Nothing Lasts Forever Review

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You take his family. He’ll take your life.

 

Nothing Lasts Forever Review

Written By Roderick Thorp

Year Published: 1979

Genre: Action/Drama

Page Number: 188

Wrong Spoilers Right Time

Since you’re all likely into the post-holiday blues by now, let’s try and continue that theme with the novel that inspired the  beloved holiday classic, “Die Hard.” Yes, you heard right, the book “Nothing Last Forever” was eventually adapted into “Die Hard”.  While the basic plots are the same there are some differences. In “Nothing Last Forever” Joe Leland (not John McClain) elderly former cop, turned private detective, turned private security consultant goes to Los Angeles to visit his daughter Holly Genaro while she attends her office Christmas party at the Klaxxon oil company along with her children. While the employees celebrate the year especially their multimillion-dollar bridge deal with Chile, a ruthless gang of German terrorists take over the building leaving only Joe free. He decides to put his lifetime of skills to work and defeat the terrorists. While the big points are the same in both the book and movie, almost everything else is different.

While it has a smaller body count and better writing than most of its contemporaries “Die Hard” is an action movie thru and thru. “Nothing Lasts Forever” however, is a hardboiled detective story with a lot of action; this is the biggest change between the two. While John McClain is frequently pissed off in “Die Hard” he’s a ray of sunshine next to Joe Leland. Like any hardass old ex-cop worth his fedora, Joe has very little nice to say about anything. Joe’s not in L.A. for more than ten minutes before he starts saying that the city looks like a shaved cat and he pegs Holly’s boss and co-workers as assho#$s soon after he meets them (he right of course, but that doesn’t make him sound any less bitter). The grim tone lasts during the entire book and is especially prevalent at the end.

Like any hardass old ex-cop worth his fedora, Joe has very little nice to say about anything. Joe’s not in L.A. for more than ten minutes before he starts saying that the city looks like a shaved cat and he pegs Holly’s boss and co-workers as assho#$s soon after he meets them (he right of course, but that doesn’t make him sound any less bitter). The grim tone lasts during the entire book and is especially prevalent at the end.

The novel is told entirely from Joe’s viewpoint and this leads to big character changes. While “Die Hard” has an excellent cast of supporting characters, “Nothing Lasts Forever” saves all its characterization for the main lead and the main villain. This changes to the hero’s and villains are what help keep the book unique. In “Die Hard” the so-called terrorists were actually just a band of thieves while in “Nothing Lasts Forever” the terrorists are exactly what they seem. In “Die Hard” the contrast is between the high-class European thieves and their blue collar American enemy while in “Nothing Lasts Forever” the battle is very much age vs. youth.

In “Die Hard” the so-called terrorists were actually just a band of thieves while in “Nothing Lasts Forever” the terrorists are exactly what they seem. In “Die Hard” the contrast is between the high-class European thieves and their blue collar American enemy while in “Nothing Lasts Forever” the battle is very much age vs. youth.

While it is mentioned once that the terrorist leader Anton Gruber comes from a wealthy background what is more often remarked on is that some of the terrorists are barely older than teenagers in contrast to the sixty-year-old Joe Leland. The book is much darker due to this change especially since half the terrorists are women. This is one of the best changes as it makes the rank and file terrorists much more unique and memorable.

What was especially surprising to me was the lack of overt politics in the book. It’s not that politics are totally absent from the book but for a book published during the cold war it’s surprising to see nothing about communism or the Soviet Union. This is even more surprising given that Anton Gruber is said to have begun his career in crime with the German Marxist Baader-Meinhof gang.

I’m torn on this, while I’m no fan of political rants it would have been interesting to add another difference between Joe and the terrorists especially since the ending reveals them to be quite justified. While I am happy the main villain got more back-story Anton Gruber simply can’t compare to Alan Rickman’s utterly superb turn as Hans Gruber. But  villains are nothing without an interesting hero to go against and Joe Leland brings a lot to the table

Joe Leland first appeared in “Thorp’s previous novel “The Detective.” Fortunately, the events of “The Detective” are recapped in the begging of the book and don’t effect the events of the book except by explaining how the main character’s background. Joe Leland is a former WW2 fighter pilot, turned police detective, turned private detective, turned security consultant. He gained fame from solving a controversial case during his police years, only to find out many years later a private detective that he arrested the wrong man. While this case also revealed massive amounts of municipal fraud, the ones responsible escaped punishment.

