Review: The Autopsy of Jane Doe (2016)

6

“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.

April Blind Spot Review: Straight Outta Compton (2015)

4

“I got something to say.”
– Ice Cube

SYNOPSIS: The group NWA emerges from the mean streets of Compton in Los Angeles, California, in the mid-1980s and revolutionizes Hip Hop culture with their music and tales about life in the hood. – via IMDB

You know, even after all the rave reviews and the love this movie got when it came out, I didn’t know for sure exactly what it was about (other than a hip hop/rap history biopic type deal), but thought it would be worth watching as it seems it was done really well. Well, let me assure you, this really is that good and a bag of chips. Damn, I was way more impressed than I thought I would be.

I only know bits and pieces of the history surrounding these guys (pretty much all of it passed down to me from an old colleague who knows plenty about this), so I didn’t really know how accurate everything was, and I wasn’t too bothered. I was there to watch a movie and it happened to feature people we have at least all heard about, and it seems that it was pretty accurate (checking after the fact) too, for the most part.

There was a lot to like about this movie. The music (obviously) suited the content, the history used is interesting. Something that really blew me away? The casting. I mean O’Shea Jackson Jr looks just like his dad, which is insane. Then you see after the fact that each and every one of these cast members looked almost exactly like the real-life counterparts they were playing. Wow! That doesn’t usually happen, and yet it was nailed down completely here.

There were also some flaws with this movie. The pacing is a little off at times. The movie does not feel as long as it is, but there are times when the narrative jumps around a bit or feels hurried (especially the beginning – these were guys struggling at home and then in the recording studio within a space of like… ten minutes). Like, the groundwork is there but rushed. The dramatic element is good though, and there is humour in here from time to time that is quite entertaining.

I am glad to finally say I got around to watching Straight Outta Compton. While rap/hip hop is not generally my cup of tea, I think that this movie is handled well and is engaging. You might/might not love the genre, but you cannot deny how these guys had their say and influenced/drove the genre the way they did. One has to respect that.

Review: Annihilation (2018)

6

“It’s destroying everything.”
– Dr Ventress

SYNOPSIS: A biologist signs up for a dangerous, secret expedition into a mysterious zone where the laws of nature don’t apply. – via IMDB

Alright, so this movie seems to have a lot of people either super loving it, or totally hating it. I guess when I think back on it I can totally understand how one could end up in either camp, if I am being honest. There is a lot to like about Annihilation, but there is also a lot that is going to be annoying and can’t be overlooked.

I liked it quite a bit. It was ambiguous, but not in that unsatisfying way that It Comes At Night was. It raised a lot of questions and answered very few, and the few answers it did answer, I could have done without, and some that I wanted, I went without. Visually Annihilation is a beautiful film, and that cannot be denied. Strange shimmer, exotic everything going on behind the shimmer, this new world, all of it, and it works really well.

Then there is the cast. I think this is where the movie got hurt a bit. The characters are all really flat and lifeless, after all is said and done. Jennifer Jason Leigh is just angry and resentful and there. I could have done with more Oscar Isaac, too. Tessa Thompson and Natalie Portman are the only two that will remotely stay with you. The logic is also a little bizarre – for years soldiers have been going in and nobody has been coming back. Let’s send a group of all-female scientists. Like, I got the sending scientists in and all that, but… the definition of insanity? Nothing is changing, evidently. With this there were inconsistencies (lost time only happening and addressed once the whole time??).

There were moments of delicious creepiness (you all know what I am talking about), and the explanation took away some of that beautiful horror shine for both my husband and myself, but the conclusion for this makes up for some of the weaker parts, all while leaving us with another ton of questions, which I liked. I definitely think that this movie is worth a rewatch to pick up on more things.

I think that Annihilation is ambitious and visually stunning, with decent performances of flat characters, and has a score that works really well. I don’t necessarily need a movie spoon fed to me, but Annihilation took it’s ambiguity throughout a little too seriously, leaving a slightly unsatisfied feeling towards the end, though the ambiguity of that is not what left me unsatisfied. Yes, I know that all sounds crazy. Worth a watch, and a rewatch for sure. Not Ex-Machina, but not terrible, either. I look forward to more of Garland’s work.

I went into this blind. I read a lot of good reviews on it, but didn’t read too in depth or anything. Don’t even watch the trailer, just go watch the movie.

Review: Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde (2003)

4

“I’m here to speak for those who can’t speak for themselves.”
– Elle Woods

SYNOPSIS: Elle Woods heads to Washington D.C. to join the staff of a congresswoman in order to pass a bill to ban animal testing. – via IMDB

Really?! Really?! WHY?! That’s all I really have to say on this matter. Legally Blonde 2 is everything you expect from Hollywood and their bout of sequelitis (thanks again, Tom). This is such an unnecessary movie, one that goes out of its way to reuse to much that made the first one good, and instead of it carrying the same charm with it, it just falls flat. Luckily it is not as offensive as The Princess Diaries 2, because that was such an abomination.

