Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Day 14: Ludo (2015) 1h 30m

I can't recall the last time I've had a fever dream.  Thankfully, I rolled Ludo which might as well have been some sickness induced dream spiral that unleashes some strange darkness that dwells in the innermost working of the human soul!  Either that, or a mess of crap which makes no sense.

I can only sum up Ludo as such:  Oh, these young people are going out for a night on the town.  When did they start playing this game.  Wait, are those zombies, cannibals, vampires, or ghosts?  What is going on?  Why is there suddenly a sexual assault attempt?  Who the fuck are these people?!  Wait, this is based on some board game Jumanji shit?  Ohhhhh, that's who those people are.  Wait, who is this person that sucks on the flute?  Is the last half of this film just trying to explain the first half?  Is this over yet?

The real underlying plot is that there is a forbidden game known as Ludo (which is a real game based on Pachisi)  Apparently an alchemist had it locked up in a safe where the key was a flute and his son and (maybe daughter) son's girlfriend unlock the safe and play the game.  The alchemist finds them and curses them before killing himself and spraying them with his blood.  The game then makes them hunger eternally but mainly for blood.  These kids just get caught up in the bullshit.

Ludo did a poor job of story telling in an attempt to either seem artsy or just to add more mystery to the film.  While it would have large sections of consecutive time, there would be these broken up sections shown in flashes or quick time jumps where you would have no idea what was really going on.  I found it hard to follow and it made me loose interest.  When I did get the explanation of the plot it was so lengthy, absurd, and full of these quick jumps that I just didn't care.

I give Ludo 0 Pachisi games out of 5:

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Day 13: :SPECIAL EDITION: Resident Evil: The Final Chapter (2017) 1h 46m

Taking a break from our regularly unscheduled program, I'm actually going to review a film that just came out.  As usual, I have to do a full disclosure:  My entire day was planned around Resident Evil stuff.  Earlier in the day my fiancĂ© and I went out to buy Resident Evil: Biohazard (a.k.a. Resident Evil 7) and then went to an afternoon showing of Resident Evil: The Final Chapter on its opening day.  After that we came home and played Resident Evil 7.  I am, by no means, a stranger to either the film or the Capcom franchise, and I am a fan of both.  So at the end of this I'm going to give it two review scores: one as a fan, and one as an illegitimate critic that has a blog about crap and talks shit while referencing his penis.

The sixth and final film in the Resident Evil franchise, The Final Chapter picks up at the end of the prior film with the Red Queen contacting Alice and telling here she needs to return to the Hive because there is a cure to the T-Virus.  From there we follow Milla Jovovich as she kicks ass from DC to Raccoon City.  Seriously, she kills a bunch of dudes while suspended upside down in a snare trap something like 10 minutes in.  It's rad as fuck!  I'm going to avoid spoilers here as this just came out but there are a ton of action scenes through this whole film.  So much so that my fiancĂ© and I both came home with headaches from them.  That's how action packed this is.  It kicked our asses to the point of being concussed!

With the fanboy section out of the way, I will say that some of The Final Chapter was hilariously over-the-top.  Don't get me wrong, I loved it, but there was such a sense of "excess" that if you saw this film with no prior knowledge you would be asking "what the fuck?!"  Case in point: Alice has a shotgun with three barrels, or a flash light that is four flashlights taped together or some shit, or there's a scene involving a flaming gasoline waterfall taking out zombies.  It looks cool if you remind yourself that these films are (loosely) based on a video game franchise, or if you're an absurd action film fan, but to anyone else it might seem a bit much.

I'm glad that this film was the final one.  Not because I have grown tired of them (which I obviously haven't) but because Paul Anderson did a good job of wrapping everything up and not letting it get stale.  Milla kicked the fuck out of tons of stuff and was super rad, so kudos to her.  Actually, while I mention both of them, before the film started they both came on the screen and thanked the audience for seeing the film and the series.  It was kind of cool.  So you're welcome Paul and Milla.  Hopefully this review makes it okay I use your first names here.

As a fan I give Resident Evil: The Final Chapter 4 out of 5 Umbrella Corp logos:

Looking at this as a sofa critic, I give it 3 out of 5:

Friday, January 27, 2017

Day 12: #Horror (2015) 1h 41m

I'm just old enough that when I was young I still got to enjoy the tail end of after school specials.  I wasn't old enough though to really understand them.  At four they're less "after school" and more "background noise while playing He-Man."  With this film I didn't know if it was trying to be more of an after school special or one of those ill informed films for paranoid parents.