All this plus the divorce and later death of his wife along with his estrangement from his daughter and grandchildren have left him with a very cynical and world-weary mindset. All this trauma and experience makes Joe a man who thinks a lot but says little. While this allows a huge incite into what Joe’s history and thought process, it also has a downside.

This is one of the few novels where I feel like we learn too much about a character. Joe will flashback: to the end of his marriage, the history of his daughter, security conferences, and even old romances. While everything we learn is interesting and informative, sometimes it comes out of nowhere and disrupts the story. Fortunately, these little asides never come in the middle of anything and aren’t very long.

Joe’s checkered past also make’s him a ruthless mofo during the course of the book. Due to his security consulting experience Joe is familiar with Gruber’s past and he absolutely despises him and all his followers. He’s much more brutal in dispatching them, even to the point where he has one at gun point and just because he’s suspects they young terrorist is about to go on a righteous rant Joe shoots him in the neck and tosses his body off the roof. Joe’s kill’em all attitude is explained by his conflict fueled past making him a more violent person and his fear that if the police lay siege to the building his loved ones will be collateral damage. While Joe isn’t as likable a character as John McClain he’s definitely entertaining and you’ll be rooting for him by the end. This ruthless attitude culminates in a massively different ending for the book.

While “Die Hard” is a simple tale of a lone hero struggling against murderous thieves and an incompetent police department “Nothing Lasts Forever” in true noir style is much more gray in its morals. I was defiantly a fan of this change as it’s both interesting and great discussion material. It’s often brought up that Joe may be doing more harm than good in fighting the terrorists and the ending brings that into focus.

On route to their final showdown, Gruber tells Joe that his gangs’ plan was to take the tower hostage due to the bridge being a cover for selling arms to the murderous, U.S backed Chilean government (Google Augusto Pinochet if you want to know more about that). They planned to execute the C.E.O as an example to other corporations then take the six million dollars in the company vault and dump it out the windows returning it to the people. After this, they would escape with no deaths but a heartless corporate snake. While it’s possible that Gruber is lying, later evidence reveals that the bridge was a front and the executives, including Holly were in on the whole thing.

Speaking of Holly she doesn’t fare nearly as well as John McClain’s wife, after Joe and Gruber’s climatic showdown a mortally wounded Gruber grabs Holly by her new watch and they both topple out an open window to their deaths. Joe then mercilessly executes the surviving terrorists and dumps the money out the window anyway. While this end was absolutely crushing it fit with the rest of the book and further called Joe’s actions into question. While it’s certainly not as fun as “Die Hards” ending it’s definitely more interesting.

While “Die Hard” is an essential action classic that should be watched by everyone who is even marginally interested in good action, the book is quite different. Anyone going into the book expecting the same story as the movie will be very disappointed, especially by the very different tone. However, if you’re a fan of complex noir stories (which I am) you’ll definitely find something to like about “Nothing Last Forever”

F.A.Q’s

Did I like the book: Yes

Would I read it again: Yes

Would I buy it: Yes

Two fish run into an underwater concrete wall what do they say: Dam

 

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Captain Fantastic Review

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Portrait Of A Modern Family

 

Captain Fantastic Review

Directed By Matt Ross

Stars: Viggo Mortensen/Frank Langella/Kathryn Hahn

Year Released: 2016

Genre: Comedy/Drama

Running Time: 1 Hour 58 Minutes

You’re prepared for everything except for Spoilers

 

It’s almost impossible to tell what people really what because they want so many different things. Sill in my experience, what people want most beyond the thousand little things that come and go, is safety for their family, the ability to raise their kids how they want and the freedom to live however they choose. In today’s, modern world all three of these are hard to come by, but the third is the most elusive of all. “Captain Fantastic,” tells the tale of a man trying to have everything and what can come of it.

Our titular captain is Ben Cash (Viggo Mortensen) whose disgust with the modern world and revolutionary beliefs led him and his wife Leslie (Trin Miller) to gradually abandon the civilized world to live in the forests of Washinton state with their six children. Here the children are raised to self-sufficient survivalists as well as politically minded revolutionary philosophers. This all comes to a halt when Leslie (who is already hospitalized by the movies beginning) commits suicide due to her bipolar disorder.

This devastates the family especially the rebellious young son Relian (Nicholas Hamilton) and the oldest son Bodevan “Bo” Cash (George MacKay) who hides a huge secret from his father. Ben’s father-in-law Jack (Frank Langella) arranges a Christian Funeral for Leslie in her home state despite the protests of Ben and Leslie’s own will. Jack despises Ben and says that if he sees him at the funeral he will have him arrested. Like any good revolutionary, this just makes Ben more determined as he and his family begin a cross-country road trip slash mission of liberation.

