Review: The Autopsy of Jane Doe (2016)

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“There used to be a time it was hard to tell a comatose person from a dead one, so coroners tied bells to everybody in the morgue. “
– Tommy

SYNOPSIS: A father and son, both coroners, are pulled into a complex mystery while attempting to identify the body of a young woman, who was apparently harbouring dark secrets. – via IMDB

I have been wanting to watch this for the longest time, and just never really got around to watching it. This past weekend saw the God of War release, which meant my husband was unavailable and all over that game. I watched a few things and finally decided it was time to get this off my watch list. Slowly but surely (after playing the whole day), my husband started watching snatches of this as I was watching, and eventually asked me if we could watch it, he would take a short break.

Why? Because this looked intriguing. He was fascinated about a whole movie revolving around a single autopsy, and I was also interested to know how it would be handled. Man, there was so much that I liked about this movie. Right off the bat, you can’t help but notice the cinematography. It’s beautiful – the colours, the lights, the shots, everything is so deliberate and works to bring you this gorgeous cohesive whole together. I was so drawn in by the visuals alone. Then came the music – never taking over, but never absent, just so moody and ever present. Cox and Hirsch also give super solid performances to this movie, taking it up another level.

The movie balances well, too, going from a regular drama movie, a thriller with questions almost, and embarking on a dark horror path, and it handles it all smoothly and work along well. The jump scares are placed strategically and while maybe not totally unpredictable, are pulled off well. My husband jumped at each one successfully, at any rate. I also really liked the story, and how the set for the movie might be limited, but never felt like too little. The movie is a short one, giving you just what you need and not stretching itself out.

I felt that this movie to be fresher and more creative than many horror films over the years, and I liked it. Cool, understated, solid, super atmospheric, it was pretty much exactly the kind of movie that was going to appeal to me. I think it will work for most horror fans. I am so glad I have finally seen this, and can see how I will go back to it in future. Highly recommended.

Review: Red Eye (2005)

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“Sometimes bad things happen to good people.”
– Jackson Rippner

SYNOPSIS: A woman is kidnapped by a stranger on a routine flight. Threatened by the potential murder of her father, she is pulled into a plot to assist her captor in offing a politician. – via IMDB

I watched this in cinema when it came out, and never went back to it, and there were only certain things that stuck with me after, such as Murphy being a fantastic villain, and Rachel McAdams sure knowing how to wield a hockey stick, and how this all happened on a plane. I saw it the other day and thought I would give it a shot again, I usually really like Craven’s work.

Again, Cillian Murphy is a great villain. He is so charming and all initially and you are like nice, smooth guy, and just like that *snaps fingers* he turns into this menacing, super scary dude. The transition is seamless and amazing. Rachel McAdams, too, is your generic heroine for a horror, but sadly as much as she fights back, she never comes across as having spine (until that hockey stick, man). That is not to say she wasn’t good, she was actually solid, but not so memorable as to stay with you long after (hem hem Sidney Prescott).

Do not expect something deep from the story. Heck, some questions never get answered and some motives are never explored (who sent him, why was the whole things going down that he was sent in for anyway, these are just a few questions). The main reasons seem like a way to just throw these two performers together to get a scary movie out of a woman being terrorised on a plane, but it also requires that you suspend ridiculous amounts of belief, and there is not even much of a payoff for doing so.

It’s a pretty fun, light, fluffy movie though. Decent horror night material, but there are better ones at the end of the day. Such a far cry from Scream and A Nightmare on Elm Street, but worth a watch to be sure.

Rapid Review: The Bourne Supremacy (2004)

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bourne supremacy

“What were my words? What did I say? I said leave me alone.”
– Jason Bourne

SYNOPSIS: When Jason Bourne is framed for a CIA operation gone awry, he is forced to resume his former life as a trained assassin to survive. – via IMDB

bourne supremacy shot

GRADE 8.5Sequel time! The Bourne movies are some of the few movies that remain excellent… well, the original Damon trilogy at any rate. The Bourne Supremacy continues that line of brilliance of its predecessor. Opens to show us the sweet little life Marie and Jason have built together on the run, and when that is snatched away from them, it is genuinely a bitter experience. From there, things just escalate. The plot was another solid one, and the performances all round were excellent. Karl Urban was an enjoyable enemy to stand opposite Jason, and they could really go each other. We see more about Jason Bourne, the man that he was, the man that he has become, and how he desperately wants nothing more to do with the US Government, but apparently they are not done with him. The film takes its time to pace itself, which is something I have always appreciated about these films, and Bourne is just such an amazing character. I love how dark and brooding and incredibly smart he is, it works on so many levels. Also, his jackets in this movie… wow. Let me just have my fetish moment. Matt Damon was, of course, in fine form here, reminding me as always why Bourne is one of my favourite Damon roles. I thought Landy was a great pick to hunt Bourne, she was totally different from Conklin but it worked, definitely not a bad thing. I thought the movie was shot well, though at times I felt that the shaky cam effect was overused, as instead of pulling you into the action, it just gives you a headache and a dizzy spell. I don’t actually have any complaints here, the movie is gripping, thrilling, smart and entertaining with fantastic choreography – everything you’d expect from a Bourne film.

