Review: Apostle (2018)

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“These people, they’re blasphemers, a cult, a disease.”
– Charles

SYNOPSIS: In 1905, a drifter on a dangerous mission to rescue his kidnapped sister tangles with a sinister religious cult on an isolated island. – via IMDB

Alrighty, so there have been a lot of horror movies for me to be checking out recently because it is the month of October, and I will not let that go to waste, as I am always looking for a horror. When my husband and I saw the trailer for this on Netflix, we were intrigued. It looked vicious and dark and nasty and (for me at least) there was Dan Stevens, and yes, that was a super seller for me.

We popped this on and immediately went into this weird and twisted little story. The movie is pretty damn good, but not without flaws. There are a lot of things I would have loved to have fleshed out more, such as Thomas Richardson’s faith and the breaking of it, as well as Prophet Malcolm’s family life, the building of the village, etc. We don’t get those things, but we get other things. For one, the violence and brutality displayed in Apostle really is intense. It starts slowly enough, and it might not feature in every second of the movie, but when it is presented, it is crazy. I swear, when we got the violence and crazy, I was literally yelling about that asshat Quinn and all the evils I desperately hoped would befall him. What a cruel, wicked man.

Apostle fluctuated between going really fast and drawing you in, and then slowly delivering on other things. For the most part, this worked. I also liked the atmosphere that the movie builds, but do feel that the score wasn’t always worked in tandem with the movie. That being said, their is a constantly feeling of dread, which starts low key but relentlessly builds throughout the run time, and I loved that. I am always really big on the atmosphere on a movie. I prefer a scary atmosphere way more than I prefer a monster. I also liked that Apostle’s story is different from what we usually get in the horror genre. Aside from all that, Apostle is also really beautiful to look at, what with the scenery and the sets. Very cool.

I have never watched The Raid movies (I know, I know, maybe one day), so I had no point of reference for what to expect from Gareth Evans. Maybe that worked in my favour, maybe not, I have no idea. I enjoyed Apostle, though there are flaws. I enjoyed watching Stevens, as always, and thought that there were plenty visuals that were fantastic in here (particularly looking at that immensely merciless branding). The violence and brutality in this were pretty harsh, but worked hand in hand with the film. While there were many aspects that could have been explored to make this resonate more, the fact that they weren’t does not ruin Apostle, but does limit it from being a truly great movie.

Review: Underworld: Rise of the Lycans (2009)

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“I have no wish to remove one shackle from around your necks, only to replace them with one of my own. You’ll have a choice: you can run and hide, or you can stay and fight. Any man who fights with me shall have his freedom and, if he wishes it; immortality.”
– Lucian

SYNOPSIS: An origins story centered on the centuries-old feud between the race of aristocratic vampires and their onetime slaves, the Lycans. – via IMDB

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GRADE 8This movie was so good. Since the first movie I have wanted a more in depth history of the lycan origins. I mean heck, Lucian said in Underworld: “We were slaves once. The daylight guardians of the vampires. I was born into servitude. Yet I harbored them no ill will.” You just know there is so much more to the story. Rise of the Lycans totally delivered on all fronts.

The sets were back up to par in this one, and the movie was once again dark, dreary, and depressing, which totally captured the mood. I also think that the lycans still look absolutley awesome, and the costume design was good. Going back centuries to the origin of this blood feud was something I have been waiting for for ages. Again, the consistency in the storytelling is great, and the lore sticks to what they have give us so far, so credit where credit is due. The more you see of Viktor, the more reprehensible a character he becomes, no doubt about this.

This movie also did a good job in showing you the differences between the thoroughbred werewolves, and the stranger crossbreed of lycans. It was also difficult to watch how these lycans came about, and how they were treated. Their eventual uprising and fighting back was something I greatly admired, and I thought it looked fantastic. I mean come on, there was a castle siege. You all know how I get about sieges!

Lucian is such a great character, and exploring him more in depth was super rewarding, and I really liked seeing him and Sonja together, though I knew they were doomed. Even knowing what the outcome will be,  it does not change the fact that you wish it would work out differently. Man, not cool!