“Captain Fantastic” is an excellent film to talk about. You’re personal opinion on Ben and the life he’s made for his family you’re opinion can change radically. He is determined to teach his children to be self-reliant critical thinkers and this can make him seem extremely blunt and terribly harsh. When his youngest son Nal (Charlie Shotwell) ask him what a brothel or rape is he gives a completely honest answer and when Rellian slips during a climbing exercise he refuse to help. Depending on how you view these actions Ben is either the ultimate father or an abusive monster.

I don’t see him as either Mr. Rogers or Charles Manson but like any radical, I think that despite his noble intentions and convictions he undermines himself with his vanity and lack of foresight. Raising children to be more educated and less medicated is extremely noble if only to disprove the stereotype of the fat and stupid American child, but what would have happened if things didn’t go according to plan.

If one of his children had accidentally fallen down a hill and cracked their skull, they would have been doomed because there was no way that Ben could have gotten them to a hospital in time. This oversight wasn’t due to Ben not caring, he displays nothing but total love and devotion towards his family, he was just so confident in his himself and his abilities that he never thought what would happen if he failed.

With that in mind, I was still able to enjoy “Captain Fantastic” as a comedy even if it was quite dark at times. All the characters were fun and interesting and this was Viggo Mortensen’s best performance in years. It was great to see Frank Langella an actor who only seems to improve with age even if his role was small. Much of “Captain Fantastic” was filmed in either the Pacific Northwest or the southwest but fortunately, both settings had some gorgeous scenery, which the camera work excellently complimented.

My only complaints were that the two characters that could have been the most interesting were given the least to do. Kielyr Cash (Samantha Isler) and Vespyr Cash (Annalise Basso) were the two oldest daughters of the family and you’d think that they would have the most to complain about. Lady’s you think is sucks when your period hit’s well imagine having it while in the middle of the woods with the nearest drug store fifty miles away. While Vesper is part of one of the most important moments in the film most of the character development was given is Rellian and Bo. This doesn’t ruin the movie it just seems like a missed opportunity.

If there’s any overarching message to “Captain Fantastic” I think it’s how despite the best of intentions revolutionary fervor can destroy its self. Ben and his family went to the woods to escape the tyranny of big government and organized religion and to raise children that would change the world for the better. But while they became physical and mental marvels, they have no expense with other people. Strangely Ben himself has become somewhat of a king to his children despite his desire to foster their independence.

Fortunately, by the end, Ben has been confronted with his mistakes and is making changes. What’s even better is that unlike so many other Ben emerged with his family and Ideals intact. What makes Ben fantastic is not only that he wants’ to change the world but that he’s shown that he can change along with the world, a rare man indeed.

 

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F.A.Q’s

Did I like the movie: Yes

Would I watch it again: Yes

Would I buy it: No

What’s the worst thing about new years: I just got done with 365 days, but now I have to go thru another 365, it’s exhausting man.

 

 

Lethal Weapon Review

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One’s old Both are Dangerous

 

Lethal Weapon Review

Directed By Richard Donner

Stars: Danny Glover, Mel Gibson

Year Released: 1987

Genre: Action

Running Time: 1 Hour 50 Minutes

This Holliday Season, one review will have Spoilers

It’s been awhile since I’ve strapped down and done a proper review but since it’s the holidays I thought I’d review a few Christmas movies that don’t usually find their way onto people lists this time of year. I’ll start things off with a bang with the all time buddy cop action movie classic “Lethal Weapon.” It might be a surprise a few of you that “Lethal Weapon” counts as a Christmas movie but it takes place during the Christmas season and the final climax involves Gary Busey shooting up Danny Glover’s house as “It’s a Wonderful Life” plays in the background. If that doesn’t make this movie a Christmas than I don’t know what does.

Another good set of Christmas credentials is that “Lethal Weapon” is written by scriptwriter and occasional actor/director Shane Black who loves to set his movies during Christmas time. Trust me when I say that this isn’t the last we’ll be seeing of Mr. Black.

Before we get into the plot I just want to say that Lethal Weapon has one of the most eighties-tastic movie openings in history despite being released in 87. For those who haven’t seen the movie pause now and go watch the beginning of lethal weapon to see what I’m talking about. I thought that opening was so freaking crazy that I looked up the script so I could see how it was written. It turns out that it was a much longer scene, that built up to the jump instead o it coming out of nowhere, I guess it was just one of the things they changed in the adaptation process.