#Horror follows a group of spoiled tween girls while they basically Instagram their dumb time hanging out with each other.  Some real life in-group bullying happens, then it kind of goes online (although everyone is still pretty much together) until one of the girls is kicked out of the house and she wanders the wilderness like some fucking wild animal.  Her dad comes after a phone message and scares the shit out of all the girls.  Then the girls begin to get killed while all being live streamed or having photos of their corpse uploaded.

This movie was trash.  It felt like it was done by someone so disconnected from the use of social media that they made a lot of choices based solely on what they thought tween/teens did with social media. They keep trying to throw in assumed elements of social media on the screen but it just looks like some sort of "my first Geocities page: circa 1993."  Also, for a film using a hashtag in its title, it would misuse them when putting them on the screen.  A hashtag is not quotation marks, you don't put #killer#!!  That doesn't work!  Seriously!  It's like someone's unhip mom went to Wal-mart and bought the bin full of emoji pillows for their child because their kid texts a lot.

I give #Horror 0 poop emojis out of 5:

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Day 11: What We Become (2015) 1h 25m

When I think of the general Norway/Sweden/Denmark area of Europe I tend to think about black metal, and ABBA, but mostly black metal.  So when I rolled the Danish film What We Become and saw this poster image I was hoping it was going to be bloody with satan and cool shit.  What I got was a 28 Days Later knock off.  So what I became was bored.

What We Become starts with a viral outbreak in a small city area.  It quickly becomes a militarized zone where those that turn are pulled out and taken somewhere to be killed and the survivors have to live just on small rations.  Shit goes down hard thanks to our "teenage" jagbag, Gustav, sneaking out and basically leading to things getting out of control way faster than normal time would allow.

These characters were lame.  The teens are oversexed and the parents appear absurdly laid back at times.  Gustav sucked so hard as a person that the greatest monster in this film is his sheer existence.  The course this film takes is just a slow crawl of what 28 Days... did much better.

Apparently this is the first "post-apocalyptic zombie" film to come from Denmark.  While I'd say this were more early-apocalypse than post-apocalyptic, I wish it would have been more inventive.  There were some good visual elements but at one point the windows to the outside world get blacked out and I assume that this was put in as a plot point only because they couldn't keep filming with the background showing people doing their normal life things and breaking the immersion.  I could be wrong, but it felt like that was the reason.

I give What We Become 1 copy of 28 Days Later out of 5:

Friday, January 13, 2017

Day 10: The Nightmare (2015) 1h 31m

Full disclosure:  In the course of my adult life I have had three events of sleep paralysis.  All three happened while I lived in the same apartment in Pittsburgh, PA.  Aside from those three, I have never had any other cases of sleep paralysis that I can recall.  Why am I disclosing this?  Because while the title and this poster make you think that The Nightmare could be a horror film (and despite being in the "horror" listing), it's actually a documentary about sleep paralysis and other individuals that have had experiences with it.  The disclosure is so you know that when I comment, I'm not just offhandedly making a comment with no background in the subject matter.

So despite my initial disappointment with this not being a real horror film, The Nightmare let us hear stories from people all over the world in regards to their experiences with sleep paralysis and what they saw, heard, and felt, not only through their own words but also through decent dramatizations.  What was interesting here was that when we're being presented these stories each one seems to build off of the previous in some way.  The only exception to this being that guy that was getting tickled by aliens.  I don't know what the hell was going on with that one.

Looking at this analytically, the commonalities between these create the question: why do these similar scenarios exist?  To talk about my own experience, only once did I ever feel a physical presence.  The other two times where one that I knew something was either there or around but I couldn't feel it, and the second was more along the lines of the symptoms of the "old hag" you read about in association with cases of sleep paralysis.  In this film there's the talk of shadow men, one of which may be wearing a hat, one that might have been an incubus, and the dumb tickle aliens.  Seriously, fuck the tickle alien thing.  Although he did make an awesome Halloween mask based on them.

I can't really give this a review as it's not a horror movie really.  Sure, things that happen in real life that can't be explained easily are scary as hell.  Some people view these experiences as an attempt at demonic possession, or UFO encounters, or just a state of sleep in which you feel you're awake but aren't and thus can't control your body despite your consciousness telling you that you should be able to.  I know this goes in the opposite direction of the rest of this blog, and fucking runs that way, but I'm going to attempt to wrap this up.

Since I'm not rating this film I will say to watch it if you have an interest in the experience of sleep paralysis.  While you do so, take it with a grain of salt.

Fuckin' tickle aliens, man...