I particularly resented the whole animal cruelty, save Bruiser’s mom thing. Yes, I know how cold that sounds, but it was such a stupid, shallow plot to base this whole movie on. Yes, the first is fluffy, but Elle going to Harvard, learning to be herself and doing well for herself, was one thing. This? I just don’t even know what this was even remotely about, except annoying. There were things I liked, like seeing silly Elle again, Paulette being that inapproprialtely weird friend, and her courier still being around. Also, Bruiser’s outfits still reigned supreme. Aside from that, I hated the shallow rehashing of things, the silly “coincidences”, the ridiculously unbelievable way that the characters interacted, and have I mentioned the excessively stupid main story of the animal right’s bill just to get Bruiser’s mother invited to Elle’s wedding?! I am not even joking. What a useless plot device.

This movie was definitely quite a painful watch. It had moments where it tried to break through and be its predecessor, to bring the goods to the table, and there were times it succeeded. Mostly, however, it was just messy and overly ridiculous. Overall, Legally Blonde 2 is a pretty meh experience that has some heart at times, but is totally annoying at other times. Typically unnecessary sequel that we could have done without.

Review: Backtrack (2015)

3

SYNOPSIS: Psychologist Peter Bower’s life is thrown into turmoil when he discovers a strange secret about his patients. Risking his own sanity, Peter delves into his past to uncover a terrifying secret which only he can put right. But is the reward worth risking more than a single life? – via IMDB

I went in for this for Sam Neill. Unfortunately I did not get nearly enough Sam Neill as I had been hoping for, and instead got a rather generic movie that tried to be so much smarter and darker than it really is, which is unfortunate. It does not mean that it is the worst way to spend your time, but it certainly is not the best thing to chuck on.

First and foremost, the movie is not sure what it wants to be. A mystery? Drama? Thriller? Horror? This messes with the pacing as well as how the story is set out. Initially it hard sells as a horror, then spirals into a totally mysterious, dramatic thriller. The issue with this is that it is not as mysterious as it hopes to be, as there were no plot twists that shocked me. I was also not attached enough to the character and his past to really feel for his melodrama, and the movie is not thrilling enough to hook you.

All of that is a serious pity because the story is actually good, and I mean really good. It is just so messily put together, and it pulls the final product apart at the seams. They should have presented it in a more solid style, and then it would have all the power to resonate, and to stick with you. It is an intense story being told, but the harried fashion it is told in makes it pale and rickety, and so I was not sold on it all.

Ultimately Backtrack is a messy film that is not as unpredictable as it hopes to be, and is rather unforgettable when all is said and done, though Brodie and Neill both deliver quite good performances in a story that could have been so much more. So much wasted potential, because the story really was a solid thing.

Review: My Bloody Valentine (1981)

4

“Beware of having a party at all on Saturday night! You may not live to see daylight!”
– Happy

SYNOPSIS: A decades-old folk tale surrounding a deranged murderer killing those who celebrate Valentine’s Day turns out to be true to legend when a group defies the killer’s order and people start turning up dead. – via IMDB

I watched the 2009 remake a few years back and had an absolute blast with it, and figured I should definitely go check out the original then. Well, after all this time I finally got to it and boy, I was not a fan. Coming in at only ninety minutes long, it felt like this was just never going to end – ever. It was painful, and I watched it over a few days.

I don’t know, this just wasn’t my jam. I thought it would be, but there was so much missing here, and it was the bad kind of cheesy to boot, which is unfortunate. Oh well. Plus, no eye candy for me. So I had nobody to watch, and it was chock full of awful characters that I just didn’t like and didn’t care about, with some super crappy dialogue and some sketchy acting. Man, this was just not going to go well. And then, of course, there was the music… dear world, it was just too much.

I feel like my time was wasted here. The whole movie was a lacklustre affair and wasted potential. Yes, we all know how teen slashers are supposed to work and all that, but this was just not my cup of tea, and it was really dated. I just look at how well they pulled this together for the 2009 remake, and think it a pity that this was just… well, wasted. It was embarrassing to watch and annoying at the best of times, and considering the story it had to tell, it could have been more. Instead… no. Just no.

Anyway, there really isn’t much to say here except I found this boring and bad and not worth the watch at all. I am going to let it go right there as I could seriously not be bothered to give this a more in depth look.