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Rise of the Lycans is a solid addition to the Underworld franchise, and gives us more history to chew on, and details about this ancient lycan/vampire feud. It looks good, sounds good, and is incredibly entertaining. I highly recommend this for a watch! Excellent prequel.

Twilight Saga Review (2008 – 2012)

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twilight saga complete collection

Alrighty, I know this is Thursday and there should be a book review, but that will go up tomorrow. I have to complete this run of Twilight Thursdays properly. Might as well disrupt my OCD for one day 😛

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Recently I sat down to watch these with Natasha for a Shitfest 2015 entry after I had read those godawful books (which most of you have read all about over the last few weeks). At any rate, I was not watching them alone. In actual fact, I was not going to watch them ever, at all, but after some mild forceful coercion, the Kidney won out and I prepared to watch them. Prepared, because I faffed around for ages, prolonging the inevitable. But eventually it happened.

However, something was soured for me. Completely. They are by no stretch of the imagination good movies, but I have read the books (ugh), and in terms of that, it cannot be denied that they are actually pretty decent adaptions. How does that work? Crappy books get loyal adaptions and remain shitty movies, while good books get crappy adaptions and ruin stories? Gosh, the world we live in. I really should consider another career.

book slappers movie job

Two big reasons that I actually made it through these movies:

  1. Jackson Rathbone is absolutely ridiculously fucking hot and yummy and he happens to portray the one character I simply adore;
  2. The fact that Natasha damn near bolted me to the couch. And found it highly amusing to watch me wallow in my unhappiness. My bestie is sadistic…

jackson rathbone smile omgjackson rathbone yumjackson rathbone smile omg2jackson-rathbone-hmmjackson rathbone

Huh, what? Sorry, sorry, got a little sidetracked there. I am back. Okay wait, last one…

jackson rathbone

However, after surviving these movies (and believe me, I had my doubts along the way that I would), I cannot help but have a soft spot reserved for them because I had ridiculous amounts of fun watching these with Natasha, ragging them blind, clinically assessing the type of adaption they were from the books, both of us having feminist freak out sessions because Bella is a useless lump and suicide is not the answer when your love moves along, but really, ripping it apart was a sheer blast. This does not make them good movies, I want that on the record. I don’t know if I can watch these again, or if I could ever view them on my own, but with the Kidney it was well worth it.

Ten points to Gryffindor. Bella evidently missed the lesson.

Alright, enough waffling (see, even now I am still procrastinating). I am going to talk about some things, but I will keep myself (mostly) in check.

The Good:

  • Casting choices. No, seriously. Most of the casting was done pretty well in here. Most of the time. The performances were also about as good as you could get on this level (a bit… uhm… wooden at the best of times, but they all tried). Michael Sheen was pretty entertaining, even when he ventured into territory that was a little dodgier than was required.
  • Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson actually managed to bring some passion to a really dead relationship (in the books – in there it was just poison, no passion), and they have to be given credit for it, even if they were a little wooden at times.
  • The Volturi’s outfits when they came for their showdown. Really good. You can’t blame me… you know how I get about the sweeping cape-like look… eeek. Plus there were all black and red and luscious and lovely.

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  • Jackson Rathbone. I would just like to take a minute (again) to wax lyrical here about how insanely gorgeous the man is. I mean, how hot is this guy?! He isn’t in many other things, which is a serious pity, and I have always enjoyed him. I guess I will take what I can get.

jasper spinning baseball batjasper baseball hot

  • Obviously I enjoyed the way the baseball scene was cobbled together, and not just to get an eyeful of Jasper… I swear… *super innocent whistle*
  • The wedding scene was really well done. I will have to give them credit for that.
  • Pattinson has the world’s most smug smile to demonstrate when Edward is getting his way, and I love it. I can’t help it, he starts smirking and then I do, too.

edward cullen smirk (2) edward cullen smirk

The Bad:

