Review: The Collector – Nora Roberts

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SYNOPSIS: When professional house-sitter Lila Emerson witnesses a murder/suicide from her current apartment-sitting job, life as she knows it takes a dramatic turn. Suddenly, the woman with no permanent ties finds herself almost wishing for one. . . .

Artist Ashton Archer knows his brother isn’t capable of violence—against himself or others. He recruits Lila, the only eyewitness, to help him uncover what happened. Ash longs to paint her as intensely as he hungers to touch her. But their investigation draws them into a rarified circle where priceless antiques are bought, sold, gambled away, and stolen, where what you possess is who you are, and where what you desire becomes a deadly obsession. . .  – via Goodreads

Psssssssh, let’s talk about The Collector. This is hands down one of the most forgettable books I have ever read. In my life. If you need further proof, Natasha (who has read damn near all of Nora Roberts’s work and remembers 99% of it) cannot for her life recall having read this, even though she freaking reviewed it! This has been a source of amusement for us for quite some time now.

Okay, now moving along from the best part of this book (which is having a real laugh with my bestie about how ridiculously forgettable this read is), there is nothing else to really redeem it. Seriously, it is not like you pick up a Roberts novel expecting a super thrill or to find the meaning of life, they are good for light entertainment, but this book is so lazy it is unforgivable. I promise you, the plot if beyond preposterous, the writing is just messy, let’s not forget the array of generic, bland characters crammed into the book, and ultimately a super lacklustre romance makes for a bland read. I think when I saw the title, I was thinking blood and guts and bone and gore. Probably because I read The Bone Collector shortly before this one, possibly also because I read too much icky stuff to think like an art collector :/ Judge me, whatever.

Bland, and frustrating at times. My biggest frustration is, of course, Lila, our main peanut. For one, she is grating. Really. She just irritated me, and then there is Ash, who is just as frustrating, and when they get together, it is super trying on the soul. Consent, as always, is an issue here. He snaps his fingers, she must obey. He wants, he gets. Yap, yap, yap. The men are always such control freaks in Nora Roberts’s books, and it is not sexy. It also annoys me how the women are always “strong and independent” until a man rolls up and then suddenly she is a damsel. Something that really worked on my last nerve is that Ash has a troubled relationship with his father. That is between them. Instead, when his father is being a real piece of work and Ash has calmly decided it is up to his father to be nice or piss off, that nuisance Lila speaks up and condemns Ash for his decision. People that get all involved in family drama they know nothing about and judge harshly should just shut the fuck up. What do you even really know about the situation?

Another thing that made me cringe is Lila’s constant obsession with money. She was so vocal about it, and it was awkward. Like shut up! I don’t want to read about those things, because it came across as embarrassing/preachy, instead of a fact of the character. Argh. Also a pity how much Russian history could have been worked with here and been so much more thrilling, but it wasn’t. I suppose one thing to be happy about is that this luckily is not one of Roberts’s fuck fest novels, so there is that.

The Collector is a wasted affair, and so lacklustre and empty. It feels like a filler and reads like one, too. It also really, truly won’t stay with you after the fact, and the sloppy, generic writing is an awful flaw here. At least it is a quick read…

Review: Prom Night (2008)

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“I did this for us.”
– Richard Fenton

SYNOPSIS: Donna’s senior prom is supposed to be the best night of her life, though a sadistic killer from her past has different plans for her and her friends. – via IMDB

Goodness, gracious me. What a bloody mess of a film! Like, wow. I mean, I wasn’t expecting greatness, I was expecting a mindless horror to put on, chill throughout, but then there was this. It was… Shitfest terrible. For reals! There was absolutely nothing going on here!

Watching the title credits roll, I saw Idris Elba’s name pop up on screen, which piqued my interest. That is about as much oomph as the movie brought to the table. His performance was miles above any of the others, though Sheriff Stilinski Ashby was alright, too, and so was Ransone. Well, they were as good as they could be, considering. Brittany Snow was awful. The whole lot was awful, I am not even going to get into specifics here because… well, ugh.