March Blind Spot Review: Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004)

3

“There was a time, a time before cable. When the local anchorman reigned supreme. When people believed everything they heard on TV. This was an age when only men were allowed to read the news.”
– Bill Lawson

SYNOPSIS: Ron Burgundy is San Diego’s top-rated newsman in the male-dominated broadcasting of the 1970s, but that’s all about to change for Ron and his cronies when an ambitious woman is hired as a new anchor. – via IMDB

Alrighty, putting it out there right now, ripping the band-aid off super fast: NO. Just NO. I did not like this :/

Okay, now that it has been said and I can be called a heathen, I can move on. Since this damn movie came out I have heard how I have to watch it, how it is super hilarious and quotable as all hell, and I have never really had the desire to watch it. Not even the beloved Paul Rudd could tempt me. But it has always been in the corner of my mind, that I should check it out despite not liking the majority of the cast, if for nothing more than to see what the cult status is about.

Well, I don’t get it. Anchorman is painfully stupid. My husband sat through this with me and is usually way more forgiving about movies than I am, and he said this was soul crushing. I have to agree with him. There were like two gems in this movie (Baxter? Bark twice if you’re in Milwaukee) and:

Other than that, this movie is not quotable. It is painful to sit through, and has some completely braindead humour. No, it is not funny if you think about it, and no, it is not funny even if you check your brain at the door (which I consciously bloody well did).

That’s it. Done.

Review: Veronica (2017)

4

SYNOPSIS: Madrid, 1991. A teen girl finds herself besieged by an evil supernatural force after she played Ouija with two classmates. – via IMDB

Ag pffffff. This movie. Why?! I got my hopes up, what with reading a lot of positive feedback and having it compared favourably to The Conjuring (even though that has no rewatch value, it’s really good the first time around). I was so ready for a horror that was going to be good, and I thought this might be it, being a Spanish horror and all.

Well. This is certainly not it. I don’t know, it pretty much irritated me from the off. I wasn’t a fan of the cast, the kids running all over the show the whole time annoyed me, the mother and her terrible parenting skills also only served to piss me off (for reals, it is not the teenage daughter’s job to keep the kids fed and clean and in school). It’s neglect, I don’t care what is said about it. Then there is our titular Veronica herself, and she was just so… dull.

Forgetting about the meh characters all round, I found that the story had no bite, and was pretty damn generic. Nothing fancy, nothing special, nothing we haven’t seen before, and certainly nothing that will stay with you after all is said and done. The best character was Sister Death, and she’s barely in it. The story could have been generic but solid. I suppose it is for others, but it did not work for me – it lacked tension and focus and the execution came across as sloppy.

Veronica is also long. Far longer than it necessarily needed to be. It almost put me to sleep at times what with the drag throughout it. Nothing made me go wow. Nothing. The score itself wasn’t too bad, I thought it a bit quirky but I liked it, so there is that.

Okay, I will stop now. I found Veronica to be a super disappointing, bland, lifeless experience. It was peppered with clichés and suffered from horrible pacing and too much screaming and a major lack of an engaging story. I didn’t find it to be atmospheric, either. It just was… there. Oh well. I would skip this, you won’t really be missing that a million other supernatural horrors haven’t done before.

Review: Thor: Ragnarok (2017)

8

“We have to stop her here and now, and prevent Ragnarok, the end of everything! So I’m putting together a team.”
– Thor

SYNOPSIS: Thor is imprisoned on the other side of the universe and finds himself in a race against time to get back to Asgard to stop Ragnarok, the destruction of his homeworld and the end of Asgardian civilization, at the hands of an all-powerful new threat, the ruthless Hela. – via IMDB

Well, it’s no real secret that I haven’t enjoyed a single Thor movie so far. They aren’t terrible (who am I kidding, what was that Dark World kak?!), they are just… wasted potential. Seriously, all that lore and everything to work with and we got the two movies we did? Oh well. However, then Taika Waitit directed Team Thor, and I had a renewed interest. The man’s brand of humour appeals to me, and the short made me laugh. We all know I love his other work, so how would it go when he took over the reigns of a massive Marvel production?

In a word? Great. Really. Waititi breathed life into an Avenger that really needed it. Two, actually, because one cannot forget the Hulk in this one. Hemsworth is way more comfortable than ever before in his return as the Son of Odin, and he works so well with Mark Ruffalo, so easy and comfortable. Jeff Goldblum has an absolute ball as  Grandmaster, and Tom Hiddleston is, as always, supremely entertaining as Loki. Hemsworth and Hiddleston play together well, too, and continue to impress us with their hilariously dysfunctional relationship.

The humour is, as I was hoping, top notch. It’s hilarious, and there were a few scenes my husband and I laughed so hard at we went back to rewatch them a few times (Thor’s explanation of the dirty snake trick Loki played on him when they were eight and Loki and Thor with their “get help” skit are prime examples). It truly had me laughing. I have to admit, Korg (Waititi) had me in stitches a few times, what a character!

