Review: The First Purge (2018)

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“Please don’t tell me you’re sending mercenaries into the island disguised as purgers?”
– Dr Updale

SYNOPSIS: America’s third political party, the New Founding Fathers of America, comes to power and conducts an experiment: no laws for 12 hours on Staten Island. No one has to stay on the island, but $5,000 is given to anyone who does. – via IMDB

Sweet baby Jesus, this franchise is never gonna give up the ghost. There was The Purge, which was wasted potential because it was a home invasion movie with an interesting concept we didn’t really get to see. Then there was the Anarchy sequel, and I unexpectedly loved that one – we actually got to see the Purge, and I got all excited that the franchise was actually going to do something with itself. But no. Then there was that botch job that was Election Year, and I thought it couldn’t get worse. Well, it could. I also see that there is now a series on Amazon. Come on! Will this never end?!

Apparently not. So let’s tackle this one. It sucked. Plain and simple. It was predictable and it was awkward and it just… no. Like wheeling and dealing with politics with absolutely no finesse, giving us characters we don’t give a crap about, generating more idiotic sequences than you can shake a stick at, not to mention that the psychological angle of this was completely and utterly ignored, which in conjunction with the politics had the potential to deliver a much better punch. But no, let’s not do that.

The pacing was off, too, because while the movie doesn’t necessarily boast a long run time, it feels like forever and six days long, and just didn’t feel like it was coming to a close at all, or moving along. It was so frustrating, and that adds to the litany of issues I have with it. I wanted to see so much more than this. I mean let’s face it, this franchise has been milking the concept because it is one that has fascinated viewers, but hasn’t really fleshed anything out. It strives to from time to time but falls short. It’s just coming across as a cash cow.

So no, I was not a big fan of this one and feel that this was an interesting concept, I mean the first  Purge, and how it came about, and instead of spending some time exploring the psychological aspect and truly delving into the politics, we get this half-assed offering from a tired franchise that churned out exactly one good movie. My recommendation? Skip it.

Review: Sanctuary – Nora Roberts

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nora-roberts-sanctuary

SYNOPSIS: Photographer Jo Ellen Hathaway thought she’d escaped the house called Sanctuary long ago. She’d spent her lonliest years there, after the sudden, unexplained disappearance of her mother. Yet the sprawling resort off the Georgia coast continues to haunt her dreams. And now, even more haunting are the pictures someone is sending to her: strange close-ups and candids, culminating in the most shocking portrait of all–a photo of her mother…naked, beautiful, and dead. Now Jo must return to the island, and to her bitterly estranged family–and, with the help of one man, learn the truth about her tragic past. But Sanctuary may also be the most dangerous place of all… – via Goodreads

GRADE 3Okay, I am not a fan of romance fiction, though every now and then I try, especially if there is a mysterious element to it, a murder mystery, something. And it isn’t too heavy on the romance side. I try Roberts’s work once in a while because I know that it is light, fluffy, quick to read, and doesn’t need you to actually invest in it. I regret now not having asked Natasha about this one first, or for a recommendation, as I always do. I am sure she could have steered me in a much better direction. Let me preface where this is going with WOW! There is so much sex going on in this book! Like, so much. Natasha warned me that there was a lot of it going on (after I told her what I was reading), but seriously? Nookie up the wazoo! This is not something I appreciate a hell of a lot in a book. I have referred to one of her novels as a forest fuck fest before, but this one? Island Orgy! There are so many damn characters, and all of them have some form of a partner, and all of them are avoiding that partner and not wanting that partner and not interested in that partner then they are all worn down by that partner and then incessantly jumping that partner’s bones. I am serious. It was relentless, and it never ended. Plus I was not impressed with three main relationships going down. That means learning about each one of the characters (who were all so shallow and happened to be gorgeous, apparently) and then how they fit together, and then how they enjoy sex. It is unbelievable that all three siblings just so happen to find love at exactly the same time. There was an inkling of what could have actually been a pretty good story in here, but it was overshadowed by a bland story, and all the potential was pissed away when it was ultimately so flat and generic at the end. No guts, no glory. The climax was one of the most disappointing things in the world. Sanctuary also just asks you to suspend reality way too much. The characters are unlikable, and you don’t actually root for anyone. I was also not pleased with how intimately Roberts discussed the rapist and murderer at times. It was creepy – describing his attractive face, the lines, as well as how he felt while raping these women? How he climaxed and all? Way too detailed and intimate man, eeeeeew. Anyway, this is not a Roberts book that I can recommend. It races by quickly, and sadly has more potential than it eventually goes for, and could definitely have been shortened by a third at least to cut out sex and flesh out a story. Don’t waste your time, seriously.

Rapid Review: Halloween II (2009)

5

halloween-ii-poster

“Hey, world! Guess what? I’m Michael Myers’ sister!”
– Laurie Strode

SYNOPSIS: Laurie Strode struggles to come to terms with her brother Michael’s deadly return to Haddonfield, Illinois; meanwhile, Michael prepares for another reunion with his sister. – via IMDB

micheal-myers-halloween-ii-2009

GRADE 4Nope. Nope, nope, nope. I get why this installment gets so much flak, and it breaks my heart to say that because I really am a Rob Zombie fan. But this movie? What a freaking wreck! The best thing about it is seeing more Brad Dourif as Sheriff Brackett – because he really is the only likable character. I have no idea how we are supposed to root for either Laurie or Loomis, always fan favourites, in Halloween II. They are both terrible, wretched characters with no redeeming qualities. I was also not a fan of a new young actor taking over from Daeg Faerch as Michael, because I just don’t like inconsistencies. At all. Halloween II is still bloody, gory, and brutal, and holds back on no punches there, and is serious to boot, no little bits of campy horror here. Visually, the film is still appealing, so there is that, and I still enjoyed the mustic. But that aside, the movie is long and it is messy. Long, and yet it feels rushed. What a juxtaposition. There is just no other way. Sloppy writing and a lot of silly stuff is happening, plus so many inexplicable scenes and scenarios (for reals, why the heck did the Sheriff’s house look like a bloody junkie den?), not to mention an overkill of cussing, and that rarely bothers me – but here? Just came across as forced. Let’s not even forget that Michael Myers is really noisy in this one. All that grunting when he kills? I was also no fan of Deborah Myers and her white horse showing up all the time. I can appreciate what Zombie was trying to do, I can, and there were glimpses of stuff that could have been brilliant, but this just didn’t work out quite as well as I would have liked.

Rapid Review: Lovely Molly (2011)

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lovely-molly-poster

“What ever happens, it wasn’t me.”
– Molly

SYNOPSIS: Newlywed Molly moves into her deceased father’s house in the countryside, where painful memories soon begin to haunt her. – via IMDB

lovely molly

GRADE 1.5So I couldn’t even remember where I had seen a review of this and decided to check it out. I found out after the fact that it was something that dear Eric liked a lot (this after I told him I was sure I had stumbled upon my next Shitfest entry – when is that happening again???). Well. Pretty much from the off I knew that there were going to be problems with this. And I mean a lot of problems. All good and well we get Half Sack back for something, but it does not mean something good will come for it. For one, I was no fan of the dancing between found footage and regular shot movie. Well, I don’t like found footage usually ever, at all, but really, it was pointless here. The movie was slow, and it never actually divulged anything. It set up for jump scares that never happened, but this wasn’t done successfully where it keeps you on the edge of the seat. Oh  no, this is done in the way where, finally, for half a minute, your interest is piqued for a moment, and then there is no payoff. Meh. Also, nothing was explained. Now, I am not one that likes too much revealed usually. Seriously, less is more at the best of times. I was all good for that, but then you look at certain incidents (a real rapey looking scene against a work wall, a priest dropping to his knees to eat out a naked girl on a porch) and all I can do is wonder why and how we got to this place. It doesn’t even make sense! Not to mention that the performances leave a lot to be desired, and the logic encountered in this film? Next level crazy I tell you! Now, something else that really got under my skin? The character inconsistencies. There is the dear husband, Tim, who seemingly adores his wife. They have no problems, they are happy, not once has there been alluded to that something might be wrong, so when we get to a random scene where he is, uhm, overly cuddly with the neighbour, it just doesn’t make sense at all. I could totally have gotten on board with the concept of her potentially being crazy or the house was crazy or there was some haunting, really, it could have been interesting but it was handled terribly here. I didn’t like any of the characters, so I couldn’t care for them. The movie also felt like it was only about a half century long. Ugh. So much wasted potential. I really thought it would be more (sorry Chop). I was peeved but oh my goodness, my husband was livid and hopping, ready to go out and decree that all filmmakers producing crap like this should be shot, and was ready to start with the guilty parties of this. Luckily, I talked him down. Luckily. He was more pissed about this than It Follows. I didn’t even see the whole “From The Makers of The Blair Witch Project and The Lord of the Rings” until later, but that second name dropping part just pisses me off – this is totally not in the same league. Don’t put it up there. Thank goodness I didn’t see that before I watched it. I am sure that it would have, if possible, just have made this worse than it already was. Somehow, I am sure of this.