The plot involves two mismatched L.A cops being put together to Roger Murtagh (Danny Glover) is an African American middle-class family man who just turned fifty. Martin Riggs (Mel Gibson) is a white loner who lives in a trailer by the beach and is currently suicidal after the death of his wife. Both men served in Vietnam, Murtagh as an infantryman and Riggs as Special Forces sniper. This turns out to be the key to the investigation as the dead girl was the daughter of Michal Hunsaker (Tom Atkins) a war buddy turned banker who has gotten involved with a group of drug dealing ex C.I.Assassins led by the ex-General Peter McAllister (Mitchell Ryan) and his top killer Mr. Joshua (Gary Busey).

While the mismatched buddy cop movie had been done a few times before this, it was “Lethal Weapon” that perfected it. The plot is pretty standard. Two cops investigate a minor crime that turns out to be connected to both the past’s of the cops and a bigger criminal organization. Fortunately, everything else helps elevate “Lethal Weapon” into the realm of action greatness.

The main thing that I want from my action films is good action and I’m happy to say that “Lethal Weapon” delivers with frequent displays of badassery from both of our leads. The camera work is good and the sets are excellent but what really elevates it, are the two leads. Glover manages to look old without looking feeble and plays the perfect friendly straight man. Gibson shines especially in the action scenes as he snarls and screams like the lunatic he’s supposed to be. Even better is that we sympathize with the both struggles of both characters, whether it’s Glover’s age and frustration with Gibson, or the pain Gibson losing his wife. The two have great chemistry together and the way they play off each other makes the comedy funnier and the action more exciting.

Sadly there are a few flaws that keep “Lethal Weapon” from total domination. While I often find the villains more interesting than the heroes, “Lethal Weapon” had the exact opposite problem. Despite supposedly being elite mercenary killers they just seem like regular goons in suits except for the very cool and very crazy Gary Busey who almost manages to make up for the shortcomings of the other. Gibson also once and a while dials up the wacky parts of his character too far and just looks dumb. It’s the same with Glover’s friendly attitude sometimes he pushes it too far and he just comes off as creepy.

One very strange problem was the version I watched recently had extra scenes added that I think took more away than they added. They essentially gave both characters a second into that while cool was completely unnecessary. This wouldn’t be a problem if the scenes were just left in the deleted scenes section, but no they had to be in the movie.

Fortunately, these problems are all small and don’t even come close to ruining a great movie. It’s nice to see where all the buddy cop movies spawned from and how it managed to spawn so many imitators. If you want to go back to a time where Danny Glover wasn’t too old for this shit and Mel Gibson only played a crazy person in movies, spend your holidays with “Lethal Weapon.”

F.A.Q’s

Did I like the movie: Yes

Would I watch it again: Yes

Would I buy it: Yes

Things to avoid this holiday: Don’t confuse Santa with Satan (again)

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Damn Straight

 

Live Blog 4

Cooper gets locked in an old mansion and decides to sit in front of the fire place and read Poe, Jesus dude you’re a gamer go explore the house

Cooper falls for a jump scare and discusses jump scares the next time it looks like it happens. It was kinda dumb but I was thinking the same things he said

Sonja arrives at the door and says that she did research on the photo he sent her and that the device was refused a patent because it was too dangerous.

Also, five people have disappeared and they all signed up for the same Job as Cooper

Cooper doesn’t believe her, but she starts menacing him with a carving knife saying she hacked his bank account and led him here.

She stabs him in the back and they wrestle on the floor

Coopers taking this stab wound like a champ

Yeah he’s screaming but not enough

The skin rips off Sonja’s face as the knife is driven through Coopers back until it’s sticking out his front.

Her grabs her head and rams it into the blade (HARDCORE)

Way more screaming and crying (that’s more like it)

Sonja’s the and the wound disappears

Cooper freaks out and tries to escape the game

Bioshock Reference

Cooper can’t remember anything the game is overriding his memories

Welcome to the brain fry

Cooper wakes up turns out it was all in the game (I smell a twist ending coming)

Double twist ending Yes!

While the body of this episode wasn’t as strong as the last one the ending was way better

Live Blog 3

Live Blog Black mirror Season 3

Episode: Play test

The Episode begins with a guy leaving a house with a backpack and refusing a call from his mother

He’s on a plane with bad turbulence, but he’s completely unafraid and reassures a little girl

Travel montages, saving time since Indiana Jones

Guys got a pretty good beard, now he’s trying to hook up with some bar chick he met online.