Thor: Ragnarok is more than just silly entertainment and solid humour though, and it must be noted that the movie looks great and has some solid effects, which I enjoyed a lot. The colours I truly loved, as it just fit the whole vibe of the movie. The soundtrack, too, works all the way through. This is not to say that the movie is without flaws. I, for once, could have done without the whole Doctor Strange bit, as I seriously felt it did not advance the narrative in any way, and was just there to fill time. I was also not a particular fan of Tessa Thompson in this, though eventually you warm up to her a little more.

All in all, I found Thor: Ragnarok to be a highly entertaining, funny film that just goes ahead and does what it wants, and it works so well. It doesn’t matter what you do/do not know about the MCU, you can still enjoy this regardless of.

JB & The Chop Do: Blair Witch (2016)

3

When the trailer for this movie first came out, I believe it was called “The Woods”,  made by the team that did “You’re Next” and “The Guest”, this looked nut-busting awesome and seemed like it would be a big winner. Then they called it Blair Witch and it went straight to streaming so…. hmmmm….. did anyone’s nuts bust here???

SYNOPSIS: After discovering a video showing what he believes to be his vanished sister Heather, James and a group of friends head to the forest believed to be inhabited by the Blair Witch. – via IMDB

The answer to that is a big, blue balls no for this wretched movie. What the FUCK? This was totally stupid from start to finish, I don’t know about JB but I wanted to kill all of the characters as well as the writer and director, and then they threw in of the worst fucking CGI creatures I’ve ever seen. Fuck you, man!

Who could have possibly thought that was a good move? Also – I think there was something going on with a spaceship. Or something. And some time travel. I think. I couldn’t have cared less.

You know the routine. A bunch of dopes go into the woods. They hear a bunch of shit noises. They go into an old house. They eat shit and die. Fucking suck it! I mean, I can’t even think of things to write… here’s that one pic again:

Are they trying to make us think that the Blair Witch is the stick figure thing?? Are they trying to insert THIS movie into the Ancient Aliens mythology?

I don’t know what to tell you but this movie is horseshit. I want to give another dearest thanks to The JB. Despite everything we’ve been through she’s still hanging in there with me. Surely things will get better for us, right??? Now – the real question is asked – are JB and I aliens from a distant time? Are we visiting from the past…. or the future?

Or is this an example of The Mandela Effect and you don’t remember things the way they happened………………………… ??

You know, I mistakenly thought that things couldn’t go further downhill with these movies than that Book of Shadows crap. I was sooooo wrong.

So, Wingard is a director that a lot of people fawn about. For me, outside of The Guest (of which I still have an indecent obsession), I am not totally in love. Him and Barrett aren’t bad, they are a little different, and I like that, but I don’t think they are like the Second Coming or anything. So I didn’t expect to hate this (shit, I even liked Death Note, though I will likely be butchered for even saying that), but I did. There. I said it.

Blair Witch is so fucking messy and upside down and stupid and cringy and NO. So much no. Initially I was really interested in the concept of Heather’s brother still wanting to know what happened to her all those years ago, and wanted to see what would happen. Instead we have icky dialogue, the characters I cared least about in the whole series, and then… the Witch/Spindly-Legged-Spider-Alien. Like… guys? Help?

There were a ton of throwbacks to the first movie littered throughout this one, and for the most part, those sections were handled rather well, which is odd considering how useless the rest of the movie was. And I am all for making a project yours, but this just… didn’t really fall in line as well as you would have hoped. We had alien witch things and outside light ups and arms in trees slapping people around, Prohibition tunnels, tents getting ripped up, and people being snapped like twigs. Uhm… sure.

So all of that makes it sound like a lot of crazy stuff was going on and that it was at least worth a watch, right? Wrong. If you take everything together and put it there, it looks like there was quite a bit to watch. In reality, there was a lot of bitching and moaning, crappy camera work, bland friendships, flat, generic characters and a whole lot of meh-ness all round. Seriously, I thought this would have been a little better. There are reviews I have read online that called this movie smart (!!!!!) and deft (!!!!!) and scary (!!!!!) and I am just wondering if we all even watched the same fucking movie. Because this movie is lame and heavy handed and soooooo drawn out and boring.

Needless to say peeps, I think the only movie you need to see in this series (if you haven’t seen any and if you want to see what it is all about) is The Blair Witch Project, even though it is screechy and low budget, it also comes across as the most sincere, and it was the movie that popularised the stupid found footage genre.

Thanks to everyone who stuck with us for yet another series and read, commented, and enjoyed our torture! We survived this franchise, too! The things we put ourselves through for fun and entertainment. But you know what? We secretly love it. And PSC, you are the bomb! I totally love working with you on all our projects, and I am so happy you were up for these, even if they were sketchy.