JB & The Chop Do: Freddy’s Dead – The Final Nightmare (1991)

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a nightmare on elm street2

After this there’s three more of these things (which I’ve seen by now) and, in my opinion, this is the absolute WORST of them all. The plot is reachy, suddenly there’s a mystery daughter – how fucking convenient – this kills are stupid and, although people outside of the U.S. or were babies around 1990 might not know them, Tom and Roseanne Arnold are in this fucking thing. The plot to this thing revolves around how there are no more teenagers (or kids) in Fred Krueger’s home town so he’s going to move on to another town “because every town has an Elm Street” and to do this he need’s to use his daughter that’s never been referenced in the series. Oh yeah – and someone almost gets killed with a fucking road map for Christ’s sake.

freddy krueger nightmare on elm street 6 freddy's dead the final nightmare poster

SYNOPSIS: In part six of the Nightmare on Elm Street series, dream monster Freddy Krueger has finally killed all the children of his hometown, and seeks to escape its confines to hunt fresh prey. To this end, he recruits the aid of his (previously unmentioned) daughter. However, she discovers the demonic origin of her father’s powers and meets Dad head-on in a final showdown (originally presented in 3-D). via – IMDB.

The chop

I really did go into this open minded – hoping it would be better than the last one, hoping they had learned from their mistakes over the declining last three movies, so I popped it in and started watching it and then this happened:

NMEST6a

And it NEVER got any better. 90’s hairdos, 90’s clothing, 90’s music, 90’s shit attempts at humor – this was worse than my social life in 1990 which usually involved my friend and I driving around the city drinking beer and listening to Guns n Roses. After that piss poor Wizard of Oz thing, this just got worse as we met the stoner and the punk and the beleaguered counselor with the big heart and the big shoulder pads in her blazer. They all fall asleep in three seconds no matter where they are and they all have bad dreams so they go to Springwood and someone gets stoned and immediately falls into R.E.M. sleep and this happens:

NMEST6bNMEST6gNMEST6f

I mean…… REALLY???? What a fucking reach…… I was TOTALLY put out with that and then this happens:

NMEST6c

FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK!!! And then this happened:

NMEST6e

Not only did I have to see Breckin Meyer’s face but just look at that hairdo. Eventually Fred’s daughter determines that she has to enter her dad’s brain to extract him to the real world so they can kill him. And this happens:

NMEST6d

during that 3D sequence I really had just had it with this shit. I thought it was absolutely awful and just a pitiful shit on the original. BUT – because I am an honest guy – I did think the montage over the credits was pretty cool but that’s IT.

JB??

JB

Ugh. Ugh. I don’t have much to say for this movie besides that. It was absolutely ridiculous on so many levels and had a stupid story to boot, as well, as if things weren’t bad enough. Ugh.

There’s not really much that I can speak positively about in this one. I really didn’t like the soundtrack (it was atrocious), the plot progression was all over the show, Freddy was cringe-worthy embarrassing at times, and the acting was atrocious. I am so not a fan of this one. Naturally, there was going to be the worst of the worst in the canon somewhere, and let me just tell you, that was this one for me. I know that a lot of you complain about A Nightmare On Elm Street 2, but I have no idea how this one has ever been considered better than that one. Ugh.

freddy's dead kung fu this bitch

The effects were also terrible, and I didn’t have any laughs going for me anywhere, either. There was a Johnny Depp cameo laced in here (that Chop put up top) and I know he hated it, but it was one of the few things that I appreciated, though it is a pity that the Depp cameo was wasted on this hunk of junk.

freddy's dead the awful effectsfreddy's dead some more bad effects

Then let’s not even talk about how this movie went to end. That whole showdown? My goodness! You would really have thought them delving more into who and what Freddy was when growing up would have been so much more interesting, but instead it was just another opportunity that was pissed away here. The concept of Freddy having a kid running around somewhere was one thing, and it could have been something, but it wasn’t. It really wasn’t. Plus the logic was (again) flawed in here because everyone seemed to work out the whole Freddy thing freaking fast, and bought into the story quickly.