And he hit’s it out of the park, and he get’s breakfast out of it too (just toast)

Dude still won’t talk to his mom, Started when his dad died of Alzheimer’s

Guy’s name is Cooper and Cooper is out of cash, I think his identities been stolen

Still, doesn’t call his mom (been there dude)

Cooper signs up to do game testing, thrill seekers wanted, the add says (Red flag dude)

I wish a sinister British dude met him at the entrance.

This guy Jokes are starting to wear thin

He sneaks a photo of the equipment and sends it to hook up girl (Sonja)

Mom plays just before he starts the virtual reality trip

Cooper Plays 3-D whack a mole Looks Fun

Cooper talks to Saito the game company president

Now he’s undergoing the full experience

Live Blog 2

The trip is going terribly (something tells me that it’s going to get worse)

In this world, profanity is illegal (I wouldn’t last a day)

Lacey is getting double damage from down votes; this is the begging of the end

Now Lacy is hitchhiking

She picked up by a truck driver lady who’s low rated but says she used to be super high

The Truck Driver lady’s husband died from cancer so she just started saying whatever she wanted, now she a total pariah.

Lacey gets a ride with some Sci-fi Geeks (this is going to be awkwardness central)

Lacy’s friend tells her not to come because she too low ranked

She pisses off the sci-fi geeks and goes cross country to get to the wedding

When she gets there she looks like death warmed over

Her speech is crazy and brutal but I hoped for even more viciousness

It kind of sounds like Lacey was in love with her friend

Lacey gets arrested and gets into an insult match with the dude in the cell across from her.

She kind of looks like she’s happy

Very creepy episode but also very predictable

Live Blog 1

Live Blog: Black Mirror Season 3

Black Mirror Episode: Nosedive

Black Mirror revolves around horror story primarily based around a technological theme. The series was created by Charlie Brooker so expect dark humor, good writing and all the subtlety of a large explosion.

Each episode is about an hour long.

I enjoyed the first two seasons, so let see how this one goes

The first scene involves a woman (named Lacey) exercising while simultaneously being glued to her phone

Everyone is looking at his or her phones non-stop

First time I knew that this was set into the future was when I noticed Lacey has cyber eye implants

Lacey practices laughing in the mirror, this is fu&*ing creepy

Everyone in this episode speaks fluent passive aggressive Bi%&*

Apparently status in this world is determined by social media rankings, its official this world is my hell

Our main character needs a better rating to afford a cool apartment

Her image consultant is telling her to be more authentic; irony is not dead in this world

Lacey gets invited to a wedding by her super-rich ex-best friend

Lacey is sharing an apartment with her brother he says she’s acting like a sociopath she tells him he embarrasses her.

Everyone smiles like a freaking psycho in this world

Gone Girl Review

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Marriage is a Battlefield

 

Gone Girl Review

Director: David Fincher

Stars: Ben Affleck/Rosamund Pike

Based on the book by Gillian Flynn

Year Released: 2014

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Running Time: 149 Minutes

How Well Do You Know Your Spoilers

        Who the heck did I even marry? This is the question that so many couples ask themselves and it’s not surprising. Just think of the people you consider yourself close too. What do you actually know about them? It’s amazing how much we let slip in between the cracks of our conversations. Most of us spend so much time talking about issues that aren’t even important at all we never get to anything of substance. In David Finchers 2014 mystery slash battle of wills “Gone Girl” this is best shown when husband Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) is asked his wife Amy’s (Rosamund Pike) blood type and he doesn’t know. It’s not that Nick doesn’t care about his wife; it’s simply that he never thought to ask. In “Gone Girl” this lack of knowledge comes back to haunt Nick as he finds out exactly what his wife is capable of.

“Gone Girl” tells the story of Nick Dunne a former New writer who now makes his living co-owning a small Missouri bar with his sister Margo (Carrie Coon) and teaching at the local college. On his fifth anniversary he comes home to find his home in shambles and his wife gone. Since Amy is beautiful and smart, this triggers a massive search along with an equally huge media circus, as Amy becomes a celebrity. But, a Nicks lies and infidelities slowly start getting reveled to the world, the public turns on him and soon he is the number one suspect in his wife’s disappearance.