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Day 9: The Girl in the Photographs (2015) 1h 35m

I don't know so much about this being a "brutal thriller" any more that I could assume that Wes Craven would have been proud of this (this was the last film he had any involvement in prior to his death).  I, however, don't really find this to be "brutal."  I feel like people that use this term in cases like this don't listen to metal.  Although, that quote is from Fangoria... so maybe they listen to some weird metal I don't know about that specifically sings about white guys having henchman that are bald, refuse to wear a shirt or underwear, don't speak, and live in a weird basement room where he apparently didn't find enough woods porn to cover more than a small section of the concrete wall.  Actually, that does sound kind of brutal...

The Girl in the Photographs revolves around a woman that has a stalker but doesn't know it.  She only knows that there's something fucked up happening because she keeps finding photos of murdered females that the killer leaves specifically for her to find.  He is also posing his "models" in similar poses as a famous photographer that came from their town.  This photographer (Kumar from Harold and Kumar) decides to return home to find the photos and do a shoot for inspiration.  He's a total dick sandwich with mayo, questionable mayo.

This is pretty much the whole film.  I was bored as fuck.  The ending was actually decent for TGitP but, in this case, the ends do not justify the means.  If that were the case then this should've been done in a short film format and then I could go back to playing Dark Souls III.

I give The Girl in the Photographs 1 woods porn mag out of 5:

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Day 8: Mine Games (2012) 1h 32m

You never forget the first time.  Unless it's something like your first birthday when the mind hasn't formed enough to maintain a proper memory.  Then sometimes you want to forget your first time.  Like the first time you accidentally mistook a fart and pooped a little, or the first time you masturbated dry and a bit too rough so you got that brush burn on your dong... am I right guys?

Mine games falls into the latter of these options.  Not so much like sharting yourself, but kind of like the uncomfortable rub of your sore dick on the inside of your undies.  While this was my first time watching it, I wish I could forget this cliche plot and the boring entitled characters.

A play on the term "Mind Games," (because this film involves a mine and poorly plays with one's mind) we follow a bunch of lame people as they go to a cabin for a weekend or some length of time.  I really can't recall.  On the way up they almost hit someone in the road and wreck their van.  Luckily the cabin is close enough to walk to.  Over time they find the mine with strange things happening including finding some of their own corpses.  Eventually they realize they're in some sort of time loop where the same events keep happening over and over.

Don't waste your time with this though.  The only good part was probably the last five seconds of the film where you see something happen to break the cycle.  The rest of this film made me just want to play the game Until Dawn which is slightly similar but instead of the cycle it has cryptozoological shit mixed with a butterfly effect of player choices.  Play Until Dawn.  Don't watch Mine Games.  Just don't.

I give Mine Games 0 Miner 49er's from Scooby Doo out of 5:

Monday, January 2, 2017

Day 7: Late Phases (2014) 1h 35m

That poster is a fucking lie!  Look at it!  Seriously, take a moment to look at that poster.  So with that name and that image you assume you're looking at a werewolf movie, and you'd be right.  However, that wolf looks a billion times better than what we get.  I'm getting ahead of myself though...

Late Phases holds a double meaning here.  It's not just a reference to the moon, but also to our main character.  He's a Vietnam vet that is being moved into a retirement community.  The kicker here is that he is blind.  This doesn't hold him back though as he is incredibly independent and his military training allowed him to adapt his other senses so he's kind of a badass.

On his first night his neighbor is killed by a werewolf who then tries to kill him and his guide dog.  The guide dog doesn't make it so fuck this werewolf in his wolf ass for mortally wounding the dog.  From there our protagonist pieces things together to realize it's a werewolf and who the werewolf is.  Training and hijinx ensue.

I very rarely look at other reviews of films after I watch them/before I blog about them.  This time though I came across someone comparing this to Bubba Ho-Tep and I had the same feeling early on.  The main differences would be that Bubba Ho-Tep has Bruce Campbell and it is a much better film.

I liked the plot here, but not the execution.  I'm not going to fault the actors or the director (as this was his first English speaking film), but just the film itself.  When they moved the chains it just came up short of the first down.

Getting back to my earlier complaint about the werewolf... holy fuck, where do I begin?  First, I have never laughed so hard at a monster reveal as I did while watching Late Phases.  It was just a man in a shitty fur suit and mask.  And when I say a "man" I mean that they spent no time in giving this werewolf any wolf features aside from claws, a poorly designed wolf face, and weird thin and long fur.  The transformation scene was also really cheesy aside from having the guy tear his skin off to have the wolf under it growing.  Maybe I'm being a snob, but when you have the transformation from American Werewolf in London looking as good as it did in 1981, and you come at me with this fucking 2014 shitshow you can suck a wet fart.

I give Late Phases 1 copy of Dog Man out of 5: