director Martin Campbell, action director extraordinaire. They project the film a notch above similar fare. Danny Huston and Ray Winstone give good performances to fairly generic characters: a corrupt businessman and a Deepthroat style character. Every performance in the movie is convincing, and this is almost moving and powerful at points. The story is essentially a detective story with elements of action and revenge thriller thrown in and, on that level, it succeeds well enough without ever rising to a level where it registers as special. The dialog is largely solid and well-delivered, if it tries too hard here and there. It manages to be quite clever, as well. The editing and cinematography are nicely done, not flashy and few poor decisions made. All in all, "Edge of Darkness" is an intelligent film, with a good script and some wonderful characterization, and nice to see Gibson back on the screen.

  • My Rating: 7.00/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 55% (5.8/10)
  • IMDb: 7.0/10

[7.75/10] Daybreakers (2010)


Daybreakers (2010)

"Daybreakers", a vampire sci-fi thriller from the Spierig brothers, presents a bleak dystopian future set in 2019 where everyone is a vampire. The directors clever use of sharp and detailed cinematography, sound and special effects in this movie brings to life an ominous shadowed city that is inhabited by these civilised vampires. Also refreshing is the amount of bloodletting and thematic material present here. Make no mistake, "Daybreakers" is full of violence and grotesque sites like starving vampires turning into monstrosities that are hard to look at. The film also had ideas and much to say about a struggling society in the face of low supply to meet high demand. The Spierig brothers film most scenes in either a darkly chilly blue or in a variation of lighting, both of which look great on film. And the creature effects are scary, as well as effective. Willem Dafoe gives the movie's best performance as Elvis, a former vampire who managed to somehow be 'born again' human. Hawke gives a nicely understated performance and Neil again proves he's underrated as an actor. Newcomer, Isabel Lucas, who plays Bromley's human daughter, does nice work as well. The weird depiction of this vampire world makes "Daybreakers" unique to every other vampire movie and the vibrant detailed display from the twin directors gives a breath of fresh air to vampire films. "Daybreakers" is the first must-see movie of 2010!

  • My Rating: 7.75/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 67% (6.1/10)
  • IMDb: 6.7/10

[9.50/10] Bodyguards and Assassins a.k.a. Shi yue wei cheng (2009)


Bodyguards and Assassins

a.k.a.

Shi yue wei cheng (2009)

Produced by Peter Chan Ho-Sun and directed by Teddy Chan, this refreshing mix of drama, action and politics is the best movie that came out from China in 2009 and one of the best of the year in general. It's one of the high echelon of action films for reasons other than just the spectacular fight sequences. It is not often Asian cinema will get a piece of fantastic historical productions which boasts A-listed casts and veteran actors together, and also gives the story a deep rooted details to the point to make the movie much more easier to digest. The first part of "Bodyguards and Assassins", while lacking in action, is consistently engaging, establishing on the macro level the historical backdrop, and on a micro level the characters. The second part is action extravaganza - one of the most exhilarating fight-fest that you're going to see coming from any action movie this year! Even more important is that this is not fighting just for the sake of fighting, but for a course established with heartfelt dedication, through characters that you will unreservedly root for. There is an entire spectrum of interesting characters, presented with various degrees of depth, as appropriate. "Bodyguards and Assassins" works primarily because we have real characters. This is due in part to the casting of a dozen big name actors, with Donnie Yen, Eric Tsang and Simon Yam among them. Normally the casting of so many actors can work against a film, but here it adds weight and makes the vast number of characters more easily recognizable. Better than the casting in the writing which allows for many small moments that add nice shading to everyone in the tale. Visuals, editing, camera work, action choreography - all become an integral part of this top-notch film, which must be recognized as among the very best of Chinese language motion pictures in recent memory.

  • My Rating: 9.50/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes: N/A
  • IMDb: 6.9/10

[5.50/10] Red Riding: 1974 (2009)


Red Riding: 1974 (2009)

Short review: The three part mystery thriller "Red Riding" has potential andis a good attempt at something riveting. Sadly the introduction "Red Riding: 1974" , while well-made and intriguing enough, doesn't produce quite the result that would be needed to hold viewers to see it through to the end. The first part establishes an effective air of mystery and atmosphere, but the script and delivery of the actors seems so deep and lost in itself that it's hard to keep track of the story and the result is all mood and no substance. It's well-acted enough, from lead star Garfield and supporting actors Anthony Flanigan, as well as Daeziel and Pascoe star Warren Clarke as a cold and charmless police captain. "Red Riding:" 1974" is simply nothing special!