Rapid Review: The Bourne Identity (2002)

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bourne identity

“You’re U.S. Government property. You’re a malfunctioning $30 million weapon. You’re a total goddamn catastrophe, and by God, if it kills me, you’re going to tell me how this happened.”
– Conklin

SYNOPSIS: A man is picked up by a fishing boat, bullet-riddled and suffering from amnesia, before racing to elude assassins and regain his memory. – via IMDB

bourne identity freeze

GRADE 8.5love Jason Bourne. Seriously. I love these movies. I have always enjoyed them. Plus, Matt Damon. Because Matt Damon is amazing. But really, I wish I could express how exciting and brilliant I find these movies. Okay, okay, let’s move on to the movie itself. The Bourne Identity is one of those action movies that ticks all the boxes for me. It is smart, has a really good story, has a solid cast carrying it all, is directed well, looks fantastic and has brilliant choreography. The pacing is something I liked. No rush here, so sirree, it starts with Bourne in the ocean, shot, fished out, almost dead, and as Bourne learns about himself, so does the audience, and that is a fun thing. There is no rush, and when the action kicks in, you get swept up in this intense mystery of who the hell Jason Bourne is, and what he was before the amnesia kicked in. Matt Damon is just brilliant here. He delivers us Bourne and he nails it – the emotions are down, you identify with Jason and root for him, even though you know nothing about him at all, it doesn’t matter. Hell, even when you learn he was a super spy assassin, that doesn’t matter. Bourne is layered, and his blank-slate introduction made him someone you could identify with in a hurry, so they didn’t have to tell you too much. But you uncovered more and more about him and find ways to slot the new information in on the man you have discovered him to be without his memory. The story is also pretty sharp, definitely a solid spy-thriller and it doesn’t get old, either. The camera work is also something to be admired, something that transports you right into the events that are unfolding before your very eyes. The Bourne Identity is a solid movie, with a gritty, realistic hero, something I would highly recommend spending some time watching, as it is well worth it!

Review: X2 (2003) – Silver Screen Serenade

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X2 ONE SHEET A ¥ Art Machine Job#5263 ¥ Version A ¥  02/28/03

So when Zoë shared her plans to have an X-Men Blogathon to prepare for the upcoming Days of Future Past, I was totally in. I’d been thinking I ought to do something to get in the spirit, and I think this is just the ticket! Kudos for the awesome idea, Zoë!

When given a choice between the X-Men films to review, I immediately snatched up X2: X-Men United. In my opinion, this is the X-Men film to beat. Let’s talk about why, shall we?

Synopsis: “The X-Men band together to find a mutant assassin who has made an attempt on the President’s life, while the Mutant Academy is attacked by military forces.” –www.imdb.com

Why it’s awesome:

That opening! X2 doesn’t waste any time getting right into some action. I mean, an assassination attempt on the president within the first five minutes? I’m paying attention! And as for the would-be assassin…

  • NIGHTCRAWLER IS THE BEST. Seriously, he might be my favorite thing about this film. Played brilliantly by Alan Cumming, Kurt Wagner a.k.a. Nightcrawler is just too freaking cool. His look, his power, his personality—I feel like this film nails it. He looks scary, but he has a heart of gold, and with only a few details, you get a sense of his tortured past. Plus, I love the designs on his skin. “One for every sin,” he claims. Very nice touch.

  • Patrick Stewart as Professor Charles Xavier. Yes, Professor X is a character we’re introduced to in the first film, but he continues to shine here as the strong, wise, soft-spoken patriarch of the X-Men family.
  • Hugh Jackman just…is Wolverine. At this point, I do believe Logan a.k.a. Wolverine has been a bit overexposed (he has a huge role in every X-Men film except First Class, where he’s limited to a brief albeit delightful cameo), but this is the surly tough guy’s second film appearance, and it’s great.