  • Some things were changed from the book to add more drama. As if things weren’t melodramatic enough.
  • Some extremely questionable effects, which is unacceptable in the later movies (where they got so much worse) considering the budget increased. How is it that the smaller budget films managed to look that much better? It evades the limits of my understanding. While we are at it, how you could see which sets were backdrops and what not. Awkies.
  • I was actually really, really looking forward to all the betting between Jasper and Emmett. Absolutely no such luck for me there, and it was the one thing that actually provided significant entertainment in the books. They were relentless.
  • Bella was whiny in these films, but seeing as it wasn’t internal dialogue for us to wade through like the books (thank goodness), it was more bearable, but I still wanted to shake her and slap her. She does not need Edward to breathe, there is no need to kill yourself if you cannot be together. The things this story taught young girls. Ugh. The feminist in me is revolting again just thinking about it.

bella swan sandwich feminist setback

  • The wolves communicating with each other telepathically (which would have been bearable if done correctly). I actually cringed. Like holy crapsticks….
  • That baby that they made up as Renesmee? Good gracious, that thing was just creepy. WTF was angelic about that?! #confused

The What-The-Fuck:

  • The love story between Bella and Edward. Goodness, true to the books it just came out of nowhere and became an obsession. I just… I don’t… what… it’s… so dangerous and creepy and scary and dodgy and poisonous and… eeeeek.

twilight abusive

Somebody checked off that list here with examples.

  • Always the descriptions about how dreary and overcast it is in Forks (in the books). Which is fine. Twilight and New Moon both stuck to that concept for the movies, but the last three? Vampires everywhere in the sun with no freaking sparkles. And not because I am into the sparkles, this is purely based on consistency and continuity…. because who cares? Chuck it right out of the window.

supernatural kill the sparkling vampires for free

  • Natasha’s biggest gripe (and I am wholeheartedly behind her on this): all these books and movies teach you is that you can only be a real woman after you have gotten married and popped out some kids. Nice, really, very classy. I cannot be complete without a man, a ring, a rugrat. Men are what women need to be whole, apparently. Our very core and essence. Pfffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff. What the fuck? Are you kidding me?!

stephen king twilight comment

Stephen King was so totally right about this. He also went on to say what he wanted about Meyer and her godawful books here, and actually had a girl criticize Stephen King for knowing nothing about real books. OMG?! REALLY?! Yes. Quote? “Steven [sic] King doesn’t know what a real book was if it hit him in the face. He’s just a bloody guy who is jealous of Edward’s good looks.” – I don’t even know if I want to comment on that.

  • The fact that this is some huge phenomenon actually hurts my head. How did this happen? How?! It’s twisted and creepy and toxic!
  • How a love story could become so massive when it is flat, bland, unsexy, completely devoid of passion, but rates highly in the dangerous and toxic department. Is this what girls want nowadays? Stalker husbands, controlling boyfriends? I am so confused. Or I am too independent. I don’t know.
  • Naming your child Renesmee. Seriously, what the fuck was up with that?!
  • That even in the movies, Meyer’s supporting characters are still the ones you want to know more about. That is just something that boggles my mind, that she writes the most useless mains, but her supports are really good. I don’t understand.

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  • How they took one of the things that was actually excellent in the books (the history of the Quileutes, their legends and why they are as they are) and managing to bone it completely. That wasn’t even the right history, or the same, or told as gracefully. Meh. What the hell was the meaning of this?! It’s embarrassing to say the least, ruining the one thing that worked. Offensive.
  • I will never understand how it was socially acceptable for Jacob to be head over heels in love with Bella and making out with her and lusting after her and hating Edward to death, but then imprinting on their daughter (like OMG) and she becomes his life… because that isn’t a little sick and incestuous at all… no ick involved!

twilight snape voldemort mean girls

Then there was this article, one of the millions of articles you would find on the matter of how the cast hated the movies I know, but still. Also, this one had me giggling quite a bit, it really captures how silly things were at the best of times in the first book, Twilight. The AU-DA-CI-TY, I tell you!

So, overall, I have definitely watched infinitely worse movies in my life. I have, sadly. I am sure you have, too. I wanted to hate and despise these more than I did. They still sucked. They are Shitfest worthy. But maybe because I had way too much fun on the viewing experience, it lifted them all up for me a little. But I can recommend them if you are looking for a movie to watch with your bestie and trash beyond any and all logical reason.

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