  • My Rating: 5.50/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 100% (4 Reviews)
  • IMDb: 7.7/10

Friday, February 19, 2010

[5.25/10] The Book of Eli (2010)


The Book of Eli (2010)

Short review: "The Book Of Eli" is a story about a post-apocalyptic world in which the human race has been mostly wiped out. It tells the story of one man, Washington, who must cross the United States and head west to an unknown location, all while protecting a book, with his very life. This man Eli is versatile in martial arts and marksmanship as well as archery. So the main premise for the film is 'Action', but it feels like a western for most of the time but with motorbikes and cars in a Mad Max kind of way. The action in the film is actually not bad, yet nothing impressive The performances are not bad either - Denzel Washington carries the movie easily. Gary Oldman supports in his usual psychotic manner as a power hungry leader intent on stealing the book from Eli. The cinematography is good as is the location sets. It felt bleak although the lack of colour in the film sometimes made it almost a black and white film. Now the problem with this film is that despite the star studded cast, the script doesn't seem to have what it takes to exploit their talent. Also, the film is tapping on religious undertones, and in doing so, it tries to carry a message, and it does so poorly. In summary, "The Book Of Eli" is well-acted and visually great, but severely missed the mark on what it was trying to do.

  • My Rating: 5.25/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 45% (5.3/10)
  • IMDb: 7.2/10

[6.50/10] Triangle (2009)


Triangle (2009)

Short review: No doubt about it, "Triangle" is clever - it doesn't just look smart, but it remains coherent throughout its running time. Attention to detail is paid and even though the initial viewing may leave you confused as you simply haven't got the time to take it all in, after it's over and you've read up about the plot, then things start to fall into place and you come to realize the extent of its brilliance. A fair balance of gore and suspense, "Triangle" is consistently gripping, twisting its way through the events shown in the film, right round 'the loop' and back to the beginning, where the actions and behaviour of the characters become slightly more clear. What the movie does lack is humor. Taking itself far too seriously the pacing needs to release some tension for the next scene to be even more effective. The leading lady, Melissa George takes on the role of a single mother named Jess caring for her young autistic son, but is suddenly plunged into a spiral of chaos as soon as the main plot jumps forward. Her performance is impressive! The other actors provide an exceedingly decent performance considering they're all supporting actors and actresses. In conclusion, "Triangle" is an unexpected little gem - a very original and entertaining film!

  • My Rating: 6.50/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 82% (6.5/10)
  • IMDb: 6.7/10

[3.75/10] Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever (2009)


Cabin Fever 2:
Spring Fever
(2009)


Short review: "Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever" is riddled with plot holes, shallow characters, overused plot, and horrible dialogue, but if you've come to expect a "Cabin Fever" film, then you'll be happy to know the shock value is abundant. The storyline is a weak spin-off from the original "Cabin Fever" movie. The only thing it has in common is the police officer and the lake with the corpse in it - pretty weak basis for a follow-up story. Also, there's very little suspense on hand here and the film tries to be more of a comedy than a horror film. In terms of the gore, the movie holds nothing back and displays some ultra vile material. Outside of some stellar makeup effects, and one or two funny moments, the film just feels like a bad parody and ripoff of much better works.

  • My Rating: 3.75/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes: N/A
  • IMDb: 4.5/10

[6.50/10] Lake Mungo (2009)


Lake Mungo (2009)

Short review: Played almost as a television news special, "Lake Mungo" is believable 'mockumentary'. It really is a very simple film, that follows the Palmer family as they deal with the loss of Alice - their daughter/sister. It is filmed in a documentary style, in which the family and friends associates are interviewed by an unseen person, with pictures and video footage shown as well. The acting and editing sells the story as a real documented paranormal experience with all the twists and turns needed to keep it's audience on their toes, gripping their seat. The downplayed, monotone performances of the actors аre very effective. The naturalism they maintain only adds more edge and anxiety to the story. And speaking of story, unlike most of the other first person horror movies, "Lake Mungo" actually has a good one. It's an honest mystery, full of secrets and lies, wrapped around a paranormal thriller. Though not as good as "The Blair Witch Project" or this year's "Paranormal Activity", "Lake Mungo" is a decent little horror movie, that is worth watching!

