Sunday, January 31, 2010

Lake Mungo Movie Review 97


Lake Mungo is a little known movie which I came across and decided to watch. It is an Australian movie and it is made in a documentary style. I wondered if it would be like Paranormal Activity but it wasn't really except that it was shot as a documentary. The comparison ends there. It is directed by Joel Anderson and it doesn't star anyone you would recognise.

The story begins in December 2005 and we find out that there was some kind of accident. We hear the emergency call and find out that it is in Ararat, Australia. A sixteen year old girl called Alice Walker(Talia Zucker) has went missing in the water and her family can't find her. The cops go looking for her and everybody wondered what happened. On the 24th December 2005, they find the body and she is laid to rest. Ten days after her funeral, strange things begin to happen. Her mother,June(Rosie Traynor) is having nightmares. She goes for walks at night as she doesn't want to fall asleep. Her dad,Russell(David Pledger) sees Alice when he goes into her room one night. Alice's brother, Matthew(Martin Sharpe) has bruises all over his body that can't be explained.

Matthew has taken a picture of the backyard and Alice is in it.Other people have taken pictures too and the figure of Alice is in them too. June thinks that her daughter is still alive. The family want to dig up the body and get a DNA test.It turns out that Alice IS dead. She is reburied. Matthew sets up video cameras in the house so that they can see if Alice turns up at night when they are all asleep. A figure is seen on the camera the next day.Some couple who are on holiday see her in their video too.We discover that it was Matthew who was making it all up himself. He doctored the pictures of the backyard so it would look as if Alice was there. It comes out that Alice had some problem with her neighbour and that she was very unhappy about it. She had been afraid to tell her parents that he was abusing her and when she went on a trip to Lake Mungo, she hid her mobile phone and other things. She saw something when she was at Lake Mungo and it frightened her. The parents go there and find her belongings.It turns out that she saw her own death. The family decide to move on and sell the house.They don't realise that Alice WAS in those pictures and that they missed it. She was also in the house but they did not see her. They leave her in the house while they go to a new life...

This movie was just about watchable. It wasn't great and I think that the documentary thing made it a bit slower as not much happened. It gets a paltry 3/10.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Giallo Movie Review 96


Giallo is the latest movie directed by a favourite of mine, Dario Argento. I love his work and this movie was very good. It stars Adrien Brody and a cast of Italian actors. I have read some reviews of it and some people really didn't think that it was that good, but I liked it. I watched it from beginning to end and I did not have to press the fast forward button once which is a rarity these days!!

The movie is set in Rome and begins with two Japanese tourists who are out on the town. One of them wants to go back to her hotel while the other has picked up a guy. The young woman gets into a taxi and she tells the driver to go to her hotel. She begins to worry when he doesn't seem to be going in the right direction. Her worry turns into sheer panic when  he drives down an abandoned street and jumps on her before injecting her with something...Cut to a beautiful model called Celine(Elsa Pataky) who is on the phone to her sister, Linda(Emmanuelle Seigner). Linda has come to Rome to visit her sister and she has arrived at her sister's apartment. Celine chats to her sister as she gets into a taxi and she doesn't notice that the taxi driver is not going in the right direction. She gets cut off as she talks to Linda and she tries to get out of the cab but to no avail. We see the creepy guy inject her and she passes out. Her sister Linda wonders what has happened to Celine and she waits for her to arrive home. Celine wakes up in a dingy room with a body on a table dripping with blood..

Linda decides to go to the police and she is sent to see the Inspector Enzo Avolfi(Brody).  He is down in the basement and his office is covered with pictures of dead bodies. He is an eccentric guy who used to be a cop in New York City. He is looking for the killer. Linda tells him about her sister and he tells her that he will get back to her and that she should go home and wait by the phone. Meanwhile, the killer is torturing the young woman he had captured before Celine. Celine has to watch and she is petrified.He is a weird looking man and he seems to love torturing young women for his own pleasure. Enzo is driving and he sees a taxi following him. He thinks that it might be the killer, but it is just Linda following him and he invites her to come with him to try and find out more about her sister's disappearance. We see the killer masturbating to the pictures of his victims. He is one very sick puppy!!!

Enzo and Linda go to find the names of cab drivers and they talk about the killer. Enzo tells Linda that he thinks that the killer has her sister. It seems that the killer seems to target tourists or foreigners. He likes young beautiful women.Enzo thinks about his childhood and we discover that he witnessed his mother being murdered and that is why he wants to track down and jail killers. The cops discover a body, but it is not Celine. It is the young Japanese woman. She mutters a few words in her native language before she dies. Enzo gets it translated and it is one word- yellow. He can't figure it out. Meanwhile, Celine and the killer are alone and she begins to call him ugly. He gets mad at her and he cuts off her finger. While Enzo is looking the the body of the young girl, Linda figures out what yellow means. She thinks that he might be jaundiced from hepatitis.