It’s about an hour into the movie when we get the big reveal, Amy Dunne is still alive, it turns out that Amy is an extremely cunning sociopath who’s taking revenge for Nick’s crimes against her by making him look like a psychotic wife killer. It’s long until Nick relies this and decides that he will have to resurrect his image to save his life. While Margo and high price attorney Tanner Bolt (Tyler Perry) assist him in the media war, Amy’s pettiness and impatience ruin her escape plan and she is forced to seek shelter with Desi Collings (Neil Patrick Harris) her millionaire ex boyfriend turned stalker who may be even more dangerous than she is.

My enjoyment of “Gone Girl” was almost totally from it’s characters. I knew from the first scene that Nick didn’t kill his wife because that would have been too simple and these types of movies are never simple. The big twist was never in doubt for me, so the only things that would keep me invested were the characters and the ending. I’m happy to report that one of those was really good. While both Nick and his wife were varying degrees of fucked up and awful, they were the kind of awful that inspired fascination rather than revulsion. Amy is a shockingly manipulative sociopath and Nick would be just as bad if not for the fact that he still has love for his family and guilt for his misdeeds. The relationship between the two isn’t interesting just because of how damaged they both are but also despite the hurt they inflicted on each other they can’t imagine a life without each other. It’s not even hatred, it’s the simple fact that they have revealed their horrible inner self to each other and found themselves intrigued rather than horrified. Isn’t that what everyone wants out of a relationship, someone to accept you for who you really are.

The dialogue was what kept me invested over the long running time. Amy’s was especially good. Every line out of her mouth seemed careful crafted to produce the reaction she wanted. Like any good Sociopath she sees most people as puppets to manipulated and she is ready to say or do anything to make that happen. Still it wasn’t perfect as characters actually use the words vagina and feces in casual conversations. Ask yourself, have you ever heard such ugly and clinical words used in anything even resembling casual conversation. Fortunately these are small bumps in an otherwise good script that was supported by “Gone Girls” other strengths

Since this is a David Fincher movie you’ll wont be surprised to hear that the cinematography is excellent. Each shot’s has exactly what the Fincher wants at the forefront. The lighting is another strongpoint, the excellent use of bright lights and heavy shadows brings to mind the detective movies of the nineteen fifties and forties. Sadly with all this in “Gone Girls” favor it all comes apart in the end.

Despite what I’m about to say, “Gone Girl” is worth watching and I’d advise anyone who likes thrillers to see it and decide on it’s quality for themselves, but for me the ending has more than a few problems. It not that Amy’s grand plan was absurdly complicated (I’m used to that in movies) but by the movies end Amy has killed Desi and forged evidence to make it look like he kidnapped, tortured, starved and raped her. While this is a good plan, it’s a shame that she looks perfectly normal. While Amy’s giving this tearful confession to the F.B.I she still looks like a beautiful Hollywood actress. You’d thing the Feds would be curious why some one who has been starved and tortured doesn’t have a mark on her well fed body. That sad part is that this could have been fixed with a good makeup job. I was also sad that some good parts from the book got cut form the script.

In the book we get more background on both our main characters. We learn about Nicks horribly abusive father made childhood hell and how Amy’s writer parents modeled their character Amazing Amy after her and expected her to spend every moment trying to live up to that image. While some of this does make it into the movie, what’s really missed is the narration from Amy that descries her warped worldview. She talks about how she could feel joy like other children and how “all of us are play-acting, there can be no such thing as a soul mate, because we don’t have genuine souls. It had gotten to the point where it seemed like nothing matters, because I’m not a real person and neither is anyone else. I would have done anything to feel real again.” If this doesn’t show how phenomenally messed up the lady is, then nothing will.

What I missed the most was one of the final conversations between Amy and Nick ““My gosh, Nick, why are you so wonderful to me?’ He was supposed to say: You deserve it. I love you. But he said, ‘Because I feel sorry for you.’ ‘Why?’ ‘Because every morning you have to wake up and be you.”” Amy latter admits that she can’t get this out of her head and it bothers her. This shows that Nick really has seen inside Amy and knows why she is the way she is. Amy’s actions may have been monstrous but her motivation was all too human. All she wanted was to love and to be loved in return. Whether it’s because of irregular brain chemistry, a bad upbringing or just because she was born an evil bitch, she just can’t do it. It’s actual sad, here’s this woman who has so much, but she can’t fell that one simple thing that even the most unfortunate person feels at least once. Even worse is that like every other sociopath she’s managed to convince herself that everyone’s as broken as she is. I guess when the good part of a person is gone it never comes back.