The film lacked tension. Completely. You don’t give a crap about these characters or their “plight”, you cannot even root for the virginal final girl because, well, what a nuisance. You know that’s really bad. Elba swoops in and does what he can, but the script is truly beneath him. Not only are there no characters to root for, there is no fun to be had – not at this stupid prom, not the interactions between characters, and certainly not with the whole “slasher” aspect – no blood, no fear, nothing. It is just immensely disappointing all round.

While we are at it, the score sucked, and the dialogue was so damn cringey, and the plot progression was messy and the story flimsy. A flimsy story does not make for an awful slasher, but when there is nothing else to tempt you, it is a lost cause overall. There really is nothing to redeem this movie at all. It is predictable and lazy, and it is particularly offensive because it plods along and never really tries, so I can’t even give it points there.

People, seriously, you could totally just skip Prom Night and you wouldn’t be missing anything at all. Not a thing. The movie has no spine, no hopes, no dreams, and it will eat up your valuable time. It is wasted, and it is lost, and it is truly not a rewarding experience. Skip it, skip it I say!

Review: Lights Out (2016)

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“We’re living with a dead woman!”
– Rebecca

SYNOPSIS: When her little brother, Martin, experiences the same events that once tested her sanity, Rebecca works to unlock the truth behind the terror, which brings her face to face with an entity that has an attachment to their mother, Sophie. – via IMDB

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GRADE 2I didn’t expect much, but I didn’t expect it to suck quite this much. RIDICULOUS. I watched the short when that came out, and it was pretty good. Then someone had the real bright spark idea of stretching that short into a feature length film. A sloppy feature length film. Eighty minutes of film time, to be precise, which felt like the longest movie I had ever had the misfortune of watching. It felt like we were nearing the end, and I saw we were twenty minutes in. From that moment, I knew I was doomed to suffer through to the end. Every minute the movie progressed, it got cornier, cheesier, and more terrible. I cringed a few times. That someone actually put this in a movie… that someone actually wrote this script. Like when we got the explanation for Sophie? You can’t be serious! That’s what it was about? That?! Horrible, horrible, and so silly.

The story was beyond weak and flimsy, and the longer the movie went on, the more obvious this became. I didn’t like any of the characters, either, except maybe the boyfriend, Bret. The logic was totally broken, too, and not in the acceptable way of most horrors. This movie relied heavily on jump scares, too, which were just cheap. There was like no finesse to this whatsoever. There was nothing to redeem this. There was also so much stupid stuff going on the whole time. For instance, let’s also not forget the part where they armed themselves with a black light and a flash as a weapon. I actually scoffed. Very reminiscent of the trident flashlight in Under The Bed.

I can keep talking about this, but it won’t be pretty, and I just don’t have the energy to expend on such a useless experience. Meh. There is pretty much nothing going for this movie – it is messy, boring, way too long, sloppily written and badly executed, and I would highly recommend staying away from this one.

JB & The Chop Do: The Amityville Terror (2016)

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Once again JB and I delve into the Crimes Against Humanity section of movie making and take a look at The Amityville Terror. Is it bad?? Oh god yes! Is it the worst?? Well…. I hate to spoil things but that’s coming up soon. I thought this had some passable moments but it wasn’t good by any means. I think it’s funny that this franchise will never die and we’re attached to it despite all of our good intentions. There’s a line in a movie called Reign of Fire where Matty Maconougheyhey says “We have paid a terrible price….” and I think the two of us can both attest to that.

Let’s go!