They go to the hospital to find out the names of people who are treated for hepatitis. The killer happens to be there and he just gets away in time. They find out his name and address and they go to his flat. He isn't there and they cannot find Celine.Enzo gets the cops over to his flat and they look for clus to where he has Celine. Meanwhile, Celine escapes but is caught again. The killer finds Linda and he tells her that if she helps him get away, he will tell her where her sister is. She agrees and she is helping him to get away when Enzo comes along and kills him. Linda is furious as now they don't know where Celine is. The movie ends with a security guard in a parking lot who hears noises coming from a taxi....It is Celine....

I liked this movie a lot and I would watch it again. Very good offering from Argento and I look forward to more movies from him in the future....This gets a 9/10

Thursday, January 28, 2010

All About Steve Movie Review 95

All About Steve stars Sandra Bullock as Mary Horowitz who is a crossword constructor for a small newspaper. She has no man in her life and she stays with her parents as her apartment is being fumigated. As she has no real life outside of her job, her parents set her up on a blind date with Steve played by Bradley Cooper. They are attracted to each other but Steve is put off by her continued chatter and her facts and trivia that are used in her crosswords. He gets a call from work and he tells her he must leave their date as he is a cameraman for a news crew. He makes the mistake of being nice to Mary by saying that he would love to have her come with him but she can't as she has her job. He was just being nice to her but she becomes infatuated with him.

Mary makes her next crossword about Steve hence the movie title but gets fired as no one can complete the crossword. So, as she has no job, she follows Steve around America as he covers news events. The news reporter is played by Thomas Hayden Church who sends up all the pompous news reporters and their producer is played by Ken Jeong from The Hangover which we reviewed here. All About Steve can't decide whether it is a news satire, love story ,drama or comedy and flirts with each genre now and again. Sandra Bullock, who also produces this movie, is very likeable as the strange Mary and does a good job with the limited story.

It just barely held my interest to the end as I wondered what would happen to Bullock's character but if there was anything better to watch, I would have looked elsewhere. I wouldn't recommend this movie as it is a bit scatterbrained but it does have the odd amusing moment. It is a movie that you would only watch once though and, like me, you will want to see what happens at the end. It only lasts for one hour 35 mins and it is just about watchable for the odd laugh. Unless you are a Sandra Bullock fan, give this one a miss. There is a few seconds extra after the credits of the opposition news anchor jumping into a hole. After you see the movie, you will get what it means!

All About Steve-4/10

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Dead Air Movie Review 94

Dead Air is produced and directed by Corbin Bernsen and it stars Bill Moseley and Patricia Tallman. It is about a radio DJ who is just beginning his nightly show while there has been terrorist attacks in the USA. Bill Moseley plays Logan Bernhardt, the DJ and while he is getting his show started, he gets word about the attacks. As we watch him, the scene cuts to outside where three Arabic men are running away having just carried out the attacks. It is a chemical attack which makes people go crazy and try to attack and kill like zombies. This is like 28 Days Later and Pontypool which Amanda has reviewed here and here. The night goes on as the terrorists run straight into the broadcasting house and hold the DJ hostage.

This kind of story has been done hundreds of times before and while Dead Air is well-made, it is not very exciting. I was almost hoping that the DJ would be killed as he was so annoying and I didn't care about him.
When the terrorists began preaching about how the virus was developed in the USA and about how America deserves it etc, I began to get bored. It gets too preachy when I just wanted something to happen! There is a hilarious scene where a zombie is trying to catch and eat a guy and can't catch him! It is like Scooby Doo where the zombie puts his arms out and tries to catch the guy and the guy just ducks him! This went on for a few minutes and looked silly. I think that if you love zombie movies then this is worth a look, but if you are a general horror movie fan, then don't bother.

A guy gets shot between the eyes and stays standing. He pulls the bullet out of his head and looks at it. Only then does he collapse and die. Another Scooby Doo scene! These silly scenes killed any sense of realism that the movie might have had and made it look stupid. This is a shame as it is well made but it didn't keep me interested. So, unless you are a die-hard zombie fan, avoid this one like the plague!!!!!!

Dead Air-2/10

Monday, January 25, 2010

Amanda's Horror Years- 1985

This is a new weekly post I will be doing just to delve back in time and revisit some old horror movies which we love or hate! I will be looking back on some of those movies which are classics and others which may be better left alone!!! So, this week, I have picked 1985. I will just recap the year and I would appreciate it if you could suggest any that I may have forgotten or left out!!!

So, I am going to begin with the ones I like the most and go from there. Silver Bullet was released in this year and I love this movie. It stars Corey Haim and Everett McGill. It is based on the novella by Stephen King. Read my review of that movie here. Demons is another horror which was released and this was a great movie which was directed by Lamberto Bava and written by Dario Argento and others...This movie is so low budget and creepy. It takes place inside a movie theatre and people begin to turn into demons after a woman puts on a mask...Very good movie indeed. Read my review here. Continuing on my journey down memory lane, I have picked another movie I liked, Re-Animator. This is a classic horror movie at this stage and I hear that there are plans to remake it. It is directed by Stuart Gordon who has directed From Beyond and Dolls among others. It is about a young man in college who begins to experiment on dead bodies and tries to bring them back to life!