F.A.Q’s

Did I like the movie: Yes

Would I watch it again: Yes

Would I buy it: no

A husband get a box with note saying his wife’s been kidnapped and that her fingers in the box to prove it. The husband sends the kidnapper a messages, saying “that could be anyone’s finger, send me her head so I can be sure”

 

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True Love

 

The Uninvited

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The Dead are Not Silent

 

 

The Uninvited

Director: Lewis Allen

Stars: Ray Milland/Ruth Hussey

Year Made: 1944

Genre: Horror

Running Time: 99 Minutes

Spoilers are not silent, Even in Death

            One of the oldest types of horror stories is the story of the haunted house. Even if you go back centuries, stories of old houses and restless spirits will still be there. When it comes to movies there have been dozens made about spooky houses, but 1944’s “The Uninvited” is seen as one of the greatest ever made. The plot setup is simple but effective. A pair of English siblings Roderick “Rick” Fitzgerald (Ray Milland) and his sister Pamela (Ruth Hussey) are vacationing on the coast of Cornwall when they happen across a huge country house. They instantly fall in love with every room in the house except for an upstairs room that always seems cold and unpleasant. They decide to ask Commander Beech (Donald Crisp) the houses owner if it’s for sale and he offers it to them at an extremely low price, which they eagerly accept, at first things seem happy and peaceful with Rick even romancing the Beeches young granddaughter Stella Meredith (Gail Russell). However, once the two siblings are settled in, the Fitzgerald siblings begin to notice eerie sounds and strange smells that come from nowhere. It soon becomes clear that the two are not alone in the house and their uninvited guest has a particular interest in Stella.

I’ve never been a fan of ghosts as an antagonist. While there are many great movies revolving around ghosts or curses I’ve always preferred an antagonist that actually exists physically. Ghosts have a tendency to rob characters of their agency. While a physical threat (hopefully) has characters trying to avoid it or eliminate it, characters confronted with a ghost or other spiritual threat, seem content to wait around and let it come to them. Haunted house movies have even more problems than the regular supernatural horror film because the way to stop the haunting is simple just leave the freaking house. With all my prejudices against ghosts in mind, believe me when I say that “The Uninvited” was a surprisingly great film.

“The Uninvited” salvages a fairly predictable set up with strong characters and some clever twists at the end. While the plot was good, what really won me over was the how it was shot .Now I don’t know what it is about movies shot in the nineteen forties, but they all seems to look incredibly beautiful. This is especially surprising for me, who has always preferred color to black and white, but “The Uninvited” is gorgeous. Every scene perfectly conveys the mood and when things get supernatural, it looks like the cast has stepped into another world. While all the cast is good, the standout is definitely Gail Russell’s, Stella. When she wasn’t the victim of supernatural mischief she was a fun and likable small town girl and when the spooky stuff started she defiantly convinced me that something otherworldly was affecting her. On a side note, this film had an Ouija board scene before Ouija boards were even invented. I cannot stress this enough, a horror film lives and dies by the mood it instills and while “The Uninvited” never got all the way to terrifying, this was for the best, as it seemed reasonable that the Fitzgerald’s wouldn’t want to leave. Still “The Uninvited” was very creepy and very memorable

Sadly “The Uninvited” didn’t completely escape the flaws of a haunted house movie. While the characters were more proactive than usual, the movie did take a little time to get started. While there were no pointless scenes of the characters walking around only to run into jump scares, there was a romantic subplot. While the romance between Stella and Ricks did give Rick motivation not to leave the house, I couldn’t help but wonder if a reel from “Roman Holliday” had gotten accidentally spliced into this ghost movie. Something that was more strange than disappointing was Rick not showing much fear. Even when things got supernatural, Rick (almost) always kept his stereotypically British stiff upper lip. This might be due to it being the forties when it wasn’t appropriate to see the hero freak out and lose his cool. Despite all of this, “The Uninvited” was one of the best, haunted house movies I’ve ever seen, and as I don’t normally enjoy haunted houses of any kind you know that’s high praise.