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SYNOPSIS: When a new family moves to an old house in Amityville, they are tormented and tortured by an evil spirit living in the home while trapped by the malicious townspeople who want to keep them there. – via IMDB

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A perfectly happy family, living in peace on a sunny parcel of land in California receive news that the bank is foreclosing on them and they must vacate immediately. The mother and father ignore these messages and spend their days and nights pounding away at each other; in the bed, on the clothes dryer, in a pool of cold marsala gravy spilled on the floor, etc. The daughter gets sick of this so she spends her days dirt back riding. One day, while she is out in the hills riding her bike and collecting possums, the bank sends a bulldozer to the house, razing it to the ground, killing her parents. Distraught, but happy that all that constant banging is over, she moves in with her aunt in New York where she gets possessed and goes on a sick murdering streak until she is finally gunned down in a Bonnie and Clyde style shoot out on Amityville’s Main Street.

Sound good??? Well, it’s not and, honestly, none of that really happens. What does happen is this:

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Girl and family move to new town… into a house possessed by Satan…

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Girl meets boy…

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Drunken aunt bathes in acid….

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Someone has to deal with Satanic rosebushes…

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Someone gets a blowjob from his own sister then bangs her over the kitchen table….

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Someone somehow turns into some sort of growling witch with white eyes…

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OOPS!! How’d that get in there??

And then it is, mercifully over… or is it????

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I know it’s always fun to rag on a bad movie – and this one is BAD – but it’s not the worst of the bunch. The Amityville Playhouse was the worst of them all. This one is awful, to be sure, but it did have a couple of cool spots in it. Maybe three. The dialogue is pitiful. The CGI is THE WORST. Most of the story makes no fucking sense BUT it was better then Playhouse.

Things like this happen: a fully nude woman is taking a bath. Elsewhere in the house, her brother pours some drain cleaner down a sink. The tub fills with acid! “OOHMYGODOHMYGODIMBURNING!!!” she screams, falling out of the tub, exposing her shaved business. But she’s really not. Psych!

Later, a woman looks at her rose bushes. They are dead. So, as we all would, she starts screaming and moaning and pulls them out of the ground slashing her arms on the thorns and smearing blood all over her face. Quality!

Even later that day, the dad comes home from work after killing his boss in the worst fiery death you’ve ever seen. “I killed my boss today” he says. “How about i make you feel better?” she coos and gives him a blowy. Not satisfied, he pounds on her from behind for five seconds, makes his jizz and goes to bed. Uh oh! His wife is already in bed so he must have just boned his sister! Value.!

Yep – it’s bad. Is it #BazookaList bad? I actually didn’t HATE it like I hate some of these things I watch but it wasn’t good. I wonder how JB will react?

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Are you fucking kidding me? Are you fucking kidding me?! For reals. The Chop and I have been waiting for the release of Amityville: The Awakening in 2017 (maybe, if they ever get done with it). Waiting? Dreading. Sorry. I need to make amends. Anyway, I was minding my own business the other day when I got this:

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I was not shocked when that was followed by:

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I could not believe my eyes! This little movie hopped up out of nowhere and beat Amityville: The Awakening to the punch. ANOTHER FREAKING AMITYVILLE MOVIE, WITH ANOTHER FREAKING TERRIBLE TITLE?! This franchise will never die. Then I went to have a look see, and this is what I saw:

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It’s a freaking free for all! Just look at that! The list below was posted once upon a time in one of our reviews. These were all the Amityville films. Fourteen, if you count the one we are waiting for in 2017. Now? EIGHTEEN, counting the 2017 one. Four just popped up out of nowhere.

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Anyway, after all that, and educating both our readers and ourselves that we (apparently) have a shit ton  more of these crap things to catch up on, I will move on to the actual body of this review.

I totally thought that the one hour, twenty four minute runtime was doable. Heck, shorter than most of the others ones we have trekked through. Goodness, I should have thought about how that same runtime can feel like a lifetime if it is beyond boring. And let me just tell you, The Amityville Terror is less interesting than watching paint dry.