  • My Rating: 6.50/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 86% (6.8/10)
  • IMDb: 6.4/10

Thursday, February 18, 2010

[6.75/10] Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant (2009)


Cirque du Freak:
The Vampire's Assistant (2009)


Short review: Thankfully, "Vampire's Assistant" doesn't try to be anything it's not. It's a fun movie that keeps its audience entertained with a good storyline and somewhat elusive plot. The more you discover in plot, the more you want to know, which is movie's best quality. John C.Reilly gives possibly his best performance ever - he plays the funny, yet mostly mysterious vampire. Ken Watanabe and Selma Hayek also give inspired performances that aren't necessarily important, but add charm none the less. The atmosphere and sound was excellent. The camera angles were for the most part good, and set the tone. The special effects were done impressively and fit well into the movie. Some of the cuts were a little off, and the fire fades were a little tacky but stylish. The biggest problem of "Vampire's Assistant" is Chris Massoglia, who plays the main character Darren Shan - he offers up nothing to this movie. Massoglia presents some of the most emotionless and bland acting ever. He delivers every line with a flat monotone voice and he's simply boring. From the witty opening credits through the delightful cast and storyline, "Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant" delivers great visuals, charm and entertainment!

  • My Rating: 6.75/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 37% (4.9/10)
  • IMDb: 6.3/10

[5.50/10] Planet 51 (2009)


Planet 51 (2009)

"Planet 51" is often a well-made, funny little film that hits the right notes, but it's also a film that suffers from too strong a feeling of having been here before. Basically, "Planet 51" is about a human astronaut that is stranded in a alien planet, and while he is stranded he makes friends on the planet and tries to make it back to his shuttle so he can go back home. The movie starts out decently enough, establishing the characters and setting of the alien planet. It goes about showing us the alien equivalent of everything that we find normal on Earth, but it all quickly spirals downward, though. The jokes and equivalents begin to become quite annoying and eye-roll inducing. Also, the characters are very cliché, and just not funny. Drawing style used is god enough though and it is a pleasure to watch the design of the alien planet and its denizens. Dwayne Johnson is decent as the egotistical Baker, but you can barely tell it is him. Also lending their voices is the usually very funny Justin Long, who plays it straight for the most part as Lem; Jessica Biel who has next to nothing to do as Lem's love-interest other than give the female kiddies a reason to see this; and Gary Oldman who is clearly having fun as over-the-top villain Grawl. "Planet 51" made an effort to be a good animation movie but it didn't reach where it wanted to go.

  • My Rating: 5.50/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 23% (4.1/10)
  • IMDb: 6.1/10

[6.50/10] Case 39 (2009)


Case 39 (2009)

Short review: "Case 39" is about a social worker taking a young girl into her home, as the girl's parents tried to kill her. As a horror movie, "Case 39" delivers what it promises, which is scaring people. It creates a very creepy atmosphere that stays til the very end. Fortunately, the film doesn't rely on the 'jump scares' which so many horror movies depend on lately, although it has a few. The plot is good, as at first it makes you feel so sympathetic and sorry for the girl, then it slowly prepares you for something entirely different. Though Renee Zellweger is not particularly convincing as a social worker, she conveys her feeling of threat very well, making her stressed out character vivid. 15 year old Jodelle Micah, who has an unbelievable resume of acting credits for her age, is downright creepy playing a little girl who is perhaps nine or ten but who has the cunning of the devil himself. All in all, "Case 39" is far from great, but it's successful in creating a suspenseful atmosphere, full of threat and uncertainty, and it's quite entertaining.

  • My Rating: 6.50/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 11% (3.7/10)
  • IMDb: 6.3/10

[4.50/10] The Collector (2009)


The Collector (2009)

Short review: "The Collectors" is something in the lines of the "Saw" series, a maniac serial killer picks random people to kill them in the most gruesome way possible. The exception is that 'the collector' walks in to peoples houses and sets up sadistic traps and lock them in so they have no way of escaping, furthermore the killer from what we are told throughout the movie has no motivation - just the plainest and simplest display of sadism. There is no connection to any of the characters whatsoever, it is like if the script was written after the writers came up with the bloodiest murders they could think of and just writing whatever to come up to that point in the movie. The acting was sub-par, especially from the leading hero. He was as dry as unbuttered toast and I found myself not being able to care less if he lived or died. Even though film's beginning is promising, "The Collectors" quickly becomes lazy and repetitive - get chased by killer, walk into new trap, find a way out, repeat. There is some nice tension, and some squirm-inducing torture, but the film essentially adds nothing new to the torture porn genre.

  • My Rating: 4.50/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 25% (4.0/10)
  • IMDb: 6.2/10