Another Stephen King adaptation this year was Cats Eye. This was a collection of horror tales as seen through the eyes of a cat. Puss enters people's lives and sees everything that happens to them.... Some things puss sees aren't too nice.. Fright Night was a vampire movie which starred Chris Sarandon and William Ragsdale. A young man finds out that his neighbour is a vampire, but nobody believes him. This movie is entertaining and fun...Dario Argento made Phenomena in 1985 and it starred a young Jennifer Connolly. She is a young girl who has special powers. She has some sort of communication with insects and she might be able to help solve some brutal murders. I liked this movie as I like all of Argento's offerings.
Some other movies worth a mention are The Stuff,Chiller,Day of the Dead. A Nightmare on Elm Street 2 was released as was Friday the 13th Part 5. The Hills Have Eyes 2 was released in 1985 too and I liked it despite what people say about it! Well, that's all the movies I am going to put on the blog. Again, if you have any faves that I have left out, let me know!!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Law Abiding Citizen Movie Review 93

Law Abiding Citizen is a thriller starring Jamie Foxx as Nick Rice and Gerard Butler as Clyde Shelton. Clyde is the law abiding citizen of the title and when his wife and child are murdered, he plots revenge. The prosecution lawyer Nick Rice strikes a deal with one of the men who murdered his family in order to make sure that they do time, but Clyde does not agree with this decision. He blames it on the justice system and Nick Rice.

Ten years pass  and the day of the execution of one of the two killers is at hand. Obviously, Clyde Shelton has been plotting his revenge all of these years and he begins to kill all involved with the crime and the trial. Gerard Butler who memorably starred in 300 is an actor I like and here he is very good as a man who has been pushed over the edge. Colm Meaney of Star Trek fame is helping Jamie Foxx's character and basically the movie is just the three of them. In this movie also is Bruce McGill who was Jack Dalton in the McGyver series!!!!

Law Abiding Citizen is a great thriller and it is a great ride like Prison Break as things happen quickly. This would have been one of the best movies this year had it not been for a strange ending. It is an ending that is a clever one but highly unlikely to happen and I thought that it let down the whole movie. If you like action/thriller type movies, then Law Abiding Citizen comes highly recommended so you should definitely get it and check it out now!!
Law Abiding Citizen- 7/10.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Lovely Bones Movie Review 92

The Lovely Bones is directed by Peter Jackson who also directed the Lord Of The Rings trilogy. It stars Mark Wahlberg, Saoirse Ronan and Rachel Weisz. It is based on a novel of the same name by Alice Sebold.
Firstly, I have to say that I did not like this movie. I thought that it was too long and there were too many drawn out scenes. I have no tolerance for movies that meander along and just don't get to the point quickly. Anyway, the movie begins with a young 14 year old girl called Susie(Saoirse Ronan) with her whole life ahead of her. She lives with her parents, Jack Salmon(Wahlberg) and Abigail Salmon(Weisz) and her sister, Lindsey(Rose McIver). Susie is walking home from school on her own when she meets a neighbour, George Harvey(Stanley Tucci). He invites her to come into his underground room he has made for kids. She stupidly goes down into it and she ends up being murdered by him.

We then go through her journey into the afterlife and she can see what happened to her. Her parents are devastated and they try to find her killer along with a cop, Detective Len Fenerman(Michael Imperioli). Jack tries to investigate the murder himself and he becomes suspicious of everyone. He looks at people and he wonders if it was someone he knows or was it a complete stranger. This has a strain on his marriage. Abigail leaves him and her other child and heads off somewhere else because of everything that has happened. Her mother, Lynn(Susan Sarandon) comes to look after the kids. She is a kooky character.

Meanwhile, Susie can see her murderer and she sees how he has murdered other young girls. He has killed many children and she can tell that he will kill again if given the chance. She finds out that her body is in a safe in Harvey's basement. Meanwhile, Jack has an inkling that Harvey is the killer and he runs after him through a cornfield only to come upon someone else and he gets the crap beaten out of him. While he is recovering in hospital, Lindsey watches Harvey and begins to think that he is the killer too. She sneaks into his house looking for clues and finds his notebook describing what he has done. She takes it but he catches her. She manages to get away but then discovers that her mother has come back and she gives the notebook to her grandmother. Harvey flees for fear of being caught and he dumps the safe into a hole where it is buried forever. The ending of this movie is so stupid that it isn't worth discussing. I disliked this movie and the only thing that kept me watching was the scenes with the killer in them as he was a good character. Young actress Saoirse Ronan has talent also and she will be a big star, I would think. Other than that, there is very little to recommend this movie to anyone. It gets a miserable 1/10.
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