The intro for this movie is godawful, and pretty much set the tone for the rest of the movie. It did not improve at all. In fact, it went steadily downhill, with this silly girl playing the lead, an awkward family, a guy that fucks his sister somewhere along the way (really, they went for gold here guys), families sacrificed for witchcraft (I think), and a right hooker looking woman who has odd nipples that rents this death house out to unsuspecting victims.

The dialogue is super stunted, and made me cringe more often than not. I don’t know people who talk to each other like that, it’s not natural. Besides the dialogue being hinky, the interactions between the characters were utterly unbelievable and awkward to watch. The Amityville Terror knows nothing about finesse, and spends no time setting up a story. No, sir. Let’s just get right into the crazy. Not the good kind, mind, just the ridiculous kind.

The costume design was also something that had me wondering wtf. A lot of the women looked like they could do with a hell of a lot more material in their closets, the teenage girl could totally buy brands outside of Fox, and some people need to check their sizing and go shopping again. Gosh, I know how harsh that sounds, but the people even looked uncomfortable, which made things even worse.

As for the characters, I couldn’t stand any of them. Especially Hailey, that daughter. What a little ingrate man, and how rude can you be?! WOW! The characters took over and desperately tried to convince us that there was a story to be found here, which there totally wasn’t.

This movie suffers from bad, bad, bad, bad, bad writing. It is unforgivable actually. The writers stuffed the movie with shitty characters and nudity to try and hide it, and that was even worse. It was beyond stupid and ridiculous to boot, and features some of the best CGI and acting I have ever seen (PLEASE NOTE: Do not miss sarcasm). Like ho-ly shit. That being said, I can think of way worse movies in this godawful franchise. Not that it makes this one amazing or anything, but heck, it is infinitely better that Playhouse, the Chop is right, that was hands down the most offensive of the lot.

Rapid Review: A Good Day To Die Hard (2013)

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“What’s with the “John” shit? What happened to “Dad”?”
– John McClane

SYNOPSIS: Iconoclastic, take-no-prisoners cop John McClane, for the first time, finds himself on foreign soil after traveling to Moscow to help his wayward son Jack – unaware that Jack is really a highly-trained CIA operative out to stop a nuclear weapons heist. With the Russian underworld in pursuit, and battling a countdown to war, the two McClanes discover that their opposing methods make them unstoppable heroes. – via IMDB

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GRADE 2Are you kidding me? Oh my goodness! I mean I have always heard that this one was the worst of the lot, I have read the rages, I have gone through it all, but I did not think it would be this bad. Hell, I had a friend who went out while he was in England to see this, paid in pounds and got up and left because he could not bear to suffer but one more minute of it. I think I am wholeheartedly in agreement there! Wow, what a pile of crap movie! Everything about this sucks. Let’s start with Jai Courtney… no wait, I will backtrack to this. Let’s start with  McClane’s kids… they are total freaking ingrates, rude to boot, and annoying as heck. Well, Junior more so than sister Lucy, but not by much. Goodness! I mean I know people have issues with their folks, most do, and I get that he was a relatively absent father and a douche, but come on! If they had set the premise up better for the both of the kids and McClane, I could have gotten more on board with it. However, it was not. Moving along from that back to Courtney… no. Just no. I have not seen a single thing with him in it yet where I thought he was alright. This was no exception. The story is a dreadful mess, and the humour is awful, not funny, forced and awkward I didn’t like it. Let’s not even talk about the sketchy as hell effects that are all over display here, I actually cringed. The dialogue… oh my goodness, why?! I see absolutely no reason why this movie needed to be made, nary a one. What a waste of my time. Ugh. There was like no chemistry between Willis and Courtney, and I cringed watching them together, and my eyes rolled at the shallow story that was predictable right off the bat. There was nothing that really had me rooting for anyone, I was over it within the first ten minutes, and the story makes these huge leaps and bounds that just don’t fit it. What a mess! I seriously cannot think of any redeeming factors, and I am going in loops here with all that I did not like, so maybe it is best I stop. I see what they were trying to do here, but they should have just left it well enough alone.