  • Ian freakin’ McKellen as Erik Lehnsherr a.k.a. Magneto. So much yes. Aside from Tom Hiddleston’s irresistibly fun Loki, McKellen’s Magneto is my very favorite Marvel villain. He’s wonderfully suave, clever, and brutal, and his complicated “frenemy” relationship with Professor X is brilliantly portrayed. Also, his prison breakout scene is arguably the best moment of the film. Sheer awesomeness.
  • Rebecca Romijn as Raven Darkholme a.k.a. Mystique. We don’t know much about her, but what we do know is that she’s sexy, sassy, smart, and an undeniable badass. She has some great moments in this film, but my personal favorite is when she breaks into William Stryker’s facility, then slides through a closing door while flipping her enemies the bird. Win.

  • The coolness of Colossus (Daniel Cudmore). We may not know much about him, but man does he look awesome.
  • The creepy intensity of William Stryker (Brian Cox). It’s hard for a plain old human villain to measure up to mutants, but Stryker does the job perfectly.
  • Bobby’s “coming out” scene. When Bobby Drake a.k.a. Iceman (Shawn Ashmore) leads a group of mutants to his family’s house, he has to confess to them what he really is. The family’s reaction is less than favorable. You can’t help drawing parallels between this and the struggles of the gay community. It’s a smart tie-in to a very relevant social issue.
  • The Phoenix teasers. There are a couple of them in this film, and even though Phoenix a.k.a. Jean Grey (Famke Janssen) doesn’t turn out quite like fans had hoped, the hints of power are still pretty great.
  • Yuriko Oyama a.k.a. Lady Deathstrike (Kelly Hu). When those adamantium claws sprout from her fingertips and she takes on Wolverine, it’s the best.

That scene near the end where the mutants talk to the president. Everything freezes, it’s dark and stormy, the mutants speak from the shadows…Mr. Prez, you’d better LISTEN!

  • In general, I just think the script is really sharp for this one. The dialogue is great, the pacing pretty spot-on, and the story, though ambitious, works well. Kudos, X2!

Clearly, I love this one. But if I have to pick on a few things…

The (few) things that bother me:

I don’t love Jean, Rogue (Anna Paquin), or Storm (Halle Berry), and I hate that because they’re all such potentially awesome characters. The problem is Famke Janssen can’t act her way out of a paper bag, Rogue doesn’t have nearly enough sass and is a little whiny (I blame the writers more than Paquin), and Storm is miscast as well as sans the cool African accent she is supposed to have. I read a list the other day of miscast X-Men where the writer suggested Angela Bassett instead of Berry in the role. Anyone who has seen Bassett in American Horror Story: Coven knows why that idea made me giddy.

angela bassett

BEST. STORM. EVER.

I hate the Logan/Jean/Scott love triangle. Is that a thing in the comics? I hate it. I hate how it makes Scott a.k.a. Cyclops (James Marsden) act toward Logan, I hate how Jean kind of leads Logan on, and I hate how it makes Logan a bit mopey. Do you guys feel the same? I don’t know. Maybe the prevalence of love triangles in, like, every recent book and movie has made me bitter toward them.

love triange

make them staaaaahp!

  • Stryker’s team breaks into the X-Mansion like it’s child’s play. Isn’t that place supposed to be super duper guarded? I feel like Professor X would’ve put more thought into that.
  • John Allerdyce a.k.a. Pyro (Aaron Stanford) is just an annoying psycho. There’s not much done to develop his character, and by the time he abandons the X-Men for Team Magneto, I’m like, “Whatever, bro.” Could not care less. Do we even really need him?
  • So if you’ve gotten this far, I’m sure you don’t care about spoilers, but SPOILERS! So Jean heroically sacrifices herself by stepping outside of a jet full of her X-Buddies and powering it up before rushing waters come to drown them. Here’s my question: Why couldn’t homegirl power up the jet from the inside? I guess you could argue that she also has to hold back the waters, but earlier in the film she stopped a missile from inside the jet. I see no reason she couldn’t hold back the water from inside it, too.

GET IN THE JET, YOU DUMB BITCH.

Summary:

I love this film. In my opinion, it’s the best X-Men so far (we’ll see how Days of Future Past stacks up), and it does all the things a good sequel is supposed to do: show us more of the characters we love while introducing a few awesome new ones, thicken the plot and put it on a grander scale, and improve upon and/or equal the previous film in greatness. Check, check, and check. This is one of my favorite superhero films for good reason.

My Rating: 9/10 (Probably an A on my rating system)

Thanks so much for letting me participate, Zoë!  X-Men Blogathon ruuuuuules! 😀


Thanks a million for participating Cara, this was an awesome review! I would have loved to see Bassett rock the Storm role!