Review: Hacksaw Ridge (2016)

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“I don’t know how I’m going to live with myself if I don’t stay true to what I believe.”
– Desmond Doss

SYNOPSIS: WWII American Army Medic Desmond T. Doss, who served during the Battle of Okinawa, refuses to kill people, and becomes the first man in American history to receive the Medal of Honor without firing a shot. – via IMDB

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GRADE 8Man oh man, I have been looking forward to this one for a variety of reasons, the two biggest being Andrew Garfield and Mel Gibson. Yeah sure, Gibson has done some cuckoo things, but he makes really good movies, and I enjoyed him a hell of a lot as an actor. As for Garfield? I just adore the guy. He is a talented actor and cute as a button. So how did the pairing come

Hacksaw Ridge impressed me. It really did. It isn’t so much a war movie as a drama – but do not take that to mean that you will not get a super vivid, clear depiction of the war, because you will. More than an hour is spent setting up Doss’s character and experiences, and driving home what his morals are, and how he sticks by them. The second half shows what happened on Hacksaw Ridge, but never really more of the war. It is the story of one man, and it is an amazing story. I was truly awestruck by how insane the story was, but also how inspiring. I liked, too, that the movie was very detailed about Desmond Doss’s faith. It handled this in depth, but it never felt preachy. It never felt like the viewer was being lectured on faith. It simply told his story, and I really appreciated that. Nobody wants some holier than thou message being shoved down their throats.

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I thought that Garfield was absolutely fantastic here. Really. He owned that role and I totally believed in his plight, and I was beyond impressed here. Garfield and Palmer also shared some great chemistry, and I must admit that I really liked watching them together. The score worked wonders, never overpowering, never being absent. The cast did a pretty good job, and visually the film was really nice to look at, and the camera was never overly shaky cam or too steady, making it impossible to watch, or too structured, and I think that worked in favour here.

Hacksaw Ridge managed to balance the nastiness and brutality of war, while still give us an inspiring story of a man, his faith, and what he wanted to do. Gibson did another good job here, proving to us once again that he is not afraid of getting to the nitty gritty of a film. I would say this movie is well worth a watch.

My recommendation? Skip the trailer and go straight into the movie.

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.

Review: Warm Bodies (2013)

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“So much for dreaming. You can’t be whatever you want. All I’ll ever be is a slow, pale, hunched-over, dead-eyed zombie.”
– R

SYNOPSIS: After a highly unusual zombie saves a still-living girl from an attack, the two form a relationship that sets in motion events that might transform the entire lifeless world. – via IMDB

I thought R and his way of expressing things was so dry but entertaining.

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Some of the best conversational skills of all time, no two ways about it.

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His desperate attempts at being human and normal were painful and hilarious.

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R and Julie were so sweet, it made me laugh how he was just so out of touch with most normal things, but he really tried.

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R and Julie certainly had completely different ideas about what she was doing there.

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M always had R’s back, and as a zombie, dropping the “bitches” line? Priceless.

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A sentiment I can totally identify with too much sometimes.

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A Polaroid camera provided some sweetness and amusement all round.

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This was just… yes. I really liked it.

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My reaction, decently summed up.

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GRADE 8So I finally had to watch this after both Abbi and Natasha insisted that it was fresh, new, and most certainly not Twilight. I decided it was time, and popped it in. What followed was a total surprise to me. While not my favourite zombie movie of all time (and I am with Mr O on the zombie purist thing most of the time, sorry Abbi) – I was willing to suspend all the beliefs I had about zombies to see this. I actually really enjoyed it. It really isn’t Twilight with zombies, so give it a shot if that is what kept you from looking into it. It was shot well and the acting was relatively good. R really made me laugh at times. He was lost, lonely, sad, desperately didn’t want to be what he was, and he was most certainly different from your average zombie. The message he carried across was cool, too, and his humour and outlook was really dry and drab, but it was both amusing and touching. He was very impressive in here, and I think he is an under-appreciated actor, he’s pretty good. There was a lot to like in this one. However, this was one super cutie zombie to come from the zombie apocalypse! The score worked well, too, though it is certainly not my favourite soundtrack of all time. I had a lot of fun with what the movie was saying, and John Malkovich played a real tool, really. Also, Dave Franco went from being such a nice guy to a real idiot, though when you see the history you can understand that, too. Teresa Palmer was good as Julie, she never actually started working on my nerves. She was not a barbie and she was in touch with what was going on around her, yet still she wanted love, life, and freedom. She also had nice chemistry with Nicholas Hoult. I really liked the friendship between R and M, gave me quite a few giggles. Overall, Warm Bodies is sweet, funny, and not a horror, so don’t go in watching that if you are expecting a Dawn of the Dead or Night of the Living Dead. If you watch it with no preconceived notions, and just accept it for what it is, then this will be a great little watch.