nightmare on elm street freddy's dead

Anyway, the one character I liked (Carlos) was killed off pretty early (obviously) because that is how the franchise works. The sad thing though is that there was inordinate amounts of potential to make his death mean something, to resonate (if that makes sense). Deaf and most likely that way due to extreme abuse, Freddy just takes his hearing and then gives him super hearing and then chases him like an idiot and then moves on. Seriously, more potential pissed away.

freddy's dead

The movie had a relative amount of serious subject matter to deal with (I am referring here specifically to the abuse the kids suffered, the fact that they are in care, etc), and instead of working with this, making a horror that could crawl under your skin, it almost dealt with the subject matter like mockery. I am not saying I wanted something super heavy or anything, but this had abused kids up the wazoo scattered throughout it and just laughed it off basically. Besides the fact that I would have expected more from such “damaged” kids, they were just meh characters, not nearly as strong or badass as they had the potential to be.

freddy's dead no respect

Freddy loves being a bus driver. Just saying. Anyway, I cannot reiterate enough what a pile of crap this movie was and a total waste of time. I love Freddy Krueger, I do, and I was prepared to deal with some of the other cheesy entries, but this one for me just took it too far, too lame, too ridiculous. Meh. But hey, Robert Englund is still Freddy Krueger here, the big issues have yet to set in 😛

freddy's dead loves buses

Plus, here’s Eric’s favourite:

freddy's dead every town has an elm street1

The map doesn’t lie. Seriously. I should have heeded the warning.

freddy's dead you're fucked map

Review: Divergent (2014)

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Divergent movie poster

“You’re different. You don’t fit into a category. They can’t control you. They call it Divergent. You can’t let them find out about you.”
– Tori

SYNOPSIS: In a world divided by factions based on virtues, Tris learns she’s Divergent and won’t fit in. When she discovers a plot to destroy Divergents, Tris and the mysterious Four must find out what makes Divergents dangerous before it’s too late. – via IMDB

Yes… that actually happened. I am going to call this my biggest let down of 2014 so far (but I really don’t know if I will be let down any worse for anything else… but then the year is young). I really, really, really wanted to like this movie a hell of a lot more than I did and it just… no. It didn’t work.

I want to make mention of the score, first and foremost. What the hell was that? It’s the worst score I have heard since The Great Gatsby, and worse than that this didn’t even have a good story and great costume design and acting and all that. Alright, but let’s move past that. I really wish that Shailene Woodley had given a stronger performance for Tris. She is a heroine I actually like a lot and respect and all that and I didn’t get that feeling from Woodley. Secondly, Tobias’s backstory was horribly underplayed and left out, and he is one of my favourite book characters and they totally glaze over exactly the type of person that he is as well as how he got to where he is.

Marcus (Ray Stevenson) was not made even remotely scary enough (which bothered me no end), the score did not work well with anything, the story had giant holes in it and a lot was changed (and not in the good way either – how did Roth think that this was a nice and loyal adaption of her books?!).  A lot of my favourite scenes, the ones that were supposed to resonate, were botched… and bad. Needless to say, unfortunately, that I was not a fan of this. It felt like a little girl movie trying to play with the bigger leagues and failing exponentially.

The story had so much potential. It felt colossally long (which is saying something, it is only 140 minutes) and so much was squandered and wasted. The characters were all peripheral and unimportant, so nothing of emotional value came to be. There was not depth to any of them (I know there was not an awful lot in the books either for everyone, but for the important characters there was definitely more flesh than anything we got here. Theo James played Tobias to the best of his ability and was definitely worth looking into (and is hot AF – evidence follows), Woodley impressed me nearing the end although a lot was just not what it was meant to be.

The relationship between Tris and Tobias sort of just happened out of nowhere, very quickly, instead of the great build up that was created in the books, making it one of the more worthwhile romances we have seen in a long time. Together, though, they did share a pretty good chemistry. While I am on a bitch session, since when is Tobias a damned rapist (or potentially, either way it was being portrayed that way)?! I was completely horrified at that!

Overall I must say that this is not a movie I am happy to have spent my money on seeing in theatres, I feel robbed! Skip it… I am terribly sad to now know why this film got such a bad rep, but will certainly be skipping the next lot. What a waste of good material.