F.A.Q’s

Did I like the movie: Yes

Would I watch it again: Yes

Would I buy it: No

Halloween Costumes for Women: Sexy Nurse, Sexy Werewolf, Sexy Cthulhu

 

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The Spirit is a Fragile Thing

 

 

Don’t Breathe Review

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They Picked the Wrong house

Don’t Breathe Review

Director: Fede Alvarez

Stars: Jane Levy/Stephen Lang

Year Released: 2016

Genre: Horror

Running Time: 88 Minutes

Spoilers are right behind you

        More than any other genre, horror films are hit and miss for me. For every great horror film, I see it seems there are half a dozen others that bore me to tears .It might be that it I’m harder to scare than then when I was a kid. Or maybe the way to make a truly great horror film is something that Hollywood has lost. Either way, there are a lot of horror movies out that just don’t interest me at all. So in order to find out what I really like in a horror film and to celebrate Halloween, October going to be all horror movies. Let’s start this month off right with a movie that was just recently in theaters and did a lot of things right.

“Don’t Breathe” is the latest film Uruguayan filmmaker Fede Alvarez who broke into the American market with his remake of the cult classic “The Evil Dead.” It follows a group of three young thieves in Detroit. There’s our heroine Rocky (Jane Levy), the obnoxious street thug Money (Daniel Zovatto) and cautious nice guy Alex (Dylan Minnette). The three doing well as Alex’s dad works for a security company and has codes to the houses alarms. However, their fence is short changing them on the stolen goods and Alex insists that they not steal cash as that comes with a higher charge. This is especially bad for Rocky as she’s only stealing to get her and her sister out of Detroit and away from their abusive mother. A sudden windfall comes, when Money learns of a house in a nearly abandoned, part of the city that may be the answer to all their problems. Even better, is that the house only occupant is an old, blind war veteran (Stephen Lang), who recently get a massive cash settlement when his daughter was killed by a rich, drunk driver. What starts out as a simple plan quickly goes to sh#$ when the blind man catches them in the act and proves to be a ruthless badass who’s more than capable of overpowering them with ease. Even worse it that their harmless looking victim has a dark secret that he’ll gladly kill to protect.

I wasn’t planning on seeing “Don’t Breathe” at first as I have been disappointed with most of the recent horror films in theaters. But, I heard good things about “Don’t Breathe” so I decided to give it a shot and I was pleasantly surprised. It’ wasn’t just the fact that “Don’t Breathe” was a good horror movie, but that it was a good slasher movie. For those of you who don’t know, the slasher was a particular brand of horror movie that used to rule the theaters back in the eighties. They were started by classics like “Friday the 13’th” and “A Nightmare on Elm Street” but these days there mostly just a subject of mockery, due to how formulaic their plots became. Tell me if this sounds familiar, a bunch of sexy teens (who are mostly assho%$s) go someplace that has an evil reputation and get killed off by a huge freak until the soul surviving girl (and it’s always a girl) manages to kill the monster and get away. Slasher movies eventually became so dumb that the only reason to watch them was so you could root against the stupid teens. Fortunately, while “Don’t Breathe” has teens running from a killer, it avoids the other pitfalls of slashers.

The cast of “Don’t Breath” is what helps separate it from most horror movies. While it does have Money the token jerk, he actually contributes to the plot. More importantly, he does the audience a favor by getting killed off very early (thank God). Even better are Rocky and Alex. Both are likable characters with extremely relatable motivations that help the audience understand them. Even though their way out of poverty involves robbing a crippled veteran. Speaking of him, the blind man (that how he’s listed in the credits) is an excellent antagonist. Stephen Lang is in tremendous shape for his age and every time he and teens fight, he’s so quick and brutal that he seems unstoppable. More impressive is the blind man’s motivation. Most horror movie villains have little to no motivation but the blind man is a huge exception. Even after we learn about his horrible crimes, you can still understand why he did them. In the end, he’s just a broken man that’s trying to find something to live for in a world that’s taken everything from him.

Beyond its excellent characters “Don’t Breath” is a relentlessly tense film. Half the movie had me on the edge of my seat, ready to panic. While “Don’t Breath” has a very brief eighty-eight minute run time, this actually helps it. No scene feels overlong or pointless. While a few parts of the story were difficult to accept, none of it was so bad as to ruin the whole plot. While it’s generally accepted that horror movie sequels are the worst kinds of sequels, “Don’t Breathe” actually made me hope that we get one. The ending perfectly sets up a sequel and it would be great to see a modern movie defeat an age-old trend. If you’re looking for a recent horror movie this Halloween, I’ve got one piece of advice, check out “Don’t Breathe”

F.A.Q’s

Did I like the movie: Yes

Would I watch it again: Yes

Would I buy it: Yes

Things you don’t want to hear from your kids: I’m going to get ice cream or commit a felony. I don’t know, I’ll decide in the car

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Never mess with a desperate man